Thursday, October 21, 2004

Today in Sociology & America's Family Social Institutions

Of all my classes, Sociology has to be the class where our teacher wants us to bring up opposing points in an attempt to make us "sociologically mindful". Anyway, she gave us an assignment on Tuesday (19 OCT) that required us to read 5 chapters in our two books by today. Well, for some reason, I decided I'd put up with the liberal BS & take the plunge and read all five chapters. As it winds up, we only discussed two of those chapters. The first chapter was "When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work". The second chapter was called "College Athletes and Role Conflict" ("Exploring Social Life", Henslin, 2004).

Today, we were discussing how society "promotes" pronatalism. Well, someone brought up the fact that you get a tax deduction if you have children. I should also say that the class was rather talkative today and seemingly more willing than usual to offer our input. A gentleman from the rear of the room offered up, for our consideration that, there is a marriage tax. His example was a married couple, senior citizens, who are drawing social security then one dies. The remaining partner "hooks up" with another person who is drawing social security and they will keep more money if they just live together than if they were to get married. His point, in a round about way was that the tax deduction for encouraging pronatalism was invalid since taxes do not promote marriage (the traditional institution for raising children). His point was very correct. However, our teacher could not connect these dots, for whatever reason.

At about 15-20 minutes into the class period we were discussing the "When Work Becomes Home..." chapter. The example that was used in the book (true story from sociological study) went something like this: Mother (38) comes home from work (shift supervisor at plant), minute she walks in door, 16 year old (from previous marriage) daughter (1) needs to talk to Mom about stuff. The baby (2y.o. from this marriage) is still up (approx 11PM)(2), thinks baby should be in bed to hours ago (9PM?). Dishes are piled in sink (3). Daughter complains about step-dad & vice-versa (4).

1) In the average world that I'm familiar with, parents would drop dead if their 16 year old daughter wanted to talk to them about something. The fact that the kid is from a previous marriage is a red flag that she is going to need more time invested in her than you average 16 year old female simply because she has come from a home that was torn apart. How selfish can you be that you can't sit and listen to your daughter jaw-jack for a few minutes? Who cares if she's rambling? I'm sure it is more coherent than whatever leaks out of your mouth.

2) What responsible parent on the face of the earth lets their 2 year old stay up until 11PM? That's the time our freshman, here in the Corps, are required to go to sleep. More on the husband later.

3) Husband's turn! I think this one speaks more about the mother than it does about the man here. Remember, she said yes to him (the engagement, for my slower readers). Anyway, are you that incompetent that you can put the dishes, at least, in the dish-washer? It is a miracle you've survived to your current age. Another point, let's count the people here: 1 male, 1 female, 1 baby. Uho; that doesn't add up to "piled in the sink", even if there is a pot in there as well. Get a grip, biach.

4) You sure picked a real loser to marry. He's sitting on the couch screaming across the house at the daughter, "Tracy (daughter) I don't ever get any time to talk to your mother, because you're always monopolizing her time before I even get a chance!" What the heck is wrong with these people? [Random observation: I'm will to venture they all have dirty rooms and not one of their vehicles are clean. They lead very disorganized lives. They're probably late to most meetings, as well.] The mother apparently never consulted her daughter for her thoughts about the marriage before it happened. She also doesn't care about what her daughter thinks.

As our teacher continued to ask us questions about the reading (even though it was apparent that most/all of us had read the assignments), the conversation shifted to the increasing trend of second marriages (marry, divorce, re-marry), basically, why marriages didn't last as long as they used to. This is where things became very interesting. The same gentleman that brought up the point about the senior citizens earlier, offered his opinion about this question as well. When he was through, I was ready to give him a standing ovation. During his answer (I wrote it down, it was that good), he said one of the most profound statements I've ever heard in any of my college classes. He said, "They're in love with the idea of marriage, not in love with the person they are marrying." Think about the Disney movies and today's instant gratification. If there's trouble, I'm up & out of here because I am unwilling to invest the time & effort to make this thing work. (That's my weakness with dating, I will fight tooth and nail to make it work, even when it shouldn't.) Princess and the prince lived happily ever after... until the honeymoon was over and the true marriage began. See, the honeymoon should not be immediately after the marriage ceremony. I think the husband and wife should go on the honeymoon after one year of marriage. After all, the honeymoon is just a bunch of sighing, looking into each other's eyes & the "other stuff" the whole time... Strike a nerve? That's why you read this blog.

Sociology rant:

Gender ISN'T "socially constructed"!!! It is freakin' genetic.

End rant.