Bad mothers

You’ve probably heard about those two British morons who saw no problem with leaving a three-year-old and two two-year-olds alone while they went out to dinner. The three-year-old disappeared. (The McCanns are themselves suspects in the child’s disappearance. At minimum, they are guilty of insane negligence. Thus far, for reasons the news articles have not related, they have been allowed to keep their twins.)

Not surprisingly, the articles and editorials about this irresponsible couple have expressed outrage. Except for one.

Brits love to torture a ‘bad mother’

How many centuries of accumulated spite and misogyny, I wonder, went into the latest twist in the Madeleine McCann saga. Did the British television presenters feel the remotest twinge of conscience as they sensationally reported – second-hand via a Spanish television station – the leaks from the Portuguese police portraying Kate McCann in the worst possible light, as a mother who had left her children to cry?…

I have avoided reading or watching most of the coverage. It was too harrowing; the couple’s grief too visceral to bear; and I could not stand the treatment they received from the macho, out-of-their-depth Portuguese police. For many of us, it was enough, briefly, to contemplate the horror of losing our own child. Anything more was prurience and soap opera.

But somehow we have passed a watershed. With this latest betrayal, picking deep at Kate McCann’s emotional scars, we have regressed to the level of the medieval peasants reaching for the ducking stool. Although women suspected of being witches, I sometimes grimly think, received a fairer fate in their slow drowning than do modern women accused of being bad mothers, who are tortured to the point of mental disintegration.

And so it is time to speak out in defence of Kate McCann, a woman whom I have never met, but someone who is being sacrificed to society’s tyrannical views about a mother’s role.

Even in the enormity of her suffering it seems Kate McCann must be punished for failing to live up to idealised, romanticised – and wholly unrealistic – maternal standards. Her child cried the night before she disappeared. It is of no relevance to Madeleine’s apparent abduction, but what a glorious stick with which to beat her already guilt-ridden mother.

I don’t think it’s necessary to even comment.

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3 Responses to “Bad mothers”

  1. Mr Zopo Says:

    I don’t understand why society is so empathetic towards mothers who kill her children. I wish these mothers should have to face the electric chair.

  2. Mr Zopo Says:

    I don’t understand why society is so empathetic towards mothers who kill her children. I wish these mothers should have to face the electric chair.

  3. Mr Zopo Says:

    I don’t understand why society is so empathetic towards mothers who kill her children. I wish these mothers should have to face the electric chair.

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