Family Needs A Mother

Family Needs A Mother

To get a feeling of how the new generation has come to loath the idea or mere mention of motherhood, consider a protesting, angered young woman (perhaps in her early twenties) walking down a crowded sidewalk at Pennsylvania State University. She was heard responding to her male friend who apparently made a cutting remark, “Well, you said I looked like a thirty year old mother!” (What worse condition could a woman find herself in?) According to this woman and apparently her male counterpart, nothing could be more detestable, more horrifying or more degrading than to be compared to a middle-aged mother. Thirty years of age can hardly be considered old, yet this woman, representative of the new generation, apparently thought she had only ten more “good” years left to live.

In Western culture it is obvious that both men and women are evolving through a process of dehumanization. The system promotes everything but true human dignity and family life. Although the cornerstone of all societies should be the family, this belief no longer firmly exists in the West. To the new generation the myth of motherhood and family life is a process of the past no longer of value at the approach of the year 2000. Women now feel that the time they might spend raising a family is a waste of time and a big mistake. The new generation knows the stigmas about women who becomes wives and mothers and stay home to run a family. They know how vulnerable a woman becomes once she does this. If her marriage fails and she is divorced, she will find the court system does not care about the years she has invested towards her family. She will have to fight and scratch her way to winning any financial support or retribution.

The modern-day thinking that mothers and wives can be replaced is cold and cruel. Wives can be replaced by girlfriends and prostitutes, and mothers can be replaced by social services. It is a great injustice that women in Wester cultures are forced by economic need, pop-culture, media, government and even husbands to forfeit motherhood. Feminists especially do not want to hear about women who are devoted to their families. They would much rather talk and fight for women to work outside the home. It would do them well to be reminded that even highly educated career women would like to stop at some point in their lives to begin a family. This part of women’s nature has not yet been destroyed altogether.

Because people work so hard at their jobs and careers, numerous social services have been implemented to take the place of family. Instead of family members coming together on their own to solve problems, individuals must go to counseling, group therapy or other social services to seek help, attention, guidance or support. There are literally hundreds of organizations that are replacing the family unit: nurseries and daycare centers, nursing homes, psychiatric wards, domestic abuse hot lines, homes for unwed mothers, women’s crisis centers, teen suicide hot lines, adoption centers and homes for the mentally challenged. Although there will always be some who have no where else to turn, what about those who have family? The family unit is often times replaced with institutions, telephone numbers, high priced psychiatrists, and contact with strangers who do not really know the afflicted one. All of these services are a sign that the system has exchanged the family for institutionalism.

With all the dehumanization taking place, perhaps people will eventually lose a vital part of the human personality. The human race seems to be on a crash course toward destruction. People living in major American cities are hardened, desensitized and seem more like robots. Man is not just an intelligent animal endowed with a greater reasoning ability, as some philosophers contend. Rather, man is an entirely different species with a personality that has the capacity for compassion, love, humanity, and spirituality. In the Western civilization today all of this is considered emotionalism, romanticism and a foolish quest for bygone times. The West is indeed evolving, but into what? Who wants to substitute real human closeness, warmth, communication, relating and love in exchange for a cold, inhumane world?

The issue of the diminishing role of the mother goes to the heart of what divides man from the animal kingdom. Humans are dependent upon the emotional benefits of having family members there for them while infants, children, teens or adults. The significance of the mother and a close-knit family is not only an economic problem. It is not only a social problem, and it is not only a feminist problem. It is a personal problem that no building, corporation, institute or psychologist can take the place of. Personal self-sufficiency is good for every person, and giving women the personal freedom to choose a career should be granted them. However, when women are being forced economically or by social norms to leave their newborn in a daycare, it seems not only cruel from the mother’s perspective, but is a cruel introduction to life from the baby’s point of view.

[Women’s Ideal Liberation: Islamic Versus Western Understanding by Rukaiyah Hill Abdulsalam, p. 117-120]

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