Home Is Where the Hurt Is

Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers

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About the Book

Despite years of propaganda attempting to convince us otherwise, popular media is beginning to catch on to the idea that the home is one of the most dangerous and difficult places for a woman to be. This book examines emergent trends in popular media, which increasingly takes on the realities of domestic violence, toxic home lives and the impossibility of “having it all.” While many narratives still fall back on outmoded and limiting narratives about gender—the pursuit of romance, children, and a life dedicated to the domestic—this book makes the case that some texts introduce complexity and a challenge to the status quo, pointing us toward a feminist future in which women’s voices and concerns are amplified and respected.

About the Author(s)

Sara Hosey is an associate professor of English and women and gender studies at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. Her scholarly work has appeared in publications including the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Feminist Formations and Feminist Teacher.

Bibliographic Details

Sara Hosey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7198-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3736-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Introduction 5
Part I: Hurt
1. Housebound: Horror Begins at Home 19
2. At Home in Patriarchy: Girly Moms and Worldly Girls in Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and Teen Mom 37
3. “Some kind of monster”: Fraught Motherhood in Twilight and The Hunger Games 55
4. The Real Housewives of ­Post-Industrial USA: Hysteria and Toxic Discourse 71
5. “When did he stop treating you like a princess?” Domestic Violence in Enough and Waitress 90
Part II: Hope
6. “Little boys don’t get to go around anymore hurting little girls”: Evolving Depictions of Domestic Violence 109
7. “You’re so epic”: Matrophilia in Indie Films 124
8. “No wrong way to make a family”: Hope and Home in Tully and The Handmaid’s Tale 142
9. “You’re such a good mom”: Transparenthood, Pain and Privilege 160
Conclusion: “Un poco mas doloroso”: Jane the Virginand the Home as a Little Less Painful 177
Chapter Notes 187
Works Cited 200
Index 219

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “This book helps us make sense of representations of femininity, feminism, popular culture and patriarchy, tackling thorny questions as they relate to wives in the domestic sphere and motherhood as the traditional site of hearth and home. While seemingly routine depictions of domestic violence leave the reader frustrated at the misogynistic status quo of much media fare, we are reminded that there is also hope and potential empowerment in a growing number of maternal depictions that look to negotiate, challenge and cite change. This book was difficult to put down, and as such, I recommend it to readers interested in the representation of gender, family and feminism.”—Rebecca Feasey, Bath Spa University
  • “The wealth of insightful commentary in this book should make it a valuable resource for students of media and gender studies, and inspire lively discussions in undergrad and graduate classrooms.”—Valerie H. Pennanen, associate professor of history, chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Calumet College of St. Joseph