You tangle with a domain expert at
your own peril and stand to gain nothing more than a deserved ridiculing
before witnesses if you do so. But this is exactly what people do all
I can fully appreciate the superior practical,
experience-based, generational wisdom of housewives the world over. I
would not dare argue with a master of the mop, the iron, the oven, and
the washing machine about how to best get ink stains out of my shirt,
how to properly clean an oven, or how to even raise the model son or
daughter. These are things I am wholly ignorant of, and whenever those
expert in this domain of knowledge speak, I remain silent, because
chances are I am going to learn something.
Why is it then that
so many housewives can’t respect the superior understanding of those
whose domain expertise are not located around the management of the
common household, but things far far more complex and critical to the
future of civilization?
In conservative cultures, where the
family is regarded as the foundation of society, one would be wise not
to argue in public with overly vocal and extremely confrontational
housewives—or worse yet, mothers. Out of the woodwork will crawl an army
of defenders—comprising even of one’s own peers—pointing out peripheral
and otherwise irrelevant attributes of the housewife/mother and
reminding all intellectuals that they had their diapers changed by this
type of woman, were raised by this type of woman, fed by this type of
woman, dressed by this type of woman, and sent off to university with
the support of this type of woman.
Even if this were all true,
how does that make such women experts on the economy, or authorities on
the subject of there being an afterlife or not, or experts at discerning
the individual merits of the next batch of presidential candidates?
they are older and have more life experience than you do,” one will
shout as if saying something profound. Well, let’s compare the common
housewife’s/mother’s experience against that of elite academics,
politicians, and other domain experts who on a daily basis have to
contend with very complex issues in society and the many—even more
complex—solutions to those issues.
The housewife/mother, even if
threescore and ten (a very archaic way of saying 70) would not have
done any research as to the viability of Tokamak reactors, would not
have proposed or furthered any significant ideas in parliament, and
would not have invested any noteworthy amount of time building the
technological infrastructure of tomorrow’s world. Yet, these
housewives/mothers (with the support of the mommy defenders) feel that
they can draw on their decades of experience doing laundry, mopping
floors, cooking dinner, and dressing their children for school (and, I
swear, some of them for university/work too) and dismiss profound ideas
they suspect primarily because they don’t understand these ideas.
this point in the discussion—being unable to counter any of the factual
remarks I’ve thus far made—the mommy defenders usually hurl their last
insult: That those who need to deal with complex things are elitists
wanting to rob ordinary people from having an opinion about how the
world is run!
I can argue against this accusation in a number of
ways, but doing so in a way that resonates with the housewives,
mothers, and the mommy defenders is success I have yet to savour. I
simply ask why it is that those who have—pardon my pointing out the
obvious fact—otherwise lived their lives to the full feel entitled to
decide how those of tomorrow necessarily must live. Why is it that those
who have domain expertise in managing a successful household feel
themselves suitably qualified to determine exactly how safe a nuclear
reactor built outside of town would be?
Why must society be
subject to the opinions and protestations of those whose aim is to elbow
their way into a future world they will in no way personally partake
of—all in the hope of extending their influence far beyond what is
merited? At point will the imminently irrelevant stop judging themselves
fit to tell now grown adults (and true experts in their own capacity)
right from wrong, good from bad, designating the achievable from the
unachievable, prescribing the desirable over the undesirable—as if the
motherly authority they once wielded in our adolescent lives still
retained jurisdiction over the thoughts and actions we need to make
today for our own children to come?
Conservatives, with their
endless reliance on their mommies, have turned the mother/housewife into
the pillar of society, claiming that we are all doomed to a fate worse
than death if we don’t listen to our ‘all-knowing’ mothers, forever. I’m
sorry, but running to my mommy for life, love, and financial advice
when I am already a discerning adult is not a practice I would recommend
to anyone born in the 20th century—just in case the goal is
still for us all to become independent adults, capable of making our own
decisions and learning from our own mistakes.
To fail and then
fix one’s own failures is the only way a generation proves itself
worthy of inheriting society from the generation that raised it.
the vehement mob of ‘mommy defenders’ also seem to be of the opinion
that all orphans—people who often grow up without the positive
influential of a mother in their life—are destined to be degenerates and
failures, falling far short of the model of the ‘model citizen.’
Conservatives are usually the first to label anyone who did not partake
of the joys of family, childhood, and the dinner-table card games as
despicable people with no moral backbone and no values, promoting ideas
that no conservative should bother listening to.
conservative ‘logic,’ one is sometimes left to wonder how the billions
around the world with no—or plainly unfit—parents ever managed to become
the decent people many of them, indeed, are.
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