Friday, May 2, 2008

motherhood doesn't define us...

I came across a couple of photos of me mum in the 1950s so I thought I’d share them… they seemed appropriate after my 50s post…


I was reading a friend’s blog recently, and she has an extremely poignant post on mother’s day and motherhood which prompted me to include my thoughts on the topic.

When I was growing up the prevailing attitude was that young women wouldn’t be in the workforce for long… it was expected they would get married young and have children (always plural!!) – so no need for a career – (the post-war years added more pressure on women with their POPULATE OR PERISH paranoia!!!)
"Denied economic independence, unable to control their fertility adequately, and always aware of the reprobation which awaits the rebel, none but a handful of Australian women has had the opportunity to do any more than submit to living out their lives as dutiful wives and bountiful mothers; and having no alternatives and wanting some share of human happiness, they have accepted and enjoyed this as best they could." Anne Summers, "Damned whores and gods police"

Women were encouraged to believe that motherhood defined them as women… hey, sounds like now!!!! – we still hear those questions from all quarters – for young women - “when are you having children”, for older women it’s “how many children do you have”… that assumption – you’re female, so you must have offspring - so frustrating having to explain yourself all the time… as though it’s ‘freakish’!!!!

No matter what you do, whatever your reasons for not having children – there’s still an attitude that “you can’t possibly be a whole woman without children… you’re not complete…” - guess I don’t need to tell you I disagree!!!!

Whether by choice, because of fertility problems, or due to loss, the ‘sisters’ I know without children are extremely fulfilled individuals – beautiful, amazing, whole women!!! When will the blinkered perceptions change – when will women be accepted for themselves, without the ‘extension’ of partner or child – that will always only be for some!!!

And let’s face it – there has to be a limit to human habitation and the consequent pressure put on ‘the mother’… ‘she’s’ not faring well with the population now, the damage and destruction that’s been caused already!!!!

“Mother’s day” appears to be about making money rather than celebrating women as mother’s – seems to me it’s one big advertising and profit-making free-for-all.

And really, shouldn’t women be respected all year round??? Crimes and atrocities are committed against women every day of the year – I’d love to be able to celebrate the end of violence against women!!!! But alas……

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey 'proud one',
I feel really priveledged that my little blog helped inspire your latest post- you're right on, as usual, and I love the pics!

It's always a journey to read you and follow up on the links, thanks for another rewarding read...

I'm having a lovley domestic day makinf huge vats of soup (pumpkin and leek and autumn veg and chickpea) that don't include animal...