Our Society Has Been Shaming Moms For Centuries

Our Society Has Been Shaming Moms For Centuries

Most moms have experienced “mom guilt” or “mom shame” at some point in their children’s lives. On today’s podcast we talk about the very real, historical reasons why this happens, and about the long-running sentiment in the United States that a woman’s true job is to be a good mother. And now with the added pressures of measuring up on social media and taking care of your family in a pandemic, it’s no wonder so many moms feel inadequate. 

Our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, is joined by Bethany Johnson and Dr. Maggie M. Quinlan for a fascinating conversation about the history of mom guilt in America. The pair co-wrote the book, You’re Doing It Wrong! Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise and share some of the historical underpinnings of why so many mothers struggle with feelings of shame and guilt regarding their kids. 

Bethany L. Johnson (MPhil, M.A.) is a doctoral student in the history of science, technology and the environment at the University of South Carolina and a research affiliate faculty in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She studies how science, medical technology, and public health discourses are framed and reproduced by institutions and individuals with structural power from the 19th century to the present; specifically, she studies epidemics and reproductive health. She has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Health Communication, Women & Language, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Women’s Reproductive Health. 

Margaret M. Quinlan is a Professor of Communication Studies. Core Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Health Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Quinlan is the Director of an Interdisciplinary Minor, Health/Medical Humanities. Dr. Quinlan has authored approximately 40 journal articles, 17 book chapters and co-produced documentaries in a regional Emmy award-winning series (National Distribution with PBS and available on Amazon).

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This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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