I’m wondering whether the powers that be have just added another Day to the year. No, I don’t mean another 24 hour day onto the existing 365. Even the elites might baulk at pulling that stunt. What I mean is another protest/celebration Day to go alongside the plethora we already have – Earth Day, International Women’s Day, National Brown Hat Day or whatever it is – days where we are all supposed to join in the deafening chorus of demands for something to be done about something by somebody or other.
Although I can’t seem to find any official recognition of it as yet, June 25th appears tohave been christened, or should that be feministened, World Motherbash Day – perhaps designed to be the antithesis of the already extant Mothering Sunday. On Thursday alone, not one, not two, but three full-blown attacks on the noblecalling of full-time motherhood found their way onto the screen of my laptop.
The first was a piece by Alice Thomson in The Times entitled “Taylor Swift can teach British women a lesson”. There Ms Thomson bemoaned the fact that “British women are now twice as likely as those in the rest of Europe and America to choose not to work in order to care for their children.” Ms Thomson, who I’m sure if you asked her would say she is a fierce advocate for choice, seems to be rather put out by the choice that some women are making to look after their own children rather than sub-contracting the job out to others. In this she rather reminds me of that godmother of feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, who once so eloquently stated just how highly she regarded the opinions of her fellow females: “No woman should be authorised to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there issuch a choice, too many women will make that one.”
Next came the BBC with a piece entitled, “Working mothers benefit daughters”, in which they cited a study by Harvard University that found – among other earth-shattering pieces of information – that the daughters of working mothers tend to get better jobs and higher pay. This is particularly insightful to those who don’t understand propaganda, I’m sure, but to those of us who are more adept at spotting the wiles of the BBC and of academia to present a jaundiced view of reality, allow me to turn it around in order to shine a light on what is really going on here. A similar study could presumably have produced the following headline: “Stay-at-home mothers benefit daughters,” before going on to cite information from the University of the Blindingly Obvious that the daughters of stay-at-home mothers tend to eschew careers to look after their own children, and don’t particularly give two hoots about the lucre they are missing out on. But then that’s a Very Bad Thing, and not a Very Good Thing, isn’t it?
You’d think a two-pronged assault would have been enough, but no, the elites who are pushing for World Motherbash Day went for the full-orbed three-pronged pitchfork attack. The European Union, that source of tranquillity, happiness and all things nice and squidgy, has taken time off from being arm-twisted by the US into sanctioningRussia and trying to stop Greece from imploding/exploding/Grexiting, to lecture Britain over what they say is a too-high proportion of womenfolk opting to look after their own children. Not only does this apparently make the quotas go all skew whiff or something, but it also means the Brussels bean-counters might end up getting less money as British tax revenues drop due to all those unproductive mothers doing their unproductive things like taking their children for an unproductive walk. And of course it runs counter to the European vision, forged in the mines of some utopian planning committee, to get everyone into the labour force, and other people looking after other people’s children in Approved Toddler Centres.
Having read these scathing attacks on the noble calling of motherhood, I feared for my wife, who could, I imagined, be reduced to tears and wandering around in sackcloth and ashes, repenting of her wicked decision to abandon the pursuit of a career and instead care for and home educate our six children in that cesspit of all iniquity, the home. To my great relief, it appears that she has built up an immunity to such attacks over the years, and it is now going to take more than an attack from a feminist journo, a hopeless propaganda outlet and Mitteleuropean apparatchiks to throw her off her course.
You might ask why she does it. Why choose the children over the career? In a word, love. She looks after her own childrenbecause she loves them deeply and would give her life for them.
Now I know the effect this statement will have on some, but I assure you I mean no offence by it. I am simply stating a fact. That response will be that I am accusing those who do pursue a career of not loving their children. No, I’m doing nothing of the sort. I have no idea whether they love them or not, just as I can have no idea whether all women who choose to stay at home and look after their children are motivated to do so by love.
What I am doing, though, is asking the question solely with respect to the decision to pursue the career. So here goes. Can anyonehonestly say that they choose their career over looking after their children because they love their children? Is that even possible? Think carefully before answering, remembering the truism that “no man can serve two masters”. And just in case anyone thinks to say that I am slandering women who work because financial necessity leaves them with no choice, I would simply point out that it wasn’t my side of this debate that forced them into this choice. Anyone remember Simone de Beauvoir?
The argument here is simply one of values and the importance we place on things. Ultimately, those who choose to put their career before the needs of their children are choosing to put money and stuff before their children. That’s obvious, surely? This comes out in the BBC’s reporting on the Harvard University study quite clearly. The highest value – the good you can do for your daughter – according to that report is ultimately to be measured in career success and money.
Yet there are still some of us that just do not measure good in these terms. In place of career success or earnings, some of us are still busy putting a higher value on bonding, reading together, talkingtogether, building relationships and on family wellbeing. Pink Floyd, in their hauntingly beautiful song, Wish You Were Here, sang, “Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail?” There are some of us who still maintain that the money and the green field are not synonyms for one another.
Yet whilst Harvard are busy conducting theirscientific study on a small sample of people, they appear to have missed the rather bigger experiment being conducted all around them. Those of you who attend the University of Eyes Open and Watching What’s Going on Around You, will know what I’m talking about. The epidemic of depression. The plethora of prescription pills. The one night stands. The self-loathing. The low self-esteem. The broken relationships. The isolation. The loneliness. The sense of lostness. The lack of purpose. The nihilistic outlook. All these things mysteriously seem to have exploded in recent years, since the denigration of both fatherhood and motherhood, and I challenge anyone to seriously state that we are a happier, more coherent and more loving society than we were before mothers decided to sub-contract the care of their children to the state or commercial enterprise.
Women who choose to stay at home and serve their children have been belittled, mocked and denigrated for years. Why? Simply because the State, along with big business and advertisers, does not want families to build close relationships. Close families can only mean one thing for the State, and that is that it must get smaller. Close and intact families don’t need state help and state meddling to get along, and so in order to ensure that people do need state help and state meddling to get along, modern governments have employed the age-old military strategy of divide et impera – divide and rule. Denigrate both fatherhood and motherhood, sow chaos in the family, and then when the family fragments into a helpless shadow of its former self, turn up on a white stallion as the saviour of society, ready to pick up the broken pieces. And hey presto, the state balloon can continue to inflate for another few decades to come.
I fear that too many women will come to realise this all too late. Many will realise only when they are old and find they have no proper relationship with their children that it was all a hollow ruse to make them forego some of the most blessed years of their lives for the sake of pleasing the taxman and the GDP wonks. How could it not be? Does any woman seriously think the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Alice Thomson, the BBC, Harvard, the EU and the State have their children’s interests at heart? For those that do, might I suggest that you are having a little trouble discerning your greenfields from your cold steel rails?