A Child Is Born

- Germaine Greer


            The essay ‘A child is born’ is taken from German Greer of books sex and Destiny she is a famous Australian writer as well as female activist. In her essay, she presents a comparision between the parents child relationship in wealthy west and traditional east. The writer also comparatively studies the rituals which are performed by traditional society with the modernized west.

According to writer A child is born in eastern countries due to the social pressure. The married couple faced the comment as well as the suggestion of their society whether they do not like to beget a baby infront of the society they could do nothing but in western society a child is born according to the interest of the married couple. No people pay attention for the issue of the other. In eastern society the pregnancy and child birth are accepted culturally and collectively which helps to lesser down the psychic burden of a pregnant women. During that period she has to follow the certain norms of the socities. The pregnant women is guided by certain tabor and prohibitions. But in the western countries the pregnancy had been received individually by a pregnant women she is guided by the suggestion of doctor. A pregnant women of the eastern countries does not visit the hospital during labour pain. She has believe in the role of destiny but in western countries a pregnant women visit the hospital and gets the help of nurse. The infant and mother mortality rate is greater in eastern countries then west. When a women of eastern countries begets a child , she is helpful by the relatives and the society also celebrates the naming ceremony. To establish her position in the house of her when she becomes mother she feels secure in her new house. But in western countries that doesn’t rule the mind of a women after begetting a baby a women of traditional societies she visits the maternal house. She remains there for 2-3 months. But in western countries the mother has to leave her baby in the child care center and join the job. In traditional society grandparents look after their grandchildren.

Although the western wealthy countries helps to establish the hospitals In eastern countries people of traditional society can not pay the cost of modern medicine. Most of them remain from the hospital culture. In the place when the eccess of hospital and medical, people of eastern countries also have forgotten their culture I.e. culture of caring.

In this way, in eastern socities when a women begets a child she is called by the name of their child but in western countries, the mother is called by her name. Through this, essay the writer shows the difference between a traditional society and a modern society in the matter of pregnancy, child birth and child rearing.What kind of treatment does a woman in Bangladesh receive during her pregnancy and after the childbirth? (2063)

A Bengali woman gets a good treatment before and during her delivery. She is well received in her home before delivering the baby. She is asked, “what do you like to eat? What do you fancy? She is fed good food according to her choice and need. The whole matter of pregnancy is a kind of celebration for the family.

After giving birth to a baby naming ceremony is also celebrated in an ideal way. New cloth is brought for the newborn as well as the mother. A type of religious offering is organized. The old people enjoy the pan and make their mouth bloody. They share jokes and laugh till their satisfaction. They sing songs and dance too.

In this way, a Bengali woman is well received before and after the delivery of the baby. She is sent back to her home after 2 to 3 months of her stay after delivering the baby. So, childbirth is not only a beginning of new life of the mother but of the whole family.

  1. What differences does the writer show between a traditional society and a modern society in matters of childbearing? (2066) Or
  2. Sketch the differences of child bearing in traditional and modern western society. (2066) Or
  3. What differences does the writer show between a traditional society and a modern society in matters of pregnancy, childbirth and childbearing? (2060)

Germaine Greer is a feminist writer. She became lecturer and researched in different places on the topic of sex, women, fertility and change. This piece of writing has been extracted from her book Sex and Destiny. Greer here presents a comparison between the parent-child relationship in the affluent West, and the traditional East. The writer compares the role of children in traditional, agricultural societies with that of children in Western, industrialized countries.

According to Greer, child birth in the traditional East is attended. Husbands also manage the situation playing a significant role. Furthermore, the pregnant woman is supported by the females of the home. In the need they are also supported by the females of the neighbourhood. During the time of labour there are experienced women who support her physically and psychologically to enables her to deliver the baby easily. In addition to it, the woman has to follow certain rules and regulations before, during and after the delivery.

In comparison to the Eastern traditional system, western systems is totally different. Western people are a bit easygoing the information of pregnancy. They share the news of pregnancy and become happy. But their delivery is generally not attended. A woman has to undergo the whole procedure alone. The husband may or may not turn up because he has no works to perform in the hosptital. The pregnant woman is surrounded by the chromium plated modern equipment. In these society, mother’s and child’s mortality rate is very low. The traditional society could not afford these facilities.

In the traditional societies relation between the mother and children is very important. In some societies, the woman is not accepted as a member of family till she gives birth to a child. In some culture, the new mother is well respected. Moreover, the happiness ends in fiestas of singing and dancing. In traditional society, children are raised in group. The writer has presented the case of Bangladesh where children are raised in groups. They are fed, and taken care of in a groupo till they go to bed with their own mothers. In the case of western or modern society, children are raised in day care centers. They are sent to hostels ans schools where meet their parents occasionally.

To sum up, traditional society provides moral support and help to both child and the mother. In modern society deliver is not attended due to the lack of time. Children are raised in the day care centers because both the male and female have to work in an office. Therefore, there are various differences between traditional and modern society in the matter of pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing.

  1. Write in about 100 words about the values held by the traditional Nepali society in which a woman who can not bear children is considered as a failure in her personal life and a useless woman in the eyes of the society. Give your own views on the subject. (2061)

Nepal is a developing country where only 45% of people are educated. There are many social dogmas which is holding our society back. Only 30 percent of the female population was literate in 2005 compared to 65 percent of the males. So, there various social dogmas which are still existing in the Nepalese society.

Infertile woman is also a value held by traditional society of Nepal. The woman who cannot bear children are cursed and hated. They are called a failure and unsuccessful. These woman are also alleged by calling them being the representatives of the bad or evil spirit. In remote areas they are not given access to the source of water. Because of their inability to give birth to a child their husbands go after marrying other woman.

The males of this patriarchal society believe that without bearing sons the parent cannot ascend to the heaven. So, males go after other woman who can bear them a good son. The condition of women who cannot bear any children is far worse than the one who gives birth to a baby girl. At least, they are accepted but still they hanker and allege the woman for the birth of a girl.

In reality, the fertility is neither in the hands or men or women. It is all based on biological system of our reproductive system. So, women have nothing to do with it. If they had the control over pregnancy and fertility they would only bear the sons or according to the need of husbands. But it is not so and after all males are responsible for the conception of a baby. Therefore woman should not be alleged and scolded in her inability to be a mother or bear a son.

In a nutshell, women should not be hated in the matter of her inability to be a mother. Women are the source of creation. They are the epitome of social advancement and the continuation of the whole human race. It is scientifically proven fact that women are not the sole responsible person of her fertility. So, people should be educated to remove such social dogmas from our society.

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