Every Mother is a Working Mother

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Brown text on yellow background

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In the 1988 book If Women Counted, Marilyn Waring spoke out against a United Nations economic study which defined traditionally female work (homemaking, caretaking, etc.) as “of little or no importance.” Though this new fight came during the transition from the second to the third wave of feminism, it sparked what would be known as the Mommy Wars, a cultural and emotional arena which pitted working mothers against stay-at-home mothers. “Every mother is a working mother” was not only adopted as a quick retort to those who undervalued home and parenting work, but was also taken on as the name of non-profit advocacy groups, batted around in political discourse around the welfare system, and even in campaigns for pay equality, access to reproductive care, childcare and more.


Mink, Gwendolyn, and Rickie Solinger. Welfare: a Documentary History of U.S. Policy and Politics. New York: New York University Press, 2003.

Zadrozny, B. “Do Mean Girls Grow up to Be Mean Mommies?: Women’s Mags Tells Us That ‘Mean Moms’ Are the Latest Iteration of the Mommy Wars-but Do They Actually Exist?” The Daily Beast, May 6, 2017. https://www.thedailybeast.com/do-mean-girls-grow-up-to-be-mean-mommies.

“Sex Between the Covers: Exhibited Items.” Glasgow Women's Library, n.d. https://womenslibrary.org.uk/discover-our-projects/sex-in-the-womens-li….

Catalog ID CA0759