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This is how childbirth and especially child rearing

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This is how childbirth and (especially) child-rearing have become synonymous withmotherhood and not fatherhood or even community as many cultures throughout the world haveless difficulty conceptualizing. The uniquely American myth of “housewife” that solidified in the1950s made pregnancy and child-rearing primarily female activities that men came to have lessand less to do with.52In fact, most depictions of labor from that time (and the pastiche of 1950sin period piece films and tv made thereafter) would show the father far from the delivery room,in a comfortable waiting room, wearing a suit and passing around cigars. The gory body horror49Terry Arendell, “Caregiving and investigating motherhood: The decade's scholarship,”Journal of Marriage andthe Family62, no. 1 (2000).50Angela Leung et al., “Assisted Reproductive Technology Outcomes in Female-to-Male Transgender PatientsCompared with Cisgender Patients: a New Frontier in Reproductive Medicine,”Fertility and Sterility112, no. 5(2019): pp. 858-865, DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.07.014.51Sanae Elmoudden, “Policed Bodies: The Joy of Pregnancy and the Silent Loss,”The Journal of MotherhoodStudies(October 29, 2019), .52Debra Langan, "Mothering in the middle and self-care: Just One More Thing to Do,"Mediating Moms: Mothers inPopular Culture, 2012: 268-83. McGill-Queen's University Press. Accessed December 15, 2020..
50of giving birth to a child, the screaming, the blood, the tearing of flesh—all of this wascompletely excised from the father’s experience. Instead, he enjoys thecultural prestigeoffathering a child, sharing the news with strangers, being congratulated; for the father, childbirthwas a social experience. This phenomenon, one that is probably truer in media than life, is anexample of how birth makes the woman abject, while solidifying the husband/father role as thesubject of the social world, one that brings men more cultural and economic power. It extends tochild-rearing in the role of mother as primary caregiver to the children. In this way, motherhoodis a role that is crucial to the ideological reproduction of our hegemony, not to mention theliteralreproduction needed for society to exist. Mothers not only create life; they raise the children intoadults. Mothers in this way have an important role in the perpetuation of society and itshegemony.By isolating childbirth and child-rearing as feminine roles, culture has created anotherparadox. The motherhood role is both abject, and severely limiting to women. But it giveswomen an immense power to potentially upend society if only she ever shook the falseconsciousness that limits her. This paradox is deeply disturbing. It embodies all of what Kristevadescribed as the threat of the abject: a fear of ill-defined boundaries between life and death,society and societal collapse.

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Term
Fall
Professor
mr. renato de leon
Tags
Witchcraft, Sabrina, Malleus Maleficarum, Silvia Federici

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