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‘Blatant mummy shaming’: Outrage over controversial Leunig cartoon

Image: Michael Leunig/The Age

A controversial cartoon by The Age cartoonist Michael Leunig has sparked debate after suggesting that some mothers love their phones more than their children.

The cartoon, published on Wednesday, depicts a mother pushing a pram while looking at her phone, and her baby on the ground behind her.

It is accompanied by a poem:

Mummy was busy on Instagram

When beautiful bubby fell out of the pram

And lay on the path unseen and alone

Wishing that he was loved like a phone.

Parenting writer Nama Winston dubbed the cartoon “blatant mummy shaming”.

“It might have been funny as a cartoon alone, but the poem that went with it, that basically said ‘if only the child was loved as much by the mother as the phone’, I think that was the real issue,” she told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“It’s just blatant mummy shaming and mobile phone shaming, and it’s just unnecessary.”

Ms Winston said mothers could be using their phone for anything, and assuming the phone is a distraction is not constructive.

“In this day and age, 2019, there’s so much that is on your phone that is not a distraction as such, it’s work,” she said.

“When you see a mother on her phone in public, and so-called ignoring her child, you don’t know what she’s actually doing on her phone, and most mothers I know use Instagram for work as well.

“There’s email, there’s parenting group chats about things that are happening at school, there’s sport, there’s carpools, there are so many other things.

“Before smartphones you weren’t expected to be constantly available and to respond immediately.

“It was just a direct jab at mum, really.”

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