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Related: Mother Mary - father - pregnancy - child

Films: Mommie Dearest (1981) - Y tu Mama Tambien (2001) - Ma Mère (2004)


A mother is typically the biological or social female parent of a child or offspring while the male parent is the father.

In the case of a mammal such as a human, the mother gestates her child (called first an embryo, then a fetus) in the womb from conception until the fetus is sufficiently well-developed to be born. The mother then goes into labour and gives birth. Once the child is born, the mother's breasts produce milk to feed the child.

In non-sexual organisms, "mother" can sometimes be used to mean "parent;" in the case of single-celled organisms that reproduce by fission, the mother is a cell that divides to produce "daughters."

Mothers typically have a very important role in raising children, and the title mother can be given to a woman other than a biological parent who fills this role. This is most commonly either an adoptive parent or a stepmother (the wife of a child's father).

The term can also refer to a person with stereotypical traits of a mother.

In the United States, Australia and Canada mothers are celebrated on the second Sunday in May (which has been called Mother's Day since the late nineteenth century). In France, mothers are celebrated on the last Sunday in May. A similar holiday in the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday, falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Mom, mommy, mama, ma, mummy, and mum are some familiar or colloquial words for a mother. Many times these terms denote affection or a maternal role in a child's life : "anyone can be a mother, but it takes someome special to be a Mum." As such, someone can be a mother and not a mum, or a mum and not a mother.

In contemporary society, single motherhood, the state of an unmarried mother, has become a serious social issue. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother [Aug 2004]

Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All about my Mother - Pedro Almodovar

  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All about my Mother - Pedro Almodovar [Amazon.com]
    After her son is killed in an accident, Manuela (Cecilia Roth) leaves Madrid for her old haunts in Barcelona. She reconnects with an old friend, a pre-op transsexual prostitute named La Agrado (Antonia San Juan), who introduces her to Rosa (Penélope Cruz), a young nun who turns out to be pregnant. Meanwhile, Manuela becomes a personal assistant for Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes), an actress currently playing Blanche DuBois in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. All About My Mother traces the delicate web of friendship and loss that binds these women together. The movie is dedicated to the actresses of the world, so it's not surprising that all the performances are superb. Roth in particular anchors All About My Mother with compassion and generosity. But fans of writer-director Pedro Almodóvar needn't fret--as always, Almodóvar's work undermines conventional notions of sexual identity and embraces all human possibilities with bright colors and melodramatic plotting. However, All About My Mother approaches its twists and turns with a broader emotional scope than most of Almodóvar's work; even the more extravagant aspects of the story are presented quietly, to allow the sadness of life to be as present as the irrepressible vitality of the characters. Almodóvar embraces pettiness, jealousy, and grief as much as kindness, courage, and outrageousness, and the movie is the richer for it. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

    The Mothers (1927) - Robert Briffault

    The Mothers (1927) - Robert Briffault
    [ cover shown here is of the abridged, 1959 edition ]
    image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

    [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Old Fashioned Quality Research
    The three volumes that form this work are an incredible source of information. Briffault, more or less an amateur yet with lots of time on his hands during WW1, went about his study of cultural institutions, rules and taboos like a loving stamp collector. He carefully documented his sources; and therefore his footnotes and bibliography alone make this work a gold mine. That his outlook was refreshingly less patriarchal and judgmental than that of most his colleagues of the time, for example Sir J.G. Frazier and his famous Golden Bough (1922), makes him all the more readable.

    From the Mysteries of Eleusis to tribal fertility dances, from defloration customs to ritual prostitution, from strange marriage ceremonies to circumcision, "The Mothers" is a major source for "Dirty Laundry" from all over the globe. --http://www.yoniversum.nl/blissbooks/review/briffmother.html [Mar 2005]

    Robert Briffault, novelist, social anthropologist, and surgeon, was born in Nice, France in 1876. He was educated at the University of Dunedin and Christ Church University and began medical practice in 1901 in New Zealand. In May 1896 he married Anna Clarke; the couple had three children, Lister, Muriel, and Joan, born from 1897 to 1901. After service on the Western Front during World War I, he settled in England, his wife having died. In the late 1920s he married again, to Herma Hoyt (1898-1981), an American writer and translator, best known for her English translations of modern French literature. The Brifffaults became clients of the literay agent William Bradley and were befriended by his wife, Jenny. Briffault is the author of several books, including The Mothers (1927) and Europa (1935). He died in Hastings, Sussex, England on 11 December 1948. --http://library.mcmaster.ca/archives/findaids/fonds/b/briffaul.htm [Mar 2005]

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