Wednesday, March 07, 2018

On school shootings, gender roles

The video in question was posted by Matt Kibbe, but it was actually Warren Farrell speaking. Just a cursory look at him shows some poor thinking on gender roles, but I am still kind of appalled by the outright lie and the certainty with which it is presented. I will therefore not link to the video, because it has already gotten too much attention.

My first reaction was being taken aback by the wrong information, but after that I noticed something in the phrasing. Boys being deprived often starts with divorce, but then there is that number of women under 30 who are choosing to raise children without the involvement of fathers. That thread also had a comment about how mothers always want to nurture their kids and can't discipline. A different but related thread had a comment about how there was no such thing as toxic masculinity, at least not before feminism started damaging men.

Let me just say that there is enough to unpack there that I am not going to get it all in this post. That's okay; I have blogging material for months.

My second reaction to all of this was that even though the theoretical problem is being stated as the lack of fathers - with an appeal to rise to the occasion and be caring and attentive fathers - there is just a whiff there of blaming the women.

It reminded me of back when most problems were ascribed to refrigerator mothers, and any that weren't were because the mothers were smothering. The convenient thing there is that the incorrect mothering behaviors were exact opposites, where achieving the proper balance would be practically impossible, therefore you are safe in assuming it is the mother's fault. Mothers and motherhood were reverenced in general, but any specific problems were her fault.

(I guess that was a pretty sweet position for men, so any displacement of that by feminism could feel really damaging, though it's odd that people who believe that are so quick to label others snowflakes.)

This current whiff of single mother shaming stuck out more because I had recently read something about the blame that gets ascribed to single mothers on government programs with a reminder on how often those single mothers were underage and preyed on by older men who then abandoned the child and the mother. There are women who consciously decide not to postpone motherhood due to a lack of a partner, but that is not the only thing happening.

For those women, they should think carefully about having adequate support for their children and themselves - financial and emotional - but that actually leads to where I recognized another lie. Call that my third reaction.

Children of homosexual parents, including sons of lesbian mothers, often do very well. Sometimes they appear to be doing better than their peers born into heterosexual couples.

I know, a lot of people are going to want to reject that result for moral reasons. Remember, though, the greater point of this set of posts, in that we want to look at facts and make decisions based on them. Why might one get results like that? (Beyond liberal bias determined to disrupt all that is holy and good.)

I am going to go out on a limb and guess that in the LGBTQIA community, there are far fewer unplanned pregnancies than those experienced by heterosexuals. Is it possible that deciding that you want a child and going over what is needed and how to make that happen could result in a more stable home? Could that be a good thing?

Now, let's build on that. If planned parenthood is better, are there ways that we can help make that more common? For example, would it help to make sex education and birth control readily available?

Sometimes it is easy to get cause and effect reversed. Two opposite-sex parents with good values might raise wonderful children, but if there is economic stress it is harder to hold that family together. If you want to support that family model, shouldn't you support family-wage jobs? (Instead of believing that both parents holding multiple jobs is fine Mitt Romney.) If parental involvement is important, a world where parents can support their children without working eighty hours a week seems important.

I believe that a loving and supportive father can do a lot of good. I also know an abusive father can inflict a lot of damage. Should the mother stay in an abusive situation to prevent an absent father? Because sometimes mothers get jailed for not leaving and stopping the abuse, regardless of the amount of abuse the mother absorbed herself.

And of course, if she does leave and becomes a single mother working 80 hour weeks just to keep them alive, is the problem that the father isn't there, or is it that we don't have a society that supports people?

I get irritated when people say wrong stuff and stupid stuff, but there are worse effects than irritation. There are policies that leave people lonely and desperate and dead. Please let's be better than that.

It can start with less worry about "family values" and more emphasis on valuing families of all kinds, and individuals of all kinds.

Look, if you are coming to your family values from a Christian point of view, the answer is always going to be love. Not judgment, or amassing wealth, but love.

I've checked.

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