Um...not sure why this woman gets a round of applause...She seems to see children as tools of patriarchal oppression...Um & she is weirdly against The La Leche League???...who advocate breast feeding. Um...whats her beef there? Anybody who is a fanatical anti breast feeding activist always appears to have some serious early childhood issues to work out. Of all the issues to march against????
Badinter just sounds like somebody who had to make do without getting her early narcissistic and body needs met....TOTALLY repressed them....Blamed her own baby self for having them...Grew up & became an accomplished, schizoid intellectual....and now she thinks all babies should toughen up & not burden their Mommies...Just like she did & just like she was taught. Furthermore I dont see how breast feeding should be lumped in the same pile as some of the other "trendy" Park Slopian Mommy obsessions. Badinter seems from my reading to view motherhood thru her own particularly narcissistic lens: Any CHILD seems far less important than making sure that women have TOTAL freedom from any kind of "domination" which, if you take it to its logical extreme, means never being forced to be there for oh...lets say...A CRYING BABY BOY! After all we can't ever allow any MAN to restrict a woman's rainbow of options and or choices can we? Even if said "man" is a male infant of 3 weeks old she CHOSE to bring into the world??
Motherhood AND Fatherhood require a certain level of narcissistic relinquishing dont they? And if someone doesnt want to suffer under the iron fist of such oppression there is a simple easy way to keep children from "holding you down"...um...DON'T HAVE THEM!!!
Well, first of all, Witmaster, I didn't read anywhere in her piece that Elizabeth Badinter is against breast-feeding, but rather, as she put it, against "an obsession with breast-feeding well into toddlerhood." Very different things, and while witnessing a mother breast-feed an infant is a beautiful, natural event, watching a woman breast-feed a toddler is very disturbing, and I am saying that from the perspective of both a parent and an expert in childhood development. Secondly, with the right wing War on Women being waged today, including the movement to stop women from having access to birth control, I would say that we are far from women having the "TOTAL freedom" that you decry. Not all men, but certainly the throw-backs in the Republican Party, want women to be pregnant and powerless as they were politically in pre- 1970's America. Thirdly, the best mothers/parents are - across the board - the ones who put their own self-actualization first. We're not talking about narcissism here, but preparedness. Parenting is one of the most important and difficult jobs in existence, and most women, and men, enter into that critical "profession" without a clue, without being mature enough, wise enough or gratified enough as adults in their love and work-lives to do much more than rely on their children for ego gratification. Finally, where we agree, Witmaster, is that a good solution would be for women to stop having so many children, and for our culture to stop instilling in women the belief that bearing children is an essential role they must play to be women.
Glad we could end up agreeing and thanks for writing in.