I first became aware of Jessica Valenti back around undergrad when I started reading a few feminist blogs, Feministing being one of them. Feministing was never my favorite one – it was more like reading a collection of news, reporting on lots of different things with multiple posts a day while other blogs had fewer articles but more in depth analysis of those topics. I don’t remember if Valenti stood out to me, or if she even posted that much or was more involved in the management of the site.
Since then, she has written a few “feminism 101” books and written for various media sources. She wrote The Purity Myth, so a book on motherhood seems like a fitting follow on, looking at the next stage of womanhood. I don’t plan to have kids so I was reading this more from a conceptual interest rather than needing to be convinced one way or another.
As usual with Valenti, I would say she presents great research and has a good compilation of topics and issues that affect her topic. However, much like her other books, I feel like there is something introductory about Valenti’s writings. If someone is interested in these topics or spends times on progressive/liberal sites, many of issues she talks about will be familiar. That doesn’t mean this is bad or doesn’t have value; it’s nice to have book to easily reference these topics rather than having to search for the internet for that one article that proves a point. Still, I’m not sure who Valenti is writing for – it seems most of the people that are familiar with her and would read her books as a result will already know many of the controversies she addresses. Her writing is accessible and interesting, she gets into the personal but I also don’t think I necessarily learned much beyond what I already knew.