Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Mother....

My Dearest Darlings, Last week much discussion was had about the imminent advertisements for condoms and sexual health clinics being broadcast on your screens, an attempt it is suggested to 'combat' the ever growing teenage pregnancy 'epidemic' that is apparently sweeping the nation. This week much furore surrounds Madonna's attempt to adopt another Malawian baby, much to the outrage of the media and it would seem you. The contemporary attitude to motherhood is as complex and rife with pitfall as ever.

There are the cynical teenage reprobates that given the opportunity will reproduce simply to get themselves a council house. These mothers push their babies around the estates in which they live wreaking of cheap alcohol and cigarettes, screaming obscenities at their own children and passing strangers alike. Their children are weaned on Coca Cola and McDonald's, unable to differentiate fruit from vegetable. These mothers inadvertently raise the next generation of criminal and lay about.

It is this that your society want to avoid hence the many initiatives in place to rid the world of such heinous child rearers. Though it may surprise you to know that this is not the only behaviour displayed by mothers yet to celebrate their twentieth birthday. Many are considerate and caring mothers keen to do the best for their offspring, determined to raise happy and well balanced members of society. Though the media persist in describing 'teenage pregnancy' as harbinger of a doomed society. This simplistic stereotype hangs over young mothers like a threat, potentially damaging self worth and undermining the role of motherhood so cherished by themselves and the family they raise.

The same cannot be said for the alternative ideal. These are the thirty something 'Earth Mothers' who obediently supplies her darlings with wheat grass and free range produce from the nearest organic supermarket. These mothers are esteemed, they have created a career that affords them a suitable amount of maternity leave, they charge around your high streets in their 4x4 perambulators believing themselves to be the best version of Motherhood. Their children are left to scream and hurtle around your nearest eatery, without fear of retribution as this 'may scupper their desire to fulfil their identity'. For these youngsters discipline is unnecessary, inclusion within a loving 'Middle Class' family affords you with an innate sense of decency. These mothers inadvertently raise the next generation of self indulgent ninny unable to function in the real world of toil and strife.

Of course while both stereotypes persist the multitude of variants that exist in the real world challenge the role of the mother, though whilst such limited parameters continue to be referred to, mothers continue to fear societal condemnation. Such is the case with Madonna who as a newly single mother is transgressing these norms. Though her journey to adoption and patronage of various causes in Malawi remains generally perplexing, limited research reveals that it is the AIDS epidemic that swept this nation that first got her attention, an epidemic that took the lives of many of her peers including Keith Haring, artist and friend. This may explain her motivations for investment and subsequent adoption though it remains a troubling manifestation of these perhaps genuine concerns to remove a child from his or her natural environment. No matter how challenging an environment this may be. Though society's disdain of a powerful women is such that she is unable to 'do right' in any circumstance. The same is not quite so true in the case of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who as Hollywood's first heterosexual couple are seen to be rather kooky and eccentric rather than manipulative and cunning when embarking on a similar quest.

Madonna is not acting as missionary for some Christian cause in Africa as so many evangelists before her, she appears to be injecting cash not bibles into this contemporary third world. Her actions irrespective of potentially sincere motivations reveal her belief that money not God will save this nation, a reflection of a western society which believes the same. Though investment in global poverty is needed it is perhaps the investment of time and care that makes for a successful childhood and creation of valuable citizens to inhabit your crumbling world.

Whatever version of motherhood you were raised in or choose to adopt now, it would seem helpful to esteem such an endeavour, the constant fear of child rearing incorrectly hangs over almost all of those that embark on this thankless task no matter what your social position. I for one wish you all well with this most important of responsibilities, a responsibility that your society over simplifies so frequently.

Much Love as Always Ms Coco LaVerne x