Thursday, December 07, 2006

Public Parenting

So, Vice-President Cheney's youngest daughter is pregnant. Okay. Cool. Ordinarily, I wouldn't give this any thought whatsoever...I don't know this woman, and I don't WANT to know her father, a man who, ideologically, is in opposition to almost everything I stand for. Problem is, Mary Cheney is a lesbian, and the media are having an absolute field day with the fact that the daughter of "Mr.-Homosexuality-Is-A-Sin" is not only shacking up with this...this...OTHER WOMAN, but that now the two of them are - *gasp!* - going to have a baby. NOW, I need to get into it.

Because, see, the news headline I read today was this: "Groups Mixed on Mary Cheney's Pregnancy.", like...WHO GIVES A FAT FUCK?!? Okay, I know, I'm not totally naïve...this is headline-making BECAUSE of the awkward situation. And I actually respect - grudgingly - the VP's stance, which is to pretty much say "cool, another grandbaby to spoil!" and leave it at that. But..."groups" are getting into the fray? Holy crap...I just cannot even begin to comprehend leading a life that public, especially when it comes to something as innately PRIVATE as parenting.

I'm not a parent yet, but I imagine it to be something like this: my child, I'll do as I please, piss off. My own moral code - MINE, not "god's" - says that I shouldn't beat this child, or prey upon it sexually, or any other hideous form of physical or psychological torture. Bring a child into the world, love him or her, turn said child into productive and deep-thinking member of society, and congrats on a job well done. Meantime, I'll do what I please: if I want to teach my child that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the creative force in the universe, I'll do that. If I want to dress my child in all manner of Kiss paraphenalia, I'll do that. AND, if I want to try to take back the term "porch monkey" (something I'd never even HEARD until last weekend during "Clerks II"), I'll fucking well teach it to my child! MY child!! Because there are people out there who teach THEIR children that homosexuality isn't a biological imperative, it's a "disease" that needs to be "cured" fire, if possible.

Shit. Now I'm ALL worked up.

So, backing off from the disingenuous rhetoric for a bit...all I'm trying to say is that parenting is private, and here Ms. Cheney and her spouse are going to be dragged into the middle of a maelstrom, buffeted by forces on BOTH sides of a parenting debate that should be talked about with cool heads and a respect for differing opinions. Pro-rights organizations are heralding the decision, as if conceiving had ANYTHING to do with them. Anti-rights groups, like Focus on the Family, are knitting their brows in consternation, looking all grim and self-righteous. A policy analyst for that hate group said the following: "Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn't mean it's a good idea. Love can't replace a mother and a father." This bothers me, because I was born without a father, and spent the important formative years without a father, and I'm doing just FINE, thanks. Except that the folks who disagree with me won't do so respectfully; they'll say my words PROVE I'm a heathen and a sinner, as if having a father in my life would have changed that. Here's your damn god-fearing father figure:

A married Baptist with two teenage children impregnated my mother out of wedlock. He tried to cover this up by denial and bribery.

How's that, Focus on the Family? You like them apples? And while I'm throwing this at you with all the spite and malice aforethought that I can muster, I'm actually not upset by the FACTS of my conception at all. My mother is a fantastic woman, a pioneer in her chosen field who worked her ass off to 1) raise me in an environment of love and understanding, 2) complete a Masters degree, and 3) provide for me in such a way that I never knew how tight things were financially. Um...where in that equation was a father necessary? And here, the Cheney daughter will have TWO parents who love her...neither of whom has a penis, and so what? Since when was a penis necessary to raise a child...or change the oil...or any of a million other fucking things that have kept women "in their place" for a couple of millenia?

My father, to his credit, eventually accepted me and we had...well, we usually had a cool and distant relationship. There were rays of sunshine, like when he asked me - of his own accord, with no urging from my mother - to be the best man at their wedding. There were also dark times, with shouting and sullen silence between us. But - and I cannot stress this enough - the life lessons I learned, the GOOD person I learned to be...those things I learned from my (single) mother.

I only hope that, in having each other, Ms. Cheney and her spouse can steer their family ship through the rough political seas ahead. Bon voyage, ladies...and congrats.


Blogger Gknee said...

Jerry and I got upset by that line too "Love can't replace a mother and a father." How stupid do you have to what..all the foster kids, orphans are just screwed because they aren't with their bio-parents. BS...I thought Love was the answer. Guess they aren't going by those "golden rules" anymore. GAH!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Suze said...

plus, you'd think mary cheney was the first lesbian on the planet to have a child. crikey.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Tess said...

We have to produce a productive AND deep- thinking member of society?! I'm not so sure that providing the child with unlimited Kiss paraphenalia would aid in that pursuit. Just a thought...

6:57 AM  
Blogger Jenn Hacker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Jenn Hacker said...

Sorry had to edit myself. I almost imploded your blog, there. LOL!

Anyhoo, I agree with you on this one. It's none of their business, so why the heck are they blathering on about it? Sheesh, people. Look in the mirror for once and take care of your own problems before you start screaming about what's "wrong" with everyone else.

5:58 PM  

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