Mommy Issues: Reconsidering <i>The Mermaid and the Minotaur</i>

Mommy Issues: Reconsidering The Mermaid and the Minotaur <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>When activist and psychology professor Dorothy Dinnerstein died in a car crash in 1992, she had only one book to her name, <i>The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise</i> first published in 1976. This book&apos;s thesis is that all of us are psychologically and socially disadvantaged by being brought up under asymmetrical parenting roles, and that most sexist convictions can be traced back to the common reality that fathers (men) are mostly absent while mothers (women) are omnipresent. Being raised almost exclusively by women encourages humans to overvalue masculine qualities, including a propensity toward brute "mastery" of external circumstances, reaching its pinnacle in the invention and subsequent profusion of nuclear weapons. If this sounds both epic and ridiculous, well, it is. But so is much of human behavior, and history. Charlotte Shane revisits Dinnerstein and <i>Mermaid</i>, a work feverishly praised but largely neglected.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dissent University of Pennsylvania Press

Mommy Issues: Reconsidering <i>The Mermaid and the Minotaur</i>

Dissent, Volume 65 (3) – Aug 8, 2018

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1946-0910

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>When activist and psychology professor Dorothy Dinnerstein died in a car crash in 1992, she had only one book to her name, <i>The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise</i> first published in 1976. This book&apos;s thesis is that all of us are psychologically and socially disadvantaged by being brought up under asymmetrical parenting roles, and that most sexist convictions can be traced back to the common reality that fathers (men) are mostly absent while mothers (women) are omnipresent. Being raised almost exclusively by women encourages humans to overvalue masculine qualities, including a propensity toward brute "mastery" of external circumstances, reaching its pinnacle in the invention and subsequent profusion of nuclear weapons. If this sounds both epic and ridiculous, well, it is. But so is much of human behavior, and history. Charlotte Shane revisits Dinnerstein and <i>Mermaid</i>, a work feverishly praised but largely neglected.</p>

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DissentUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 8, 2018

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