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Motherhood: The Ultimate Feminine Role

Bev Jo writes,

“This is not about criticizing women who are mothers, but about exploring the institution of motherhood and how it keeps patriarchy going, because women claiming to be Feminists are still choosing motherhood.

Please have no illusions: If you choose to reproduce, you are being incredibly selfish and keeping patriarchy going. Patriarchy and the daily extinction of species would stop very soon if women just stopped reproducing. This is the one thing where each woman’s decision has a massive effect on the future.

Motherhood is one of the biggest cons and cults of patriarchy. Women complain endlessly about how terrible their lives are as mothers, even though most choose it (yes, most women know that if they choose to let men fuck them, pregnancy is likely). At the same time, mothers brag endlessly about being mothers and about their children, particularly sons. They openly pity women who can’t have children. Most participate wholeheartedly in the destructive myth that they are doing something wonderful for society and the earth, when the reality is that they are giving the earth a death sentence. At the very least, mothers do not have to add to the propaganda of motherhood pushed onto all girls and women, yet, in spite of their bitter complaining, most wholeheartedly pressure other females to also reproduce. Why?”

Put yourself and other women first. Demand that men examine their choice to impregnate women and insist on reproduction as part of serious relationships with women, why they insist on fathering children with their sperm and worship the continuation of their bloodline as an attempt at immortality – why gay men and sterile het couples choose surrogacy instead of adoption. Analyse why we pretend we really ‘love’ mothers when we don’t value women to begin with, when we see women only as potential mothers or as only good for having babies. Think about how much more political activism could be accomplished with less women having children, how many less orphans if couples instead chose to adopt.

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14 thoughts on “Motherhood: The Ultimate Feminine Role

    • My younger brother impregnated a woman, who gave birth recently. I am horrified (at least, the torch to breed that was passed to me, is now out). This was after his brief marriage to another woman (a disabled one with health issues), with whom he swore to be childfree and was even thinking of getting a vasectomy; sadly, my mom’s outrage at that convinced him to not do it.

      There really needs to be more childfree/antinatalist men. After all, men are the ones insisting on impregnating women. There’s even a breeding fetish in porn. Where are all the men insisting on using condoms, or getting vasectomies? I don’t see ’em.

      But I do think the stigma surrounding this discussion among radfems, including lesbian radfems, is something that needs to be addressed. There’s too much shielding against criticism of motherhood, and the assumption that mothers are just AMAZING for having spit out a baby, totally responsible and loving, etc. Some of my favorite critiques are from mothers themselves who realize reproducing was a mistake, and they are honest in expressing regret.

      ‘Choosing life’ just so happens to be an anti-abortion slogan. This is not a coincidence. Natalism IS a culture that is pro-birth and hence, by association, anti-abortion, as well as anti-birth control – especially when it comes to men examining THEIR sexual and reproductive choices in order to engage in harm-reduction by abstaining from harmful practices. Family values at its finest. In other words, PATRIARCHY – the rule of the father. Choice rhetoric makes sure women believe they are choosing motherhood – until they realize it wasn’t really a choice. Not always rape, but still not a choice.

      I keep thinking that ‘living vicariously through one’s children’ is a good description, but maybe not – what do you think about the belief that ‘we’ve fucked up our lives now, but we can make up for it by having children! the next generation can make things better!’ as one that discourages political activism, much less real personal change?

      • I haven’t noticed a motherhood obsession amongst radfems that I read. Although I have noticed some attempts at connecting with a spirituality that glorifies women as breeders, which I find supremely ironic and, well, pretty disgusting. Of all the things one can glorify women about… why does that have to be it? The creation of suffering?

      • It’s there, trust me. Tons of reblogs surrounding “mothers are the best” “mothers do so much” “be grateful to moms” and such. “Although I have noticed some attempts at connecting with a spirituality that glorifies women as breeders” is part of it. So is the doula practice (cf. natural birth movement). Did you read Bev Jo’s post? She goes into much better detail than I ever could.

      • “Of all the things one can glorify women about… why does that have to be it? The creation of suffering?”

        Abortion is far less risky than pregnancy and childbirth. It isn’t only the suffering on the new person brought into the world, or on others because of that new person, but the woman herself. Women have internalized the idea that suffering is GOOD, it is to be glorified – that not only is suffering part of the female experience under patriarchy, it MUST be inherent to it, per the feminine gender/sex-role conditioning. That is something I really hate.

        It seems that in the 70s, political activists were bringing up the issue of children’s rights. But it devolved into “children have a sexuality” and the pedophilic “children can consent to sex with adults.” Meanwhile, nobody will adopt orphans because they are ‘someone else’s property’ – we just disguise ‘property’ in other terms like ‘responsibility.’

      • Okay, so I looked into this subject again and there is a lot of research devoted to matriarchies, particularly in connection with indigenous peoples. The motherhood obsession would in part stem from the women’s spirituality movement where mothers (the only women who can create and give life, apparently) are ‘goddesses’ and the Goddess is seen as the Great Mother or something. Some radfems are into that stuff. Also, author Brandy Williams writes,”The women’s spirituality movement overlaps the neo-Pagan movement, but particularly emphasizes the study of goddesses and of historical women. Groups often limit membership to women only. Studies and practices coming from women’s spirituality groups have deeply affected academic research into goddesses and into the lives of ancient women, and have also affected theologians in all religions, who struggle with the revival of feminine aspects of deity…feminism married postmodernism and set about to reform philosophy.”

    • Once upon a time, I really believed I was ‘older/more mature than my age,’ too. Teenage girls defending their older boyfriends do the same. Still not an excuse for pedophiles.

      • Yea… I was just kidding. 🙂

        Although it’s not even as bad as Scientology, where they believe a child is an adult soul, so children are expected to fend for themselves and produce as soon as they’re able…

    • Whenever I see your last name, I think of it as a slang version of ‘trembly’…’cause i imagine all your hate readers trembling in their boots.

      • Apparently it’s an old French name derived from “tremblaie,” a place planted with aspens (which are called trembles). Aspens are sometimes called quaking aspens, so I guess it all makes sense somehow.

        I do know you can’t throw a rock anywhere in Quebec without hitting a Tremblay. Apparently there was one on the first ship here and he must have loved to have fucking children. Which brings us back to the topic of antinatalism… 🙂

  1. Yes, I have observed Pagan spirituality in radfem circles as well. I don’t think there’s necessarily any contradiction in that.

    “feminism married postmodernism”

    Now that’s a marriage made in Hell.

  2. Bev Jo’s article is really good and I am glad to see other lesbians who are against toxic influences like encouraging lesbians to become mothers and produce more males that natural. I decided not to have children before I said I was a lesbian, yet the bullying never ceases. Apparently something is wrong with me for not wanting to play around with semen and get pregnant. If I wanted to do that I would be heterosexual.

    Surrogacy often involves well-off people paying some poor woman to be pregnant for them. There is surrogacy tourism where well-off (usually Western) people travel to poorer countries and pay desperate women there a minimum amount of money to put her health and life at risk. Surrogacy is reproductive slavery and it’s no different than the notion that poor people should sell their organs to be less poor. There are people who get friends and family members involved but I suspect that there is a lot of guilt-tripping in those cases.

    Either way, we don’t need to continue breeding. There are lots of kids in foster care so why not adopt if you must be a parent?

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