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This chapter explores the still unavoidable subject of how motherhood and care of others disproportionally affects women in the workplace. The previously discussed requisites of those doing screenwriting labour preclude caring responsibilities. All women—whether they even want or can have children—are penalized by maternal assumption. This chapter illustrates the ways motherhood is naturalized by film workers as women’s desire and women’s work, in a way that both individualizes and blames women, and excuses inaction to redress motherhood penalties. Through a close and critical examination of the particular characteristics of screenwriting and its intersection with motherhood, this chapter demonstrates that the characteristics of creative labour are as problematic as they may appear liberating for those with childcare responsibilities.
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As a side note, I came across this discourse repeatedly in academia whilst writing this book. As a mother, I can confirm that there are many parallels between the difficulties of film work and the difficulties of academic work. If you are reading this book, I can also confirm that whilst extremely challenging, it is sometimes possible to write and mother over an extended period of time.
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- The Impact of Motherhood on Screenwriters
- Chapter 5