Mommyish Debate: Is Amy Sohn’s ‘Regressive’ Picture Of Motherhood Courageous Or Contemptible?

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Motherland Amy SohnAmy Sohn, the woman who painted a nasty picture of Park Slope ladies with her last book Prospect Park West, is at it again. This time around, she’s described a controversial version of motherhood at The Awl – in part to promote her next novel called Motherland.

The piece was meant to stir debate and described a new type of mommy. Sohn and her friends are older moms who are over the labor-intensive younger years and have reverted back to their own adolescent immaturity. She describes nights out partying, rampant drug use and plenty of less-than-maternal behavior.

Her piece caused plenty of debate here at the Mommyish office. Editor-in-chief Shawna Cohen immediately said she admired Sohn’s honesty. At the same time, Lindsay Cross declared she’s not a fan. So we decided to sit down and debate this newest example of Mommy Wars in the media. Should we all be thanking Sohn for her blunt account of what some moms are feeling and experiencing? Or should she be chastised for glamorizing dangerous addiction and reckless behavior?

Read through our debate and let us know your thoughts in the comments.



  1. Fabel

    July 11, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Okay, my only comment is on what Lindsay said in the 3rd slide– an author doesn’t NEED to make sure the audience knows what “side” they’re on when writing about something abhorrent. If they do, it takes away from the writing. Throwing in that “Oh, but this isn’t right in any way!” immediately degrades a controversial peice. It should just speak for itself.

    • Fabel

      July 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

      I mean, really. Not everything has to be a tale about right and wrong, laying out all the consequences of what happens to “bad” people. Also, the whole “‘I have a great marriage but it takes a lot of work’ = cheating thing seems exclusive to the MANY people this author knows who ARE cheating. Those people are saying “a lot of work” as code, not everybody. So don’t take it as an affront to your happy marriage.

    • Another Steph

      July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Absolutely, and it’s not an authors job to provide solutions to the problems either.

  2. lawcat

    July 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

    This is a *fictional* book, correct?

  3. Lindsay

    July 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Those people are sad.

  4. Elaine

    July 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t care what she does with her like, and I care even less how it affects her family or children- that’s none of my business or concern. The only thing I got from reading the piece on The Awl was a reminder of how much I hate rich, privileged New Yorkers.

  5. jack sprat

    July 16, 2012 at 3:51 am

    (c) She and her friends are human turds.

  6. jack sprat

    July 16, 2012 at 3:55 am

    I prefer to look at this book as an anthropological one. My strongest opinion of it is that some tribes should be lost.

  7. Pingback: Amy Sohn Tells Mommyish Why Gen X Parents Are Spoiled

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