So all these women are deluded, according to Linda Hirshman.
How to be a Woman
The Importance of Touch
I enjoyed a quiet, stress-free visit to the dentist the other day (who knew motherhood could make visits to the dentist so appealing?). As I was waiting, I was reading an old issue of National Geographic whose cover story was all about the importance of our largest organ, the skin. It was a very interesting article, but I found myself most intrigued by the reference the article made to a research study involving chimpanzees. In the study, the baby chimps were studied in two situations. In one situation, the chimps were allowed free access to their mothers. They were allowed to see, hear and touch their mothers. In the other situation, the chimps were allowed to see and hear their mothers, but were denied the ability to touch their mothers. What they found was that the sense of touch is so vital to the chimps' well-being, that the chimps prevented from touching their mothers (even though they could still see and hear them) went insane.I'd love to see Dr. Laura take on Ms. Hirshman. From another letter in response to 10 Stupid Things that Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives:
This was horrifying to me when I considered the implications. In college, I was friends with a number of girls who worked in the day care system. I know from their first-hand testimonies that they are instructed not to hold the children as much as possible. They are instructed not to cuddle, caress or physically comfort the children they monitor because they don't want the children bonding with the day care workers over the parents, and it decreases the incidence of allegations of abuse. One friend told me how she had picked up a crying child who quickly fell asleep in her arms. She panicked and asked her supervisor what to do. The supervisor took the child out of her arms and forced the child to wake up and go back to play with the other children!
I also recalled an interview I saw with the wife of Larry King. She has fairly recently begun a singing career and it has been taking her away from her little toddler on a fairly regular basis. But she was praised during the interview for being such a good mom because, while she is gone from her boy for so long, she will read to him via a web cam every night before he goes to bed. Given the results of the study I read in National Geographic, this means of interacting with one's child is a very poor substitute to reading to your child while he's sitting on your lap!
It just breaks my heart to think of all of these poor little children whose parents care so little about their well-being that they would shuttle them off to a loveless environment on a daily basis, only to return tired and short-tempered at the end of the day. Where are the children supposed to find the loving touch they need to develop into healthy, happy and stable adults? I worry about the upcoming generations of day care babies and what the implications will be for our society. If the mother's touch is so important to the mental state of a chimpanzee, how could children possibly benefit from day care "touch-free" zones? What are these parents thinking?
In closing, I just wanted to say, Dr. Laura, that you are a real woman. After reading your book, I am more grateful than ever for the concern you have for other women, concern that they would, "Get a life!" instead of trying to find one in a man. Thank you, thank you, for all you do. Because, after all, we women have the power to grow and change into our best selves. We might end by giving 'Sugar and spice and everything nice' a whole new meaning.
So who is being condescending and belittling to women?