Friday, December 9, 2011

Motherly Favoritism?

Hmmm, I've been wondering . . .

Why does it seem mothers proffer way more attention on their sons instead of their daughters? It's an observation I've been making among many of my real life and Facebook friends (not that FB isn't real life, but you know what I mean -- ha!). And yes, if you're a mother with both sons and daughters, I already know what you're going to say:

But, Batista, I love ALL my children EQUALLY! Blah, blah, blah.

Can it, okay? Because, let me tell you: that's sooooo not what I'm seeing! What I see on FB and the blog-o-spheres is a tendency of many mothers to baby the living hell out of their sons, meanwhile giving their daughters what they term a sense of "self dependence." Haha -- but we all know what that really means, right? It means: toughen up, little lady! Because your whole life will be nothing but you fighting for your rights and dignity, and sticking up to the cruel injustices the world inflicts on women.

While there is much truth to all that, of course (girls really need to be taught strong, independent values), I think mothers should take a step back and examine what they're really doing to their kids.

On Facebook, for instance, I've noticed that mothers of both boys and girls constantly praise their sons and record every little motherly greatness they've performed for their male offspring on any given day. And what about their daughters? These they relegate to the occasional reference on birthdays or major milestone moments.

That's it.

But for the 364 other days of the year, it's: "go team Mama's Boy!" all THE DAMN TIME! It's almost as if mothers are making up for a self-perceived inferiority complex they themselves developed growing up in a generation where we were all taught that men RULE THE WORLD!

Which is strange, actually, since nowadays we're very much living in the time of the Super Mom who can never do no wrong. Super Mom is so much smarter, harder working, and a better parent all around than her nameless, helpless spousal partner who gets occasionally referenced as simply "the hubby" whenever Super Mom is feeling magnanimous.

So I find it weird, in this day and age when we're supposed to be more sensitive about empowering the women in our lives, that mothers are STILL practicing the time-worn tradition of holding their sons up on a higher pedestal than daughters. As if to say that boys are lacking in certain areas and actually NEED the boost up? Oh, forget the girl! She's strong and brilliant--JUST LIKE ME--and will therefore be fine. I'm not worried about her.

Admit it, mothers: this is how you rationalize your treatment of your daughters. Right?

But fine? FINE YOU SAY? Hundreds of psychiatrists and millions of dollars spent on therapy say otherwise, methinks. After all, is there anything more fraught with pitfalls than the modern day mother-daughter relationship? By contrast, father-son rifts look like a day at the spa!

Look, I understand the opposite-gender favoritism thing that parents have going on. Mothers favor their sons, fathers favor their daughters. Freud wrote many, many articles on the subject, I think. And I get it. Really, I do. Still, if you're a single mom, or a mom who has a very strong presence in her kids lives (meaning, you actually give a damn), then please stop raising boys who grow up into pampered, egocentric, entitled pricks. Those self-centered ignoramuses who think women exist solely to prop them up and mooch off of.

This is all I'm getting at here. It's becoming an epidemic around these parts nowadays. I can't tell you the number of assholes I know who just so happen to be mama's boys, too. I mean, honestly -- you think there's not some correlation there?

So please, unless you're an ancient Egyptian . . . ease up on that there son worship, ladies. In this day and age where the good, conscientious, self-sufficient man is a dying breed, and where mother-daughter relationships have never been at their most fractured, how about you stop pretending your daughters are thick-skinned and actually reflect her accomplishments on Facebook or the blog for a change?

I'm so tired of hearing how great Billy is, and how he will be your baby FOR-EVAH and EVAH!!! Stop shouting to the world how handsome, tall, and strong your Mark is -- and, oh . . . as an aside, Sally won a scholarship to Yale, too. She takes after me, you know?

I think you know by now which one of those accomplishments I find more pertinent to the real world and, therefore, worthier of praise. Give me brains over good looks any day, I say!

As mentioned earlier: it might not be as apparent to you, but it is to us. Your sons are getting WAY too much of the shout outs and atta-boys from you on the Internet. So let's stop this blatant favoritism before the world is filled with nothing but soft, mewling, pansied man-boys getting absolutely NOTHING done, and hurting the women around them with their gender-elitist attitudes.

Oh wait -- TOO LATE!

And this is coming from a former boy who got pampered and exulted from the female parental figures in his life, you know? Yes, even in my screwed up, shit for luck life I couldn't escape this preferential treatment. Sure, I benefited greatly from it on an emotional level, but holiday get-togethers with my female siblings and our guardians is the stuff social therapy textbooks are made from!

Just a friendly word (or thousand) of advice this holiday season. I'm all about giving, don't you know . . .


Kim Kasch said...

My kids would sooooo disagree with you. They say I favor my daughter - including my daughter. I of course love them all equally but for very different reasons. Jake is my logical, dependable, kid I can always count on (of course he's also the oldest) and I was always hardest on him.

Luke is my kick-in-the-pants playful one, I enjoy so much 'cuz he's funny, but I don't usually count on Luke for much ... but laughs.

Kara is my sensitive one who always (and I mean always) takes my side against the guys. We are a tag-team. Girls against the boys kind of thing.

But I love them all...equally.

Yvonne said...

My mom always said that she loved all four of us equally, but we ALL knew that was a bunch of baloney. My youngest brother was/is still her favorite! She would cater to him and I swear, see a halo over his head. We all knew it and accepted it. haha We always gave him a hard time of course, I mean, that's what siblings do. But yeah, I totally get this post! :)

David Batista said...

I find it extremely interesting the contrasting opinions in these two responses alone. One, from a mother of boys and a girl . . . and the other from a sister in a household of girls and one boy. Funny!

Kim -- LOL! I kinda predicted your reaction, didn't I? :) But, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Your family always seemed more balanced than the average.

Yvonne -- Exactly! This is the kind of treatment I'm talking about. Mothers go absolutely ga-ga for their baby boys . . . to the bane of big sisters everywhere! It's one of the running themes in that short story of mine I just blogged about the other day: the motif of the "golden child" who can do no wrong, I mean.

Kara Kasch said...

Hey there David. This is Kim's daughter, obviously. She wanted me to read this and get my reaction. While I believe that stereotypically girls are said to be "daddy's girls" and boys are said to be "mama's boys", I believe that it's different for every family, and every parent. The way that they display their affection towards different children, most likely is the same in feeling, but shows differently. Such as a mom telling their daughter that they need to be strong independent women, is probably because we all have grown up in a world where men typically have the positions of power, and they don't want their daughters to think that they are any less than a man. When a mother babies her boy it's most likely because she knows that in the world we live in, men are looked to for strength and to be the pillars of our society. In turn they realize that their boys will have no other time, then when they are a child, to be primped and pampered. My ending thought would be that stereotypically you are correct, but every person is different and I don't believe we can generalize and be correct at the same time.

David Batista said...

You bring up a very valid point, Kara -- and thank you for chiming in on the subject!

You're correct: this is obviously a generalization in the broadest of strokes, and is therefore not going to cover every situation. Nor was it meant to do so. This was merely an observation based on my own personal interactions with acquaintances in everyday life, as well as on Facebook and various blogs I follow.

As such, I actually welcome being presented with examples to the contrary, as is the case with your family. Such insight makes me feel better when I'm in one of my cynical moods and feeling like the world is becoming a bad, bad place. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

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