The Dark Side of Domesticity: Ana María Shua's "Como una buena madre"

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  • Introduction: The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines domesticity as "the quality or state of being domestic or domesticated" with two of the definitions of domes­tic being "of or relating to the household or the family" and "devoted to home duties and pleasures." In the popular imagination of many cultures, those expected to be devoted to home duties and pleasures are women, particularly mothers. Mothers are to stay at home raising children, taking care of the house­hold, and creating a cheerful and loving domestic space for their families. Both popular culture and pop psychology present visions of domestic goddesses who cook delicious meals, keep beautiful homes, and raise wonderful children while staying young and fit, but the reality of women's lives is often quite different. In The Mask of Motherhood, Susan Maushart employs the metaphor of the mask to represent that idealized and unattainable image of motherhood that women feel that they must achieve, one that causes them to feel anxiety, guilt, and resentment about their own, less perfect experiences. Andrea O'Reilly's Mother Matters: Motherhood as Discourse and Practice focuses on "how the nor­mative ideology of motherhood is constructed by various social texts-film, popular fiction, children's fiction, magazines, judicial rulings and parenting books" ( 13; emphasis in original) and then contrasts that normative ideology with actual practices of contemporary motherhood.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2007 L. Beard et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Beard, L. (2007). The Dark Side of Domesticity: Ana María Shua's \"Como una buena madre\". Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative, 6(2), 71-77.
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