Hold onto your jimmies, I’m about to rustle them

Day 35. 161 pages, 58,131 words.

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually talked about Trump, or Republicans, or US politics in any non-general way before on my blog[1]. Clearly it’s been sorely missed and the world can’t live without another opinion.

[1] Okay, there was this one. And a similarly sci-fi-themed one about Star Trek. And I did get semi-serious about USian politics here. But mostly I’ve been pretty lax in my duties as an armchair commentator, you’d have to agree.

Well, I’m still not really going to talk about actual politics, so much as a talking-point or issue raised recently in the pursuit of politics. And the issue is this:

Apparently the other day, either Donald Trump or Ivanka Trump or some other hideously out-of-touch and sociopathic Capitol-dweller said that being a mother was the most important job a woman could have. And the Internet lost its mind.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to make the Internet lose its mind. Here’s a small selection of previous cases.

Here’s the thing.

Um, isn’t it?

I know, I know. I can’t expect to weigh in on this, as a man, and come out of it smelling like roses. The best I can hope for is a solid label of MANSPLAINER. Oh well. If anyone who knows me wants to hit me with that, I look forward to seeing the justification – heck, I’ll probably cop to it, although don’t expect me to care. If anyone who doesn’t know me wants to have a go … well, I’ll just cut straight to the not caring, I think.

And I know, Trump phrased it terribly, making it seem like a woman-belittling declaration of irrelevance and disregard of every organ a woman possesses aside from the womb. Shit, when he-or-she said it, that’s probably what it was. I’m not about to give them the benefit of the doubt at this stage.

Of course I don’t think that “being a mother” is the only important job a woman can have. Nor do I think that “mother” is a mandatory job for a woman to have. Nor do I think that no woman who isn’t a mother can possibly have an important job or indeed, logically, a most important job.

So it looks like, on the face of it, that I completely disagree with this disgusting and misogynistic or internally misogynistic pronouncement, right?

Well, no.

What I believe is that being a mother is the most important job a woman can have, if a woman is a mother.

Guess what? I think being a father is the most important job a man can have, if a man is a father.

If you decide to be a parent, if you decide to raise a child, then that is your most important job. You are a parent first. Being a parent is your alpha and your omega. Anything else you do, whether it is working to put food on the table or working to improve the planet or expressing your artistic passions or just breathing in and out – those are all a distant second, and most of them are important at least in part for the benefit they provide to your child.

Are you a theoretical particle physicist, or a cancer researcher, or a social worker or a palliative care nurse? Awesome, my deepest respects. That’s the most important job you can have. Whatever you feel you need to do, whatever you’re driven to do, whatever you do that contributes to society[2] – that’s important and you should be celebrated for it.

[2] If it doesn’t contribute to society, we can probably still talk about it. Not everything has to have a practical function … but there are all sorts of ways a society can be contributed to.

Are you a mother and a theoretical particle physicist, or a mother and a cancer researcher, or a mother and a social worker or a mother and a palliative care nurse? Guess what, the mother part is more important.

Is a random mother more important than a random peace-treaty-formulating diplomat? No. Oh, actually yes – to her kid, she is.

I wouldn’t dream of belittling or disregarding anyone simply because they don’t have kids. That’s completely irrelevant. But since I have kids, I have absolutely no problem bumping every other responsibility and creative endeavour in my life down to a lower priority. My kids are the part of me that I am sending into the future to represent our species. There is nothing more important than that.

For me.

So here I am, agreeing with at least one interpretation of something a Trump said.

If you want to get mad and shout about some other interpretation – arguably the accurate interpretation – of the thing a Trump said, that’s up to you. The Internet needs more shouting.

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29 Responses to Hold onto your jimmies, I’m about to rustle them

  1. I think you might as well have said that you were inspired to make a parenting-related post based on something you heard Trump saying, because I don’t think you agree with him at all. After all, had he meant “being a mother is the most important job a mother can have” (or, as you ultimately elaborate “being a parent is the most important job a parent can have”) then he probably would have said so. Although, you can never really tell with that loose cannon.

