"Motherhood: Who needs it?" An Evaluation

Essay by rach8630College, UndergraduateA+, April 2005

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While motherhood is not the stereotypical home making occupation that it was in the 1970's, it is still one of the most important roles women play in this country. In "Motherhood: Who Needs It?" Betty Rollin openly expresses her negative opinion of motherhood. Throughout the essay Rollin elaborates on many reasons why motherhood is overrated in America. Rollin says that, "The notion that the maternal wish and the activity of mothering are instinctive or biologically predestined is baloney." She first touches on the subject of motherhood as a science. "Women have childbearing equipment. To choose not to use the equipment is no more blocking what is instinctive than it is for a man who, muscles or no, chooses not to be a weight lifter." Rollin then refers to God as the cause of the "motherhood problem". "... the word of God that got the ball rolling with 'Be fruitful and multiply,' a practical suggestion, since the only people around then were Adam and Eve."

Rollin quotes psychologists and doctors who support her theories, not ones who do not. She says that most mothers are unhappy, but do not admit it. Rollin rambles on throughout the essay telling how the motherhood myth is affecting the children and their mothers. She manipulates statistics to make them reflect her theory and does not give both sides of the argument. This essay while being outdated is full of fallacies and one-sided information influenced by the authors' social points of view, which misinform the reader.

Rollin refers to an experiment using baby ducks as support for her thesis. "...baby ducks who lovingly follow their mothers seemed, in the mother's absence, to just as lovingly follow wooden ducks or even vacuum cleaners." This may be true but wooden ducks and vacuum cleaners cannot teach baby ducks...