In the pathbreaking tradition of Backlash and The Second Shift, Labor of Love opens the last frontier in the fight for women's equality: the economic penalties of motherhood.
In this provocative book, award-winning economics journalist Ann Critten argues that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. Drawing on hundreds of interviews around the country and the most current research in economics, history, child development, and law, she shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made depent by a society that praises the labor of love but undervalues and even exploits those who perform it.
The costs of motherhood are apparent everywhere. College-educated women pay a "mommy tax" of more than a million dollars in lost income when they have a child. Family law deprives mothers of financial equality in marriage. Most child care is excluded from the GDP, at-home mothers are not counted in the labor force, and the social safety net simply leaves them out. With passion and clarity, Critten dismantles the principal argument for the status quo: that it's a woman's "choice." She demonstrates, on the contrary, that proper recognition and reward for mothers' essential contributions would only enhance the welfare of all.
Bold and galvanizing, full of innovative solutions, Labor of Love offers a much-needed accounting of the price mothers pay to carry out society's most important job.