Saturday, May 12, 2012

Motherhood & Feminism

 Hey everyone I was on The Current yesterday discussing motherhood and feminism.

Motherhood & Feminism - Feminist Philosopher, Elisabeth Badinter
Mother's Day is just around the corner, and as many Canadians prepare to celebrate one of the hardest working members of their family with flowers and breakfast in bed, a new book has sparked an old debate over the impact of motherhood on feminism.

In her new book, The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, the French feminist philosopher Elisabeth Badinter doesn't take long to stir the pot.
The object of this book is to defend the right of women to make their own choices and to take issue with this idea that you are a bad mother if you bottle feed your baby, if you put your kid in daycare and if you work. And what bothers me terribly is that because of this return to nature, the idea is that there is now this one unique model of motherhood which implies that everyone who doesn't fit that model should be condemned.
 
And it's not just peer pressure that is destroying feminism today, according to Elisabeth Badinter:
Motherhood today .... really for the past 15 years, has become crushing for women. In the sense that it monopolizes women's time - 24/hours a day. But also because there is this new set of obligations that comes from this oragnic ideology. That weighs on a mother's time. Now you not only have to breast feed 24 hours a day - you have to make your own natural baby food, there are an incredible number of obligations weighhing on the shoulder of new mothers. Which I think are dangerous for their desires and their ambitions and their freedom as women.

Motherhood & Feminism - Mom Panel
As more intensive forms of raising children gain popularity -- some moms are annoyed by Badinter's argument that babies are the "best ally of masculine domination." Helicopter moms, tiger moms and mommy bloggers all have their critics and advocates... does there really need to be a conflict over the ever-changing role of mother?

To talk about the pressures and pleasures of modern motherhood, we were joined by two women - both mothers raising school-aged children. Renee Martin is a freelance writer and blogger at Womanist Musings. She was in Niagra Falls. Cori Howard is the founder of The Momoir Project, an online writing centre that offers memoir and blog writing classes for moms and she is also the editor of the anthology, Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood. She was Vancouver.