The first night I’m home, I’m eating leftovers and reading whatever’s lying around on the dining room table. I find the May 4 issue of India Bulletin. I think, cool, let’s take a look at what’s going on in India. I find the following story:
Alright, fine. Kinda weird and crazy because YOUR SON IS NINE YEARS OLD AND MAYBE HE SHOULD LEARN TO TIE HIS SHOES WITHOUT THE HELP OF A MAID FIRST, but whatever. I roll my eyes and move on. A couple pages later, I find this:
I flip back to the first story. Then back to the second. Back to the first. Back to the second. Afterwards, I stopped reading the paper.
These two stories were in the same paper, same issue, even took place in the same city. You can read them for yourself here. In the same city that a mother is expressing her pride at the fact that her not-quite-adolescent son can drive one of the family’s 18 cars (he gets to because it’s his birthday, by the way), a different mother is inconsolable because her five-year-old daughter is dead after being raped by a family friend.
There are a million factors that affect each of these stories – race, class, gender, culture, upbringing, geographic location. The families could be analyzed, data could be collected, books could be written. But, and I say this with the exhausted — and now angry — brain of a graduate student, maybe there is a semi-simple solution here.
Let’s all stop teaching our sons that, if they insist enough, they can have whatever the hell they want.
Is it just me or does that make a ridiculous amount of sense?