30 March 2009

New book cracks open the secrets and lies of mummyhood

A new book out of the UK, Backwards in High Heels: The Impossible Art of Being Female by Sarah Vine and Tanya Kindersley, calls itself an 'instruction manual for having it all'. One chapter is called 'The Conspiracy of Silence' and it a discussion of the lies that women tell each other about pregnancy and childbirth and then a funny but slightly horrible description of what women actually mean when they say to one another that, for instance, that birth 'isn't that bad'. For example:

If you tell a friend that

1. It doesn’t matter if she gets fat, the weight will drop off afterwards, especially if she breastfeeds.

What you really mean is:

1. Her stomach will never be the same again, not even if she goes to the gym every day (which she won’t be able to because she won’t have the time), breastfeeds until her child goes to university and observes a strict vegan diet.

What are some 'lies' that you were told about pregnancy and birth?

1 comment:

Tania Kindersley said...

Dear Dr Nash - Thank you so much for mentioning Backwards in High Heels on your blog. It's lovely to get the word out. I would like to correct one misconception though - not sure who called it an instruction manual, let alone one for having it all. In fact, it was written as an ANTITHESIS to all those ghastly manuals which tell women how to change their lives in ten easy steps. My co-writer and I also dispute the notion that there is any such thing as having it all, and think it was an evil joke dreamed up by people who like to see women cry.

If the book does have any central message (and Samuel Goldwyn always said that if you want to send a message call Western Union) it is that women should have faith in their own flaky, flawed, human selves, and not listen to anyone who suggests that they should be shiny and perfect in order to be loved.

Hope that is not too pedantic, but could not bear people getting the wrong idea. Thanks so much again.

Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.