Feminism and Motherhood: O'Brien vs Beauvoir

Hypatia 1 (2):87 - 102 (1986)
I argue that both Mary O'Brien's celebratory analysis of motherhood and Simone de Beauvoir's critical one fail, due to biologism and a lack of historical sense. Both approaches, I claim, are complementary: motherhood need be analysed both as alienating-Beauvoir-and as a potential ground for feminism-O'Brien. I conclude by suggesting that feminism can only reappropriate the female reproductive experience in a critical way.
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DOI 10.2307/3809898
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