It's an intoxicating proposition that has been around for ages. To think I am the single most important person in the world second to none is appealing to say the least. Now don't get me wrong. What Rahna Reiko Rizzuto did is up to her. I personally find it indicative of the worst, most sickeningly cancerous thinking in our modern world. But what gets me is the piece itself.
It's clear that the writer of the Shine article is gushing over her decision to divorce her husband and abandon her kids so she can spend a life completely focused on herself. This isn't a woman who decided she doesn't want to be a mother, and so avoids having children at all costs. This is a woman who is a mother who, half way around the track, decides she doesn't want to be one and takes the necessary steps. Naturally, she says everything is better for it. Her relationship to her kids, her life, everything. Personally, I've always been of the feeling that if you improve a relationship by abandoning it, that says more than you want to about your role in the problems.. But that is neither here nor there.
What caught me, in Shine's slobbering adoration of her story, was the typical ability the media has of justifying its shallow promises by setting up untrue realities. Take this little snippet:
"It also goes against our culture's definition of motherhood. But it shines a light on a glaring double standard: When a man chooses not to be a full-time parent, it's acceptable—or, at least, accepted. But when a woman decides to do so, it's abandonment."I'm sorry, I missed where, in our culture of despising the delinquent dad, the absent father, the runaway male, that men are somehow off the hook for being a part time dad. Part time meaning, in this case, essentially abandoning the wife and kids to lead a life focused exclusively on self. Can someone tell me when this has happened that everyone has said, "Hurray! well done fellow!"? I can't either.
This is a favorite tactic in the media, to push an agenda in part by subtly stating something that is flat out wrong, and making it an assumed fact. They might as well have said 2+2=5, the world is flat, or John Smith was our first President. All wrong. But slid into the story as if it is obviously a fact. But it isn't. A man who would abandon his family to focus on himself would be ostracized by our modern, feminist dominated media and culture. It makes my head spin to think of how quickly he would be condemned.
Perhaps it's the feminist angle, with the usual 'women rule so there are no rules for women' mantra of radical feminism that the Shine author is promoting. Perhaps it's the usual desire to promise a Utopian paradise of self focus, a selfish, narcissistic euphoria that caused the piece to gush over this tale. I don't know. Certainly there is a segment out there, promoted by the likes of Dan Abrams - American male sans vertebrae - that suggests women are in every way superior therefore some could argue they can do what they wish for themselves beyond any other considerations. I don't know.
I just know that in decades past, common people with common sense would see something like this and be able to call it for what it was. But in our age of self-congratulatory high fives over how intellectually and morally superior than any other generation in history, we lack the ability to see the obvious truth. Or perhaps, we just don't want to, hoping that when it comes time for us to jettison anything and anyone else in our lives to pursue our own self focused lust for pleasure and meaning, those we patted on the back will in turn pat us on the back. You scratch my deplorably selfish desires, and I'll scratch yours.