February 5th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: After the deluge, build new dams!

NATIONAL SECURITY: Heightened terror threat likely in 2011

EDITORIAL: Dealing with the China challenge

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Can Julia Gillard re-invent herself?

TASMANIA: New premier is an Emily's List radical feminist

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Rann Labor Government beset by factional brawls

CLIMATE CHANGE: Floods caused by global warming: Bob Brown

ENVIRONMENTALISM: Greenpeace co-founder has second thoughts

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Chinese president goes to Washington

UNITED STATES: Same-sex marriage: who says nothing will change?

FEMINISM: Australia Post honours four radical feminists

OPINION: Mother-child bond diagnosed as a mental disturbance

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: C.S. Lewis and False Apology Syndrome

CINEMA: A dark and twisted psychological thriller - Black Swan (rated R)


BOOK REVIEW: THE LAST ENGLISHMAN: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome, by Roland Chambers

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Mother-child bond diagnosed as a mental disturbance

by Jeremy Coldbeck

News Weekly, February 5, 2011
I have just been talking to one of my daughters, who had a baby girl born last year on Easter Sunday, April 4.

Her (now ex-) GP is a woman. At the six-month check-up she questioned my daughter about her relationship with the baby. My daughter said that she felt that it was proper that she keep continuously with the infant, and not have others (in-laws, child-care professionals, etc.) look after it while she herself went out.

The GP told her that this was a symptom of psychological disturbance, specifically post-natal depression (which was not alleged on any other grounds), and needed continuous monitoring in case the disturbance worsened.

My daughter is a full-time home-mother, with the baby and a two-year-old step-daughter continuously at home, two children in primary school, and her "partner's" other daughter (primary-school age) frequently visiting for periods of days.

(Needless to say, my daughter is not eligible for the Gillard super-baby bonus for progressive mothers who follow a feminist-approved life-pattern. Nor would she be eligible for the even more discriminatory Abbott super-baby bonus for career-first quality-mothers.)

I must add that my daughter's partner has been a very good father and step-father to all the children. But he had to endure endless months of inquisitions and intrusive monitoring by Family Court "counsellors" before he could get the right to see regularly the elder of his other two daughters - and then it was initially only under supervision.

He has been 100 per cent involved in the arrangements for the baptism of the new baby, which include instruction sessions; and he hopes to have his two-year old daughter baptised at the same time, if the mother (his previous partner), who is unfortunately drug-addicted and an atheist, can be persuaded to consent.

My suspicion is that the feminists have had or are trying to have strong mother-child bonding deemed a pathology - a psychological disorder requiring therapy if it persists, and indicating that the mother's suitability to be a good parent is questionable. Perhaps this new pathology is called "smother-mother syndrome" - I have yet to find out.

The effect of medicalising natural maternalism as a pathology will be that social workers will be able to penalise any mother who won't toe the feminist line of placing her children in long-term day-care and participating full-time in the paid workforce (with at most a six-month bonding-break after child-birth). A mother such as this will be under grave threat of having the child removed from her if she does not reform, especially if a marriage break-up occurs.

Already, as I have said in many forums, it is routine for social workers to remove children from families in which there is parental conflict, on the grounds that the home environment is "abusive" and thus endangers the children's psychological health.

Incidentally, my own mother strongly believed that parents should leave their infants in others' care only in exceptional circumstances. She and my father only ever went out once together at night, leaving my brother and me under anyone else's care, prior to my going into secondary school. That was when they went to a ball at Puckapunyal (where my father was a regimental sergeant-major) when I was 6 and my brother was 4 or 5.

I find it disconcerting, to say the least, that they would now be deemed by the feminists and their male groupies to have been psychologically disturbed for thinking and acting thus, and therefore to have been psychologically dangerous to my brother and me, and to my sister when she arrived.

I am not saying that my mother's policy should be every mother's. It was not my wife's and mine - we went out on many occasions without our infants, although after a few years our older children were able to baby-sit the younger ones. The issue is whether if a mother thinks it proper that she be continuously on-hand for her baby, this should be regarded as symptomatic of psychological disturbance.

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