Monday, July 12th, 2010
This weekend featured news articles that illustrate how Laurier Press books discuss and debate issues important to Canadians. In the Globe and Mail two articles discuss what it is like for women to face the censure of friends, family, and even strangers should they decide to bottle-feed their babies rather than breastfeed. In the first, Tasmin Nathoo, co-author of The One Best Way? Breastfeeding History, Politics, and Policy in Canada is quoted as saying,
Breastfeeding these days is associated with being a good mother. We have all this scientific evidence of all the benefits of breastfeeding and, on the other side, all the risks of formula feeding. So when, I think, women choose not to breastfeed … there’s a real sense of failure of not being able to live up to this ideal.
In a separate article, French feminist Élisabeth Badinter urges, “Stop pushing this model of a perfect mother.” According to the Globe,
her latest book, which questions today’s notion of motherhood. Le Conflit: la femme et la mère (Conflict: The Woman and the Mother) attacks the rise of an ecology movement that dictates a woman must breastfeed and spurn disposable diapers in order to be a good mother. Ms. Badinter fears this quest for perfection is transforming the baby into the “best ally of masculine domination.”
Also in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, Margaret Somerville, founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, debates the ethics of reproductive technology, wondering,
What do we, as a society, owe to the resulting children, especially when we are complicit in their coming into being, by approving and funding the technologies used to create them? They are the people most profoundly and directly affected. They will live their lives as “donor-conceived adults,” “genetic orphans,” as many of them call themselves.
Contributors to the Laurier Press book Taking Responsibility for Children, edited by Samantha Brennan and Robert Noggle, grapple with these types of questions, especially in chapter 8, written by Laura M. Purdy, “Could There Be a Right Not to Be Born an Octuplet?” Other chapters debate the rights of children regarding parental smoking, political liberalism and education, and more.
And, finally, the Literary Review of Canada once again takes up the issue of multiculturalism in Canada in its review of Multicultiphobia by Phil Ryan. Our book Uneasy Partners: Multiculturalism and Rights in Canada was inspired by an essay by Janice Gross Stein in the LRC and developed when we invited other contributors to respond to her conclusions. The result is a conversation between leading names on this topic in Canada and includes essays by John Ibbitson, Will Kymlicka, David Robertson Cameron, Haroon Siddiqui, John Meisel, and Michael Valpy as well as Stein’s essay. With an introduction by The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, this book has become a staple in university classrooms.
The One Best Way?
Taking Responsibility for Children