Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cristina Odone blogs for the Telegraph

Today her theme is the battle between working and stay-at-home mums, or rather whether there is a qualititative difference in the care provided by these different types of mum.  Not that she is really curious - her mind is firmly made up and guess which type she believes is's not a stretch.  

Two things strike me as noteworthy from the blog (and I take into account the fact that blogs are by nature opinion pieces but nevertheless):-
1.  Her current position is described in the Bio as 'Research Fellow as the Centre for Policy Studies'.  So I'd like to know what level of research rigour was applied to the bald statement of fact (without any evidential references) that:-

"Then along came the chest-thumping professional women who scoffed at the domestic goddess, mocked the mumsy attitude and, even if they happened to spawn a baby or three along the way, ensured there was someone else to do the boring tasks of feeding, nappy-changing, reading The Hungry Caterpillar six times in a row. The message was clear: women should be like men, not mums.
Soon, many of these professionals held high-flying jobs and influential posts and had the ear of government. They persuaded ministers that national policy should get women out of their homes and into work. No one, it was clear, should be a full-time mother."

I'm particularly interested in the assertion that this unnamed group of women, directed government policy.  If the subject matter weren't so serious then this and the idea that this is written by someone described as a Research Fellow, would be laughable.

2.  She goes on to describe full-time mothers as 'angry and resentful'. 

Again no research link, no evidence base for any of this, how shall I describe it -  nonsense, I think sums it up best.

The simple fact is that much of government policy on family, welfare, child development and bridging the inequality gap has been driven by sound research and analysis of data collected on a continuous basis by the ONS. (for stats nerds like me, invaluable tool for knowing your local area but that's another story)   

It may serve Ms Odone's career and imminent book release well to incite controversy with this sort of provocative opinion piece but she has nothing of any substance to say.

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