Motherhood in the patriarchal system Essay
Motherhood in the patriarchal system, 499 words essay example
to disagree with the patriarchal system which confers the responsibility of motherhood on the woman. Motherhood has to do with nurturing an infant till he or she is willing and able to take care of him or herself. If that is the idea behind motherhood then parents do not need to be biological mothers before they can take care of their kids. Therefore the stress involved in nurturing does not have to be left for the woman alone. However the culturalists opposed the arguments of the libertarians by confirming that the kind of attachment that a biological mother has for a kid fuels her energy towards the nurturing of that kid so no biological mother should forfeit or deny herself the pride and satisfaction involved in child bearing and child development.
Ann Oakley was a libertarian who believed that biological motherhood is nothing but a myth that ignores the realities of life and commits its ideas towards the suffering in child bearing. It forces women to be mothers because they brought the child into the world and only their mothers must be there for their children. To begin this argument, Oakley blamed the patriarchal system for creating an unfavourable type of socialization for young girls. Almost all the institutions in society including the family, the church, school, friends and so on played a major role in defining biological motherhood for the girls at tender age. At home, families would buy little dolls for children and leave them with the task of taking care of their dolls. The churches would preach about how women maintained their virginity, got married and had children, the schools would separate students into genders during games and most of the games of the females involved caring for each other while male games involved physical activities. Oakley also disagreed with people who though ovaries, wombs and breasts were created for the purpose of biological motherhood. She established that there is absolutely no connection between these organs and motherhood at all. In a test conducted by Oakley, she observed a total of 150 mothers who had given birth for the first time. The findings proved that most of them did not know how to breastfeed and even the few that knew it, had consulted other females (a mother or a friend) before they were able to perform that action. Therefore there is nothing like a maternal instinct associated with child birth. She also explained that mothers who maltreat their children have gone through previous maltreatments before therefore mothers operate by experiences and not instincts. In conclusion she clarified her argument by stating that mothers are not born, they are groomed by society.
Oakley also looked at the issue of biological motherhood from the angle of 'connection with children'. The myth that only mothers can connect well with their children if false according to Oakley. There were three assumptions that she challenged. The first assumption was that the fact that children's needs are best catered for by biological mothers.