Comments on: A Modest Proposal: the Defense of Motherhood Act http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:32:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Linden http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1477156 Tue, 28 May 2013 19:15:10 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1477156 That’s why, in addition to the The Defense of Motherhood Act, we also need my modest proposal: the state-mandated purchase of pregnancy insurance by all fertile males. All those men who whine about how their “choice” is taken away when a woman they’ve impregnated won’t abort on their command will be able to stop whining — the child support will be paid by the insurance company! Of course, premiums would probably be about $3,000 per month, but reductions can be had if the policyholders turn in regular records of their use of contraceptives to lower their risk.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1477143 Tue, 28 May 2013 19:03:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1477143 It’s the whole hostage-taking thing — grandparents don’t get to see their grandkids, if the parents don’t get ‘taken care of’ enough. And actual neglect makes a family’s reputation a matter for both the state and the press — that’s a big chance to take, to let fecund kids stay independent.

However, for working-class families, if pregnancy’s the rite of passage, why bother to let one’s daughters go beyond basic literacy? And why the hell does that mean boys have even more license to fail, academically? They’re the ones whose paychecks will get dunned for child support, regardless of what real care they give their kids. Shouldn’t *that* outcome be prepared for?

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1476969 Tue, 28 May 2013 15:59:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1476969 I’d say that families who are willing to care for a pregnant/postpartum daughter and her baby are in fact doing at least *some* of the work–contra the recruiting officers–but I think this is a very good point.

I don’t understand why so many parents agree to essentially parent their grandchildren alongside their adult-acting but not adult-responsible children. Among middle-class families who expect their children to get at least some college, it seems like another part of the infantilization of children more generally of which I am a severe critic–that is, the desire to protect children from the consequences of their own behavior and choices at all costs. In working-class families who don’t see college as a rite of passage for their children, I think the calculations are different, and childbirth/family formation is itself the rite of passage.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1475754 Mon, 27 May 2013 18:32:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1475754 I still hold that families and boyfriends convincing girls to be pregnant is like boys listening to the recruitment officer: The people listened to aren’t the folks doing the work, right here, right now — and if they are, they consider a young one joining them part of a dutiful hazing process.

Mother’s Day and Memorial Day were connected, weren’t they?

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By: koshembos http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474717 Mon, 27 May 2013 02:28:24 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474717 Last time I looked we are progressing, with noted acceleration, from the 20th century to the 19th. Many European countries have substantial support for moms. (Cannot comment on the legal part.) Our chances of such laws are limited.

Teenagers aren’t the problem. The parents are.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474570 Sun, 26 May 2013 23:51:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474570 Ma Barker was running some kind of a sleeper-cell in that “shoe!” They would kidnap Pitt the Younger, stuff him to the ears with moldy porridge, and try to make Parliament call off the “War on French Terrorism.” I’m a little intrigued myself, now, as some of my stuff has strayed into this neighborhood, to wonder if this is a story that gets re-written perpetually to suit the times. One version has it as being about George II, who was being accused of … I don’t know, something.

There’s also supposedly a Christianized version of the rhyme in which Mrs. B. doesn’t do anything like whipping anyone soundly. A very malleable piece of culture work.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474496 Sun, 26 May 2013 21:46:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474496 Ah, well–there’s always boarding school or juvie for the teens.

Indyanna: that’s cool! I had no idea about the origins of that nursery rhyme. I’ll have to look into it. (I was always creeped out by the version I knew, particularly the part about how “she gave them some broth, without any bread/whipped them all soundly, and send them to bed.”)

Clearly, we should ask Child Protective Services to look in on Mother Goose & her household.

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By: Comradde PhysioProffe http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474487 Sun, 26 May 2013 21:37:01 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474487 Sulking teenagers could turn everyone offe procreating!! My teenage self is a major factor in my lack of kiddes!!

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474421 Sun, 26 May 2013 20:28:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474421 It’s brilliant. Hard to argue against informed decision making (although people would).

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2013/05/26/a-modest-proposal-the-defense-of-motherhood-act/comment-page-1/#comment-1474420 Sun, 26 May 2013 20:27:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=21283#comment-1474420 Those bunnies are great, but the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” might merit some space on the masthead too. Appeared in print in 1794, although the origin, provenance, and meaning is subject to some argument. 1794 was a famine year in Britain, the eve of an even worse famine year, and a time of social and political upheaval and conflict in which questions of class, household, population, emigration, and conjugality were being fiercely debated and politicized.

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