My Father Raised My Sister and Me To Act and Think Like Men
This post may be confusing to anyone who’s been to my blog before.
I’m writing this because it sort of ties into a post I have in Draft Stage right now about another topic.
It’s true that my mother was a very feminine, traditional values holding, devout Christian woman who raised me to be that way as well. (I may have mentioned all that in this post.)
My mother was also very codependent, because she grew up in an abusive, alcoholic home, and, as a Christian brought up under traditional gender role type views within Baptist churches, she really felt that girls and women being sweet, delicate, compliant little doormats was God’s will.
Therefore, my mother strongly conditioned me to be a stereotypical feminine girly girl (the very sort which many of my fellow conservatives value and prize), which I hated for many reasons, one of which is that I was a tom boy as a kid.
As a girl growing up, I was not interested in being my mother’s version of feminine, or what passes for womanly and feminine among today’s conservatives, Christians, and Republicans.
I was not interested in dolls, or wearing frilly dresses when I was a girl, or always just sitting quietly reading books.
One of my mother’s biggest “hang ups” around girlhood and womanhood was that, in her view, girls and women should not feel anger and should above all never, ever express anger.
It would be mean, wrong, un-lady-like or un-Christ-like, my mother believed, for a girl or woman to be hostile, be assertive, show anger, be out-spoken, or have boundaries.
Those traits were the province of ‘Men Only’ and forbidden to girls and women, my mother believed, and it’s a view that is often supported in and among the churches we went to as I was growing up, and I sadly see a lot of conservatives today holding this view, as well.
In my family, because my mother was the warm and fuzzy parent, I felt closer to her. I felt safer around her. Mom was approachable. Mom was non-judgmental, non-critical.
So, I strove to emulate my Mom, which meant I tried very hard to stifle my anger if I felt anger, not be so out-spoken, and to be quiet, sweet, compliant, and deferential to all. I tried to be like Mom and usually succeeded.
My father, though, was the total opposite to my mother, and so he emphasized different values and qualities in both my sister and myself.