Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Myths of Motherhood

This excerpt is taken from The Myths of Motherhood by Shari Thurer in 1994. I think it's worth reading and thinking about:

"The psychological research to date continually looks for bad outcomes from maternal employment and other-than-mother care instead of looking for bad outcomes from the lack of societal supports to mothers. In other words, the way psychologists have been framing their research questions reflects the culture's idealized myth of motherhood. So while research had failed to demonstrate the deleterious effects of day care, it has also failed to demonstrate the deleterious effects of no day care - because it did not set out to find them. The unfortunate result is that our psychological research has inadvertently contributed to the maintenance of the status quo, instead of stimulating questions about social change and help for mothers."

While this excerpt is taken from Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner:

"Instead of saying, 'I feel terrible. I feel guilty,' maybe [women] can take these results and advocate for [national] family-leave policies that create more options for mothers of babies," said researcher Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, the lead author of the 2002 day-care study, as she expressed her frustration with all the hand-wringling and guilt expressed in the study's wake by working mothers. "Every other industrialized nation had done it. Why can't we?"

Let me know what you think!

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