Over on the Telegraph's comment section, Mary Riddell contemplates bringing up baby - whether it is best left in the hands of highly trained state employees or partially trained state employees.
When poor children are left with cheap, inadequate minders, the double disadvantage may cause lasting harm. Human futures are forged in the first months: fear and stress can damage an infant brain almost as reliably as an adult fist. Researchers viewing CAT scans of the key emotional areas of a neglected child's brain have described looking into a black hole.
I'd argue that it doesn't matter whether the child is from a poor family or a wealthy family I expect the damage caused by bad child care is the same. It's interesting, though, that just about the only option that doesn't appear as realistic to someone like Riddell is bringing up baby in a stable, loving, two parent family held together by the bonds of love and marriage.
The reason is, I suspect, that the Riddells of this world can't get past the feminist mantra of "what is in it for me?" - which is why her article focuses on what is best for mothers (in her opinion) rather than what is best for the child.
There is no doubt that the best environment for a child to be brought up in consists of a husband and wife living together with one of the parents working to provide finance while the other stays at home to look after the child and the house - and that in most cases it is best if it is the mother that looks after the child and home simply because they tend to do it better.
Is this sexist? No -it's realist. Contrary to the feminist myth that this system was deliberately developed by man to oppress women it is in fact a system that developed as a natural response to the needs of humankind. I read a piece by Trevor Phillips yesterday in which he got all sniffy at something Churchill said about men tilling the soil and cherishing their women - as if that were a bad thing! - but this is how things should be.
The myth continues with the assertion that the father ruled the household with a rod of iron - which he used liberally on both the missus and the kids - and that this was particularly true in poor homes. While it may have been true in a minority of cases (and still not acceptable), the reality was that most homes were ruled by the women. It was women who controlled the purse strings and women who made the major decisions relating to the home and family. The role of the father was to earn the money and provide support to the mother's decisions in the event of argument.
This is how it was in my house and how it was in the vast majority of homes during the forties, fifties, sixties and into the seventies. It was in the seventies when feminism really took hold that women were told to "empower" themselves - the result of which has been the complete opposite of empowerment. Women are now less free in their choices than they ever were.
Before feminism there were plenty of women who enjoyed lifestyles that the feminists claimed was the right of every woman - but the truth is that they already had that choice anyway. Women already went to university, had careers, chose not to have children and all the other things that feminists demanded - but the fact is that the vast majority of women didn't want these things.
Their aspirations were to get married to a decent man with a decent job, have kids and bring them up in a nice house - and that remains the same today for millions of women. The difference feminism made was to tell these women that they MUST NOT do that for that was betraying the "sisterhood".
The real myth is that this is what women wanted when the reality is that very few of them really did - but faced with mounting propaganda and pressure from the sisterhood they felt compelled to comply with the demands of feminism. It is this that has resulted in women being more enslaved than they ever were. They are wage slaves forced to work so that they and their partner/husband can afford the home for their kids, or they are slaves to the welfare state to provide the money they need to live with their multiple offspring from multiple fathers.
Forty years of feminism has been a disaster for women, children and society. Funnily enough, for men it has been a boom time with less motivation for commitment, fewer demands on their earnings, more control over their own lives and easy access to conscience and consequence free sex.
Women have been sold a lie by feminists like Riddell. It's time they stopped listening to them.