McCracken: Motherhood is only one of unlimited options

To the Editor:

The Observer’s May 6 Opinion page is topped with a (three-column-wide, 6-inch tall) Piper cartoon of a single rose and the attributes of perfect mothers, followed by another Glenn Mollette column, “Celebrate Mother’s Day, May 12,” and finally the guest editorial, “We cannot forget those who served.” What a trio.

Forget the maudlin platitudes about mothering. They are not what many experience as children or attain as mothers. Mothering for most species requires willingness to sacrifice your life for your offspring. Most species are hard-wired for that.

Parenting in our society is demanding, varied and complicated. I have occasionally told my students that their parents are probably doing the best that they can and that they do love them, regardless of how it appears. The job description for mothering reads like the Piper cartoon — patient, brave, loyal, understanding, unselfish — for the rest of your life. Coincidentally perhaps the very qualities that make “good wives.”

The Observer could have asked a woman to write an Opinion page about motherhood. For most generations, women had few options: join a religious group, clean and cook for others, stay home and care for aging parents, become a prostitute. Other jobs were not considered women’s work.

As history shows, becoming a mother for lack of other options contributes to poor parenting. Limited options/opportunities for girls deprived society of half of its potential contributions in every endeavor and field. Fortunately, times have changed radically since I was a girl. Now, girls can dream big. Girls can follow those dreams. Motherhood is one of unlimited options.

I thanked my mother for her full devotion to mothering us, although her life may well have been more satisfying personally doing other things. Her example helped me realize there were other things I’d rather do with my life. She understood.

“We cannot forget those who served” is the title of the article about forgotten remains of soldiers from World War I and since. Nice juxtaposition. Mothers should raise children surrounded in love. Then the government sends them to war and has to be reminded not to forget their remains. The media is not allowed to cover children returning in boxes from wars. Too upsetting? Would it cause people to question and resist our government going to war without congressional consent? War is a huge money maker for the 1%.

Honor is particularly due to mothers today guiding the next generation to become the change we so desperately need.

Mary McCracken

Island City

Ogier: Consider national security implications of climate change

To the Editor:

In 2015 the U.S. Defense Department released a 14-page report on the national security implications of climate change underlining the importance of acknowledging that it’s happening now, and identifying the associated international and national security risks. The security risk stems from degraded living conditions, human security and the inability of governments to meet the basic needs of populations.

Climate change will have huge implications for our national security interests over the foreseeable future by aggravating existing problems of poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions that threatens domestic stability in a number of countries. The acknowledgment of how climate change affects ongoing security should stun everyone.

Oregon can begin to address the climate crises we face by passing House Bill 2020. The Oregon Climate Action Program it establishes would target only the largest climate polluters in the state which, for too long, have been allowed to fill our atmosphere with greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s band together to address what the Pentagon calls our greatest national security threat. I urge you to read this report and then immediately call or email your local representatives to urge their support for House Bill 2020. For more information visit

Vanessa Ogier

Grants Pass