The Conflict

How Overzealous Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women

Elisabeth Badinter

Picador

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In the pathbreaking tradition of Backlash and The Time Bind, The Conflict, a #1 European bestseller, identifies a surprising setback to women's freedom: progressive modern motherhood

Elisabeth Badinter has for decades been in the vanguard of the European fight for women's equality. Now, in an explosive new book, she points her finger at a most unlikely force undermining the status of women: liberal motherhood, in thrall to all that is "natural." Attachment parenting, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and especially breast-feeding—these hallmarks of contemporary motherhood have succeeded in tethering women to the home and family to an extent not seen since the 1950s. Badinter argues that the taboos now surrounding epidurals, formula, disposable diapers, cribs—and anything that distracts a mother's attention from her offspring—have turned childrearing into a singularly regressive force.

In sharp, engaging prose, Badinter names a reactionary shift that is intensely felt but has not been clearly articulated until now, a shift that America has pioneered. She reserves special ire for the orthodoxy of the La Leche League—an offshoot of conservative Evangelicalism—showing how on-demand breastfeeding, with all its limitations, curtails women's choices. Moreover, the pressure to provide children with 24/7 availability and empathy has produced a generation of overwhelmed and guilt-laden mothers—one cause of the West's alarming decline in birthrate.

A bestseller in Europe, The Conflict is a scathing indictment of a stealthy zealotry that cheats women of their full potential.

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About the Author

Elisabeth Badinter

Elisabeth Badinter is the acclaimed author of three seminal works on feminism—The Myth of Motherhood, Wrong Turn, and Masculine Identity—which have been translated into fifteen languages. Badinter teaches philosophy at the école Polytechnique in Paris, where she lives.

Elisabeth Badinter

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Conflict
How Overzealous Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women
Elisabeth Badinter

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
June 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250032096
ISBN10: 1250032091
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$16.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805094145
ISBN10: 0805094148
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$25.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429996914
ISBN10: 1429996919
256 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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