The insidious hidden narrative

My friends, this stupidity is what Western culture has been reduced to…

In a panel discussion I recently watched, when one panelist suggested that women should be the ones who raise children because they are better at being mothers, everyone, including the audience and panelists, went silent in shock and disapproval. Yet earlier in the same discussion, when another panelist declared that hook-up apps are popular with gay men because men are pigs, the audience laughed.

I wonder if you noticed the double standard? If you suggest that women are better at something, that’s a bad thing. But if you suggest that men are lousy at another thing, that’s approved and celebrated.

The first panellist didn’t say that men cannot be good at being parents. Nor did he say that women should not do any other job but be mothers. But people will generally read into things what they want to read, rather than what is actually there. There’s an insidious narrative running through society, and those who buy into this narrative don’t realise how they are voluntarily participating in spreading hate toward those who don’t buy the narrative.

This is the hidden narrative:
1) Being a mother is seen as a negative thing and undesirable for modern, progressive women. Women who become full-time mothers are perceived to be wasting their life potential, for they are not investing their capabilities into monetary gain.
2) The idea that gay couples are just as equal and capable as heterosexual couples. In other words, they are exactly the same in capacity, and no suggestion that they are in any way inferior should be tolerated.
3) All men are inclined to be promiscuous – that’s just a fact of life that we have to accept.

If you embrace this narrative as modern western society tends to, then I’m not surprised if you react the way the audience reacted in that panel discussion. But, instead of condemning and vilifying those who don’t agree with you, why don’t we challenge this narrative?

Is investing your capabilities in motherhood, the role of raising the next generation, less productive than investing in monetary gain? Do gay couples, in raising children, not encounter differences from heterosexual parents? Are these differences harder or easier for them? Do we have to just accept that men are more driven by sex to be promiscuous and unfaithful, or can we demand a different standard from them?

Is it possible to question the assumptions laid out above?

If you’re interested in the debate, the two aforementioned panellists are Peter Hitchens and Dan Savage: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3868791.htm

Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBv50ogV1KU
And in case the previous link stops working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQY4BuYWD4s

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Author: Hoong-Wai

I'm a sinner. I have an interest in economics, philosophy, politics, science, sociology, technology, theology (in alphabetical order). I care about truth and justice. I can be a contrarian.

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