I am, when I stop to think about it, quite thankful that my parents are not more forceful about my choice of friends and miscellaneous companions. They are Chinese immigrants, and as my friends' families have amply demonstrated, they could be far more conservative, and far, far more tyrannical when it comes to my social dealings. However, as much as I appreciate their warnings of caution, they are becoming somewhat very, very tiring when they crop up every time I go out, pronounced as if I were dropped on my head as an infant.
I am twenty-one years old -- an adult. Not an adult in the sense that I have completed my life's journey and that everything I do will go spankingly, but an adult in the sense that I may be trusted to have the capacity to think, judge, and learn. That, I think, is a reasonable statement to make. I realize such a statement would have been ridiculous at, say, sixteen, or seventeen. But twenty-one? That is reasonable. It may be not infallible, as everyone blunders at any age, but it is reasonable. Reasonability is one of the qualities I hold in the highest esteem and one of the greatest I could demand of anyone. So I feel very generous saying that it is reasonable.
My mother has never offered the same warnings about my friends. Never has she said I should be "careful" when I announce I'm going out with my friends (plural and female). (Set aside also for a moment the fact that men, other times somewhat bolder, leave me alone with I'm out with my boyfriend.)
Because why? Because the female is harmless. She does not lie or deceive, and by extension, does not wound. This, to put it lightly, I find completely absurd.
Because, yes, this is about gender. It is also about independence, and trust, and parent-child relations, but it is very much about gender.
I am a moderate but stalwart feminist. I don't like using that word, because a few extremists (Oho! Sounds familiar) ruined it for me. I can very honestly say that I champion the fair and equal treatment of men just as much as I do of women.
Clearly, though, it is not the deceptive nature of the human being that concerns my mother, for it is too easily logically demonstrated that both genders possess it. It's because my boyfriend has a cock. And according to biology, he wants to put it somewhere soft, wet, and warm, and then fuck it a lot ... like my pussy. That is why he is more inclined to lie, wound, or deceive me.
So, at the heart of it, lies sex (once again, history is heard to sigh).
It enrages me. Because now, she has offended not only me, but the person I care for.
She presumes that men are the likeliest of two to be all pure villains frothing at the crotch. She presumes that they like sex so much that they will disregard common decency and any shred of ethical behaviour in order to obtain it. Unlike women. Who hate sex. Who never feel horny. Who would never stoop to such tactics.
My mother cannot be fifty years old, because she is very obviously a matron hailing from Victorian England, who believes women are silken roses needing shelter from mildew and excessive sunlight.
I do not inform her of the status of our sexual relations not because I think telling her would be icky or because I am trying to enrage or defy her, but because I believe in confidentiality between two people. It is clear to me that I could put to rest some of her worries if I did tell her. But I refuse to; although she is my mother, but this is my body, and she no longer has any authority over it. Not only that, I am not the lone participant, and I have a great respect for the privacy of others.
I would accept reminders to use protection. They would still insult my intelligence, but I would accept them, since I know people my age can be absolute idiots when it comes to something as mindcrushingly simple as remembering not to get pregnant and thus invite an eternal blight upon your existence. But reminders to be "careful" are so gratingly vague, and that alone already offends me; if you wish to degrade my sense of judgment, at the very least say it honestly.
And to completely trash all of the preceding sentiment, so what if we're having sex? Suddenly I have become lesser for it? Suddenly I am vulnerable, because of sex, rather than emotional bondage (which can certainly occur without sex)? What the fucking hell?
And I am unable to say any of this to her, because we do not share fluency in the same language. It deeply pains me to know I let her think I do not want to communicate because I am selfish and silly and stupid and petty and young, when it is really that I am utterly incapable.
posted at 8:45:52 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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