    • stchucky says:

      True.

      But I’m learning about clickbait.

    • stchucky says:

      Full context, which I also admit I could have researched before posting but doesn’t actually change the substance of my post:

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/10/03/ivanka_trump_says_being_a_mother_is_a_woman_s_most_important_job.html

      “The most important job any woman can have is being a mother.”

      Which, yeah, that’s some bullshit.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Quite so. Hatboy is right, in my opinion, in how he alters what a Trump said about this into what most certainly needs to be the case. If we DO have children, they need to be our most important “job”. However, it should be said by someone who knows Republicans, what is MEANT is that a woman should seek being a mother above all else. Which is BULLSHIT.

      Now, that is not to say, as you hint a bit here, Hatboy, that there aren’t bullshit feminists who get triggered any time you talk about motherhood being a very important job. My sister and sister in law became offended that I said being a stay-at-home mom is a “hard job”. Which it fucking IS. Because my saying that seemed to imply no other job was needed and it should be a fulfilling career, which is NOT what I said.

      And that sort of attitude above is what makes great women like my wife feel like shit for foregoing a career to do that ever-so-important job of “mother” to the utmost of their ability. Instead of having someone else do it for them, no offense to working mothers. This is a tender topic, and it could do with a lot of “STFU” from all sides, IMO.

      Quite frankly, I don’t give a single flying fucking shit whether you (anyone) think my wife made the right decision staying at home. What I do care about is you making her feel like shit about it by raising your irrelevant opinions. You anyone, I mean. It’s like Rob Anybody, but far less cute.

      • stchucky says:

        Agreed on all counts. I mean, I even agree with the STFU, although I’m afraid I’m probably not going to. But there it is.

      • Eh, I’m just over here waiting for people to start acknowledging how it’s a hard job to be a stay-at-home parent without any reference to gender whatsoever. That cannot be fixed by making stay-at-home mothers feel bad about themselves obviously (and I’m sorry for your wife). At the same time, neither can it be fixed by stopping to talk about how wrong it is that women are assumed (and indeed expected) to be the stay-at-home parent.

        That’s about all I really want to say on this highly flammable subject especially in post as provocative as this. (No offence intended. I’m sure it was written intentionally to provoke.)

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Eh, I’m just over here waiting for people to start acknowledging how it’s a hard job to be a stay-at-home parent without any reference to gender whatsoever.”

        LOL nah, if I were a stay-at-home dad I’d be drinking all day and playing video games XD

        Which is why, don’t you know, I’m the one at work!

        “That cannot be fixed by making stay-at-home mothers feel bad about themselves obviously (and I’m sorry for your wife). At the same time, neither can it be fixed by stopping to talk about how wrong it is that women are assumed (and indeed expected) to be the stay-at-home parent.”

        True, and thanks.

        “That’s about all I really want to say on this highly flammable subject especially in post as provocative as this. (No offence intended. I’m sure it was written intentionally to provoke.)”

        I know, damn that Hatboy! If “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”[1] then what of Hatboy’s clearly evil intentions, I say?

        [1] I don’t actually buy into that cliche statement but I hear it often

      • what of Hatboy’s clearly evil intentions, I say?

        Mwah mwah, well, as an author, he MUST have evil intentions yeah? 😀

        To be a tad more serious, I don’t think he meant to be evil as much as, well… let’s just say that to suggest that you agree with Trump in ANY interpretation is sort of like painting a target on your chest and asking for someone to fire. 😉

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “To be a tad more serious, I don’t think he meant to be evil as much as, well… let’s just say that to suggest that you agree with Trump in ANY interpretation is sort of like painting a target on your chest and asking for someone to fire.😉”

        I agree with Trump

        ‘s small hands and what they clearly, clearly indicate XD

      • stchucky says:

        Eh, I’m just over here waiting for people to start acknowledging how it’s a hard job to be a stay-at-home parent without any reference to gender whatsoever.

        What I believe is that being a mother is the most important job a woman can have, if a woman is a mother.

        Guess what? I think being a father is the most important job a man can have, if a man is a father.

