Thursday, July 12, 2018

Liberating Women from the Maternal Instinct

You probably believed that feminism had given women the freedom to choose. Not just the freedom to choose abortion, but the freedom to choose how they conducted their lives.

Many feminists believe wholeheartedly in allowing women the freedom to choose their life plan, but in the Feminist Paradise of Sweden, women are not free to stay at home to bring up their children. Day care is nearly compulsory and women with young children are forced, by law or by public opinion, to abandon their children to day care facilities.

Remember the unfortunate Democratic politician and enabler-in-chief, who wrote a book explaining that it takes a village? Perhaps she was suggesting that children should be taken from their mothers and placed in daycare.... the better to allow their mothers to pursue their careers.

A radical political party, called the Feminist Initiative, promotes these policies because it wants to “liberate women from their maternal instincts.” There you have it folks, the Feminist Initiative wants to liberate women from being women. Dare we say, as Erica Komisar writes in the Wall Street Journal this morning, that this practice is bad for children? Surely, it is.

Many American leftists take Sweden as a role model. After all, Komisar explains, it:

... offers excellent free or subsidized prenatal care, 480 days of paid leave for both natural and adoptive parents, and additional leave for moms who work in physically strenuous jobs. Swedish parents have the option to reduce their normal hours (and pay) up to 25% until a child turns 8.

And yet, these generous programs, coupled with government run day care, deprive women of the choice to stay at home with their children:

… it comes with pressure on women to return to the workforce on the government’s schedule, not their own. The Swedish government also supports and subsidizes institutionalized day care (they call it preschool), promoting the belief that professional care-givers are better for children than their own mothers.

If a mother decides she wants to stay at home with her child beyond the state-sanctioned maternity leave, she receives no additional allowance. That creates an extreme financial burden on those families, and the pressure is social as well. A 32-year-old friend told me that she was in the park with her 2-year-old son, when she was surrounded by a group of women who berated her for not having the boy in day care.

Any mother who decides to work less or not at all-- in order to bring up her child-- is stigmatized and condemned as reactionary.

But is day care an adequate substitute for motherly care? Not at all, Komisar explains:

Ample scientific research shows that institutionalized day care is bad for very young children. The ratio of staff to children is too low, and the environment is confusing, overly stimulating and potentially harmful to a child’s developing brain.

Ninety percent of Swedish children under 5 are in day care. This likely contributes to mental-health problems. In 2012 roughly 20% of Swedish adolescents reported at least five instances of self-harming behavior, and the teen suicide rate hit a 25-year high in 2013.

One recalls that self-harming behaviors are commonplace among American children. Could it be that they are suffering for lack of maternal attention and care.

Komisar compares the situation in Sweden with that in America:

While Sweden has worked hard to eliminate material poverty, it is creating a society whose children are suffering from emotional poverty. Children need their parents, and very young children especially need their mothers. I worry that the U.S. is heading in the same direction. Women increasingly value—or are pressured to value—career and professional achievement over family. Like Sweden, Americans have devalued parenting, and specifically motherhood, and are creating emotionally impoverished young people who have difficulty in sustaining intimate relationships and functioning as independent adults.

Komisar believes that the Swedish model produces economic growth and well-being.  I suspect that the benefits are exaggerated. But she is not exaggerating when she says that the childcare policies, the effort to liberate women from their maternal instinct is damaging children.


sestamibi said...

Not to worry. All this will go away when the last Swedish baby is born and sharia is imposed.

Anonymous said...

Why not just liberate them from their children?
That's the actual end state/State.

They're all volunteering to be virtual surrogate mothers.
Huxley smiles.

- shoe

PS - "Komisar": somebody's having a laugh.

Anonymous said...

What's so great about a career, anyway? Usually, it's just some kind of job. Is that what women are supposed to aspire to over everything else? Do they think that men are "aspiring to some kind of job" and envy them for it? Men work because they have to, regardless of whether the job is a "fulfilling" career or not. I think women are being asked - sorry - being told to replace whatever fulfilled them before with a so-called career. Well, good luck. Men have a hard enough time with fulfillment. Do women want that same problem?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The idea that there is greater power in a career/job than procreation and child-rearing is terrifyingly stupid.

But socialists and communists are only interested in material needs and wants, as well as elevating the state as protector and provider in all things. So it’s all quite predictable, really.

Emotional poverty, indeed. I wonder how we will look back on the last 50 years 100-150 years from now.

Dan Patterson said...

We have yet to hit bottom but you can see it from here. And the thud will deafen the angels.

Anonymous said...

Is this not how we got a group of young people glad to report their mothers and fathers to the government for not toeing the government line? There may come a time when putative parents will rue the day they absolved themselves of the responsibilities of being parents and allowed the "village" to inculcate their now dangerous progeny's ideas about the world.

Anonymous said...

"The idea that there is greater power in a career/job than procreation and child-rearing is terrifyingly stupid." (Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD)

Exactly. They are exhalting "career" over everthing else, when in fact, a man's career is usually carried out in service of procreation.

What are women's "careers" for? They are often the boutique jobs, anyway, the more to be fulfilling.

(Of course there are many wonderful exeptions. The above criticisms are aimed at the brainwashing and brainwashed.)

Ares Olympus said...

I was long rather distrustful of daycare, although I'm also distrustful of single child families, with no sibling rivalry to keep a child's perspective in perspective, so maybe daycare will have to do. But a fair alternative is motherly daycare, so if there are 4 women in a neighborhood with similar aged children, why not have 3 work outside the home, and one do daycare? And if the arrangement lasts for years, they can reap some of the rewards of siblings? Or if we're really radical have 1 woman childless and another woman can have 3-4 kids, and women who are not single children will likely be good aunties to their nieces and nephews. It might not take a village, but an isolated mother and children alone in a suburban paradise probably never was.

Anonymous said...

AO is distrustful of single child families. Single child families are just the same as many other families... except that they only have one child. What a bigot AO is. He must be a nonthinking simpleton like Trump! And AO's communomics of rotating child care make so much sense. What employer wouldn't want that arrangement? Those women would really climb the status ladder that way, wouldn't they? Show us these examples of the loneliness in suburban paradises. You'd have to be an ignorant urban Democrat to believe in that stereotype. If you want to look at data, look at single parent situations headed by a woman. That is an economically devastating arrangement, one Murphy Brown told us was wise. The brainwashing continues apace, while reality has a way of setting the record straight. Government daycare and abortion as healthcare, instead of dedicated child care and progeny. Only feminists could make this stuff up. AO must wear a vagina hat.

Sam L. said...

Anon, Murphy Brown/Candy Bergen could afford to have a child as an un-wed mother. Whole different situation for most other women. But you know that. Progressives simply can't get their head around that.

Ares Olympus said...

Anon@9:37 AM, agreed single mothers raising a child is much more difficult than a couple raising a single child. A nuclear family seems a bare minimum to sanity. Keep up the strange insults if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

"Women (Mothers) are Life. Men are the servants of Life" - Joseph Campbell

Google "Romanian Orphans". Tho most reports use silly squishy "Caregivers". -- Rich Lara

Anonymous said...

AO, it’s nice to hear you say that an intact nuclear family = father + mother + children. And you are correct that it is the best available structure to support sanity. And it’s free. Then why do you support the Democratic Party’s advocacy of fiscal policy that grows this social safety hammock that incentivizes antisocial choices like single motherhood? You complain that the USA is imploding in debt, yet your country spends endless sums of money on social programs that perpetuate poverty and an inheritable underclass mentality. As for insults, look at your own writing here at HET.