The XX Factor

Feminists Do Write About Newborn Addiction

A guest post from Amy Bloom :

I’m glad that Katie Roiphe is crazy about her baby . I was crazy about my babies, too. Even better, I am still crazy about my children, now that they are adults. I don’t fault her for the headline, as I’m sure that was chosen for her. What baffles me is her claim that somehow feminists have failed to acknowledge, in writing, that many lucky mothers love their babies. (We do understand that that is a gift, right? That many mothers find themselves unable to experience that lovely, dopey, mind-altering attachment?) Really? No word on this from Grace Paley, Tillie Olson, Adrienne Rich, Ursula LeGuin, Bronwen Wallace? This seems to be an odd, blank spot in Ms. Roiphe’s reading. But not so odd, I guess, if one prefers to read Rebecca West and Virgina Woolf. It is true that there is not so much in literature on the glorious romance with the baby, for the same reason that happy marriages, conflict-free lives, and blissful vacations figure so rarely in literature.

I’m pretty sure that some feminists were keen to point out (since there had been so many thousand years of silence on the subject) that motherhood was harder than lots of nonmothers thought. I’m equally sure that many feminists did-and do-adore their children, and many even wrote about it in the past and blog about it now, for better and worse.

Photograph by Getty Images.