Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On Tolerance

I'm a very bad husband. I can tell by the questions I am getting today:

What are you doing here?

Your wife gave birth yesterday and you're at work? Are you still married?

Why don't you take the rest of the week off?
The puzzling thing is the certainty of my interrogators. They are certain that something must be wrong. My wife gave birth yesterday and I'm at work today. The math is simple: I'm a chauvinist bastard.

Most people accept cultural norms as the highest expression of truth, with little or no question. Cultural conditioning over the last twenty years (or so) has dictated that child-bearing is a burden that has been unjustly borne by women - and the solution is absolute 50/50 sharing of responsibilities. Deviations from this model are unacceptable. Thinking otherwise is unthinkable.

We're like an army of automatons designed to act sensitive - disregarding the fact that sensitivity demands understanding. Never mind the particulars - you will be sensitive or you will be harangued into conformance. 'Bee-boo-bop-boo-beep. Insensitivity detected; insensitivity detected.'

The irony is that most of these same people reject serious religious belief on the grounds that they are far too refined to believe something simply because they are told. We're all individuals, we think for ourselves, you see.

The challenge is responding politely to such idiocy. The easiest course seems to be pleading ignorance: "What do you mean 'Why am I at work'? Where else would I be?" or "My wife told me to go to work and make some money - I wasn't adding any value at the hospital."

Welcome to the land of culturally programmed tolerance - where we all play a part and miss the point.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tony, why are you blogging instead of working? is THAT adding value?

-a message from your management-

haha just kidding tony. congrats again.

johnny d