Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mothering is Serious Work



My title may state the obvious but what I mean to say that is that most people don't realise that there are different dimensions to mothering. I spoke at a MIRCI conference in Toronto, Canada last month which was titled 'Mothering, Education and Maternal Pedagogies'. My talk was on how my life has benefitted from having an empowered mother who takes an active interest in my education and in my life.

MIRCI is one of a few organisations in the world that specialises in the academic and activism of mothering. Women came from all over the world to attend this conference because it was the first of its kind to look at maternal pedagogies which is about how traditional thinking about motherhood is being challenged.

I must admit that before I went to this conference I didn't quite know that there were so many disciplinary perspectives to mothering. Popular culture has it that mothering is about making brownies, sewing costumes and dresses and fretting over stains on clothes. This conference was about feminist mothering and how mothers have special talents. beliefs and values which they can pass on to their children. Mothering is not just an act, a verb, but is an academic and subjective practice.

It is time that feminist mothering is viewed as being part of the feminist movement in the UK. Feminism is not just about fighting against Page 3 pictures or equality in the workplace. Mothers are excluded from feminism because feminism is also viewed as being an issue associated with women who don't have children. Feminist Mothering brings informed thought on issues that affect us all such as race relations, gender bias and the effects of capitalism on family life. My mother will be speaking at 'Occupy St.Paul's' on Saturday 12 November in the Tent City University at 11 am on Feminist Mothering.
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