“I don’t think your father is feeling very well,” my mother says to me.
“Yes, I noticed,” I reply. “That’s why I had him sit while I pushed you though the mall.
“But after 55 years with you, he knows that if he shares his feelings you will respond as if they are all about you, so he has learned to be, in his words, stoic, and I can’t get him to actually tell me how he feels.
“It would be much easier to help him if he learned how to open up rather than be affirmmed in shutting down, but hell, too late now.”
Mty mother loves the judge shows, and her favourite is probably Judge Joe Brown.
He was hectoring a woman today who was complaining about the no-good father of her children, telling her that the problem was men whose mothers didn’t set proper expectations of what a man must be from the very beginning.
His lesson to the mothers who have issues with men is that they have their mothers to blame for bringining up a generation of boys who never learned to be men, and that they have to, from the earliest moments, teach their sons how to act like a man, teach the obligations of manhood.
Oy. I love gender, the system of communication societies use to regulate reproduction and child rearing by enforcing gendered roles, and I agree that, like taking anything apart without understanding the function, we have broken it pretty badly.
I’m just not at all sure a reactionary course is the way to deal with the problem. People — male female and otherwise — need to be responsible with and for their reproductive organs, responsible for what use of those organs creates, be that craziness, children or both.
Kids need to be taught that the role of the parent is sacred and is directly linked to any use of reproductive organs, that’s true.
But just telling mothers to man up their sons?
I think that’s not really thought though deep enough.