main navigation
my pace

Elle Magazine | PACE UNIVERSITY

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Elle Magazine" featured Pace University's Haub Law School Professor Linda Fentiman in "The Rise of the Mom-Shaming Resistance"

03/27/2019

"Elle Magazine" featured Pace University's Haub Law School Professor Linda Fentiman in "The Rise of the Mom-Shaming Resistance"

Mom-shaming has been around for decades, if not centuries. “There have been different variations of it at different times,” says Virginia Rutter, a sociology professor at Framingham State University. “In the 1970s, when I went to kindergarten, my mother went to work, and her mother-in-law, my grandmother, went nuts about how delinquent her children were going to be,” she says. Rutter, referencing the work of historian Stephanie Coontz, traces the issue back to the Industrial Revolution, when shifting family structures left women responsible for “the unpaid work of economic reproduction,” by which she means having children and creating a home, not to mention “making capitalism look sweet, look comfy, look intimate.” Whenever this wasn’t possible, she continues, the response was to shame women rather than critique the system.

“Blaming the mother has long historical roots,” says Linda Fentiman, a law professor at Pace University. “Even in [court] cases about [a child’s] lead poisoning, where it’s clear it’s the landlords and manufacturers of lead paint who are responsible, a defense strategy is to trash the mother—to say she has a poor IQ and she isn’t a good parent. And often the jury will accept that.”

Read the full article.