Vanessa Olorenshaw

Mother & author of Liberating Motherhood. Wearer of Purplestockings

Vanessa is the author of the Politics of Mothering, a political pamphlet, and Liberating Motherhood: Birthing the Purplestockings Movement - on mothers, feminism and western culture. The book will be published 23 September 2016 by Womancraft Publishing.

She has two children. A lawyer for a few years before enjoying a career as a law reporter for a legal publishing company, she decided to stay at home when her son was born as they, quite simply, could not bear to be separated from each other. Such is love.

See her blog, The Politics of Mothering

And like the Facebook page

Put on those purplestockings and ROAR! #purplestockings

She is a Friend of the organisation Mothers at Home Matter and a founding member of the Women's Equality Party and a contributor to the party's policy development.

Mother's Day: Remembering Our Mothers, Remembering Ourselves

The least we could do for the women who reproduce the human race and nurture children in their vulnerability is to ensure that they are not hung out to dry alongside the muslins and babygros. We could recognise our interdependence and see that having children is not a lifestyle choice up there with keeping puppies.
24/03/2017 15:33 GMT

For International Women's Day, Let's Put On Some Purplestockings And Go On Strike

<img alt="all women everywhere" src="" width="300" height="35" /> Fellow mothers, demand to be heard. Join a growing movement of mothers who want to see a better future for themselves and their children. Go on strike. Whatever you can decline, decline. Big or small, make a noise in public and online.
08/03/2017 13:45 GMT

The Question Of Maternal Loneliness. The Answer Is Connection

Yet, many of us are left in the immediate care of a male partner who, quite frankly, will have not a clue about what we have been through. Neither of us may be familiar with the intimate and relentlessness of caring for a tiny babe. We may be struggling to breastfeed. We may well be carrying physical and/or emotional wounds from labour.
09/12/2016 12:19 GMT

Feminism Has Focused On The Boardroom But It Is Time To Remember The Birthing Room

I argue that maternity and maternal bodies have become a minefield within identity politics, feminism and public policy alike and that it is time for a movement of women to improve the position of mothers - from birth, to breastfeeding, to the right to provide maternal care and freedom from discrimination in our jobs or careers.
04/10/2016 13:23 BST

Women's Voices: How We Must Listen To Women About Birth

As a feminist, I used to talk about the abilities and powers of women, our right to education, access to the professions and about equal pay. Of course, all these things still matter to me. But something I had neglected before I became a mother was the birthing room. I was too busy talking about the boardroom.
23/08/2016 11:11 BST

Mamas and the Panama Papers

So there we have it. Some men are more equal than others - in exposure to tax liability, at least. The Panama Papers have revealed just how deviously and unethically many wealthy individuals protect their assets, reduce their exposure to tax, and pay as little into or back to their communities as they can get away with.
11/04/2016 13:47 BST

Lies, Damn Lies, and Childcare

When are the actual wishes of mothers, overwhelmingly for greater financial support to care and freedom to make choices which honour their wishes, going to be addressed? In the spirit of democracy. When are the human beings at the heart of all this going to be the priority instead of human capital at the centre of capitalist neoliberalism?
28/03/2016 16:43 BST

For Mother's Day - Seeing Our Children, Seeing Ourselves

It was World Book Day. Many of us would have dressed up our children and sent them to school in fun outfits. Maybe we took a picture and posted online or shared it with a relative. What pride, to see our children engaged with reading - with character and with stories...
04/03/2016 09:49 GMT

Liberating Motherhood

The mother in western culture in the twenty-first century faces a huge number of obstacles before her in her attempts to frame her life with 'autonomy' and 'self-determination': or, simply put, the right to live and control one's own life. Mothers feel immense social and economic pressure to 'get a job', or feel the strain of 'doing it all' when they do.
24/02/2016 12:03 GMT

Patriarchy and Star Wars: The Mother Strikes Back

In <em>Star Wars</em>, mothers rarely get a mention: Padme died in childbirth; and Shmi was brutally killed after losing her son to the Galactic equivalent of boarding school. Yes, Anakin Skywalker was freed from slavery. But his <em>mother </em>wasn't.
31/12/2015 16:01 GMT

Life Is What Is Happening When You Are With the Ones You Love

I want to share something I have written recently but have sat on, busy with life, busy with the children, busy trying to make time with my husband, and busy trying to set aside time for myself which is free from writing, reading, studying or worrying.
01/12/2015 10:01 GMT

Leaning in to Life and Love

Walking along the Tube platform I noticed an elderly couple. The woman was on the train, and, through the open doors, she was holding the hands of a man. They were gazing at each other. The emotion in both their faces was palpable. Something was being said between them, unspoken.
29/10/2015 10:47 GMT

I Am a Childcare Provider

I am a childcare provider. To my own children, at the cost of a professional London salary. Yet despite that cost, I am deemed to be making a 'lifestyle choice'; I am dismissed as making a personal decision, as though other parents who take the employment/nursery option are not.
22/09/2015 17:43 BST

The Red Tent Movement and a Circle of Women

Red Tent and women's circles are about something that can happen when women showing an open mind gather. It's not magic. Saying that, I occasionally get the feeling that, once, we women of the Red Tent would have been burned at the stake.
07/09/2015 16:41 BST

Breastfeeding in the Age of Equality

At these various gatherings, I found real help in the nourishing company of fellow mothers engaged in mothering in the most old-fashioned of ways. None are intimidatingly seemingly perfect in every way - we are mothers who are doing our best and good enough is good enough.
05/08/2015 19:51 BST