Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feminist mother and son

Think of what feminists commonly believe:

1. Differences between men and women are not natural but exist because of the patriarchy.

2. Under the patriarchy the male is the human default setting, the female is therefore not thought to be fully human.

3. White males uphold the patriarchy to defend their privilege at the expense of women and people of colour.

If you were a woman and you really believed these things, would it not complicate your relations with men? Is it not possible that you would feel negatively toward men as a class?

Enter Polly Dunning. She is a third generation feminist (her mother is the feminist commentator Jane Caro). In a column for the Sydney Morning Herald she writes of how conflicted she felt when she learned that she was carrying a boy child rather than a girl:
I had never wanted a son. I wanted daughters...This seemed altogether to fit in with my feminism better. It was more comfortable to me. But when the sonographer pointed out my son's dangly bits in our 19-week scan, it was clear that I was going to raise a son. The anxious feeling I had about this daunting prospect lasted a few weeks as I came to terms with why I felt the way I did and how I could let it go.

There were two parts to the feeling: I had to mourn the life I thought I was supposed to have...and I had to come to terms with having a relationship with a son that I had never really considered. There were dark moments in the middle of the night (when all those dark thoughts come), when I felt sick at the thought of something male growing inside me.

The bolded part was noticed by a number of media outlets and seems now to have been edited (replaced by "when I felt sick with worry thinking about how I would go about raising a son.")

So what's a feminist to do? How do you reconcile the ideology with mothering a son? Polly Dunning's solution is the gruesome one of subjecting her son to a kind of feminist cleansing process:
In this patriarchal world, this world where even the best men (and women, for that matter) engage in casual and ingrained sexism, how will I raise a son who respects me the way a daughter would? Who sees women as just like him? As just human beings?

...People are constantly telling me "boys are easier" to raise (casual and ingrained sexism, anyone?), but I think they are much harder. How do you raise a white, middle-class boy not to think his own experience is the default experience of the world?

How do you counter a society that makes things easier for him than for others, and make him see it? See how it is for women, for people of colour?

Raising a boy who maintains the status quo sure would be easy, but I refuse to be satisfied with that. I will raise a feminist boy. Just like his father and grandfathers before him, but even better. I will point sexism out to him at every turn, and he will never get away with it without being called out. I will show him that girls are just people like him and that products and art targeted at them are no less valuable or enjoyable. He will be immersed in feminism by a family who models it in their everyday life.

She wants a son who will respect her, even as she points out his sexism and privilege at every turn. I don't like her chances. I know some feminist mothers and the usual result is an exasperated son who is "shorter" with his mother than boys usually are.

Polly Dunning is likely to love her son and repel him in equal measure.

8 comments:

  1. If she hates men (as a sex) so much, then why is she having children? For that matter, why did she have a man's child? Was she artificially inseminated?
    With such a hateful mother who is so biased, bigoted, and potentially abusive, I see NOTHING good in this poor boy's future; she should be more merciful to him and have him aborted.

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    1. It will either destroy him or make him stronger. As I wrote in the post, it's not unusual for sons to have feminist mothers. There's one I know who has coped really well with it - he has had to become his own man who has pursued a 'get me out of here' life plan. He is unusually focused for someone his age. He has completely rejected his mother's feminism.

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  2. She sounds like a potential child abuser. In a healthy society that edited comment would be a national scandal and people would be questioning why we need these feminist nutjobs in positions of influence.

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  3. Mr. Richardson

    How do Feminists do it?

    They have created a social movement, a political ideology and a mental illness all in one place!

    Truly amazing.

    Mark Moncrieff
    Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

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    1. How do Feminists do it?

      They have created a social movement, a political ideology and a mental illness all in one place!


      The mental illness angle is a big part of it. When you believe you're being persecuted by a mysterious shadowy organisation like the Patriarchy that's pretty much a text book definition of mental illness. I've never met a feminist I could truly describe as sane.

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    2. They have created a social movement, a political ideology and a mental illness all in one place!

      Funny you should note this. I was in a bookshop yesterday and saw a copy of Clementine Ford's book. I read about five pages of it and had to put it down - I couldn't take any more of it. It was like reading the innermost thoughts of someone trying to convince themselves that they were not mentally unwell. Every paragraph read much the same: "Men hate us, want to kill us and rape us, the whole system leaves us unable to function, on the verge of breakdown, but when we complain about this we are told that we are being dramatic/paranoid, but we're not crazy, it's the world that makes us like this....."

      Later that day I looked through some reviews and discovered that Clementine Ford has, in fact, battled with mental ill health.

      And yet these are the types of women published in leading newspapers as representatives of their sex.

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    3. Later that day I looked through some reviews and discovered that Clementine Ford has, in fact, battled with mental ill health.

      The link between mental illness and feminism is one of the things we're not supposed to notice.

      We're also not supposed to notice that a huge proportion of lesbians are in fact mentally ill. And of course we're not supposed to notice that all transgender/transexuals suffer from mental illness.

      There is nothing normal about feminism, lesbianism or the trans people. These are simply symptoms of underlying mental illness.

      In many cases the medications, especially the SSRI antidepressants, make them worse. A good deal of the madness we see in our society is a result of SSRIs.

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  4. Without a firm anchor in Truth, men have been overwhelmed by feminism and have submitted -- in utter bewilderment they have relinquished their authority. Without Truth, they are in no position to instruct the ignorant (themselves included) -- and are helpless to protect their children.

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