chapter  8
Nancy Chodorow
Excerpts from ‘Why Women Mother’
Pages 4

Mothers are women, of course, because a mother is a female parent, and a female who is a parent must be adult, hence must be a woman. Similarly, fathers are male parents, are men. But we mean something different when we say that someone mothered a child than when we say that someone fathered her or him.

We can talk about a man ‘mothering’ a child, if he is this child’s primary nurturing figure, or is acting in a nurturant manner. But we would never talk about a woman ‘fathering’ a child, even in the rare societies in which a high-ranking