All and sundry have had their say on Mark Latham’s AFR column on parenthood and feminism. The bitter, stupid and one-dimensional rant suggests Latham is utterly out of juice. Maybe he should take a step back for a few years and reload. He’s got the money for it, after all — lifelong parliamentary super that gives him the luxury to parent without working.

As Latham writes, “Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?” Why, indeed.

But there is one important matter in what is otherwise another performance of Latham’s bitterness towards the inner-urban woman: as regards mothering, depression, anti-depressants and class, he’s dead wrong.

Anti-depressant use among women isn’t greater in higher socio-economic status areas, it’s the reverse. Maternal depression isn’t more common among urban lefties than among working-class mothers, it’s the reverse. The upshot? There are a lot of mothers in western Sydney doing it very tough indeed, and if Latham is genuine in his concern for the people of that area, he’ll take that on board.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey