6/5/15

Sophie's Choice . . .

In 1982 Meryl Streep won her first Best Actress Oscar for playing Sophie in the film "Sophie's Choice".

If you've not seen Sophie's Choice, you should. It is not a happy movie - pretty much the polar opposite - but it is a very well told story of a woman who is constantly trying to make decisions between bad and worse and, among other tragic debates in her life, was once forced to choose which of her two children will live, and which will die.

It is with great torment that she chose to let her son live and her daughter die.

Were you surprised by that? Was anyone surprised by that? I hate to say it but I can't think of a single time when someone (man or woman) - in fact or fiction - chooses a girl (daughter or otherwise) over a boy (son or otherwise) to get the opportunity to survive or thrive. I'm sure there are hundreds (thousands? millions?) of examples of it but I can't think of a good example. And I don't know why that is.

Certainly there are gender biases and cultural norms at play but I also think there is just something about a choice of men vs. women where we're predisposed to choose men (in favorable ways - we men rarely get the short end of the stick).

What am I rambling about? Those horrible, empty, hypocritical, detached-from-reality Duggars.

Let's just get a few things straight (now that the media has done their digging and they, themselves, did their first interview since news of their incestuous, pedophile son came to light). The Duggars knew their son had molested more than one of their daughters and a non-family member. They chose to do nothing more than send him off to help a friend with home renovations (full disclosure - I've given these people the bare minimum of my energy since they first burst on to the reality TV "scene" so long ago) and to tell their daughters to let it ride. "ONLY touched them over the clothes," they insisted.

WHY? Why in the world would parents do this? Forget their absurd, overly-conservative Christian stance and how the Bible tells them so. In their actual wiring - WHY? My parents wouldn't even let two of us gang up on the third brother in an argument and they certainly would not let us molest each other with only silence and manual labor waiting for us.

I get that, as a friend (who is a lawyer) pointed out, the court systems can be brutal and the punishment for this sort of crime can be severe and damning and damaging to the whole family for the rest of forever. I get that you want to believe your kids are okay and that they are going to be okay and that they are resilient and can improve.

I get all that but you can't, if you want to teach your daughters any sense of self and self worth, allow their brother to sexually assault them and then hang around like it was no big thing. You can't let one child harm a sibling anywhere near that level and not allow a third- and neutral-party (shrink, cop, judge, neighbor, fireman, etc. (I'll remove clergy here . . . all clergy)) help decide what to do and how to do it.

You CANNOT chose between your kids. You can't be Sophie. At least not if you want to raise women who ready to overcome the odds already so stacked against them.