Monday, July 10

Random musing with some knitting

So a 62 year old British woman just gave birth with the help of pharmaceuticals. The child's father is age 60. I suppose she knew what she was doing as she is a child psychologist. Therefore she ought to be quite competent in preparing the boy for losing his parents at a young age.

I just listened to a radio interview with Robert Fuller. Seems he has coined a new term, rankism, to describe... well how we use rank to discriminate against folks. I dunno, I just don't think we need a new term to describe how some people use their power to abuse other people. Mr Fuller makes clear that rank in itself is not a bad thing, it is useful for some folks who have more education, expertise or other qualities to hold a higher rank over other folks. He draws a distinction between having a society with rank (a good thing) and people abusing their rank to hurt others (a bad thing). He claims it captures situations currently missed with our existing -isms and having the new label is helpful. His example was a black female principal was doing something bad to a white female teacher. Teacher certainly could not claim gender or racial discrimination, but when she pointed out to the principal that her behavior constituted rankism, the principal did an 'oops, my bad' turn-around. Wow, if only solving all the other -isms of the world were so easy!

Less bogus than the neologism, he said we have to remember that we evolved as predators. That we have, since the dawn of time, enslaved each other. (Other predatory species don't practice slavery, do they? Ants do. anything else?) We have done a good job as a species stamping out explicit slavery, but it will take constant vigilance to make sure we treat each other with dignity --- it's just not in our heritage. Not a bad perspective to take. I also liked how one example of how rank is not inherently bad was in the parent-child relationship. The parent ought to have a higher rank than the child. Parent is wiser, stronger, etc and needs to use the rank disparity to keep child safe and healthy and growing. Just we parents ought not abuse the power that comes with this rank. Like with so many -isms earnest folk trying to do the right thing can go too far.

There is a school of parenting that claims that parents ought to exert no rank over children, that a parent ought never ever tell the child what to do or coerce them in any way. No matter how old they are or what the situation is. A non-knitting blog I read is written by the mom of a 11 month old. In addition to blogging, she's writing a book about pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing, bless her heart. She is completely against discipline and embraces this Taking Children Seriously philosophy. You go, girl!

She's has taken the "attachment" philosophy of parenting to its inflexible extremes. Wanting to take her child with her while biking, she decided on a child seat that attaches to the bike frame instead of a trailer. While admitting that the trailer is safer, it just isn't "AP".

Oh dear. Sorry, Nerd, guess that's just one more way were were bad at attachment parenting. You liked the trailer for its roominess, the fact you could play with toys or wiggle (yes he was buckled in). It was a space all your own. Did you need more attachment? Will you suffer from it? If so, my sympathies.

well I promised some knitting.

I picked up my CeCe and realised I was about an inch til the sleeves get added. Yippee. Practicing no self-control, I promptly treated myself to making both sleeves. They were fun because each one only took an hour or so of knitting time. I got much more a sense of accomplishment than from knitting on the body which seems like it is taking forever.

You can't make them too early because you have to calculate where to start the lace pattern to match the body. But with only an inch to go, calculations were made. Now back to knitting on the body a few more rows and then I can practice some attachment knitting.


Kathleen said...

At 62 I hope the only babies I'm around belong to someone else and I can cuddle, coo and hand them back when they get fussy! Sheesh!

And Rank - well, I was thinking of the alternate definition - as in my teenage son's room is RANK! :)

Dorothy said...

CeCe is looking good.

Anonymous said...

You're either reading some other blog/book than I think you're reading, or you're (IMO) reading it too fast. I don't think she's being nearly as radical about what to *do* with children as you make it sound.

On quite a different note, I do agree with you about it being a bit appalling to have a baby at 62, if only because it's such conspicuous consumption.


a hopeless nerd said...

You terrible, horrible parent. I'll be scarred for life.