A very interesting interview today from a mother’s perspective. I really enjoyed Melanie’s book “The Female Assumption: A Mother’s Story: Freeing Women from the view that Motherhood is a mandate“ and so I was keen to discuss this topic with her.
Melanie Holmes is a mother of two sons and a teenage daughter. She’s also a writer and researcher, who has interviewed over 200 women and examined the cultural assumptions of motherhood within today’s society. She received her BA degree in 2011, a degree that took 20 years to complete because she took time out from her education to raise three children.
At age 51, she achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a writer with the publication of The Female Assumption. She won a Global Media Award. You can get a copy of the book on Amazon here.
Melanie witnessed firsthand the pain of women who are viewed as dysfunctional or selfish for deciding to pursue something other than motherhood. Her own daughter was the inspiration for her research and writing. She wanted her daughter to know that there are many options besides motherhood for her within her female experience, as she grows into adulthood.
In this episode, you can expect to hear the following:
- How many women never question or have a choice in having motherhood as part of their story;
- How the need exists to amplify this conversation among women—that womanhood does NOT equal motherhood for everyone;
- How people rudely assume they have the right to ask VERY personal questions about your intentions and your timeline concerning having children;
- How the need exists to raise consciousness publicly about people who choose to be “childfree” or “childless.”
- How we, as a society, still assume that motherhood is the ultimate goal for every woman, even though the number of women over 40 without children has doubled in the last ten years;
- How women are viewed as being naturally disposed to be nurturing and caring toward children, totally discounting the fact that men are just as capable of caring for children;
- How media influences our visions of ourselves—“We can’t aspire to be what we don’t see.”
- How double standards for the roles of men and women exist in today’s society and how very little progress has been made;
- How motherhood should be revered, but not presented as the panacea for all that might be wrong with someone’s life;
- How the “Parenting Partnership” doesn’t have to include merely a man and a woman.
Points to consider:
“Motherhood is not something to check off the to-do list. Women are complete beings.”
Respect each others’ boundaries. We live in a diverse world, and we don’t all want the same things.
We need more women in politics and high-level leadership positions. There are 19 states in the US that have never sent a woman to the Senate!
I would love to hear your comments below on this insightful interview. If you found this helpful then I would love you to share with a friend who may also benefit. Thank you!