[DWJ] Bad Mothers (was HP)

Judith Ridge Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au
Wed May 16 20:09:08 EDT 2007

On 16/5/07 10:22 PM, "Charles Butler" <charles.hannibal at gmail.com> wrote:

> Isn't it Mrs Jellaby in *Bleak House *who neglects her own children because
> she's so concerned about the ones in Africa? That kind of moral hyperopia
> has a long literary heritage, I guess. But it's given an extra twist
> in *Conrad's
> Fate* because the mother has built a career out of presenting herself as
> part of an exploited group, while being a prime exploiter of that group
> herself, in the person of her own daughter, whom she undermines ('You're not
> clever enough to go to university!') and treats as a skivvy. It's this which
> gives her selfishness a particularly hypocritical edge, and one which
> derives directly from her self-identification as a feminist.
> Charlie

I used to work with a woman like that. She was constantly berating us young
teachers for not being feminist enough (which infuriated me because I was a
particularly bolshy young feminist, as I am a particularly bolshy
middle-aged one) and yet she spoke of her own daughters in the most
dismissive terms, while her Golden Haired Son (who is actually now my
Federal member of parliament) could do no wrong. Made me want to slap her.


Judith Ridge
Editorial Staff
The School Magazine
Curriculum K-12 Directorate
NSW Department of Education and Training
judith.ridge at det.nsw.edu.au


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