Motherhood: Who Needs It?

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Reader Response Asking who needs motherhood is a bit of an understatement, in my opinion. Instead we should go deeper into it. What needs motherhood and why? Is it people, males, females, society or the planet as a whole? In the essay “Motherhood: Who Needs It? ‘ written by Betty Rolling in 1970, find so many unanswered questions and issues and my goal now is to find the answers to them. What is motherhood? Why exactly do, or don’t, we need the myth? Should it even be considered a myth at all?

How does it affect us in days society? The “motherhood myth” is a little outlandish though I can see where she’s coming from. The myth, as Rolling states, is “the idea that having babies is something that all normal women instinctively want and need and will enjoy doing”(286). It is true that the concept of motherhood is pushed on females from a very young age, when they are bought pets and babyhood’s to take care of while the boys are bought video games and sports gear on holidays. It is embedded in our minds as females that caring for others & starting a family is our job.

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However, not every female in the world as raised up to believe that having a family and raising children is something that they should want, need, or enjoy doing. Not everyone was brought up the same and many parents bring their daughters up to believe the exact opposite as far as having kids and starting a family goes, simply so they wont be curious or make mistakes later on in life due to being too eager to start a family. I am a part of that category so I couldn’t relate to this article much. My mother never blew up the topic of having kids or being around or taking care of them, though she constantly did.

Where is the myth and the argument for those like me, who weren’t brought up on the “myth” that Rolling speaks of? I feel as though Rolling contradicts herself a little in her essay because in a sense you notice that she doesn’t want all women to be placed in this bubble or mindset of “having babies is what you’re supposed to do” or “all you’re good for”. Yet she is placing all women in a bubble of actually believing this said myth. Not only does the myth change who it applies to based on cultural values, etc.. But also by generation.

The motherhood myth relates to different generations in different ways. For example, it may have been relevant during the time this article was written, but in 2014 not as much. Thinking about my generation, and how teen pregnancy is something that is widely seen and widely accepted, begin to wonder if the motherhood myth had anything to do with that. I believe that the answer is no. To most teenage girls, having babies isn’t something they think they should do, nor something that they are excited about or spend their time preparing for; but having sex is.

Very rare is a teenage pregnancy planned and even when it is you’re still not fully prepared. This could not only be true of teenagers but also of women of all ages, pregnancy is not always planned and just because it is on an uprising doesn’t mean that its on purpose. Another thing to consider is that Rollins piece was written in 1970, which was probably towards the end of the “baby boom” that the U. S. Had around that time. So maybe then it was a trend to have kids, and maybe then every woman was being raised to want to have kids, to increase the population and things of that nature.

In modern times though, the population is already increasing enough, and a lot of cities ND states are becoming overpopulated, so having children isn’t a big issue or goal for many people right now. So, the motherhood myth may apply in some places to some women, but certainly not all… Especially in the United I feel as though Rolling could have made her argument more States. RelaTABLE to those who are not directly affected by or exposed to the idea of the “myth”, and also maybe go more into why the myth started, where it came from and if it had anything to do with the events that were going on at that time.

When reading Rollins original essay I could tell that she had a clear argument but I didn’t know exactly where she was coming from as far as evidence goes. She uses a lot of different evidence and while in some ways it helps the article, in a lot of ways it doesn’t. For example, she references a psychiatrist, but she also uses a lot of anecdotal evidence such as when she uses quotes from the women (290). She did a good job supporting her argument with these evidences, but she could have worded certain things differently or chose better transitioning technique so the reader wont feel like she was just randomly bouncing around.

She was touching on a very important issue at the time and also something everyone can relate to in one way or another, so reliability is an important feature in her argument. She needs to sound trustworthy by not showing bias, etc… However, this is a hard thing to do when you are writing about or in favor of women and you are a woman yourself. I believe that she did the best job she could and while she could have done better, she also could have done worse, so I applaud her for putting in the effort. You can also tell that she is passionate about what she is talking about, maybe she has been a victim of the “myth” herself.

Overall I enjoyed reading Rollins’ essay. It gave me something to think about at research, it got my brain going, and it allowed me to see things from her point of view. It opened my eyes because never even thought of motherhood in the way that she described it. Even though I myself have never been directly exposed to or taught said “myth”, it was still interesting to read about. Overtime I read this piece come up with a new question or idea, and that’s how its supposed to be when reading. What is motherhood, is it an idea? I don’t know; maybe its all just a myth.

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Motherhood: Who Needs It?. (2018, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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