On the vast expanse between owning something and having it, and why our children are not possessions.
I only just found you this morning. Thank you. It is only by coming to my own understanding of the evils of the notion of ownership of children by parents that I have found any relief from my personal suffering. I’ve been trying to write about it but you put it so much more beautifully. Parables and curses! Yes! 🙏🏼
Given the direction of the essay, I was surprised that the writer recognized the difference between a right to raise one's child and a responsibility to do so -- although I'm not sure he notices that the right is between the parent and the rest of the world, while the responsibility is between the parent and the child. Regarding one's child as one's property changes the parent-child relationship from one of love to one of ownership.
But it is a mistake to assume that refusal to recognize gender divergence or teaching a daughter to make a purity commitment or believe in God is a distortion of the responsibility relationship. You see, like belief in God, whether gender divergence is real or not is a matter of belief. There is no proof that gender even exists in the first place; that, too, is a matter of belief. Likewise, that purity has value is a belief. A parent who teaches his child that he is not transgender, that she should remain chaste or that Jesus is Lord is not expressing ownership; he is fulfilling his responsibility according to his best lights.
There have been multiple cases of parents who did not believe in gender divergence having a child come to them expressing that it was in the wrong body. Parents, seeking to fulfill their responsibility, have tried to school the child out of what they believed to be a fantasy. It was only when the child persisted against all dissuasion, and its quality of life deterioriated, that the parents rethought their beliefs. None of this is inconsistent with good parenting.
Furthermore, when such a parent changes its belief to one of accepting their child's gender divergence, it isn't a matter of "embracing the truth at last"; all he has done is exchange one belief for another, for the sake of his child. Love was the motivation, not truth.
There are a couple of perspectives popular today, neither one of which is conducive to good social order or the health of the family. One is that it is society's right to raise children; the other is that the parent invades the child's space when he tries to impart his moral values to the child. Both of these views are profoundly destructive.
Bloody brilliant 👏
I love getting lost in your essays. From point A to B to C. At the end you sit back stunned and think well, of course. Highlight of my week!
This explains so much about why about the appeal of eugenics to facists. The dark spiral you describe can only end, should it not be stopped, in culling children "before" they "become unknown".
OUTSTANDING! I hope the people who really need to read this will but will settle for the people who are on this path will read it and be encouraged to continue. Thanks.
As a dharma student, I’m always curious and delighted when powerful ideas related to the dharma like self (or not self) come up and see their relevance in the present moment especially in fresh, insightful and entertaining ways. Also makes me wonder about the author and how these insights also exist elsewhere (or we might share some perspectives) or are obvious once pointed out especially if done well and this makes me happy. Thank you
Absolutely spot on. Thank you. (Also just adding that the last few free posts have been so excellent that I'm subscribing!)
This was powerful. Thank you.
This is so great...I have used so many of these ideas ON my kids. We talk about sharing the world v. thinking you own the world...and just basically focus on awareness of the reality and equality of other people as the challenge and joy of life. The real curse is being alone, if you are so self centered and so immune to others as independent real beings like yourself it's a pretty solipsistic existence. I think this is partly a cause of erratic behavior we witness.
Just when I thought I couldn’t love this piece any more, the closing curse really took my breath away. Thank you for this!!
And when they tell you the want to "own" the libs they reveal their true slaveholding masturbation fantasies.
This is one of the best, most resonant characterisations of this present age I’ve read. So many different facets of the Zeitgeist in perfect synthesis. I‘ll be thinking about it for years.
Fantastic piece. Brought a lot of feels to the forefront.
I've been reflecting on this concept, although not strictly referring it as "ownership" when I do. Of course now I will not be able to view it another way, because of how well (re)framed the concept has been made for me (thank you Andrew). It certainly helped me understand that the responsibility to send good people out into the world is my job, my best job.