i thought of posting a single word today. but maybe i’ll leave that word for tomorrow.
today i guess is time to consider something much disputed in this town recently.
family values. No. Traditional Family Values.
we have been recently reminded (please, look at some of the slogans) that there is such a thing as traditional family which apparently has values which have to be protected Or Else. the Else includes versions of divine punishment, doomsday, destruction of the society, alien invasion, ultimate corruption, horrible sin (see divine punishment) and other apocalyptic texts, mixed with real-time promises and highly negative assessments of the work of the relevant ministries.
so. Traditional Family. A male adult human, a female adult human, their offspring. basically this is what is necessary for the humans to propagate: a male and a female. technically one male could have such connections with more than one female, and one female with more than one male, and some do, but that is not the Traditional Way. there are reasons for that: social, cultural, economical, and i will not discuss this further here.
back to the values.
as i cannot get into the heads of the people holding slogans about traditional family values, i will proceed from my own experiences gathered by growing up in a Traditional Family (male adult, female adult, two younger male siblings and i, plus my father’s parents in the same home). i admit it was the 1970s and 80s, some time ago, but we are talking about Traditional Things here, and long ago is more traditional than now, don’t you agree?
so, what values i was taught as a child, in a traditional family.
- shut up and listen to what the adults say
- obedience to the adults
- obedience to the authorities
- silence. what was going on at home, stays there.
- hard work never ends
- animals are more important than children, because animals are not free
- girls should not be too clever and read too much
- don’t kill it, if you are not going to eat it
- bread is holy
- if an adult beats you, it’s your own fault
- be strong and stop that crying (the British ‘stiff upper lip’)
- protect the little ones
- respect the dead.
some of these values, like not talking about what happens at home and similar were dictated by the times and occupation. some are still good, like the holiness of bread and eating what one kills. but some are just… i do not even know how to comment them. Traditional, i guess, like the ban on reading or silences, or obedience, or domestic violence is the fault of the beaten people, and so on. because these values somehow transcend the borders of ethnicity and ages, and keep cropping up. they are often defended by people in authority as they keep that authority alive.
maybe this is one reason why i am single. those values i learned in my tradition family. i would not want to pass them on to the next generation (ok, except that bread is holy, protecting animals is good, and eating what you kill). so either way i would stop the tradition, and the rest is imagination.
i am done with deconstruction for today. i only wish that people with slogans and pristine washed brain would maybe sort out the values they claim to defend. that there would be a value called Caritas, which is the only thing of value to be had and shared. not a black umbrella cutting out a rainbow over the heads of human shapes bigger and smaller. it is strange that in the best of all possible worlds there is so much hatred in the name of love.