August 19, 2006

Texas 7-Month-Old Ruminates On The Parenting-Capitalist Paradox

New dad Raj publishes his socially and environmentally conscious blog, Green Parenting, from the heart of that notorious hippy enclave, Houston, Texas. Every month, he interviews his daughter, Lila for the blog. Here's an excerpt from the latest:

Me:...Why is it difficult for both me and mommy to have careers, for us to have enough meaningful time together as a family, and for us to be part of a strong community? Is it because of patriarchy or capitalism?

My Baby: Daddy, “patriarchy” and “capitalism” can mean lots of things. I don’t want to talk about this unless you give me clear definitions.

Me: Well, I think that capitalism is the organization of society around money and ownership. Labor, time, production of goods and services, and access to basic necessities like water – all these things are exchanged using money. Whole political systems are built around encouraging these exchanges and producing wealth for people with power.

And I think that patriarchy is the oppression of women. It is made up of all different kinds of causes like the reservation of well-paid jobs for men, the expectation that women should do all the housework and all the baby care, and the idea that women have stronger morals but weaker intellects than men.

I think patriarchy is worse than capitalism. Obviously patriarchy’s bad for you and mommy. I personally think patriarchy is bad for me too. I don’t want to be the one who goes to work all the time my whole life even if it means I can come home and order mommy around. I wouldn’t enjoy ordering mommy around even if she let me.

My Baby: I enjoy ordering you and mommy around.

Me: That’s true.

A Recent Interview with My Seven Month Old [greenparenting via piratepapa]

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