Salon writer Phyllis Chesler asserts that the problem here lies with the fact that it is impossible for women to simultaneously maintain lucrative careers and be good mothers. I admit this is a delicate balance. One of the reasons I'm hesitant about having children - at least until I'm 30 - is because I want to make sure I accomplish a variety of things (i.e. getting my Doctorate or at least my Masters, traveling, getting published, etc.) before I settle down and pop out some babies. As I get older, I do yearn for the comfort that having a family brings, but I don't think Chesler's assertion is necessarily correct. I can name a number of women off the top of my head who have and continue to successfully toe the line between being career-driven and necessarily maternal. Hillary Clinton, for example. It's definitely no easy task, but it's not impossible, as Chesler writes.
Rebecca's claims have nothing to do with feminism, except that she and her mother happen to both call themselves feminists. Feminism has not robbed women of the ability or the desire to have children as Rebecca claims. If that were true, the population would be dwindling, not growing. Furthermore, the idea that it was Alice's feminism that doomed the relationship is laughable at best. There are other factors to consider here. Certainly Alice wasn't the best mother, but the idea that her ideologies are all at once wholly responsible for the demise of their mother-daughter relationship is pedestrian and lacks the acknowledgment of other problems mothers and daughters face as they each grow older.