In Love & Money, Anne Manne looks at the religion of work - its high priests and sacrificial lambs. As family life and motherhood feel the pressure of the market, she asks whether the chief beneficiaries are self-interested employers and child-care corporations.
This is an essay that ranges widely and entertainingly across contemporary culture: it casts an inquisitive eye over the modern marriage of Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein, and considers the time-bind and the shadow economy of care. Most fundamentally, it is an essay about pressure: the pressure to balance care for others and the world of work.
Manne argues that devaluing motherhood - still central to so many women's lives - has done feminism few favours. For women on the frontline of the work-centred society, it has made for hard choices. Eloquently and persuasively, Manne tells what happened when feminism adapted itself to the free market and argues that any true definition of equality has to take into account dependency and care for others.
'It is falling fertility ... above all else, which gives women a political bargaining chip of a new and powerful kind. Policy makers, formerly deaf to mothers' needs, will have no choice but to listen to them.' - Anne Manne, Love & Money