Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 47

W specifically changing the structure of parent- HEN PARENTS AND ADULTS SHIFT ing and its assumptions, it will continue to be from obedience, shaming, and unconsciously based on current patriarchal right/wrong thinking, to freedom, norms. Although patriarchy affects women and love, willingness, and caring dia- men differently, none of us emerge from child- logue, children can and do find and cultivate their organic and genuine desire to care for the hood without internalizing patriarchy, and both mothers and fathers pass it on. well-being of others, both adults and children, alongside their own. No “should,” punishment, In this article, we aim to provide some point- or reward which prioritize the needs and per- ers to how patriarchal upbringing operates, spectives of the parents; no “permissive” giving why this way of raising children is detrimental up on the parents’ needs, to our very essence of perspectives, or values, ei- being human, and what ther; only trust in the unfold- It’s no surprise that patriarchy we can do about it, ing of life and in the capacity both systemically and requires coercion, since it of all, together, to come up individually. Our pro- with solutions that work for fundamentally goes against posals are both radical everyone in the family. our evolutionary makeup. and practical. Patriarchy, as we under- stand it, emerges from a fundamental separa- PATRIARCHY AND CHILDREARING tion from self, other, life, and nature. As such, reproducing patriarchy requires obedience so As the intrinsic unsustainability of patriarchal each new generation will internalize the sepa- economics and politics is being fully exposed, ration and continue enacting patriarchal ways more and more of us know that we are at a of being at all levels. Much is needed, at all crossroads as a species. these levels, in order to interrupt the reproduc- tion of patriarchy. One of the core necessary The nature of the crossroads is a choice that pieces is to transition to collaborative parent- is entirely in our hands at this point: are we, ing being the norm rather than the rare excep- collectively, going to continue on the suicidal tion. Without it, even if we somehow manage path we’ve been on, leading us to watch all to transform the larger political and economic that we love die, now or within the foreseeable social structures, each generation anew will future, possibly within the lifetime of our own be exposed to the impossible internal conflicts children? Or will we manage to reclaim and and compromises that patriarchal training de- restore our fundamental relatedness with all mands of us, internalize the dominant version things alive, surrender our attempts to control of reality in order to survive, and inevitably nature, and find a way of living that averts or recreate the existing relations and institutions. mitigates the worst possible catastrophes while More significantly, without shifting our parent- it’s still possible? ing, we might run out of sufficient collective Even as the external threats to our survival capacity to love. are more prominent, our species’ survival is Even people who are generally committed to also threatened by the loss of what Humberto social justice and egalitarian politics, for ex- Maturana and Gerda Verden-Zöller call “the ample, still fundamentally believe that children biology of love,” distinguishing it from a biol- need to be told what to do. This is why without ogy of dominance and submission, which is the “ VOL. 34, NO. 1 ” © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 47