Response to seabeyond (Reply #5)
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:15 PM
lumberjack_jeff (27,628 posts)
6. I had two main areas of disagreement with this article.
In a culture which holds the two-parent patriarchal family in higher esteem than any other arrangement, all children feel emotionally insecure when their family does not measure up to the standard.
Perhaps children feel emotionally insecure when they lack a parent who understands them; was once a girl (or boy) like me.
One of the most mixed-up girls I know was raised by a single father whom I hold in very high regard for his parenting skills. In contrast, his son (the daughter's twin brother) is a fine young man who just joined the Navy. I know that he did his best parenting, but for her it wasn't enough. I see the mirror image of this in many single mom households, but because they are so much more common, the phenomenon of mixed up boys ubiquitous.
A utopian vision of the patriarchal family remains intact despite all the evidence which proves that the well-being of children is no more secure in the dysfunctional male-headed household than in the dysfunctional female-headed household. Children need to be raised in loving environments. Whenever domination is present love is lacking. Loving parents, be they single or coupled, gay or straight, headed by females or males, are more likely to raise healthy, happy children with sound self-esteem. In future feminist movement we need to work harder to show parents the ways ending sexism positively changes family life. Feminist movement is pro-family. Ending patriarchal domination of children, by men or women, is the only way to make the family a place where children can be safe, where they can be free, where they can know love.
Why compare the dysfunctional to the dysfunctional? Besides, every family is functional to some degree. We should aim for the optimal, not rationalize our families as not quite as dysfunctional as the neighbors.
I can tell you, as a man who was once a boy, and who now has now raised 3 sons, that they need to be encouraged to explore, but that the boundaries on that exploration need to be unambiguous. And I strongly disagree (and now that 2 of the three sons are grownups, they agree) those boundaries are not evidence that love is absent. "Domination"? Kind of a loaded word, but in my household, the parents are the boss, and in retrospect, the now-grown kids express appreciation.
I strongly doubt that the skills I have (and have learned) raising boys are very portable to raising daughters.
BTW, I don't think I told you that the eldest got married on Saturday.
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