For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Last Taboo
Saying No to Motherhood
  • Rosemary Agonito
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
The Last Taboo. Saying No to Motherhood
Sound Bite
"The Last Taboo" makes the case against having babies despite fierce, centuries old pressure on women to legitimate themselves through motherhood. Motherhood is the most important issue for a woman since it impacts everything in her life and exerts incredible pressure. This alternative, saying no to babies, will be welcome to women who are considering having babies, who are not sure about children, who don't want to have children but feel they must, who resent pressure to become pregnant, and who feel stigmatized for not having had children. Feminists, environmentalists, progressives will also benefit, as will academic programs in women's studies and family.

About the Author

Rosemary Agonito, Ph.D., award winning author and gender issues specialist, has published eight books and many articles. Her first novel, Buffalo Calf Road Woman: The Story of a Warrior of the Little Bighorn, based on a true story, won the prestigious Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Western Novel (2006).

Agonito has been quoted in major publications like People, Parents, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Marie Claire, Glamour, Mademoiselle, New Woman, Men’s Health, Human Resources Executive, Across the Board and others. She has appeared on TV and radio around the U.S., including CNN, NBC, CNBC, PBS and others.

Agonito is a former college professor who directed a women’s studies program and has run a gender issues consulting firm.

About the Book
Throughout history, women have been equated with a single biological function, motherhood, and made to feel they must have children to be "real women." Despite all women's advances, the pressure to have children still dogs women. The glorification...
Throughout history, women have been equated with a single biological function, motherhood, and made to feel they must have children to be "real women." Despite all women's advances, the pressure to have children still dogs women. The glorification of motherhood is everywhere in the media.

The Last Taboo breaks ground in questioning the motherhood "requirement" and its glorification, while testifying to the harm motherhood regularly does to (1) women (their relationships, finances, careers, self-identity, physical energy), (2) unwanted children (half of all pregnancies are unplanned), and (3) the human species and environment (whose very existences are threatened by excessive reproduction.) For too long, women have been consigned to a life not suited to all, or even most women in the modern era, an era reeling under the environmental devastation of overpopulation. Women are not obliged to have children, despite great pressures. Motherhood is not a prerequisite for being a "real" woman.


Table of Contents
Introduction 4 Chapter 1. Help! I’m Tired All the Time 8    The Physical and Emotional Impact
Introduction 4
Chapter 1. Help! I’m Tired All the Time 8
   The Physical and Emotional Impact of Having Children 8
   Mommy in the Supermarket 8
   Mommy at Home 8
   Mommy at Work 10
   Not What I Bargained For 11
   The Mother-Child Relationship Turned Upside-Down 14
   The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions 15
   Nuclear Fissures 17
   The New Mid-life Crisis 18
   Where’s Daddy? 19
   Frustrated, Frazzled and Furious 21
Chapter 2. Honey, What’s Happening To Us? 23
   The Impact of Children on a Personal Relationship 23
   Marla’s Story 23
   Lisa’s Story 24
   Ellen’s Story 26
   Martha’s Story 27
   Diana’s Story 28
   Not-So-Wise Conventional Wisdom 29
   And Baby Makes Three 30
   Sleeping Together, Literally 30
   Number One 31
   Ships Passing in the Night 31
   Born Yesterday 32
   I’m Right; You’re Wrong 33
   Stranger In Our Midst 34
   They’re Gone! — Marital Bliss and the Joy of Motherhood 35
Chapter 3. Mom’s Talents Down The Drain 37
   The Impact of Children on Career and Livelihood 37
   That’s Life 37
   A Mother of the Future — Almost 38
   A Mother of the Past 39
   A Mother of the Present — Out of the Workforce 40
   Another Mother of the Present — Out of the Workforce 41
   A Mother of the Present — In the Workforce Part-Time 42
   A Mother of the Present — In the Workforce Full-Time 42
   A Mother of the Present — In the Workforce Full-Time, Sort Of 42
   Hitting the Baby Ceiling 44
   The Loss that Keeps on Losing 45
   A Recipe for Disaster 46
   Motherhood as Escape Hatch 47
   The Choice that Isn’t a Choice 48
   What’s Wrong With This Picture? 48
   “What’s Wrong With Me? I Don’t Have Kids.” 49
   The Invisible Helping Hand 50
   The Ultimate Guilt Trip 51
   Who’s Sorry Now? 52
Chapter 4. Hey, Who Am I? 53
   How Motherhood Limits and Defines Mom as a Person 53
   Helen’s Story — and a Question 53
   Crisis of Identity 54
   The No-Return Policy 56
   Who Am I? 56
   The Building Blocks of the Family 58
   A Metaphor for the Self-Sacrificial Mom 59
Chapter 5. The Money Pit 60
   The Financial Cost of Having Children 60
   Paying for Love Insurance 60
   Paying the Day-to-Day Costs 61
   Paying for Mr. Wrong 62
   Deep Pockets 64
   The Endless Money Siphon 64
   Paying for Their Bad Choices 65
   What Not Having It All Really Means 66
Chapter 6. Godzilla Mom 66
   When Motherhood Harms the Child 66
   The Police Blotter 66
   A City Story 67
   A Suburban Story 69
   A Small Town Story 70
   A Television Story 71 
   A Jet-Set Story 72
   A Homeless Story 73
   A Tabloid Story 74
   Dirty Little Secrets 75
   Going It Alone 76
   That’s My Baby! 77
   Unplanned Parenthood 77
Chapter 7. Trashing Our World 78
   The Environmental and Human Impact of Having Children 78
   Ga Ga Over Babies 78
   Choosing Human Extinction 78
   It’s Not Just Their Problem 80
   A Most Unpleasant Question 81
   Consider Adopting 83
   The “Urge” to Reproduce 83
   It’s Life 84
Author’s Note 85


Categories

Pages 164
Year: 2014
BISAC: SOC026010SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-087-9
Price: USD 19.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-088-6
Price: USD 29.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-089-3
Price: USD 19.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book