Thursday, January 20, 2011

Suicide Is Painless

The book by Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has been getting a lot of press in the last few weeks. The premise (I haven't read it) seems to be that Chua is a strict mother in large part due to her cultural background which produces smarter children. I love when books on motherhood are published -- no subject can people as upset or righteously indignant. I have no children so I'm conveniently out of the fray as they say, but alas, I do watch with amazement at how women beat themselves and each other up over this subject. My own mother could be classified as an interesting mother. Those who have read this blog for some time have heard the stories. She went by the dictates of Dr. Spock (not the Vulcan for the Trekkies out there, but the 70s doctor who wrote to mothers that they already instinctively knew how to raise children which garnered him millions in sales -- let's face it, there's nothing better than reading about something when someone tells us we're okay!) and her own strange brew of good old fashioned crazy. This technique worked out fine. She didn't disallow sleepovers like Ms. Chua (until the neighbor girl took a shit on the bedroom carpet which sucked some of the joy out of the enterprise), she didn't encourage me and my sister to enroll in endless lessons to hone our skills (I forced myself to every extra-curricular activity I did -- the end result? I can play the theme song to Mash, "Suicide Is Painless" on a clarinet), or sweat the small stuff or the large stuff. Guess what? We're both relatively functional adults.

What's the best way to oppress women? Put the oppressor in their own damn heads and let them spin. Let other women analyze shoes, hair, body hair, mothering technique, and sluttiness levels and judge. Men who give not one shit about much of the above (I've never had a man say, Those Prada loafers are so last year or Women should cut their hair when they get to a certain age). Men are free to watch television and drink while we engage in the ultimate Steel Cage Death Match with each other for our souls.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. " Benjamin Spock

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: The Fighter

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Charles Gramlich said...

Men and women both are often only too happy to contribute to their own control.

the walking man said...

Oh I do so love the occasional cat fight dahling! ha ha ha ha I though you ARE my mommy? Will you be?

jodi said...

Hi Doll, I try NOT to buy into the bullshit, but I fear it's as natural a thing as motherhood itself. Spock was right. Or as they say up north, 'she just took to it--like a cow to cud!' Charming, huh? xo

Scott said...


I can't imagine any book preparing one for motherhood, or fatherhood, for that matter... advice would be nice, but I would think that it's a woods that one has to navigate themselves...not that I would know for sure, because the only kids I have are the 4-legged variety. I am tired of the whole mother tiger/mama grizzly bullshit I hear in the media lately, though.

nina said...

The sad part about motherhood today is that there are expectations and you must fit, otherwise a new mother became a failure. I was first time mother when I was 19. What did I know? I use only my intuition by raising my children. And if I would have to do it over again I’ll do it the same way. Every person is unique, every mother is unique. If I had to give an advice, listen to your heart.