It’s the season for reflections on familial holiday traditions. I wonder about practices ingrained in social and cultural norms. It is quite possible that some of the practices may have been designed with malicious intents, in some perspectives.
Now all you corporate or cult monitors and governmental secret police relax. I am not specifically talking about your most respectable high-functioning cultures. Although the same comment may apply, I am mainly thinking of larger and older cultures, human cultures.
I once read, news or fake news I do not recall, that the act of circumcision is a degenerate form of castration, to reduce the sexual competitiveness of the son against his father. I hope that’s fake science… But… It kind of makes sense, if you think about it… I mean, there are a lot of older men making babies with really young chicks that I observe often. So… Oh I see, you thought dad didn’t want you to compete for mom…. He was more likely thinking about his neighbors daughters, … If you think about it…
So… We should examine some other things… Like, did your mama ever tell you don’t choose the choicest material, but instead select a less pretty and less young and less demanding wife? Do you ever wonder if it was to make sure you still had energy left to take care of her? (Sustainance-wise, you sick idiot)
What about daughters, did your dad teach you to hate sex? Not even allowed to think about it until 18, and even then the scrutiny on your possible mates make it impossible. Does this life-long endoctrination that sex is bad (in almost all cultures) serve a selfish reason that he might have a chance of having you around home longer? Maybe you’ll be like countless unmarried women-child who stayed home and fed her mom and dad to their deathbed?
The question here is not necessarily the existence of these cultural practices, but more that, well, more that we have not systematically examined them critically in Scientific and rational ways. Most of what you do, the stuff that you feel you belong to, the culture and the people and the practices, when they were originally formed, the intent was not innocent.
Recall this example I think of often. For Millenniums the Chinese people bound the feet of young girls. Some say it is to relief them of the freedom to choose husband(but why would parents do this?) Some say it is beautiful, that an unbound women will not be selected for marriage due to ugliness of the feet. (Oh, and non-virgins are not marriageaterial either)
The truth of the matter is, Millenniums of men had to suffer the grotesque deformity caused by foot binding. The women cannot do chores as freely (oh, maybe that’s why the first mom and dad’s did it?) And the wrinkles and cravses it creates is home to many bacteria and foul odor. The men suffered from the establishment of this cultural stable. And yet they keep on telling their daughters: come, let’s do the damn thing, it’s good for you!
And while we’re banging on Chinese people (it is 2010’s after all) think about the population control they imported. Men had to suffer vasectomies and women abortions to keep the nation smaller and weaker. And still many enormous number of people stand tall and proud to be a party to the Party that brought population control to China.
And of course your dutiful Chinese-American will be quick to remind us that the Chinese exclusion act of the 19th century was introduced to the congress by a Californian Republican and then passed both senate and the house to be signed into law by a Republican president. Today, even in Trumpverse, there are a whole lot of Chinese-American Republicans, or those who lean right.
Can politics (and parties) be an ancient ritual that can have nonproductive implementations? Can the Republic be an antiquated construct that is begging for modern upgrade?
I conclude this brief consideration with a scene from season two of The Good Fight (Day 457) Lucca is coming home with her new born, baby-daddy by her side. All she cpuld think of is her mother’s advise, that she wants to smile at the sight of her (women) friends’ car. That the sight of her husband, the thought of abandoning her career to support his being a senator on capital hill, puts the biggest frown on her face… These scenes, are very powerful to me. I feel uneasy. I would not want my daughter to feel the way Lucca does. Her bond with her co-workers is stronger than with the man that she has sex, baby and can gain power all together! Her Mother’s advise: what do you feel when you see his car in the garage. I am unhappy that the main character of this show feels more for friends and co-workers than for her traditional-style family…. components (since Lucca and Collin are not marrying) I cannot, accept that kind of family, three adult women… Like it just wouldn’t work.
My scientific rational examination says, no, that’s not the right way to do it. My instinct says, if all looks so good, and healthy boy, a good women would be able to put the man in his rightful place in the family.–by what ever human womanly ways she may have. Otherwise, perhaps the choice of sex and partner was indeed a mistake and that all human traditions actually make sense and feet binding served an important historical purpose.
caveat emptor: I am of human kind, the kind with built in cultures.