I posted yesterday about The Strict Father Model, and got a bunch of good comments. Last night, the TCM channel showed the 1955 James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause. It was the great teen angst movie of the 1950s. It is about troubled teenagers, and the root of all the problems is the weak or absent fathers. James Dean, Natalie Wood, and the others look to the their fathers for strength and moral authority, and they do not get it. The moms try to fill the gap, but they cannot. They can help, nurture, approve, and encourage, but they cannot do what the teenagers desperately need from the fathers.
The movie seems to be saying that the strict father model is essential for normal development to adulthood.
There were a lot of 1950s movies that took dubious psychology theories way too seriously, so I never took this weak father theme too seriously. But now I am reevaluating the political angle to this.
Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that the welfare system destroyed the American black family by encouraging women to raise their children without fathers. Many conservatives thought that he was saying the obvious, but it is hard to discuss the subject without sounding racist.
Now Judge Morse says we ought to let a therapist decide whether I can take my kid surfing. That would be even more contrary to the strict father model than the James Dean movie. Is it possible that she attended some sort of seminar where some goofy psychologist explained that she must try to break down the strict father model? What do today's psychology textbooks say, and do they differ from what the 1950s textbooks said? This will take further research. It sounds paranoid to suggest that there might be some right-left politics underlying a family court judge's opinion on surfing, but it is tough to find other rational explanations for her wacky actions.