Can Feminists Be Good Mothers?

Via ScienceDaily:

What kind of mothers do feminists make? According to a new study by Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull, from the University of Mary Washington in the US, feminist mothers endorse the importance of the time-intensive, hands-on parenting practices associated with attachment parenting — a child-centric parenting technique in which children’s needs are ideally met on the child’s schedule rather than the parent’s. Their work is published online in Springer’s journal Sex Roles.

Feminists are often portrayed in the media as anti-family and anti-motherhood and the stereotypical assumption that feminists are uninterested in caring for children has contributed to the backlash against the feminist movement.

Liss and Erchull looked at whether attachment parenting practices, specifically, are endorsed by feminist women to help sharpen the conversation about whether or not attachment parenting is actually an empowering or an oppressive way to parent. They were also interested in whether stereotypes about feminist parenting matched the reality…

Read more here.

12 Comments on "Can Feminists Be Good Mothers?"

  1. I think the question is less “Can Feminists Be Good Mothers?” than “Can Mothers be good Parents?”.

    During early childhood, Mothers seem to do a great job. After that, some of the literature and a whole lot of the anecdotal evidence suggests that there is an inverse relationship between a Mother’s involvement and good outcomes for children by just about any metric.

    As far as the actual headline goes, from the article there is the suggestion that Feminists are actually more amenable to “Attachment Parenting”.

    I don’t think this bodes well for them being a “good” parent in respect to good outcomes for the child.

    • Hadrian999 | Jun 20, 2012 at 2:04 am |

       not to mention candy asses that can’t handle the slightest bit of adversity

  2. Attachment parenting is a bad thing. If you’re going to teach kids that they can get all the attention they want, whenever they want, they’re going to grow up believing they’re entitled to it. And they’re still going to believe it when they get out of college and have to look for a job.

    We’re breeding a generation where everyone thinks they’re more important than anyone else.

    • Robert Pinkerton | Jun 20, 2012 at 6:57 am |

      In his The Glory of Hera, Philip Slater describes attachment parrenting in classical Greece, which he says is responsible for the psychopathology of upper-class life in classical Athens.

  3. Actually, societies which lavish attention and love on children do far better than the ones who believe in the flawed reasoning of ‘let them figure it out for themselves”. It’s the parents job the make sure kids learn what they want them to learn and to make sure the seedlings grow strong and get planted in the proper place. When children feel secure and safe, they do far better and actually take more chances and are far more creative than children left to twist in the wind.
    Some of these other commentors are likely Randites and should be pitied.

    • Irving Greenfield | Jun 20, 2012 at 8:23 am |

      Some of these other commentors are likely Randites.

      How do you figure?

    • Meanwhile, it’s really Randian messages in advertising, politics, and other media that are teaching people they’re more important than anyone else.

    • Totally agree. Children that are loved and nurtured by their parents will grow up to be more secure and less likely to be selfish sociopaths. Too much stress in childhood produces a chemical called cortisol which stunts neuro development in many negative ways.

      • I don’t think anyone is arguing that children shouldn’t be loved and nurtured.

        I know that I’m certainly not arguing that.

        Children need, want, and deserve love and attention.

        What Hadrian999 and I are arguing is that along with an overabundance of Motherly attention comes some pathologies which seriously damage a child’s ability to function as a productive adult.

        The ways in which this happens are not entirely understood by me, but mainly involve successful emotional appeals to “Mother” to intercede on behalf of the child to avoid normal day-to-day difficulties, consequences of misbehavior, or immunity from the normal sorts of rules that are required for people to co-exist successfully.

        It seems that Mothers are more worried about their relationship with the child (and avoiding immediate conflict) than with raising the child to be a healthy adult.

        I think if I had to sum it up in one phrase I’d go with: “It’s called “Spoiled” for a reason.”

  4. The answer is simply no.

  5. my mom’s a feminist, and didn’t figure out i was having sex til i was 24.

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