[DWJ] Bad Mothers (was HP)

estairm at yahoo.com estairm at yahoo.com
Wed May 16 18:07:54 EDT 2007

Minnow wrote:
> I remember my mother and Diana having a discussion
> once in which they
> expressed a vague disquiet about the liberation of
> women leading to the
> liberated women leaving their children to be looked
> after by someone else,
> and the someone else always seeming to be another
> woman (whom they paid as
> little as possible for the job because if they paid
> the woman as much to
> look after their child as they were earning being
> whatever it was they were
> being, there would be no point in them being
> whatever it was rather than
> staying at home).  The question arose at that point
> as to just exactly how
> liberated the child-minders felt.

Maybe some of them felt that it was a job they were
fitted for and that let them watch their own children
and get paid for it, too.  Maybe they felt
unliberated, but they were free human beings who could
search for work in other fields, invest in learning
other trades, etc.

> It's very awkward, isn't it.  Women obviously ought
> not to enjoy any job
> (or perhaps anything) more than they enjoy looking
> after their children,
> because if they do so, they stand condemned as
> selfish.
Obviously? They can enjoy doing both! Child care
doesn't stop at 5:00 p.m.!

> Of course, it is selfish to have children at all. 
> *sigh*  Does anyone
> really decide to have a baby entirely for the baby's
> benefit, and not at
> all for her own sake, intending to devote herself
> exclusively to that baby
> until it is an adult?  If so, how does she find out
> in advance what the
> *baby* feels about such an act of self-sacrifice
> being committed for its
> sake?
There are few actions people do that are entirely for
someone else's benefit. People certainly expect to
give but certainly also to receive in marriage, work,
even in volunteering (sense of satisfaction at making
a difference, altruism, hey, and the good old
holier-than-thou).  It doesn't follow that they are
selfish for doing these actions.  More like
self-actualizing?  (How's that for jargon?)  Mothering
is just another one of these mixed bag items.  It's
not SELFISH enjoying that newborn smell as you feed
the baby for the fifth time between midnight and dawn.
 It's, it's, it's natural? human? how about --

> Thus the only properly feminist stance would be not
> to have any children.
> It's a pity that this would lead directly to the
> creation of a stereotype
> of the feminist as a sexless creature who probably
> "can't get a man"
> because she is hopelessly unattractive for some
> reason.
I think that a perfectly feminist stance would be
powerfully to exercise the option of expressing the
imortant parts of one's nature.  For some women that
would mean working night and day to break the glass
ceiling with a bang and shoot upward.  For others, it
might mean a relaxed, hourly job, and a rich leisure
or artistic life.  And to some it would mean spending 
part of one's life working outside the home, part of
one's life tending small children in the home, part of
one's life working part-time with older children, and
part of one's life letting those well-brought up
children support one traveling the world -- ahem,
sorry, small fantasy break there.

> And here we go round again...
> Minnow
Who get's the brass ring next?

Feminist mother of eight :-)

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