Commenter udolipixie was troubled by my post Trapped in adulthood:
…she’s just an immature complainer.
I’m not sure how her character is related to “So here you have it. The evil patriarchy’s greatest crime is expecting women to grow up.”
If anything it should be society’s crime is producing people who don’t take responsibility for their actions & influencing adults and even seniors to act like petulant children.
She is of course right. That is, if by society she means feminism, and by people she means women. The point of the post wasn’t gee look, a woman who complains. The point was how socially acceptable this is. In fact it goes beyond mere acceptance to celebration. Lorraine Berry wasn’t just whining about being tricked into adulthood on her facebook page or blog; her poor me I had to become an adult in my mid to late 20s essay was published in Salon as a story of empowerment, inspiration, and overcoming adversity.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t childish whiny men out there. They exist too. However, they aren’t made into folk heroes for whining and/or shirking their responsibilities. They are seen as the whiny childish men they are; no one lauds their courage for “baring their pain” so that others may benefit. Very often the men who have made real sacrifices aren’t even the ones to tell their own stories. When their stories are told they are typically told by others, often by their children. Also, stories of men’s sacrifice have an entirely different message. They are examples of courage and manhood; something for other men to recognize and respect the will to do the right thing and finish what you started.
In stark contrast, women are continuously given public forums to complain about being the victim of their own choices. This is presented as them being selfless and courageous; speaking on behalf of self victimized women everywhere. A recent article in the Femail section of the Daily Mail exemplifies this. Am I monster for wishing I’d never had children? The confession that fills a mother with shame:
As I looked around at them, I should have felt a sense of pride that my husband of nearly 30 years and my two grown-up sons were together for a few convivial days.
Instead, I felt a stab of disappointment that this gathering was the sum total of what I have achieved in my life. One husband, two children, reasonable cooking skills. Not much to show for my 50 years.
Which is why I know I would have had a better and fuller life — had I never been a mother.
That is right. This poor woman was trapped in motherhood. Those damnable patriarchal bastards! They did it again! This time they have outdone themselves though. They stole this woman’s chance for happiness:
Most perturbing of all, these narrow horizons were exactly what I had once wanted. The only future I ever envisaged for myself was as a wife and mother.I wasn’t especially good at anything at school, and I was never going to have a career nor did I have any ambitions to one.
Clearly in order to pull off a crime of this magnitude, the patriarchy must have sent in one of their best men. How does the bastard live with what he has done? He preyed on her total lack of talent, ambition, and imagination, forcing her to live a comfortable life! I wish I could get my hands on this SOB and teach him a lesson. How could he do that? How could he steal the life of this unambitious talentless courageous woman? Thats right, I said courageous. Instead of keeping her whimpering to herself, she has selflessly decided to share her story so that others might benefit:
And I have decided to share my experience here (under a pseudonym) because I suspect there are many other women who harbour such feelings of regret about motherhood, but dare not talk about it.
…So let me say it for all those who will not or cannot: I regret having had children.
We all owe her and her anonymous courage a debt of gratitude.