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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Is Motherhood Moonlighting?

Is Motherhood Moonlighting?

(p.366) Is Motherhood Moonlighting?
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter argues that forcing women to choose between work and motherhood is no more equality than forcing them to stay home. There are feminists, along with traditionalists hoping to expose contradictions in feminism, who argue that equality in the workplace requires equal commitment to the job, that it is inconsistent to demand consideration for pregnancy or child rearing. Yet increasingly the public recognizes that telling women “if you can’t take the heat, get back in the kitchen” is a way of dismissing a problem rather than solving it. The real question is not whether accommodations should be made for people who have jobs and children, but how. So far, most proposals for reform, such as parental leave, flexible hours, more opportunities for part-time work, and the “mommy track” have aimed to make employers’ policies less rigid. This chapter proposes a simpler and more radical idea: abolish full-time work. It argues that reducing work time shifts power from employers to workers and subordinates efficiency to quality of life.

Keywords:   women, feminism, part-time work, mommy track, full-time work, motherhood, child rearing, pregnancy

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