Our media seem to be full of hand-wringing and accusations of bad mothering. First there was Amy Chua (the Tiger Mother) scolding people about being tougher, and then came Pamela Druckerman who made everybody ashamed for not being more “Parisian,” or smoking and drinking as much as they might secretly desire.
If it’s any consolation to the young mothers out there, this trend is not a new one. Consider the novels and plays published during the French Revolution, which are replete with misogynistic projections of bad mothers. Which of the following is not an actual title published during the period?
- La mère rivale
- L’Autre Tartuffe ou la mère coupable
- La mère jalouse
- La mauvaise mère pardonnée par l’état