Monday, May 24, 2021

Who do you say I am? A multicultural question.

 In the USA, we define ourselves by our jobs. So I identified myself not by my family or my husband, but by my job, as a physician. This put me into context in a society where work is the focus of life.

This has all sorts of implications to society: Losing a job is a big thing that is more than losing a paycheck: it is devestating to the ego, mainly for the breadwinner i.e. men, but also nowadays for women: because the feminist movement stressed working was important.

Before feminism, women in the USA saw themselves as part of their nuclear family, and were valued as mothers and wives: the saying went "As American as motherhood and apple pie". Women did work back then, but it was usually secondary to being married, or sometimes for single women, secondary for a woman caring for her elderly parents.

 But now with easy divorce, sex outside of marriage being allowed, abortion if you are pregnant and your lover decides to dump responsibility, etc. women are sort of forced to be breadwinners. Luckily, service jobs, where women predominate, have not been hit as hard with unemployement.

Yet biologically, women have caring for others and motherhood in their DNA: as Edith Stein's lectures on feminism noted, women in the work place still approached their work in a different, feminine way, bringing the gift of femininity and mother hood to their jobs. (something that has been documented in medical circles, by the way, when they compared the way women doctors work vs the way male doctors worked. Empathy matters.).

well, anyway, GetReligion blog has an article about this article where a feminist who decided to become a mother who was attacked en mass by the RedGuard of the Twittermob.

more HERE.

the articles and the twitter storm are mainly about the hostility of feminism against motherhood and marriage (something noted by Betty Frieden in this 1972 NTT article).

But why? 

Because mother hood is about others, not yourself.

One of the things they don’t tell you about having babies is that you don’t ever have a baby; you have your baby, which is, to you, the ur-baby, the sum of all babies. The moment they laid her damp rosy body on my chest, I knew she would envelop my world.

How dare mother nature (/s) tell me how to act, cry the frustrated feminists who then wonder why they are so unhappy. 

It's the hormones, stupid.

Or maybe blame evolution: without the feeling of love, who would put up with the mess of caring for a newborn?

All of this would be normally recognized by anyone in Grandmom's generation, but now to say this is taboo, even though there are biological, anthropological, societal, and biochemical reasons behind this ("follow the science"?).

But this negative comment on the commentary piece is what I find most ironic:

Journalist Aura Bogado had one of the odder takes: “I’m troubled by . . . Elizabeth Bruenig’s white extinction anxiety, which [in my opinion] informs their shared fixations on immigrant/Latina/Mexican motherhood. I wish publications hired Latina critics and opinion writers. For now, everything is about us… yet without us”.

Actually, she is right, but probably not in the way she thinks (i.e. this comment is about accusing the poor mom for being racist). 

You see, in Hispanic culture, as in Filipino culture, and the culture of many immigrant communities, one defines oneself as part of one's family. And not just the "nuclear"family, but as part of the extended family.

and this idea is ignored in the discussion: indeed, one suspects that those upper middle class "karens" criticizing the poor lady don't even recognize this concept.

If you ask a traditional African who he is, he will tell you the name of his parents and family. In the IHS, we often had to cooperate with extended family to get care for our patients. 

Here in the Philippines, when asked who I am, I reply with explanations of my husband and his family, who are an important family here in our town. That allows strangers to fit me into where I belong in our community, where friends and clan links are important.

This short clip is Greek, but also could explain how marriage into a Hispanic or Filipino or other immigrant culture is about marrying into a family.

The great divide is not just religion, but culture: and a lot of the problems in the USA (homelessness, drug use, out of wedlock families) are because of modern culture changes that work against the family: and even "remedies" such as cheap child care supplements are implemented because of the emphasis is on individuals, not in keeping family strong.

So no one discusses the main problem: That low wages and sending blue collar jobs overseas make it impossible to get a well paying job, so both parents have to work to get by, that an emphasis on "stuff" make it hard to be content with less, and that a lot of divorce is because of money problems, and because both parents are just plain worn out at the end of the day.

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