Badinter places the guilt over breast-feeding into a larger cultural and historical context. Modern women have given themselves over to the cult of what she calls “ecological parenting.” It’s not just breast-feeding on demand, but the fad for doulas and natural childbirth and our horror of epidurals and formula. Many of us do not fall for all these trends, and we may even make fun of them, but they are in fact our current ideals—the markers of perfect motherhood. “Beware the woman who takes even a small glass of champagne at a birthday party,” Badinter writes, hinting at the sinister modern framing of motherhood as a constant trade-off between the needs of the child and the selfish desires of the mother.
Gearing up for a football game, my son Tom once wrote 33TOM across his cheek. When he turned from the bathroom mirror to show his sisters, their laughter confused him. In reality, he wrote MOTEE.
Badinter and her brand of feminists have tattooed their own MOTEE across the foreheads of women for generations. And their love affair with the mirror has permanently distorted their ability to seereality.
Many of the so-called “cultish” trends that the author claims modern women have given themselves over to have existed at least thirty plus years. No, wait – I believe natural childbirth and breast feeding existed a bit longer.
Trends, fads and cultish behavior are the byproducts of new ideas. Giving birth to your child without unnecessary intervention and bonding with her on an intimate level (such as co-sleeping or breastfeeding on demand) are only new ideas in the minds of women who have embraced feminism as a form of external power.
In reality, the “trends” bemoaned by the author are actually a slow recovery that started a couple of decades ago when many of us embraced our femininity. We discovered that our bodies are a spectacular design that didn’t end with sex. When given the chance we are capable of almost unimaginable strength, resilience and an inner power no movement can give.
Personally, I find it refreshing that there is a new generation that has rejected the decaying ideology that claims children undermine our “status.”
Natural childbirth, nursing, doula care, healthy eating habits — are all these just cultish trends? Or is it that this generation has refused to embrace the shallow values of the “me” generation?