Monday, July 31, 2006

Father knows best?

In the midst of my sleepless morning, I decided to make my telephone calls. When I talked to Father, we talked about the usual things and I mentioned my canoeing trip last week with PF. He immediately jumped on that and told me maybe I shouldn't do things with "another man." Then he quoted the Bible to me: "Avoid all appearance of evil." Not only that, but what are this man's motives for going canoeing with you? Well, I told him that I appreciated the concern, but didn't see a problem. j. likes me to have someone to do outdoor activities that he doesn't enjoy with. Father conceded about a tenth of a point, then told me to avoid emotional intimicy with other men.

Being in a particularly shovenistic mood today, he then started talking about how "Women now expect to work the same jobs as men and get paid the same wage. When I was a boy, women knew they were just expected to be wives and mothers and homemakers. NOW has planted all kinds of bad ideas in women's heads. They're even encouraging women to pursue careers in math, science and engineering." I try not to engage in charged discussions with anyone, especially Father. I bit my tongue and didn't point out that his own mother was the major wage-earner in their family and had an advanced degree in Mathematics. He wouldn't get it anyway.

He continued in the same vein, noting that he had heard on the radio that fewer people are getting married, people are getting married at a later age and having fewer children. I again bit my tongue to keep from pointing out that he had so many that he couldn't devote personal time to any of us as children. This could have gone on for some time, but fortunately Father had many things to do and had to go.

I love Father and he is a good man in many ways, but today he was a major bigot.

2 comments:

Robin said...

Some days it seems best to put Father on speakerphone and just mutter an "mm-hmm" occasionally.

ScienceWoman said...

It's good to see an enlightened young woman emerge from a household like the one you grew up in.