PAIL Book Club, vol. 2

This is it– the moment you have all been waiting for! It’s time to throw back the curtains and reveal both our new PAIL Book Club book and the lovely lady who will be leading you through it– Nisha of The Prairie Plate! We are thrilled to have her on board and we hope you are, too. Take it away, Nisha!

When the girls at PAIL asked me to start hosting their book club, I was so excited to delve into the world of books dedicated to the endlessly fascinating topic of motherhood and parenting. I already had a list a mile long of things I wanted to read, but I knew there was one I had to check out first.

I remember first hearing about The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women during a radio interview while I was pregnant. I listened in both disgust and wonder at this woman’s assertion that simply by having children, I was setting feminism back. If I was the kind of woman that would put my children before my career, the author, Elisabeth Badinter, was pretty much ready to lock up my vagina and throw away the key.

I’ve always kind of lived under the opposite belief–that feminism kind of screwed me over. That if I were living in the 1950s, I would have been more than happy to have a handful of children and stay at home with them. (Betty Draper is kind of my hero–well in the first season anyways). Instead, because of feminism I’m expected to have career that fulfills me, plenty of fascinating hobbies, have kids, run marathons, be stunning, fashionable and weigh 125 lbs while doing it.

Badinter’s supposed thesis is that modern parenting techniques like babywearing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting and especially breastfeeding are responsible for tying women to the home and have made liberal motherhood a “singularly regressive force.” Well, I’ve just gotta read this.

I have no doubt Badinter’s book is going to be a platform for endless discussion, and I hope you’ll read along.

If you’d like to participate in the book club, this is how it will work:

1. Send me an email stating you’d like to participate and include a link to your blog. I can be reached at Please sign up by Wednesday, July 25.

2. Get the book and read it.

3. During the week of August 1, I’ll send all the participants an email asking for a question you’d like to ask about the book. You don’t have to submit one, but if there’s something you’re dying to ask, there’s your chance. A list of discussion-worthy questions will also be compiled during this time.

4. On August 8, a complete list of discussion questions will be posted here (that gives you four weeks to read the book). You can choose which ones interest you the most. You’ll then have two weeks to write a blog post about your impressions and answer whichever questions you like.

5. On August 22, a list of all the participating blogs will be posted here and you can visit and comment on everyone else’s blogs to your heart’s content.

Important dates:

July 25–sign up for book club deadline
August 1–submit your optional question
August 8–complete list of questions will posted
August 22–complete list of blogs will be posted



  1. I’m glad we’re doing a book club again. But I think I’d better pass this time. I know that if I picked that book up, it would only be to beat the author about the head with it. I detest any woman (or person) who pretends to be giving freedoms/rights and instead is trying to bully you into submission, to force you into a new mold that still doesn’t fit what you as an individual want. I don’t blame all of feminism for it, but I do want to poke out the eyes of the crazy ass ones who say I’m less of a woman for wanting to be a SAHM, who say they are feminists and yet they hate and derride everything feminine. Gah. My review on the book would be something like this… Go champion someone else’s “right” to do exactly as you tell them to, and leave me the hell alone. 🙂 On a related note, I am PMSing out of control today. Hahaha. Can you tell? 🙂

    • Julie Anita says:

      Coco, I am totally with you on that. That’s actually why I really WANT to read the book… maybe because I like being outraged 😉 but also, more importantly, because I am also a SAHM and I’ve always been irritated by women who call themselves feminists and then act as if being a mother who does not work isn’t a valid choice, and I want to see if this is really the direction the author goes in or if she can provide a more compelling narrative for me. Also, I think it’s possible to agree with women who are SAHMs and who make certain choices that tie them to their children in a more direct way (like as in breastfeeding, where you need to be the one feeding them yourself so much of the time) and still acknowledge that these things can make it difficult for women to, say, re-enter the workforce (since many jobs don’t offer good maternity leave compensation, pumping rooms, etc). I want to see if the author is on our side or not 😉

  2. Very excited about book club b/c I am reading the book now and planned to post on it.

  3. The book sounds really interesting. I might read it at some point, but I think I’m going to have to skip this round. Between starting a new job on Monday, moving next weekend, having a baby in August, and analyzing data for my master’s thesis, I think I’m going to be a little bit busy. 🙂

  4. This sounds like a super interesting book! I’ve always felt that way about feminism too; I’d rather be a stay at home mom/housewife than work!
    I’ll read it at some point, but I’m going to be having my baby in the next few weeks (our first) and I have a feeling I won’t have time for reading 😉
    Can’t wait to see what other people say about it though!

  5. I think you misunderstanding feminism and I hope the book doesn’t portray feminism as devaluing women who stay at home. True feminism is about equality and giving women choices. If some people choose to stay at home, that is fine, as long as it is a real choice and not a forced role due to a paternalistic society that assumes women are not as capable as men. I am a working mom and I think it is great if women want to be stay at home moms. But I still see the cultural pressures to be all that and a bag of candy that you talk about. I don’t think it is feminism, but more of the achievement-oriented culture that pervades everything and says we (both men and women) can’t ever be satisfied with what they have. Looking forward to reading the book.

  6. Don’t count on me actually getting this done (I still have last quarter’s book club waiting to be read), but I’d like to try!


  1. […] Nisha of The Prairie Plate to PAIL as our new PAIL Book Club Host! Nisha introduced the first book of our book club reboot– click on over to see what it is if you missed it, and sign up to read along with […]

  2. […] at PAIL have asked me to be the new host of their book club and I’m so pumped about it. I introduced the new book last week, but you’ve still got a few more days to sign up (and it’s not […]

  3. […] Nisha of The Prairie Plate to PAIL as our new PAIL Book Club Host! Nisha introduced the first book of our book club reboot– click on over to see what it is if you missed it, and sign up to read along with […]

  4. […] Nisha of The Prairie Plate to PAIL as our new PAIL Book Club Host! Nisha introduced the first book of our book club reboot and has now sent out an email to all participants asking for question submissions– click on over […]

  5. […] Nisha of The Prairie Plate to PAIL as our new PAIL Book Club Host! Nisha introduced the first book of our book club reboot and has now posted a list of discussion questions – click on over to see what it is if you […]

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