A Critique of Popular Literature and Competition for Resources
April 23, 2007 10:43am CST
Language manipulates people and people in turn manipulate language everyday to shape their needs. When the language of nurture is missing from a close relationship like mother and daughter or father and son, the immeasurable loss can leave emotional scars for life. Creating even more of a loss is advertising one’s personal situation, because it cheapens the loss by putting it up for sale. If the resource lost is a parent, parenthood is marketed. If a child is neglected, childhood is marketed. However the child in the situation didn’t ask to be patented. Speaking of supply and demand, Hope Edelman’s Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss easily romances its readers with its heartfelt subjective language. In other words, readers are lured into a world of embellishing descriptives used to condition generations of female relationships as something they are not. Given a lifetime of conditioning, this ad-hocs the process all over again and displaces personal responsibility. As if that isn’t enough, sometimes people conflate emotional conviction for fact. Although no one is going to deny Edelman’s personal truth, the fact is that very few want to consider that mother and child are competing for the same depleting resources, whether food or parenting. In effect, popular literature manipulates by romanticizing with subjective language feeding into an emotional hype while competition for resources is the more objectively subtle agenda behind closed doors. Resources like pizza and Hawaiian Punch come at a price. Yet when the price includes the loss of a parent or child, it is too high to pay. It is so expensive that the child overcompensates by emulating unrealistic standards borrowed from books and popular literature instead of other real-life role models. In addition, given the Internet’s role in advertising information, it is also little surprise that slowly becoming a dwindling resource is that special bond between mother and child. Has society all of a sudden become too high-tech for parents and children now? Even though author Hope Edelman doesn’t mention the Internet and like media as a platform promoting idealized versions of motherhood, Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss in effect markets relationships via romanticizing and stereotyping them. Clearly the missing bond cannot be found in a book nor in a buffet at Pizza Hut. As a conclusion one resource does not substitute for another. Marketing personal details, like in Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, puts them up for sale at a discount because the child is already without via the real-life experience of the loss itself. For instance, my great grandmother died at 54 years of age leaving my grandmother debilitated to the point that she treated my mother like she was a nuisance. In fact, her nickname was “Dumb Debbie” as a child. This neglect in turn affects my mother to the point that having relationships with her adult children is too much of a risk embodying the past. Be that as it may, sometimes children inadvertently become the “resources” for their parent(s). When the parents displace their own personal situations onto the child, it manipulates the individual into roles they should not engage in to begin with like spousal or parental. In short, intermeshed family dynamics I do not recommend, because children do not get restocked after their expiration dates, and neither do parents. It is tempting to blame the lack of parenting or parents for the missing emotional connection Edelman talks about in Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss. Yet personal responsibility cannot be pushed aside. One reason being is that parents are liable for transferring their personal situations onto their children, especially if they forget it is about the child and not themselves. In fact, Edelman has a chapter called “It’s About the Child: Keeping the Focus Clear” in her new book Motherless Mothers. Yet experiencing mother-loss firsthand doesn’t make it okay to put your children through the same hell. Case in point is not to conflate emotional conviction for fact, even when the pain of mother-loss is very real to each motherless child suffering from it. Edelman helps history to repeat itself by deflecting from this individual truth by patenting it in her book. The statistics from her “Motherless Daughter’s Survey” also helps the masses to buy into their own victimization. To explain, about 2/3s of her questions in Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss are leading tag questions, and the other 1/3 is not objective enough, for Edelman’s overall conclusions do not include motherless sons or fatherless daughters. Yet in lieu of family and not advertising, the author’s claims support the accepted knowledge that children are more disadvantaged than ever before. One such example includes a book by author Lisbeth Schorr entitled, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage. In it the author states that, “it is within our reach to improve the early lives of millions of American children during the next decade so they can become healthy, educated, productive adults” (Schorr). It almost sounds like children and parents are disappearing as fast as clean water and food. Secondly, attending in London the “Capita Child Conference Summit, a participant stated that, “Childhood cannot be re-lived. Isolation, desperation and hurt are not just words for young people – they have a scarring impact. It is unforgivable that these years can be allowed to be stolen from young people through poverty” (http://www.dwp.gov.uk/aboutus/2006/11-07-06.asp). The irony is that productive adults come from manipulated children when their childhood is stolen from them. Children are not meant to be adults before they are emotionally, mentally, and physically capable. And even though there are many resources to help children and young adults like daycare and mentoring, getting one’s foot in the workplace doesn’t justify crying wolf for a slice of the pie. Last but not least, the staying power of popular literature is at best fleeting when the herd that wails the loudest wins the most resources.