What I learned About Mothers...

By Meredith Wollenman

At the beginning of the semester, I have to admit, I was a little nervous and unsure about what this class exactly entailed. I knew the class pertained to mothers and the media, however I was in the dark about everything else. When the semester begun, and we first began reading "The Feminine Mystique," even though I found the book to be very insightful and interesting, I was a little skeptical on wether or not I would enjoy this class. At the time, I believed that everything we would study would pertain to the history of women and how they have evolved over the years. Much to my surprise, I completely misread the situation, for we soon began to study current day mothers. This immediately grabbed my attention, for we were now learning all about mothers presented in our current generation. Sure, at times, we would look into mothers presented in a particular form of media from the past (ex: magazines, movies, etc.) but for the most part the class focused mainly on present day situations. This allowed me to look at motherhood from a completely different light, and ultimately gain more respect not just for my mother but for all mothers. It taught me to become more aware of the content that I am watching, and to really look at the mother figure portrayed. With the various projects assigned, it showed me that mothers are everywhere, wether we know it or not. I would have never guessed how many different forms of media contain mothers if it wasn't for this class. Overall I have been pretty successful with my assignments and have really enjoyed this class and all that has come with it. I have learned a great deal on how to and how not to be my own idea of "the perfect mother." Not all mothers are the same, but from this class I have learned that they do not need to all be the same. Everyone has their own technique on how to be a mother and motherhood is about adopting and adapting which characteristics you which to posses when you become a mother.

Mothers in Novels

I know that I have said this a lot now, but I also really enjoyed this assignment. Typically I am not a big reader (probably the biggest struggle of the project was finishing the book) but I really appreciated how we were able to select our own novel. Not only did this allow me to select something that I had not already read, but it also allowed me to select something that sounded interesting to me. From my book, I was shocked to learn abut how selfish mothers can be. In my book "The Rest of Her Life" the main character Leigh's daughter accidentally runs a stop sign resulting in killing a pedestrian walking home from school. Instantly one would think that Leigh would be compassionate and loving towards her daughter and concerned for her own well being, however that is not the response we received. In the novel, it was quite shocking to learn that Leigh was more concerned with her own social status and how her community would now perceive her. This taught me exactly what NOT to do if I were ever put in this position.


The Feminine Mystique

Starting off the semester reading "The Feminine Mystique," in my opinion was a very good introduction to the evolution of women. It exposed me to the mental and physical symptoms many women faced during previous decades. Like I'm sure so many individuals are, I was completely oblivious to the difficulties many women went through. Looking back at pictures, I always believed that these housewives were the happiest of all women, living a perfect life. After reading "The Feminine Mystique," however, I now know that is wrong. I found it quite shocking that many women were under the influence of drugs, on a daily basis, just to cope with their everyday lives. I also found it quite interesting when the book talked about women and their education. I would have never guessed in a million years that many women reported it being more difficult to be a stay at home mother if they were educated. Fortunately the content presented in the book was not completely and totally foreign to me for I was aware that many women, from a very young age, began searching for a husband and planning their lives, often putting their careers on hold. This book not only taught me a lot about women but it also taught me a lot about myself. After reading, I became very appreciative and thankful for the era I live in. I do not think that I could have been the type of housewife to sit at home all day cooking and cleaning. This just makes one appreciate even more the respect and recognition women are receiving as the years progress.