Thursday, November 25, 2010

...On the other hand - some blame is sometimes warranted

I recently found this abstract:

It's from an academic paper examining the press coverage of the inquest into the death of Jordan Heikamp. The tone suggests that the press was blaming his poor mother for not conforms to ideals of motherhood instead of searching for societal problems.

Well, I happened to have been following the inquest rather closely at the time, and read most of its press coverage.

Yes, Renee Heikamp was portrayed as a "bad mother". I'd argue that it was an accurate description. The evidence was that she declined a placement at an appropriate maternity home, didn't want breastfeeding advice, didn't bother to read the instructions when making up bottles of formula, didn't bother to take her newborn baby to the doctor, lied to her social worker and said that she take the baby to the doctor and reported that he was gaining weight, and most of all, failed to notice that her baby boy was starving to the point of being just skin and bones.

To repeat: this was NOT a case where a mother didn't have access to proper food or medical care or community support.

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