In the 1950s, prior to the Women’s Liberation Movement, motherhood was the dominant career choice open to women. Second-Wave Feminists realized this “career” limited women’s agency. They wanted more for women. For this reason, many Feminist periodicals worked to redefine motherhood. This project focuses on the periodical Up From Under, published from June 1970 to June 1971. As a publication created “by, for, [and] about” women, Up From Under redefines motherhood’s various aspects, including abortion, forms of birth control, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children. Throughout all five issues of Up From Under, the editors feature candid poetry such as Robin Morgan’s “The 2 A.M. Feeding” and Rhoda Gaye Ascher’s “Friday Night Song,” which unite readers in the demanding experience of motherhood. The editors also publish various educational essays such as Beth Cagan’s “Giving Birth in Dignity” and Alice Wolfson’s “Health Care May Be Hazardous to Your Health,” which inform women about their own reproductive health, birth control available to them, and empowering birthing techniques. By uniting and educating their readers, Up From Under empowers women, specifically mothers, to demand the respect they deserve. Ultimately, this periodical calls upon society to share the burdens of motherhood, allowing women to explore their identity beyond their domestic title.
— Monika Bhaskar