Academic feminism ignores Motherhood

An interview with Dr Andrea O’Reilly conducted by Shira Richter on the launch of Dr O’Reilly’s book ‘Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism and Practice’ 


Dr O’Reilly gave this interview a day before the Gala 20th year anniversary conference of MIRCI’s founding held in Toronto, October 2016. Dr O’Reilly persuasively shows how matricentric feminism has been marginalised in academic feminism and considers the reasons for such exclusion and how it may be challenged and changed.

“My whole book is on how much (the subject of motherhood) is represented…in women studies conferences, journals textbooks and women studies introduction classes…

“Together with Angie Deveau…who did this amazing work, we did a research study this summer…I thought I was paranoid all these years, and it’s true!.. under 3% of the content of journals is about motherhood…(more statistics)…Women studies intro classrooms is under 1%. Textbooks is under 3%. The highest was 3.9%. Intuitively I knew this because I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve talked to thousands of mothers and they are all telling me “I’m being ignored, my books aren’t being reviewed”, I talk about motherhood in a conference and everyone rolls their eyes…I knew this before but I didn’t have proof.”

“And Now there is quantitative proof. Empirical evidence that in the big forums of women studies motherhood has literally fallen off the academic page. Before it might have been in the margins, it’s not even on the page anymore. In the last 10 years. In my book I try to theorize why that is. I think there are lots of reasons why motherhood is so ignored.”

“I needed to quantify it. When I told people this – you know, that motherhood is being ignored, people said “no it’s not, you’re too paranoid”, and I thought, well, maybe I am! But no. I’m not saying it universally, I think there are some great women studies dept which do motherhood and some great women studies scholars who do motherhood, but overall it’s not being taught it’s not being read it’s not being reviewed.”

Voice behind camera, videography, writer and translator of this text and uploader (so you know who to praise, credit or complain ): Shira Richter; Mamactivist Artist/Scholar who gave an artistic visual talk at the conference about the personal political and economic experience of – Mothers/Mothering work, War, Values and Economy. (Based on her personal story).

ד”ר אנדריאה אוריילי, מהחוקרות החלוצות בתחום מחקר “אימהות” בעולם, יום לפני הכנס הגדול החוגג 20 שנות פעילות והוצאת ספר חדש מתראיינת אצל שירה ריכטר, אימניסטית פמיניסטית רב תחומית החיה בישראל.

Book may be ordered at 40% off until Dec 1 using coupon code ‘mothers’.

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