Saturday, April 1

The motherhood trap

It is evident that 2022 begins for Isabel Díaz Ayuso with an acceleration towards the electoral campaign. She says goodbye to the pandemic and puts the focus on the future. It is fair to say that he was never too concerned about the pandemic time in which the people of Madrid live in an every man for himself, in which families did not have conciliation and care measures, in which we saw and suffered without being able to do nothing an abandonment of our elders and in which we confirm the deterioration of our public health system.

January arrives and with it a maternity support plan is born that is full of traps but that makes something very important clear: the Popular Party looks at the progressive voter, wants to get closer to their desires and steal votes from the left with measures purely propaganda, empty and that many of them already existed and were not fulfilled in the Community of Madrid.

Addressing the problem of motherhood is something that is so deeply necessary that when it is presented with the children’s school fund, it is endowed with billions and it is often said “support for motherhood” that is immediately applauded, because it is a desire, it is needed, women and society need to address this issue and therefore, we are happy without looking at the small print, and without putting the magnifying glass on the consequences.

What’s more, if we suddenly came to criticize this maternity plan, you would almost become an evil jiminy cricket in which none of us want to see ourselves reflected. Who is one so that, with how difficult it is to decide to be a mother, remember that extending the age of access to assisted reproduction to 45 years is an empty measure, which generates a lot of hope and few results since the possibility of getting pregnant at that age is very low?

We have wanted to analyze this plan, assuming the desire, I understand the applause and sharing the need and that it is time to address the reproductive crisis that we are experiencing and that is absolutely related to the care crisis. We have looked at the small print of the maternity plan that is generating so much boom in Madrid.

The first thing we want to highlight is that it is a maternity plan that is drawn up without a gender perspective. The Directorate for Equality of the Community of Madrid is not part of the interdisciplinary department that will be in charge of this plan and that hangs directly from the presidency. This is a clear nod to the extreme right that pushes hard to eliminate gender approaches from public policies, therefore support for motherhood and fatherhood is approached as if both situations entailed the same problems and had to be given identical solutions. to a woman who decides to be a mother than to a man who decides to be a father.

So null is the gender approach that it speaks directly of the need for a birth boom so that the birth statistics in our community improve. Therefore, it is presented more as a plan that seeks to provide demographic solutions rather than a support plan for maternity.

Nowhere in this plan is it taken into account that not only by modifying material conditions are we going to improve maternity conditions for women, we all know that the main material obstacles to being a mother are housing, conciliation, employment and economic security, but we hardly talk about the renunciations in cultural terms that a woman has to make when deciding to become a mother.

We would not want to underestimate or confront both aspects here, we are convinced that without access to housing, conciliation measures and collective upbringing, improvement of nursery schools, etc. we could not face motherhood and, although none of these aspects are resolved in the motherhood plan that has been presented, we want to emphasize that the emotional and sociocultural challenges that a woman has to face when making the decision are not addressed of being a mother

We women know that when we decide to be mothers we pay the toll to “disappear” as women and become mothers, you disappear as a professional and you become a mother.

The story surrounding motherhood is a story that was built through the male gaze, at a time when it was functional for us to have all the affective and care burden of this decision, but which has become absolutely obsolete.

To rethink and support motherhood is to rewrite this story, from a feminist point of view that cannot be permeated, as is the case in the Community of Madrid plan, with anti-abortion measures but, on the contrary, must be permeated with measures that guarantee, for example , psychological support once a woman has given birth and that this accompaniment continues until the baby is one year old, because being a mother is not only a path of roses, laughter and looks of tenderness, it is also a path of guilt , doubt and not having space for oneself for that reason, women, in this new story of motherhood we want psychological accompaniment to be included.

We also want governments to keep a registry of egg donors so that a woman does not submit to multiple donations for money, putting her health at risk. For this reason, among our initiatives is the need for a channel of public financing that investigates these new forms of assisted reproduction and that forces the Community of Madrid to comply with the law and prevent women from donating eggs up to eight or nine times .

Because, ultimately, thinking about motherhood and supporting it cannot only happen by improving access to assisted reproduction. It goes through thinking about assisted reproduction methods that are less invasive for women’s bodies, it goes through governments complying with the laws and improving the living conditions of women so that we can make the decision to be mothers with true freedom and it happens because together we begin to rewrite what it is to be a mother, put on the table all the lights of motherhood but also the shadows so that together we take charge, support each other and rewrite history from its protagonists, the women who want to be mothers and the women who already are.