Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web can be reviewed at any time. Just click the “See full statistics” link located at the end of the Most Popular Journal Articles list in the PEP Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Feller, A. (2007). Motherhood in the Twenty-First Century edited by Alcira Marfiam Alizade International Psychoanalytic Association's Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis London: Karnac Books, 2006; 220 pp. Fort Da, 13(1):81-84.
   

(2007). Fort Da, 13(1):81-84

Motherhood in the Twenty-First Century edited by Alcira Marfiam Alizade International Psychoanalytic Association's Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis London: Karnac Books, 2006; 220 pp

Reviewed by
Alice Feller, M.D.

Bion taught that moments of intuition are turbulent, that evolution and growth are catastrophic. This seems to be as true for whole societies as for individuals. Technological innovation that vastly improves life at first is often greeted with alarm.

Small pox, for example, was a dreaded scourge before the advent of vaccination. Millions died in its epidemics, and those who survived were left disfigured. Until the end of the 18th century, small pox was thought to be the province of God alone, with mankind having little to do about it except pray. Then in 1796 the English physician Edward Jenner gave the first public demonstration of a successful inoculation against small pox. One would think that a grateful public would have heaved a sigh of relief and lined up to be vaccinated. Instead, Jenner was reviled. There was a moral outcry against the procedure, particularly among the clergy. Inoculation would usurp God's unique right to decide the beginning and end of life, they warned. Only the hypocrites would still pray to God after having been vaccinated (Blum, 2006).

Today, we hear echoes of these sentiments regarding the medical treatment of infertility. The inability to conceive and bear a child creates a special kind of misery. Every culture seems to have been preoccupied with this problem and addressed it with an array of fertility symbols, prayer, and mythology. The Old Testament tells the miraculous stories of Sarah and of Hannah, whose anguish over their childlessness was relieved by God after proper prayer. Fairy tales are replete with sad couples wishing unsuccessfully for a child, their wish finally granted by some magical means.

Over the last century it has become less fashionable to see infertility as God's curse.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.