All The Rage – By Darcy Lockman

Goodreads Synopsis: Picking up where All Joy and No Fun left off, All the Rage sets out to understand why, in an age of so-called equality, full-time working mothers still carry.

The inequity of domestic life is one of the most profound and perplexing conundrums of our time. In an era of seemingly unprecedented feminist activism, enlightenment, and change, data show that one area of gender inequality stubbornly remains: the unequal amount of parental work that falls on women, no matter their class or professional status. All the Rage investigates the cause of this pervasive inequity to answer why, in households where both parents work full-time, mothers’ contributions—even those women who earn more than their partners—still outweigh fathers’ when it comes to raising children and maintaining a home.

How can this be? How, in a culture that has studied and lauded the benefits of fathers’ being active, present partners in child-rearing—benefits that extend far beyond the well-being of the kids themselves—can a commitment to fairness in marriage melt away upon the arrival of children?

Darcy Lockman drills deep to find answers, exploring how the feminist promise of true domestic partnership almost never, in fact, comes to pass. Starting with her own case-study as Ground Zero, she moves outward, chronicling the experiences of a diverse cross-section of women raising children with men; visiting new mothers’ groups and pioneering co-parenting specialists; and interviewing experts across academic fields, from gender studies professors and anthropologists to neuroscientists and primatologists. Lockman identifies three tenets that have upheld the cultural gender division of labor and peels back the reasons both men and women are culpable. Her findings are startling—and offer a catalyst for true change.

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Of all the books I’ve read recently on parenting in America, this is actually my least favorite. Darcy Lockman sets out on a journey much like that of Amy Westervelt (author of Forget Having It All), a journey that explores parenthood after experiencing the stress of it firsthand. But where I felt that Westervelt’s book was positive and steeped in historical information, I felt that Lockman’s book was stressful to read and full of an overwhelming amount of statistics. I think it’s clearly a case of what information one likes to read in a non-fiction book like this. If you want history go with Westervelt. If you want statistics go with Lockman. Otherwise, their books are fairly similar.

All The Rage will truly give you just a handful of rage. Of all the books I’ve read recently this one gave me the most anxiety about having a child, which I did not apricate. Parenting in America is a topic I want to continually learn about, but I also want to feel like there’s something I can do at the end of the book. I want to feel some hope, and I didn’t get that with this read. Thankfully every time I put down the book filled with frustration at men I was able to remind myself that my own situation is different and that allowed me to calm my anxiety. I think my partner heard me say that I apricated them about a hundred times that week.

It’s hard for me to know what else to say about this book. I don’t want to dissuade people from reading it, I’d just rather talk more about Forget Having It All. I think All The Rage is a good book for some people. Forget Having It All was much more inclusive in its diversity, talking of intersectionality and providing practical hope and change at the end of each chapter.

My final rating of this book was 3 stars.

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