What the state owes mothers, parents and women
By Kavita KrishnanJune 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Liberation -- India worships mothers; political leaders are fond of equating the nation with Mother, and politics and popular culture both make a huge deal of ‘respect for mothers’. But in spite of this hyper-visible, in-your-face celebration of motherhood, there seems to be a deliberate obscuring of the labour of mothering and care work that women perform. ‘Put her on a pedestal and forget her’ seems to be the approach of Governments. Worship of mothers and slogans of ‘Bharat Mata’ and praise for mothers’ supposed capacity for ‘sacrifice’ and ‘silent suffering’ help us to reinforce the myth that motherhood is a responsibility that women must bear cheerfully and single-handedly, expecting nothing from the State, from employers, from society. And yet, if we would bother to listen to the voices of real live women, we would find it difficult to keep celebrating domestic drudgery as happy self-sacrificing motherhood.
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