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"In western society, we use sophisticated mockery to diminish the too-devoted parent.

(227 Posts)
emkana Sun 17-Jul-05 20:20:37

We characterise women as fettishly connected to their babies if they breastfeed openly and for as long as nature intended. We seduce them back to work and the marital bed and proclaim them weak if they put their own needs on hold while attending to those of small children."

(From Deborah Jackson, Baby Wisdom.)

What do you think? Is she right or not?

paolosgirl Sun 17-Jul-05 20:22:56

Who is "we", I wonder?!

purpleturtle Sun 17-Jul-05 20:22:59

I think she has a point, to an extent. I guess I would express it as not valuing a mothering role very highly in our society

MrsGordonRamsay Sun 17-Jul-05 20:25:10


We is a bit like they...........

As my DU always says........

They,That nameless,Faceless,Multitude

paolosgirl Sun 17-Jul-05 20:29:13

Or the royal we?! I think it's rather sweeping statement for her to make. There will always be those who view motherhood as somewhat unnecessary, or at best, something for the nanny to deal with - but I would suggest that most people do not view anyone who puts their children first as 'weak'.

emkana Sun 17-Jul-05 20:31:06

But if you are one of those mothers who breastfeeds on demand and until the child self-weans, and who co-sleeps, and who carries her baby around a lot, then often you are criticized for being too soft and weak, aren't you?

BarefootMama Sun 17-Jul-05 20:38:29

I am inscensed (sp?) every time government introduce another incentive to encourage mothers back to work. Whats wrong with SAHM - it has NO value in our society?

spidermama Sun 17-Jul-05 20:42:55

Yes you are (I am) emkana.
I completely agree Deborah Jackson and I love that book. I feel I'm generally looked down on by society in general (certainly the government) for my choices.

spidermama Sun 17-Jul-05 20:45:13

Yesterday on TV there was some kind of quiz with multiple choice. It said would you describe yourself as ....
1. Employed
2. Self employed
3. Student
4. Home-maker/unemployed.

What? Like the two are interchangeable. Grr!

moondog Sun 17-Jul-05 20:50:43

Who is 'we'?
Another bunch of smalltime navel gazing journalists.

Purported reflections of contemporary society are generally bollocks.

emkana Sun 17-Jul-05 20:52:09

Okay, maybe the "we" is a bit unclear.

I don't think Deborah Jackson is your typical "smalltime navel gazing journalist", though.

moondog Sun 17-Jul-05 20:53:20

Am Isupposed to nod knowingly at the mention of her name?
(Is she the 'Three in a bed' woman?)

emkana Sun 17-Jul-05 20:53:54

Yep, that's the one.

moondog Sun 17-Jul-05 20:59:26

I like her actually,but am wary of sweeping statements.
(Sister read hr book,thought it was fab,then about 2 years and not a single night's undisturbed sleep latr,rang me in tears,saying 'I want to ring that f**ing Jackson woman's neck.')


moondog Sun 17-Jul-05 20:59:48


expatkat Sun 17-Jul-05 21:01:35

I think the opposite could be argued just as easily.

I think people find you weak or flighty if you don't put your needs on hold.

I also think most of us feel insecure whatever we do, and hear criticism selectively and sometimes incorrectly.

emkana Sun 17-Jul-05 21:03:56

moondog - just goes to show how people react soooooooo differently. With dd1 I tried to do the whole "child must learn to fall asleep by herself in cot" thing, and it didn't work and I was so upset...
With dd2 I co-slept from the beginning, b/feeding while half asleep, and I've never once felt as tired as I did with dd1.

Tortington Mon 18-Jul-05 01:33:48

there is a dicotomy i feel when talking about the undervalued SAHM and more governmetn support. because that would mean more mums on benefits. and the daily mail wouldnt like that - they should be shipped off with the asylum seekers - bloody scroungers - unless you husband works in the city and then SAHM is a profession - you wear boden, throw childrens parties which have canopes and thats alright.

it was the gas bill electric bill rent bill council tax bill water bill - yes it was bill who seduced me back to work. only a back scratch and head rub will seduce me into bed - it just so happens its my hubby doing it - but you never know! i read that bit of the statement about sex as its a negative - that we just lie there and let it happen - someone tell the woman some of us enjoy it - immensley.

which mother doesn't put their own needs on hold whether the children are young or not?
i need to go to the pub more often - but i cant - becuase the bloody kids always want a bit of school unifrom as they are selfish like that.

ks Mon 18-Jul-05 07:52:10

Message withdrawn

monkeytrousers Mon 18-Jul-05 09:21:10

That's not her opinion is it though? She seems to be making a general point about how mothers are viewed in society - the thought that extended breastfeeding is unnatural, etc.

If you read the papers that would seem to be true. But it's not how we feel it ought to be.

It's Hume's naturalistic fallacy, isn’t' it? (Can someone cleverer than me confirm that??)

gothicmama Mon 18-Jul-05 09:34:11

yes it does appear to be Hume's fallacy
I think it all coems down to the idea of woman as sex object in our society there is something society sees freaky about woman as mother and sex object

HappyDaddy Mon 18-Jul-05 10:09:08

gothicmama, only if they are breastfeeding and having sex at the same time .

gothicmama Mon 18-Jul-05 10:13:09

aloha Mon 18-Jul-05 10:14:55

I think she's spot on. Motherhood is attacked, laughed at and criticised in our society, I think. Edam and Caligula post on this, and Monkey trousers made some great points about misogyny on one of the Meadows threads.
I think all the female columnists writing about how cool Kate Moss is because she hasn't let motherhood change her is a sign of this.

TwinSetAndPearls Mon 18-Jul-05 10:23:40

I think motherhod is belittled inour society hence the endless attempts of this government to get women into low paid work so our children can be raised by women earning even less.

I get stick all the time for my choice to be a SAHM, at dinner yesterday my mother announced,

"I always thought you would make something of your life, I am so relived at least your sister is doing something we can be proud of!!!!!!"

My ex mother in law when asking when I was going back to work,

"I could never have been a SAHM, I am not one for sitting around doing nothing!!!"

A friend the other week

"Do you not think it is sad that you went to university just to become a dofsbody to a three year old??!!!"

I am always being criticised for putting my daughter first, I was criticised for holding her in a sling during the day rather than leaving her to cry, for sharing our siesta together in the afternoon, for giving up a dining room that we don;t use so she can ahve a playroom, for moving away from Lonodon so my daughter could have a better quality of life. Our rather selfish me me me society seems quite baffled by motherhood and the commitment that comes with it.

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