Skip to main content

Best be a boy? (3 Dec. 2008)

In his article/chapter "Why Males are More Violent," Lloyd DeMause argues that the upbringing of boys is worse than that of girls. He writes, for example: "Mothers may dominate their little girls and expect them to share their troubles, but domination has been found to be far less damaging to the child’s psyche than abandonment and routine distancing." I find this possibility really fascinating. I must admit that I always thought the fact that mothers tend to see the son as an Other, as someone who is not herself, while looking at daughters as parts of herself, was a huge boon for boys. I thought, with mothers looking at their sons as entities that were different from themselves, that it kind of meant that boys, regardless of all other shit, had a greater chance of experiencing themselves as individuated persons. I wonder if it is true that what really tends to happen to boys is that the manner in which their mothers tend to interact with them tend to make them not so much feel individuated from their mothers but make them feel possessions of their mothers (as Lloyd argues). Girls are parts of their mothers; boys are their mothers' possessions. Maybe this summarizes the situation for children of unhealthy mothers. In regards to girls, though: It really does seem true that the reason they take their husband's name is so that they can belong to, be part of, that something else -- a sly way of participating in the boys' experience of difference. That would make marriage and taking the husband's last name not so much about losing one's identity, but a ritual that enables girls to become a greater part of that something -- a man -- which knows what it is to feel separate from a mother. Once they divorce the man and take back their own maiden name -- I think they are then experiencing something of the reapproachment Mahler is talking about.

My mom did that. Taking my dad's name was part of her understandable plot to distance herself from her own mother. Later in life when her own mother moved in with her, I think my mom did react to her as if she was different from her. I think she became her own person. Despite what my mom says and needs to believe, my dad got used in the process, though. No villainy -- just somewhat unhealthy people
possessing that wonderful drive to move beyond insufficient initial surroundings.

I explore the idea of men as a tool toward individuation in a paper of mine: (http://www.scribd.com/doc/3737684/Useful-Object-A-Man-as-the- Means-Toward-Salvation-in-The-Beauty-Queen-of-Leenane-April-2005- Scanned). About Martin McDonagh's sad but brilliant play, ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane. ‘

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

"Life" as political analogy, coming to you via Breitbart News

Immediately after seeing the film, I worked over whether or not the movie works as something the alt-right would produce to alienate us from the left. Mostly the film does work this way  -- as a sort of, de facto, Breitbart production -- I decided, though it's not entirely slam-dunk. There is no disparagement evident for the crew of the space station being a multicultural mix, for instance. Race is not invisible in the film; it feels conspicuous at times, like when the Japanese crew member is shown looking at his black wife on video conference; but the film maker, wherever he was actually raised, seems like someone who was a longtime habitat of a multicultural milieu, some place like London, and likes things that way. But the film cannot convince only as macabre relating to our current fascination with the possibility of life on Mars -- what it no doubt pretends to be doing -- because the idea of “threat” does not permeate this interest at all, whereas it absolutely saturates our …