Sheldon Cooper: …But you do bring up an interesting point. I don’t have to break new ground here, I’m sure much of the research already exists.
Leonard Hofstadter: No! no, my point is, if you want to learn how to make friends, then just go out to a coffee shop or a museum. Meet people. Talk to them. Take an interest in their lives.
Sheldon Cooper: That’s insane on the face of it. Come on.
Leonard Hofstadter: Where are we going?
Sheldon Cooper: You’re driving me to the mall. I’m going to acquire a book that summarizes the current theories in the field of friendmaking.
The Big Bang Theory The Friendship Algorithm 2009
This piece at Stacy McCain’s site concerning Emma Lindsay has really stuck with me:
She dated a series of boyfriends until she was in her mid-20s, at which point she decided she was actually bisexual, spent three years dating lesbians and, as she has said, convinced herself she was a victim of “the heteronormative brainwashing of society.” However, Ms. Lindsay’s lesbian relationships turned out the same way as her earlier relationships with men — i.e., failure — and, after a two-year romantic hiatus, she decided to subject herself once more to the insidious forces of patriarchy. What is her likelihood of heterosexual success, at age 32, if she always failed with men when she was younger? Or to look at it from a different angle, why would a man be interested in a woman who has not only been rejected by all her previous boyfriends, but has also been deemed an unsuitable partner by lesbians?
This latest shift seems about the desire for a child and has left her with a problem the quest is not going well because apparently the people she is meeting just aren’t as considerate as she is:
When I date people, I devote a lot of effort to making their lives better. When I’m with women, I read about health issues that effect lesbian demographics (higher rates of breast cancer, obesity, and depression.) When I’m with men, I read about health issues that effect straight men (coronary issues, blood pressure, and emotional issues esp. around anger.) When I date people of color, I research POC health/discrimination/etc. issues, especially issues around dating white people (mental/health effects of internalized racism, institutionalized racism, the types of micro-aggressions I may be likely to commit.) When I date people with less money, I pay for shit. When I date people who are messy, I organize their shit (even though I’m also really messy.) When I date people with physical limitations, I massage their shit (weird Emma past: I went to massage school.)
Her efforts have all come down to two choices in her quest for motherhood:
As far as I can tell, I have 2 options. Option 1 is “trapping” some guy into having kids with me because he lacks the self awareness to plan for it himself. This would also involve taking his last name, doing most of the housework while contributing 50% to the earnings, and faking my orgasms so he doesn’t have to feel emasculated by his lack of sexual prowess.
Option 2 is having kids by myself.
It would involve some sacrifices, like probably not living in San Francisco. However, every time I go on a date with some man-child, I become more and more convinced that those sacrifices are probably the less bad option.
Stacy sums up this conclusion here:
Her proposed “Option 2” — pay for donor sperm, “becoming a single mother by choice” — is a childish threat: “If you don’t play by my rules, I’m going to take my uterus and go home.” To which the world’s male population will generally react with a shrug of indifference.
“Damaged goods,” they’ll say, and if Emma Lindsay were an isolated exception, a lone kook howling at the moon, perhaps I’d shrug, too. Yet the fact is that Ms. Lindsay is part of a tide of human wreckage washing up on the shores of our sin-sick society, the flotsam and jetsam created by the disintegration of America’s formerly Christian culture.
While I agree this entire situation reeks of the disintegration of America’s Christian Culture I think Stacy is missing a key point concerning Miss Lindsay’s screed a consideration that is completely ignored in her calculations.
The good of her child.
You can look high and low, but in all her critiques of the various men she is considering none of said critiques include: Would this man be a good father? Would he put our child first? Would this man be a good role model for our child?
Nor does she seem to be all that concerned about what she would bring to the table. She talks about having to give up San Francisco and alludes to other unnamed sacrifices but nowhere is the realization that once you have children your life and your commitment belongs to them. Their well-being, their education, feeding them, clothing them, steering them along the right path. All of this considerations would seem to be job one.
Where is all her research on what makes a healthy and happy child who will grow up to be a responsible member of adult society?
In the days of my youth, these considerations went without saying, today with the sex act completely divorced from its actual function of procreation it seems her MIT education has not prepared her to ask this completely obvious question.
There is good news however for Miss Lindsay. She has access to an excellent resource on this subject, as evidenced from an earlier piece of hers concerning the moment the general public discovered her writing:
Then, the day after, I got 75 thousand views, and I called my parents.
“Are you ok?” they asked, “How are the trolls? Are you getting trolled?” Then, “Why did you never tell us about this? You know you can tell us anything.”
She has (or at least at the time of that writing did have) two parents who are apparently there for her. I’d suggest sitting down with these parents and having a long talk with them on the subject. They will almost certainly give the best advice they can on this decision and can do so with practical examples from both their and her own experiences. And while I may or may not agree with what said advice might be, I’m certain it will flow from their unconditional love for their daughter.
Me I’d sum things up in two sentences: The secret to a successful marriage is putting up with each other foibles during the 95% of the time when nothing too exciting (good or bad) is going on.
As for Parenthood; The secret to being a good parent is loving your child enough to be willing to enforce an unpleasant rule or speak an uncomfortable truth even when it hurts.
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