Why a book on the history of motherhood? Does it help to know how children were washed, what room they slept in, and how they were fed? Just as historical events have been the way they have been, in part, because of how our mothers have cared for us, so too will future events be the way they will be, in part, because of how today’s mothers care for them. In Maternalias, Cira Crespo carries out a humanistic analysis of the history of motherhood from the beginnings of culture to the present day, telling untold stories, looking beneath the obvious and showing the ignored. Stories based on vocabulary evidence and art evidence: The term ‘motherhood’ has moved from meaning in the 9th century “native land” to today’s “state or quality of mother” (the already mother, not the pregnant woman). As for artistic representations, we have gone from the Paleolithic Venuses (the first symbolic images represented by humans at a time when male images were practically non-existent) to the current image of the pregnant woman and “all-rounder” mother: hard-working, fit, beautiful, sexually attractive… who goes from containing her child in her womb to recovering “her life” as soon as possible. And those times of religious domination of denial and even prohibition of images considered impudent or of “scandalous beauty”. In the exercise of motherhood, throughout history, precious spaces have been built on the basis of collaboration, love, attachment, solidarity and learning. Don’t you think that all of this is essential for a better future?
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