I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again- no bodyguard like a baby. No seriously, and this time the New York Times agrees with me. In their recent article, check it out http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/science/03angi.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=babies&st=cse , they talk all about how babies bring out people’s best and best behaved sides. I know this is true because when I used to work as a nanny for a family of missionaries that had chosen to live amongst their flock in the ghetto of Oakland, CA, I found that having a baby with me made me feel much safer. It lessened the aggression of the men my age. The baby inspired positive interactions between myself and neighbors of all ages. People smile at you more when you have a baby. They assume there is no need to harass you or sell you drugs. The fact that the baby I had with me was of mixed race was even handier. It was like a bridge between me and the people of color around me at the time, like- hey she’s white but she can’t be all bad- she’s got a mixed baby with her. I personally totally recommend babies as bodyguards myself. Babies making the world safer. I am concerned however after reading that the cooperative mode of parenting is what distinguishes us from chimps that we are regressing. It basically says that trust is what modern society’s sucess is based in and we are losing it big time . People are getting way greedy with their babies, not letting other people even so much as look at them. I’ve worked for people who don’t even trust their family members as caregivers. I used to see this as an extension of the whole overprotective disaster minded parent but now I can tie it to de-evolution. Whoah… scary…. people share your babies please before its too late !!!! Also check out where I got the whole idea of peacemaking babies at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magda_Gerber
I got to write my first letter to a newspaper, that I remember…Knowing my activist upbringing i’m sure it’s not the first time. But at least in recent memory. Thanks to the New Mexican for spurring me to action. Here it goes….
As a Santa Fe resident who is also the daughter of lesbians, I took issue with some of what the recent article pulled from the Chicago Tribune, in the Family section, titled “ Kids of gay parents are pretty normal”, had to say. Even the title itself is somewhat offensive. Would you run an article titled, “ Kids of blacks/jews/mormons etc. are (pretty) normal” ? I doubt that would fly. It seems that even in an article that seeks to accept gay parenting, there is an inherently homophobic bias. I am straight myself, but dismayed to see the emphasis on “ normality”, which is I think code for heterosexual. This sends the message that gay parents should seek to raise conformist, “ normal” and therefore straight kids, which is in itself homophobic. How about all parents seek to raise happy healthy children without regard to sexual orientation ? That’s what my parents did and it worked out great.
The one part of the article that was the most important was in the last sentence. “ The burden is not so much coming from our parents , but from the very people who claim to have our interests at heart.” The hardest part about growing up with gay parents is dealing with other peoples prejudice. Similar, perhaps, to how the hardest part of being of color is other people’s Racism. I would also have liked one of the people being profiled to have been from parents who were “ out” when they were born or at least who hadn’t grown up closeted and shameful, as my experience did not much mirror that of the featured subjects. I’d love to know what is inherently “ lacking in stability”- Sprigg or “Chaotic” – Dobson about Gay parented households. My upbringing was neither unstable or chaotic.
The problem with maintaining that only families made up of a mom and a dad are valid is that not only does it discount my family but also all of those families headed by a grandparent or any another configuration, which in many communities are in the majority. They are setting themselves up as a moral elite, which does not bode well for the unity and health of our society. Maybe the New Mexican should source articles from a similarly progressive area to our own, or even better write them yourselves? I’d be happy to talk about my experience.
TA-DA!!!! The article on the whole reminded me of the messages even I put out, in the mid nineties- all that we are just like everyone else nonesense. These days I feel like ” aren’t we past that yet?!” …but I guess not. Also relates to that recent Ariel Levy article in the March 2nd issue of the New Yorker, the one about the Van Dykes. I liked that Lamar Van Dyke pointed out how infatuated with assimilation the current Gay mainstream is. The article ” Kids of Gay Parents Are PRETTY normal” is the bastard step child of that. I am unimpressed that the city that has “Boystown”, can’t do better. At least the New Yorker is on board with the “Lesbian Nation” right ?