But your individual circumstances and mine should not hide the fact that there is an ideal and optimal family arrangement whether we in our own lives can meet it. – Erick Erickson, in “The Truth May Hurt, But Is Not Mean”
AFTER BEING blasted for his patriarchal grunt, Erick Erickson now gets very defensive. How can you tell? He resorts to declaring that he is the arbiter of what is “truth” and that if we reject it, as the peaceful bonobos do, one of the species closest to our own, then we, of course, are wrong.
The evidence of Erick Erickson’s panic oozes from the concoction of “emo lefties” in his defensive post tthat is paired with the equally juvenile “panties in a wad.” Invective is the tool of the cornered.
This notion of family won’t do anything to help fathers become a greater part of the family, or aid in the decline of single mothers. What it does is support the status quo, because a changing society doesn’t suit traditionalists. It’s why at the end of his thoughts attempting to explain his prior indefensible statements he reaches for the only thing he can to shore up his shredded philosophy.
None of us can have it all. Women as primary breadwinners does make raising children harder, increasing the likelihood of harm in the development of children. While it is a reality in this world and sometimes even necessary, that does not mean we should not ignore the consequences of the increase in moms, instead of dads, as primary breadwinners (often because the man walked out).
People who seem to think it does not matter should answer one question: who is less valuable ““ mom or dad? The American people instinctively understand complementary relationships between men and women. The left should too.
Erick Erickson, in “The Truth May Hurt, But Is Not Mean”
This is the conservative thinking pattern of people who reject modernity. Women’s freedom to equally manifest their own creative and intellectual potential, separate from children, must be sacrificed. It’s not “mean” to suggest “the truth” is not the life we are living. Arrogance is a more fitting term. Beware anyone claiming “the truth” about God. It’s a sure sign of misogynistic megalomania. Traditionalists like Erick Erickson market his lifestyle as simply the “complimentary relationships between men and women.” This is where all patriarchal pushers go when they’ve lost the thread.
“Vocational homemaking”… Erick Erickson’s manual says.
Paging Betty Friedan. In the 50th anniversary year of her book The Feminine Mystique, Erick Erickson revealing the traditionalist creed is quite a present. “Vocational homemaking” once was called, back when the revolution began and the myth was busted, “occupation: housewife” in American society.
In the fifteen years after World War II, this mystique of feminine fulfillment became the cherished and self-perpetuating core of contemporary American culture. Millions of women lived their lives in the image of those pretty pictures of the American suburban housewife, kissing their husbands goodbye in front of the picture window, depositing their stationwagonsful of children at school, and smiling as they ran the new electric waxer over the spotless kitchen floor. They baked their own bread, sewed their own and their children’s clothes, kept their new washing machines and dryers running all day. They changed the sheets on the beds twice a week instead of once, took the rug-hooking class in adult education, and pitied their poor frustrated mothers, who had dreamed of having a career. Theira career. Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition to have five children and a beautiful house, their only fight to get and keep their husbands. They had no thought for the unfeminine problems of the world outside the home; they wanted the men to make the major decisions. They gloried in their role as women, and wrote proudly on the census blank: “Occupation: housewife.” [Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (p. 61).]
Erick Erickson has refused to accept that the “ideal and optimal family arrangement” has never been what he fantasizes, at least not from the woman’s point of view. Ah, but today he quite proudly admits that our point of view doesn’t matter. That even if we have to or even choose to be a primary breadwinner, or long to be, “the truth” lies elsewhere. He is selling the 1950s marketing pitch that was proved ages ago led to a skyrocketing divorce rate in the 1970’s and ’80s. He comes from the same crowd who are convinced no-fault divorce is the problem instead of dealing with the reality that women like being a wife, a mother too in the majority of instances, but these roles long ago were seen as part of a woman’s life not the only manifestation of personhood. Traditionalists ignore that no-fault divorce manifested to let women out of situations that were strangling their lives, sometimes even killing them.
The mid-life crisis and empty nest, leaving the “vocational homemaker” well behind her husband, as his life includes mingling with the modern set and self-actualized women living full potentials and lives beyond his wife, is never addressed by Erick Erickson. We know liberated men cheat, but considering all the philandering traditionalists that have made news this is quite a remarkable blind spot.
What’s wrong with this archaic view of society, of women and men in modern life? Erick Erickson makes no case. Instead he cites “The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood,” which is hardly convincing, but instead is a lateral to his idea of God, who is obviously male, doctrinaire, and has little to do with spiritualism that more and more individuals are turning to today. Quite unintentionally, Erick Erickson reveals why.
When we look at millennials, younger generations will reject outright the contempt of the dry definition of life for women, represented by traditionalism. So will the other normal people who are born as same-sex individuals, which Erick Erickson dismisses as “illicit or perverse…” through his reliance on “The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
I warned you yesterday the notion of free people, even beyond that of women, would incite Erick Erickson eventually and today he delivers. The world he talks about is now a minority of Americans for a reason.
Erick Erickson joined the rest of us, being rightly alarmed by single mothers raising children alone, choosing motherhood before marriage. However, he never once digs below the gender bias of his biblical argument that reads as sad desperation without a fuller view into the economics of relationships today. He doesn’t address the economic desert of the working class and the lack of a living wage. That’s because it is the linchpin of conservative traditionalism, whatever ideological house in which it lives. As religious people, traditionalists oddly don’t see the irony in denying the working class a way to middle class health, because their conservative philosophy is moored in the belief that it is the job of man to compete in a survival of the fittest capitalist framework, even though the game is rigged for the rich. The biblical foundation of family forgives Erickson and his patriarchal pals their economic failures in shoring up males who can’t find jobs in our top down economy. Refusing men an entry into breadwinner or fatherhood, women trudge forward without them, because they must or lose out on what they want out of life. Traditionalists ignore that men are asked to fight for survival while not giving working class the tools to do so, which begins with a living wage job.
This is the very foundation of our crumbling society, but instead of showing humility and wanting to work to solve real problems through actual solutions, traditionalists like Erick Erickson proclaim they own “the truth” and it’s the rest of us who need to accept the one true life. It’s pathological considering the carnage this is causing.
What Erick Erickson also does is ignore the emotional and physical health of men who have to overwork themselves and while they’re doing it miss out on their children’s lives or simply the beautiful partnership of two people who love one another and are creating a life together.
The advent of women working, while usually a necessity, gives us a chance to change the corporate structure to better suit modern life. It begins by valuing fathers equally to mothers in the family unit and not just as cash cows. I’ve seen it through my own family, men who are providers, but are equal nurturers to the women who bore their children, and in some cases a father who made a better mother than the woman. I’ve seen it in friends as well. Men whose role in the family is not just to pay the bills, while the wife does what traditionalists call woman’s work, but to nurture, too.
Erick Erickson reveals himself defensively today by proclaiming “truth” that is obviously his and other traditionalists, but doesn’t represent a universal truth he is claiming. It’s male bravado from the chimpanzee of the human species, which actually represents more specifically the marauding, egotistical and stiff traditionalist male ego that is brittle and will break in a modern era. A time where equality, economic expansion of the sexes, and the civil rights and human rights of everyone to have an equal chance at the pursuit of happiness and all it means will lead to manifesting a happier, healthier and more loving modern American family.
What’s natural to men is not a “dominant” economic role within the modern, nuclear family unit, but a habit of posturing”“often wastefully, often pathetically”“meant to secure social status and impress women. In this sense, Lou Dobbs and his guests defend through their manner more than their words the prerogatives of men. – The Economist