Motherhood and feminism

The issue of the place that motherhood should occupy in feminism is always a contentious one. As an antinatalist, I have certain opinions on that subject. IceMountainFire approaches the issue from a different angle.

Motherhood is at the heart of patriarchy. Patriarchy, the rule of the fathers, is impossible without mothers who make them fathers in the first place.
Mothers have sex with men or at the very least obtain sperm from men to become pregnant.
Mothers give birth to the next generation of men.
Mothers choose men and boys over women and girls.
Mothers raise the next generation of men, pouring endless energy and devotion into the task.
Mothers raise their daughters to become mothers as well and teach them to pick men over other women.
Mothers, on the other hand, have failed gloriously to raise ″new men″: Patriarchy is alive and kicking, and men contribute to it and benefit from it as ever.
Mothers do exactly what patriarchy wants them to do.

14 thoughts on “Motherhood and feminism

  1. Nicole February 6, 2018 at 23:50 Reply

    I have much to say on this subject, and I quite strongly disagree with the analysis here. I will come back to this.

    • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 00:02 Reply

      Ah. Well, keep in mind that, as an antinatalist and (for lack of a better word) misandrist, I am very unlikely to agree with you no matter what angle you approach the issue from.

      • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 03:02 Reply

        Don’t agree with me, I don’t mind. I can’t let this go unchallenged. There is no analysis there of how women are socially conditioned into becoming mothers and of the vulnerability that they experience once they do get pregnant and have children. Women have very little genuine choice in the matter. There is not much that most mothers can do to counteract the messages reaching their child. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, I thought you had a good grasp of the social structures that channel women towards heterosexuality, marriage and motherhood.

        • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 03:16 Reply

          “There is no analysis there of how women are socially conditioned into becoming mothers and of the vulnerability that they experience once they do get pregnant and have children. Women have very little genuine choice in the matter.”

          Yes, of course women are socially conditioned to become mothers. I don’t see how this addresses any of the points raised.

          “There is not much that most mothers can do to counteract the messages reaching their child.”

          A point which I’ve repeated many times on this blog, I think. I fail to see how this does anything but provide a powerful argument against motherhood.

          • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 04:59 Reply

            I’m totally on board with the arguments against motherhood.
            Maybe I have misunderstood, what was your purpose in sharing that?

            • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 06:11 Reply

              To present a different kind of argument against motherhood than the kind I usually talk about on this blog. Somewhat related to her approach, I have also discussed antinatalism from a feminist perspective here:
              https://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/feminist-antinatalist-arguments/

              • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 06:13 Reply

                Ok so this argument against motherhood is essentially that it upholds patriarchy?

                • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 07:44

                  Basically, yes.

                • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 15:53

                  Do you have an understanding of how serious the consequences are for women who refuse compulsory heterosexuality and motherhood?

                • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 16:19

                  Those are two different topics with rather different consequences. Of course I have no firsthand experience of it.

                • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 16:22

                  Not expecting you to have first hand experience of it, it can be understood theoretically. Motherhood is part of compulsory heterosexuality for women.

                • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 16:29

                  I understand it theoretically, yes… depending on the culture, it can go from general disapproval and harassment, to death. Motherhood is considered part of the life process of any woman, indoctrinated to all girls, and women are not considered to be, properly speaking, adults unless they have children.

                • Nicole February 7, 2018 at 16:40

                  Yes so in regards to the original post I suggest that most if not all oppressed groups do exactly what they are told to under the structures they are oppressed by, such is the nature of oppression.

                • Francois Tremblay February 7, 2018 at 16:52

                  Yes, of course. Social constructionism and all that.

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