Even in our enlightened modern society, few people have dared to attack the sacred institution of motherhood. One of the few exceptions, Philip Wylie, created the term "Momism, " and a large part of his reputation rests on the savage way he has slashed out at it in A Generation of Vipers and other books. It has to be said, however, that Wylie has gone as far in the anti-motherhood direction as most writers have in preserving the pro-motherhood bias.
As in most other things, the real truth undoubtedly lies somewhere in between.
It is obvious that motherhood can be a pure and noble thing; the number of men and women who have been inspired to greatness by their mothers is so vast that if we began to cite examples we could go on for pages merely listing names. But a mother is first and foremost a human being, and the natural biological process of bearing a child does not miraculously transform her into a saint.
If the woman herself has un-cured psychological problems, she can be the cause of severe psychological traumas in her children, no matter how well-meaning she may be otherwise.
This may sound like a blatant vote for selfishness, but the point is that a woman may become a mother for purely selfish reasons-and many children have been victimized as a result. In The Outraged Orphan, author Wayne Sherman makes the same point in fictional but highly dramatic and shatteringly convincing terms.