        If you decide to be a parent, if you decide to raise a child, then that is your most important job. You are a parent first. Being a parent is your alpha and your omega.

        Your long wait is finally over!

        Okay, I did refer to gender a bit, sort of, but only in the course of doing the Main Two.

        I apologise for the phrase “the Main Two”, but I’m not sure why.

      • My comment was more about the masses of people — like Trump — who still assign different kind of parent roles to different types of genitals (and are, in general, WAY too preoccupied with genitals for it to be healthy, if you ask me) but yes, in your post, you did a good job of expressing that you didn’t think this was a gender thing at all. 🙂

      • stchucky says:

        I hear you, and thanks. Yeah, the assortment of lines from Trump about how fathers should behave – and how looking after kids is “being the wife” – is telling. I’m not disgusted or offended by it, because I’d have to care about the man’s opinions to have that sort of response, but … well, he is clearly also a product of a shitty upbringing.

        It’s nice to be given a million bucks by dad. But it’s no substitute for being raised properly.

      • To veer off the subject (?) a little bit, I have to say that I’m quite disgusted by what Trump says. Considering that he is a presidential candidate in a country in which the president still holds some power — indeed, some global power — I don’t see his opinions as irrelevant, as unfortunate as it is that the opinions of a buffoon are relevant in a political discussion. The fact that he has gathered as many supporters as he has is a sad showing of the fact that he is not alone in his opinions, either, which is the part that REALLY worries me.

        But I try to avoid political discussion online so I’ll leave it at that.

      • stchucky says:

        I suppose we’ll have to disagree on this, although (as in my initial fake agreement with Trump) I think it’s a bit of a semantic trick.

        I think the fact of Trump’s success and relevance and candidacy speaks of a profound failure in USian culture in general, from capitalism through to presidential politics.

        His personal relevance, to me, is zero regardless of how powerful he is. I see nothing to respect, and that is certainly not altered by the number of utter, utter morons who admire him.

      • Well, I agree with this comment, so I don’t think we disagree. It’s a matter of semantics. I am guessing that by mentioning personal relevance you’re talking about some emotional investment in a person, which obviously I don’t have for Trump either. Whereas by saying that I’m disgusted by his opinions and believe that they have significance, I’m talking about their social and political relevance. The same applies to our own local Trumps, of course. Hopefully we’ll be able to elect them out of office in a few years’ time.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        This is how I feel whenever I think Trump might become president:

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        I don’t know how, but I agree with both your comment on Trump AND Hatboy’s reply.

  2. stchucky says:

    “One wonders, in Trump’s estimation, what a man’s “most important job” might be. It’s certainly not fathering—Trump has proudly denied that he’d do any parenting beyond “supply[ing] funds” for his kids. He’s also said that men who care for their children are acting “like the wife.””

    Which makes me think that maybe this begins to explain where the Trump offspring went so atrociously wrong. You know, speaking as a he-wife.

  3. dreameling says:

    You could also make a case for the biological/evolutionary angle: Becoming a father/mother is the most important step a man/woman can take, since that’s how the human species survives. No children, no species. [1] (Whether the human species surviving is good/bad/important is, of course, a separate discussion.) But I don’t think that’s what Trump/whomever was going for.

    Otherwise, I agree with you. If you’re a mom or dad, that pretty much should be your most important fucking thing. (I sometimes struggle with that myself, but I still agree.)

    [1] Until we fix aging (or our AI overlords do it for us) or upload to the cloud, that is.

    • stchucky says:

      I would tend to agree on the biological imperative. It is a very important thing for an organism to do, because that’s the point of organisms.

      However, it’s a bit primal. You might as well say eating, or killing, is the most important thing you can do. Which … let’s not go there.

      Once we reach a certain point where we can improve our species and help assure its survival without adding to the population or passing on our genes, reproduction in and of itself ceases to be “the most important” thing. It’s easily supplanted by surrogate-reproductive tasks such as educating or caring for the health of members of the species.

  4. thelinza says:

    I think you’ve stretched the phrase beyond its intention. Intentionally.

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