Metamorphosis of the Mother

Metamorphosis of the Mother

That great class of people, mothers, will be a mere specialty group by the year 2000, and women will be a postindustrial elite. Though it may seem as if this came about as a result of the women’s liberation movement, the underlying causes will have been technological and economic. Through the widespread exploitation of two new technological advancements, birth control pills and the IUD, and modern medical care which has dramatically increased life expectancy, a change is being forced in the occupational identity of women.

Ultimately, the shift now taking place will be equal in scale to that of the 19th century, when the peasants of Europe were transformed into factory workers during the industrial revolution. Succeeding waves of technologies liberated first the middle classes, then the working classes, and now the young and the female sex from the Hobbesian natural world in which the strong dominated the weak. As new technologies penetrate people’s daily lives, satisfying unfulfilled needs, new human wants and expectations erupt and are expressed as new ideologies.

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Duggan | University of California Press Gardels