The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

The Dangerous Risks of Putting Motherhood on a Pedestal by C. Millard

Excerpts:

…Note the double-edged sword of motherhood here. Attracting the praise of being a “good mother” was always accompanied by the threat that you might fall from the perch at any moment and cause devastating harm to your child.

Hence the amplification of mechanisms of control, censure, and punishment that go hand in hand with the valorization and surveillance of parenting. Deep within the medical and psychological frameworks promoting motherhood in this period, there lurks male anxiety over female power and influence.

…Mothers and psychological health were inseparable; the accommodation of mothers and mothering as a key part of medical care became more and more commonplace.

However, a new threat arose from these arrangements: MSbP. In 1977, the British pediatrician Roy Meadow published a paper in the Lancet describing two cases where mothers had fabricated or induced illness in their children.

….Feminists have long been aware of the risks of putting motherhood on a pedestal. In the case of MSbP, the belief in the importance of dedicated and conscientious caregiving was in fact what made it possible for the disorder to exist, and to attract so much scandalized attention.

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