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View Diary: Not So Fast Summers (270 comments)

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  •  do YOU have children? (none)
    I do.  And your image of childcare doesn't jibe with any of my experiences in raising a child.  This idea of "getting out of the individual mindset" - what the fuck does THAT mean??  When someone has to get up every two hours to feed a baby, there ain't any collectivization about it.  The individual with the milk or formula, and the means to provide it, becomes extremely important.  Likewise, when you need to go to an important emergency meeting and you need a sitter to watch your kid for a couple of hours.  And so on.

    It sounds to me like you've learned about this stuff in academia along with lots of wonderful buzzy jargon.  That's fine for the classroom but not for real life.

    New Orleans will never die

    by hrh on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 11:54:14 AM PDT

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    •  Yes (none)
      I do, and as most people who have been reading this site for a while know, my statements aren't "buzzy academic language" but based on real life experience.  

      I'm a single parent, so you don't need to tell me anything about what parenting is in real life, but I'm talking about more than parenting, but child rearing, which is a collective, social activity even when individuals do it.  The whole point is that the forms it tends to take in our overly individualized and overly commercial (not unrelated developments) for middle and working class folk is not what it has to be (or what it should be).  That's the point, that in the way we both parent and think about parenting we reduce the whole of child rearing, a set of social tasks and processes that are actually collectively arrived at (and could be collectively understood) into a set of individual acts, and then we go about those acts fully expecting them to be individual and placing the responsibility on individuals.  

      The point is, we are far too focused on the individualized and that serves to make things that aren't really individual tasks or responsibilities seem to be that way, "naturally".  And this is coming from some one who has done most of the tasks associated with taking care of children, literally by myself, to a degree that is unusual in mainstream US society.  

      Just to clarify, to equate "parenting" with "child rearing" is one of those language and ideological tricks that serves to make our socially arrived at ways of doing things appear to be natural, at the same time that it hides the alternative ways to understand and do the stuff we are talking about (i.e. raising, educating, nuturing and equipping the next generation [or two/three] for life on the planet and in  society).

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 02:15:52 PM PDT

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      •  you are essentially correct, (none)
        I would venture to wonder what culture you were brought up into.  I think many people responding on this thread only have had exposure to the american culture.  it may be the same with you, but you have an inside understanding of other cultures.

        in the indian culture there is heavy reliance on the "extended family", and oftentimes they will live in different areas in a family compound and different relatives will perform cooking and cleaning tasks, helping with homework, entertain, and put the kids to sleep.  I was born and raised in a very white suburb of this country not so long ago, and I still saw a vestige of that setup.  four families lived in two-flats next door to each other, and no one locked their doors.  the kids would kind of get "assigned" off periodically, during stretches of the day.

        in this country we regard that as a backward family setup, but I think you are seeing some of the advantages here.

        but even if I wasn't indian, I learned about this in grade school social studies growing up.  it seems so removed from life now that no one recognizes that it could ever have existed.

        Q:"You've called Bush a loser." A:"And a liar." Q:"You apologized for the loser comment." A:"But never for the liar, have I?" - Rolling Stone with Harry Reid

        by alivingston on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 06:31:47 PM PDT

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