Ep. 14 – Mothering: Are We Doing It Wrong? – Bethany Johnson & Margaret Quinlan

black mother talking to her son | mom after hours podcast


Do you ever wonder if you’re doing this mothering thing right?

You talk to your doctor, read the posts in parenting Facebook groups, stalk the mom blogs, and scroll the lovely oh-so curated Instagram feeds of mommy influencers, and you still have no clue.

One person says to do this, another person says to do that. 

Some even tell us we must look a certain way to earn the “good mother” label.

Are mothers being set up for failure? 

What is a good mother anyway? 

Join Brandi, along with guests Bethany Johnson and Margaret Quinlan, the authors of the book, “You’re Doing it Wrong! Mothering, Media and Medical Expertise” as they chat about the history of mothering advice in the media, from the Victorian age to the present day, and how social media places extraordinary pressures on new moms from pre-conception through early toddlerhood.

You can find Margaret and Bethany on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnsonQuinlanResearch/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnsonquinlanresearch/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JQ_Research

Website: https://johnsonquinlanresearch.com

Margaret M. Quinlan (Ph.D.) is an associate professor in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She explores how communication creates, resists and transforms knowledges about bodies. She critiques power structures in order to empower individuals who are marginalized inside and outside of healthcare systems. She has authored approximately 40 journal articles, 17 book chapters and co-produced documentaries in a regional Emmy award-winning series.

Bethany L. Johnson (MPhil, M.A.) is an instructor in history and an associate member to the graduate faculty and research affiliate faculty in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She studies how science, medicine, and health discourses are framed and reproduced by institutions and individuals from the 19th century to the present. She has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Health Communication, Women & Language, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research and Women’s Reproductive Health.

Works mentioned:

You’re Doing It Wrong! Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise, by Margaret Quinlan and Bethany Johnson

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, by Dorothy Roberts

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by Harriet Washington

Sex, Sickness, and Slavery: Illness in the Antebellum South, by Marlie Wiener and Mayzie Hough


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