Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rebel Without a Cause

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.


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's tough to find rational explanations for her behavior. Just look at how much responsibility she avoids taking, while finding ways to shovel money to the "doctors" like Perlmutter, and others.

Had she had a political agenda, she would have used a more efficient way of employing it.

Anonymous said...

it's feminism gone awry. It's a socio-political agenda.

I will also say it's neither "liberal" or "conservative" as has been discussed here. My ex came from a very "right wing" Republican and born-again Christian household where Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh were heroes. The father was an officer in the Marine Corps (between the Korean and Vietnam Wars and was stationed stateside so never heard a shot fired in anger). And the mother clearly wore the pants in the family. And he himself came from a matriarchically driven family (his mother was another castrator). His daughter, my ex, now lives with him and my kids and runs the show in the house she grew up in now that her mother passed away a couple of years ago. I find it hard to believe he was in the Corps, frankly, but I've seen the pictures. Well, he was drafted as that was the Cold War era.

Like I mentioned in my previous postings, there are no liberal or conservative elements here, those are now meaningless labels, it's statism and sexism. At least from my viewpoint. YMMV, IMHO, IME, my 0.02, etc.

Anonymous said...

Well, statism is also very profitable for those who earn their living via the state and courts. so, maybe it's a case of one supporting the other ?

Anonymous said...

I think the term used in brain quakery, er, sorry, psychology is that they're "enablers", so yeah, I'd agree. The legal part of that toxic equation leans on the "scientific soundness" of psychology to rationalize their rulings, plus the need for an equitable and just society (that's where the social workers come in).

The shrinks, social workers and such use the courts as their field to plow to make a living. IME shrinks seem to feel pretty much everyone has "syndromes" and is in dire need of therapy to address said syndromes. Social workers are crusaders for "social justice", whatever that really means, I guess chasing bad dads who beat their spouses and children or something like that.

Tastes great, less filling, everyone's happy except the reluctant customers who'd be we the people.

Anonymous said...

check out stephen baskerville, "the politics of fatherhood"

here's how the jusdges are trained...

"In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had" (Epstein 1993, 1). The rationale was revealed during a judges' training seminar, when municipal court judge Richard Russell told his colleagues:

Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you're violating as you grant a restraining order. Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him, see ya around. . . . We don't have to worry about the rights. (Bleemer 1995, 1)