Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig is in hot water over his latest cartoon published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.
The cartoon – which pictures a mum using Instagram on her phone while pushing a pram, not realising that her baby has fallen out of the pram – has received an onslaught of backlash online, with many slamming the cartoonist for “mummy shaming”.
It was accompanied by the following:
“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.”
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Do you find this cartoon offensive? The illustration by Michael Leunig, which was published by The Age on Wednesday, has sparked fierce debate with critics labelling it sexist, condescending and judgemental, while others say it accurately reflects a modern addiction to phones that gets in the way of relationships. • What do you think – does it justifiably point to a social ill or is it undue mum shaming? • There’s a robust debate about it going on in our Facebook group. Look up “What’s Got Melbourne Talking” to join in. • #leunig #leunigcartoons #MichaelLeunig @leunigstudio #Instagram #mum #mums #mumsofinsta #mumsofmelbourne #phones #addiction #modern #digital #digitaldistraction
Commentator Clementine Ford has condemned the work, calling Leunig a “f***ing grong”.
“I bet you never spent hours walking babies around in a pram, feeling isolated and alone and terrified,” she tweeted.
After my bub was born, I walked him around and around for hours in the pram or the carrier trying to get him to sleep. I spent much of that time on my phone. You know why? Because I was fucking WORKING. If you saw me on my phone, I was invariably writing articles in the docs app.
— Clementine Ford 🧟♀️ (@clementine_ford) October 23, 2019
“Leunig is down on mums doing anything but stare adoringly at their babies 24/7. I will never forget the awful, judgmental, finger-wag of a cartoon he did about childcare. This is in that category. Mary Leunig (is she a relation?) did an awesome book on the drudgery of motherhood,” writer Jane Caro added.
Many have labelled the cartoon as ‘baby boomer bullsh*t’, highlighting the difficulties of being a mother and the fear of being judged by strangers.