Thursday, April 06, 2006

Is Society in your house, too?

Do you let Society dictate your every move? Ladies, do you let Society predicate whether or not you shave your legs? Wear make-up? Have pretty hair? Or whether or not you wear cornrows or dreads? Guys, do you let Society tell you only one ear is the *appropriate* one to have pierced and that having both is a big social no-no? How about the length of your hair? Or whether or not you wear cornrows or dreads? Ladies and guys, do you let Society deem you a failure in parenthood when your child doesn't end up like s/he's supposed to (with the suppositions being defined as what Society deems appropriate of course)?

If you have said yes to any of the above, you need to kick Society from out yo' house, fer real!

"Societal guilt" is not a true form of guilt. You are only feeling that way because Society says you should.

(If Peanut were to rape and/or murder a woman (hell, if he were to ever violently touch another living thing), I would not feel like I failed as a parent because I'd be too busy being pissed off and trying to kill his ass before the State could. I think, honestly, I'd feel bad because of who he hurt and what those persons might think of me than Society as a whole. 'Cause again, Society doesn't live in my house. And FTR, rape/murder cannot even come remotely close to being compared to failing grades.)

But what if your child fails high school? What if s/he failed 10th grade due only to their lack of completing the necessary work that would garner the good grades needed to pass? You tried grounding her/him, you've tried taking precious extras such as the internet and the beloved car and still there have been no improvements.

At what point should blaming yourself for her/his failures be "Societal guilt" vs. "personal guilt"? And is it fair to let Society in your house when they don't live there every damned day to be a fair judge of a parent's failure?

Because if you let Society in, that's ignoring the real problem and, like white guilt, only blaming yourself when someone brings it to your attention.

I remember when my friend L. thought something was wrong with her because she only felt bad for lying when she got caught. I laughed and laughed because hell, isn't that the way most of us feel? We tend to feel bad not for lying as an act of willful insolence, but specifically because we got caught. When we get away with it, do we feel bad? Nope. (Okay, not always.)

Feeling guilty that your child failed high school only because Society might view you as a bad parent isn't being honest and is allowing Society in your house where they shouldn't be. Feeling bad because, on a more personal level you are feeling guilty for somehow not doing what you thought a parent should to help your child accomplish what goals might have deemed worthy in their adolescence is perhaps more appropriate.

As parents', we are responsible for these little beings called kids. It is our responsibility to make sure they don't fuck up the world when they get older and capable of living a viable, responsible life of their own so I can certainly understand the implications from such a failure.

However, at the age of 15/16, your child is now a teenager and clear on their way to becoming a young adult. They are old enough to understand the consequences of their actions, or lack thereof. At 17, they are well aware of the world around them and more so that they are not in its immediate center; the world stops for no one as the cliché goes.

(What is also interesting to note, is that if I were to let Society in my house, I would have re-married already or never divorced to begin with so that Peanut would have a positive male role model so as not to end up like some asshole in jail when between the ages of 15-24.)

So kick Society out of your house and tell it to, "Hit the road Jack and doncha come back no more!" Tell 'em I said so if you have to, I'll take the blame!

(Note: It's okay to complain about Society in your house 'cause Lord knows I do, but it's not okay to let them rule your life.)