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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

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5 responses to ““Through heredity great things might be accomplished for the human race – as great things as have been achieved in the improvement of horses and cattle, fruits and flowers.””

  1. tigtog

    Y’know, I do have some sympathy with those who mourn the old trope of the nobility of motherhood as sacrifice for the next generation. At least it acknowledged that motherhood was worthwhile work. (Of course, the idea that feminism doesn’t acknowledge mothering as worthwhile work is rubbish, but then so much of the popular perception of feminism is rubbish, isn’t it?)

    The main change that feminist theory brings is that the nurturing and mentoring role of parenthood is worthwhile work no matter which parent performs the bulk quantity of it, and that the sacrifice of self which that involves is noble no matter which parent is doing most of the self-sacrifice.

    While I want some independent financial security as a matter of prudential foreplanning (otherwise what the hell do I do to support my kids if my husband gets run over by a bus?), that doesn’t mean that I don’t realise that my nurturing and mentoring of my kids will be a vital part of my legacy in the end. But the same will be true for my spouse.

    In many ways the only thing I’d change about this advice regarding pair-bonding and parenting is to change the assumption that only women take on the primary childcare role and thus forgo any breadwinning role. Both roles are crucial for functional childrearing, and for most couples having both parents capable of filling both the primary carer and the breadwinner role is the most prudential choice.

  2. MissPrism

    I’ve a geeky interest in the theory of heredity they’re using, too. There’s some Galton and a fair bit of Lamarck in there.

    MissPrism’s last blog post..Vocabulary

  3. Helen

    I’m with you there Tigtog.

    ow rapidly the race could be advanced if all young men and women should resolve: “The next generation must be born with healthy bodies; must be nurtured in health physical, mental, and moral environments; and must be filled with the ambition to again give birth to a healthier, still nobler generation.”

    The Lamarck-ianism of it aside, I can’t see much difference between this and the competitive or anxious, folate-munching, Baby Yoga-doing, Infant Mozart-buying, private school-seeking parents of today.

    Helen’s last blog post..Mugged by Mugler, Galled by Galliano

  4. kate

    I’m waiting til pregnant women are treated better before I have another one:

    How important, then, that she live in an atmosphere of peace and love, and that her days be pleasantly employed. This time of waiting is a trying time for the young wife, disturbed, as it often is, with various physical discomforts, and more or less anxiety of mind. What a source of help the devoted husband may be…

    I never did figure out how women have time to do yoga when pregnant. When I wasn’t at work (trying not to throw up into the wastepaper basket) I was asleep. Or I was lying down, exhausted, but unable to sleep. Perhaps the problem is that I wasn’t technically a ‘young wife’ at the time?

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