A Social Crisis

Violent Mothering and Motherhood

Harasankar Adhikari

The incidents of child abuse, torture and murder has become a pathetic regular invent. It is more pathetic when their parents (especially mothers) are involved with these incidents. So, what are the wrong with these innocents? Are mothers not safe place for these babies? Is it the cause of social indiscipline? Is it the very evil effect of globalization, self-love and consumerism? Is there any mismatch between (un)happiness and (dis)satisfaction?

It is known that mothering is a socially engaging enterprise that seeks to effect cultural change in women. Simultaneously, motherhood is primarily not natural or biological function. It is particularly a cultural practice that is continuously redesigned in accordance with the changing economic and social factors. This cultural construction varies with time and place. So, there is no essential or universal experience of motherhood. According to the feminist scholarship, 'Of Women Born' of Rich, A (1986) who provides an analysis to make distinction between motherhood as a potential relationship of any woman to her power of reproduction and the institution, which ensures to keep woman under male control. In pursuance of the above it defines that motherhood, a patriarchal institution is male defined and controlled by male, and is deeply oppressive to woman. The terms mothering refers to woman's experiences of mothering are female defined and centered, and potentially empowering to woman.

In Indian society, the motherhood is a moral, religious and even artistic deal. It is for family acceptance and emotional well-being which changes dramatically once she becomes pregnant. Pregnancy offers a relegation to insecurity, doubt and the shame of infertility. Pregnancy marks the beginning of a woman's adult identity. Motherhood is not only the personal fulfilment of womanhood and the biological achievement of a lifelong promise, but it confirms her status in renewing her race. So, infertility is important not only in context of its physical entity but as a social milieu too. Motherhood is seen as a supreme achievement for a woman and demonstrates her physical and psychological adequacy. It is linked to an act of God and punishment for sins of the past. From various studies, it has been recorded that severe emotional harassment is experienced by a large number of women who are infertile/barren in their marital-homes, and in the form of ostracism from family celebrations, taunting and stigmatization, negative attitudes as well as domestic violence, and the withholding of food and health care.

Child is the most precious object to her mother. It brings a new shape in her identity and it brings highest happiness in mother's rest life. She provides social and psychological security for upbringing and socialization. It is her future assets so that she uses to provide best qualitative and quantitative efforts to make child a social being. She acts as an expressive leader. 'Intensive mothering' is obvious for child rearing from infancy because emotional and physical development depends on mothering. Imperfect mothering yields highly neglected and abused childhood.

But at this global era, mothers fail to provide the appropriate care and attention because of their selfish act due to broken family relation, unfaithful and maladjusted spousal relation, lacking mutual respect with each other. Greed and buying happiness deceive them when they involve in extra-marital Relations, and divorce, etc. The child has to face problems due to this relational turmoil. It has been observed that child is the victim of this parental relational turmoil.

In patriarchal society, mothering and motherhood is a very common phenomenon to validate the social institutions of family and marriage. Motherhood is a form of social control exercised over women as they hear and rear children and in fact, it acts as base for power and security and prestige through their role as "builders of generations". This cultural practice has been inculcated among women. Deconstruc-tion and dysfunction of this cultural is not only harmful to mothers and their children, it is a serious crisis of human society.

Vol. 50, No.10, Sep 10 - 16, 2017