Your Values, Your Kid

Lately Beatrix and I have been having a lot of discussions around the term "Smash the Patriarchy!" It started with what "patriarchy" is, and then why you would want to smash it, and then into greater depth. Quite honestly, it's an easier thing to discuss in abstract than the specifics of why Congress would want to eliminate healthcare as we know it for all Americans.

She's not 100% on board, but she kind of likes the idea and we discuss why it's important to me. She's a thoughtful kid, and doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and so she doesn't want the patriarchy to feel bad. I can accept that — for now. But I want her to keep thinking about it.

I don't remember having these kinds of discussions with my parents. I certainly saw them live their values, and so I grew to them. To this day, I share my mother's view that hypocrisy is the worst possible sin. And I got a great supportive email from my dad today after he saw me featured in an editorial. But my fierceness about issues came early on (I know those reading this who knew me in high school would agree), and as far as I can recall, sprung fully formed like Athena from Zeus. I don't think of this as unusual — philosophy, as far as I knew it from my friends, was for Philosophy Club, not necessarily the dinner table. I'm not even sure my mother read my senior thesis, but I know that she and I did not debate the complexities of Helene Cixous vs. Luce Irigaray.

Which was all to say the I don't know how this will turn out. But I like debating these things with her, and I feel, now more than ever, it's an important thing to do.


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