Maternity as pathology
Maternity is the most accurate “canary” in the coal mine as indicative of the health of society. The state of maternity is the best gauge we have as to the collective mental health of today’s culture. Any patterns or ongoing disruptions in the manifestation of maternity across all groups is an indicator of a fissure in our collective social health. Some might presume I’m placing disproportionate weight on motherhood.
Why yes, I am.
I believe maternity is the most crucial element in our social structure for the preservation of a healthy, just civilization. Women who are proud of this are traditionalists; women who disown it are feminists. As a man, I think women should take pride in such power. This is an awesome responsibility, but alas, the slow destruction of maternity is just another premonitory hint of bad times looming on the horizon. Over the long haul, I cannot believe society will survive the dissolution of motherhood.
I see many signs that motherhood is becoming “pathologized” and this can only spell the slow destruction of a vibrant and healthy society. Any such “progress” as measured in such a culture of diseased maternity is not progress so much as an inflation of dystopian ideals and visions; progress in the culturally diseased context is best described as a metastasis of unhealthy trends and values, and this is all clearly an offshoot of the diseased (pathologized) state of motherhood in the year 2012.
The natural inclination of the maternal instinct, at its core, is to nurture offspring to help them attain breeding-age maturity. This induces a selfless devotion that seeks to accelerate the well-being of a mother’s brood and see that its chances for survival are maximized. This is the elemental instruction guide that propels mothering.
We live in a world where this ideal has been distorted and polluted. Personal examples abound of the mothering instinct gone haywire. I won’t bother detailing any, but we’ve all witnessed such examples and we can recognize when mothering becomes a pathology.
I was reminded of this by a post that appeared on Reddit this weekend:
This is what I am talking about when I refer to “distortion” or metastasis of the maternal instinct. By nature, the maternal instinct seeks to keep the child out of harm’s way which includes dangerous physical situations. The incident portrayed here is a mentally ill exaggeration of the maternal instinct. It is a rampant paranoia that tends to presuppose all manner of horrible atrocities lying in wait. It also presents the maternal instinct as a fear-mongering sort of misandry that embodies much of the cultural distrust of men. Increasingly we see situations where men are presumed guilty until proven innocent when it comes to the suspicions of overprotective mothers. This is a parallel phenomena to the popular “helicopter” mentality we witness in so many mothers who allow their control issues to blanket and steer societal mores and values. This maternal preoccupation would not be given air or grievance in eras past. It should be ignored and humored for that’s what happened before maternity became diseased. Certainly, the maternal impetus should not apply to all people, but as it turns out, maternal values have seeped into the collective mindset and maternal worries become pervasive and exaggerated and are validated to the point where they dictate values of society at large. We now live in a din of nanny-state intrusiveness and worry-wartism. Many innocents are defiled and tried.
The next highly visible display of the modern corruption of the maternal instinct is the pathological addiction to bearing children seen in some female population groups, especially as witnessed in the ghetto societies of Black and Hispanic women. There is an inexplicable urge on the part of these women, and enabled by equally careless men, to procreate in spite of all logical reason to the contrary considering the scarcity of resources possessed by the mother, the absent father, and the families. The most public face of this phenomena was the Octomom, Nadya Suleman. Here is a woman who publicly announced she found babies disgusting, and apparently, who found self-responsibility just as disgusting. A mother of six who still found a medical male enabler who had no problem impregnating her with a litter of 8 babies despite the fact she had no job, no professional experience and a trashy support system with ethics to match. Which essentially sums up the mentality of most modern mothers who are addicted to pumping children out in the face of all reason. There is a depersonalization of children implicit in this behavior. The addiction to giving birth is a method by which these mothers adulate themselves as life-giving goddesses. It is an egotisitcal drive to spawn life without regard to its aftermath. Which is the definition of an addiction.
Nadya Suleman, from a trailer for her porn flick, “Octomom: Home Alone.
There is the curious case of Adalia Rose. If you don’t know who she is and you have a sensitive soul, beware where you go for Googled info. Some of the stuff out there is horrendously insensitive. Adalia is one of those internet sensations who quite frankly don’t need to be. Adalia Rose is a 5-year-old girl afflicted with the very rare genetic disorder, Progeria, also known as the “aging” disease in which young children manifest the symptoms of rapid aging before 2 and rarely live beyond 20 years of age. It is a tragic, debilitating disease and leaves its victims withered and hairless. Adalia’s appearance is typical of someone suffering from Progeria.
Adalia has become a franchise of inflated praise, courtesy of her mother, Natalia Amozurrutia . This is a grave disease that should be dealt with privately and not mutated into a publicity vehicle by which to extract a level of praise that is an outright parody of itself. The maternal instincts being distorted here are pride and defense. Mothers will naturally defend the honor and reputation of their children. A mother will valiantly battle for her progeny’s future and social status. This plays out many times as that “maternal peer pressure” tension that occurs when mothers tend to manipulate their children’s schooling and activities in the most impersonal manner, as if their children were possessions rather than living beings. I feel very bad for Adalia’s condition and her future, and I applaud her strength and courage. This little girl has bigger balls than most men I know.
Still, I view Natalia Amozurrutia’s treatment of her daughter’s condition as an exploitative manifestation of this inclination in which she malevolently seeking to elicit praise for something that is obviously abhorrent to most reasonable people. She seeks to elicit lies in order to boost the ego of her daughter in a world that is not quick to part with praise for someone who looks like this. It is an utterly cynical move on the mother’s part for it seeks to blatantly manipulate people when all evidence clearly indicates they are doing so against their instinct. It’s a similar mechanism to the fabled “Emperor’s New Clothes.” Ultimately, we are left with a very sick, dying girl whose mother has usurped her identity into a shameless public vehicle of self-aggrandizement. It’s the degree that bothers me. If Natalia had kept this “low-key,” perhaps I’d have more consideration for her. This solicitation on her Tumblr page tells me otherwise.
Maternal pride, uncontrolled.
**On edit: Let us not forget these travesties of maternal pride.**