Jan 27, 2009

Conflict, Cougars, Chauvenists and Mothers-in-laws

Some of my recent published articles on Carrie&Danielle have provoked some strong responses and arguments from readers with different points of view. Surely that is my role as a writer - to provoke thought and even action - and I've enjoyed the back&forth mutual learning process. Check out the comments that follow these articles:
  • A review of cougar movies, exploring the double-standard of why it's OK (in movies) for older women to deflower underage boys but not vice-versa. It was pointed out quite strongly (and correctly) that with the exception of underage targets, the double-standard is actually that older men are accepted and expected and celebrated for dating younger women, whereas it's the older women who are defamed as "cougars."
  • Real Men Like Women Who Change Their Names - I was exploring my own double-standard - why I would be unwilling to change my name but was happy when Sarah unexpectedly (and without being pressured or expected to) chose to adopt my family name. I was still basically called a chauvinist.
  • Popcorn and a Movie - My rather strong opposition to violent movies was met with an equally strong defense of society's enjoyment, fascination, and (allegedly) need to see such violence on screen. I had to call in my eloquent friend Dr. Robert Arjet, who did his dissertation on violence in movies, to tie it all together with his final comment.
The article I expected more reaction to was a rather tongue-in-cheek listing of Ways to be a Dysfunctional Son-in-Law. Behind the attempt at humour was an honest acknowledgment that we children often take our parents for granted, rather than honouring and nurturing the relationship as we would any other friendship.

Maybe we're just spoiled by their unconditional love to think that we don't have any responsibilities or reciprocation. Reality is, if you're lucky like me, you've got a mother and a mother-in-law who are both magical with the kids, will drop anything to come help, and inject more into our lives than our occasional gifts and calls and chore-helping could ever repay. Our lives - our whole family, not just our kids - is richer and fuller and smoother and more beautiful because of their active, selfless presence in so many ways. I guess it will always be unbalanced, and I should expect that from my boys too, but that's no excuse for not trying to give back a little more.

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1 comment:

  1. I had a conversation with my siblings and their significant others on Sunday night about violence in movies. My husband and I are jokingly referred to as "the PGers" because I will not watch the violent movies, and whenever he follows his curiosity and does so, he spends half the night keeping me up so he can talk himself through it. Not for me. But there are some television shows I have watched that I have been thinking lately I really don't need to. I guess since I don't have cable and only a few channels come in, I was taking what I could get! But my question on Sunday night, "Why do movies like this get made?" wasn't answered in a way that made sense for me. Sex no longer sells because it'e everywhere, so now it's violence? And as we can see, violence seems to be eveywhere now, so what's next?

    I think I'll just have Popcorn and a Book!