Thursday, January 16, 2014

Toy Dinosaurs, Guns, Moms, and Shrinks

Vered Benhorin has one of the sadder columns I have read lately, on her reaction to her son's acting like a boy:
I woke up this morning to my nearly 5-year-old son, his big blue eyes close to mine, saying "Mama! Let's play!"...He told me the rules: "My dinosaurs have superpowers and yours don't. Mine find yours and then kill them with their power!" That woke me up.

I wondered if I should say something to him about killing -- again. I tried to redirect the violence in the play by having my dinosaurs offer friendship and joint living in a cave. He didn't bite. "No! they are not friends! OK mama? OK?" "OK," I said, in resignation. Because at that moment, it felt like I had lost that battle.

What happened to my gentle little boy who would cradle his dolls if they happened to fall on the ground? Where is the boy who would never consider the possibility of intentionally hurting another
That little boy never existed. The good doctor has apparently been living in a fantasy world for some years now.

Children are vicious savages, and it is parents' responsibility to raise them from savagery though barbarism to at least entry level civilization before setting them loose upon the world.
Guns first showed up last year. Amidst his love affair with Mary Poppins and Annie, he also started asking about weapons. He wanted me to cut a gun out of cardboard so he could take it to school. Mortified, I imagined his teachers' reactions when they saw it.
Funny thing: I got yelled at by my kindergarten (or perhaps 1st grade teacher- it was a long time ago) when I forgot to bring my three real Civil War swords BACK to school for the class play. I was mortified at my forgetfulness.
We talked about how guns are best used for protection, only by those whose job it is to protect -- the police, the army.
For practical purposes, that belief puts Mom/shrink firmly on the side of forcible rapists and other violent criminals. Whether by legal prohibition or simply social sanction, those who would stop potential victims from having the means of self-defense are squarely on the violent criminals' side: they would disarm the victims while the predators run free.
At just the mention of guns, I feel a wave of sadness and despondence. I think about school shootings, accidental shootings in homes with guns, and wars.
That is exactly how the rapists and murderers and their enablers want you to feel.
He mentions guns and I wonder where I went wrong. I feel as though the future is bleak and full of pain and war, and I couldn't do anything to help, not even raise a mensch. In those moments, I don't allow him to be him.
As others have said, Dr Benhorin seems to think of her son as a defective girl. What does that attitude make of women who carry guns with which to shoot rapists?
And then the doozy hit at dinner. What does he want for his fifth birthday? A light saber! Lego Chima! Sword! Stay calm.
So sad. He wants to be a boy, and Momma is sickened by it.

No matter what small attempts she makes at covering up her feeling, this little kid seems to me likely to grow up knowing that his mother is horrified by his core being, and never be happy with himself. No mention of a father. Was Mom inseminated by a pajama clad, cocoa sipping, 29 year old boy who never moved into his parents' basement because he never moved out of his bedroom?

More here.

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