IN a recent BBC interview, Greta Thunberg’s father revealed that as a child, long before she got wind of climate change, Greta Tintin the wunderkind, now 17, refused to eat, speak or go to school.
I sometimes hear of that kind of behaviour; it was even included on a
Christmas round robin when an acquaintance stated proudly, ‘Our
granddaughter Aria is an elective mute.’ I would rather not have known but it seems to be part of Wokeness to confess such things as if they are positive. In response I heard a northern voice in my head saying: ‘Well, she wouldn’t have got away with that with my mother.’
Greta’s earnest-sounding dad then mentioned Greta made her first protest because she wanted to see more of her mother, an opera singer who was busy flying around the world. Greta later stated on Twitter that before she started her climate action campaign aged 15, she had ‘no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder’.
She wanted her mother back. Her father said she did return home eventually, ‘to save her child’. That point was ignored by the interviewer; it was also ignored by the child psychologists who tried to help her. They diagnosed her with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism causing difficulties in social interaction and reading body language. Despite the evidence, they did not investigate her
for maternal deprivation.
That condition is as ‘un-Woke’ as Asperger, a suspected Nazi. Yet the
symptoms are glaring and highly destructive: people who lack a close bond with their mother in infancy and early childhood are often unable to form successful attachments, may develop affectionless psychopathy (inability to feel remorse) and delinquency in adolescence. Those effects were first noted in 1953 by Professor John Bowlby in his ‘Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis,’ based on his studies of children kept in nurseries and hospitals for long periods of time. He also identified three phases of separation response: protest, related to separation anxiety, despair, related to grief and mourning, and denial or detachment and withdrawal.
It’s very easy to see little Greta, refusing to eat, talk or go to school,
having those symptoms. But autism is a much more favoured diagnosis, because the idea that mother-child link is of primary importance is now heresy which cannot be further explored. That makes it difficult to explain why northern European children, safer and healthier than ever before, seem increasingly, destructively unhappy. Figures from 2014 suggested a 70 per cent increase in 10-14-year-olds attending A&E for self-harm. The Millennium Cohort Study, conducted by the University of London, following nearly nineteen thousand UK babies born in 2000-2001, and found 16 per cent had self-harmed, 22 per cent of girls compared with 9 per cent of boys. In Greta’s homeland, Sweden, self-harm in 2017 was estimated at 17 per cent.
Motherhood is no longer even discussed as a (female) mother and child issue; instead it is all about mothers who may be non-biological ‘carers’ or men. Marxist feminist Shulamith Firestone, a leader of ‘Second Wave’ feminism in the 1970s, wrote, ‘The heart of woman’s oppression is her childbearing and childrearing roles. The overused phrase “women and children” is symptomatic of a relationship of mutually reinforcing oppression. The reproductive functions determined by biology have determined power imbalances within the family, and until we make these reproductive functions irrelevant, women will not be truly free.’
Never truly be free of patriarchy until freed from the yoke of reproduction and the ‘subjugation’ of childbirth. Traditional motherhood is now taboo for ‘progressive’ thinkers. Writer Amy
Westervelt has noted the topic appears in fewer than 3 per cent of papers, journal articles, or textbooks on modern gender theory. Discussing it at all marks one as a ‘gender essentialist’ guilty of ‘biologism,’ or the belief that the two sexes have innate qualities, a label that can end one’s academic career.
Conservatives who might yearn to re-establish the value of traditional motherhood are immediately associated with the despised home-making of the 1950s. Firestone believed that feminism should ‘eliminate sex differences’ completely and she’d be happy that any discussion of motherhood and families is now controlled by the Left and the LGBT ‘alphabet people’.
According to them two lesbians can have a child and both be mothers. Gay men and trans men claiming to be women can also do it. All substitutes, not the real thing for a child, but questioning their logic can lead to physical attacks. In 2018, after intimidation on campus, Rose Freedman, a professor of law at Reading University, wrote that she was ‘deeply concerned by how the conflation of sex and gender is leading to subjugation of women and undermining the protections guaranteed to them under human rights law’.
As an infant, the keenest believers in ‘gender essentialism’, Greta knew she was missing out on something she needed; her real mother at home rather than her father, nannies or Skype. She made a dramatic protest and is now making it again, projecting her own grief and loss on to the whole world. It will be a real tragedy if her story doesn’t make people look again at the attempted extinction of any status given to women as mothers.
Thanks to the Salisbury Review for permission to republish Jane Kelly’s articles.