Motherhood and Privilege
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In most cases people think that being a mother is just but a normal case and there is nothing special in it. However, this is not the most appropriate way of describing what motherhood is. It is a great privilege to raise a life, take care of a soul and see it grow into success and greatness in future. Motherhood is a calling, which gives women the chance to raise the future generation and this is a very important issue. As believed by many people, one should have a title behind their names or do an important job for one’s life to be considered as an achiever, who contributes positively to the society. It is a privilege to spend an entire life to bring relief to innocent souls by being there for them always as well as help to minimize his or her daily discomforts (Hertz, Rosanna). (Motherhood and Privilege)
Additionally it is an overwhelming privilege to be the only person chosen to advocate for and protect a soul as well as teach him or her respect, dignity and pride. The privilege extends when one becomes the only chosen person give strength and self assurance and guide throughout the life of a loved one. All these are the duties of a mother, which comes out naturally and that is why motherhood is a privilege. Staying at home to care for one’s life and ensure that the person grows to be great and meet his or her dreams may seem boring and more traditional, but is it a privilege, which require maximum concentration and commitment in order to come out with the best results (Courtney).
For many years, oppression in regard to race, class, and ethnicity has greatly dominated the world. There have been attempts to solve this problem for the past several decades, but still, not all is well. One of the common cases is the oppression in regard to race. Most people of color complain of how bad the whites treat them. However much they try to make things equal, it has not been easy. The issue has gone to an extent of affecting various sectors such as education, health, and even the business sectors. The people of color have been denied the equal chance to enjoy these facilities, with the thought that they do not deserve it.
Jenn Jackson in her article ‘I Was ‘Black While Mothering’ explains her story of how she tried to cope with oppression from the white people, being a black mother. She stayed at Orange County in California, where they were the only black people in the midst of a white community. She expressed her shameful feeling that was brought about by the judgmental stares from the white neighbors. Additionally, she expresses the difficulties she underwent when she visited the local park with her children. Despite the fact that she had been visiting the park very frequently for six years, the number of time someone ever spoke to her or her children jovially could be counted. The awkward reactions of the whites were not just from the parents but also from their children. Jenn confesses that her children are liked by other people of color who take their time to speak or smile at them but not the white people. The entire case greatly lowered her esteem and made her feel inferior. However, she had to stay strong and act like all was well for the sake of her children (Jackson, Jenn).
On July 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter shared an article on “The Atlantic” concerning a high profile lady who was working with the state department but opted to quit her job and raise her fourteen year old son who was at his adolescent stage. Typically, the lady spent most of her time working and had very little time to spend with her family. During working hours, all she could have were the memories of her son. Despite holding such a senior post in the state department, she felt uneasy considering that her family was far and could not manage to see them on a daily basis. The bond between her and her son was weakening and this can be cited when she says,
“Over the summer, we had barely spoken to each other—or, more accurately, he had barely spoken to me. And the previous spring I had received several urgent phone calls—invariably on the day of an important meeting—that required me to take the first train from Washington, D.C., where I worked, back to Princeton, New Jersey, where he lived.” (Slaughter, Anne-Marie)
However, instead of going through this torture, the lady decides to leave her job and concentrate on raising her family and being there all the time. Therefore, this article shows that motherhood is a privilege and it requires sacrifice to fulfill it.
In October 2003, Lisa Belkin posted an article in The New York Times Magazine titled “The Opt-Out Revolution.” In her article, we meet eight successful women who are well-educated and capable of holding big offices and holds law degrees. Despite having all these, they still feel that something is amiss. They do not want to conquer the world or to be famous but prefer staying at home and raise their families. Catherine, who is one of the ladies argues some people view fame, and leadership as a success but that is not the case according to her (Belkin, Lisa). Therefore, the ladies view motherhood as a privilege and they prefer staying close to their families other than holding big offices or becoming famous.
Vagdevi Meunier posted an article on 14th May 2017 on “Mothering is not a biological imperative or privilege.” Her article is meant for all those people who provide mothering to others in all areas of this world. She starts by acknowledging all those who provide mothering be it males, females, relatives, and friends arguing that mother’s day belongs to all of them for the love, warmth, and support they show towards their loved ones or neighbors who are in need of help.
Borrowing from Carl Jung (a psychological theorist), Meunier states that “mothering” and “fathering” are symbolic roles and qualities that every person possesses but in different degrees. Note, mothers can be in two perspectives “powerful positive” and “negative destructive.” (Meunier, Vagdevi).
Meunier thumbs up symbolic mothers who embody excellent qualities. Things like love, care, warmth, and emotions manifest themselves in symbolic mothers. Therefore, we can argue that every person possesses the mother-father roles and qualities but ignorance makes some of us become a negative destruct. It is up to every individual to embrace or have a kind heart, a heart that stands with those in need at their hour of need through a show of emotional presence. All those who practice motherhood should not be considered to have achieved the motherhood privilege biologically, instead, they have developed the qualities and roles they already have and turned them to motherhood. Others have opted to ignore those qualities and roles and have turned out to have a negative destructive influence in the motherhood world (Meunier, Vagdevi).
Belkin, Lisa. “The Opt-Out Revolution.” Nytimes.Com, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/26/magazine/the-opt-out-revolution.html.
Courtney. “Motherhood: An Overwhelming Privilege – Courtney Westlake.” Courtney Westlake, 2014, http://www.courtneywestlake.com/motherhood-overwhelming-privilege/.
Hertz, Rosanna. “The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home. Arlie Hochschild Anne Machung.” (1990).
Jackson, Jenn. “I Was ‘Black While Mothering’ Today… – Watercoolerconvos.” Watercoolerconvos, 2013, http://watercoolerconvos.com/2013/11/15/i-was-black-while-mothering-today/.
Meunier, Vagdevi. “Mothering Is Not A Biological Imperative Or Privilege.” The Center For Relationships, 2017, http://www.thecenter4relationships.com/mothering-is-not-a-biological-imperative-or-privilege/.
Slaughter, Anne-Marie. “Why Women Still Can’T Have It All.” The Atlantic, 2012, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/.
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