Thursday, May 15, 2008

The way we live now.

Whilst in the park the other day, a young family was watching the drakes chasing lady ducks.
" Who's that then?" asked the 3 or 4 year old little girl, pointing.
" That's the man duck's girlfriend " said her mother.
" So where are the baby ducks then?"
" Oh I expect they've left home already."
" Have they got another daddy?"
I didn't overhear the rest of the conversation as I was walking, but a couple of points emerge.
1) Even at age 3 or so, children are being told that men have girlfriends - not wives.
2) The children automatically assume that a man and girlfriend will have babies.
3)... and then the girlfriend will move on and the babies will get another daddy.
Terrifying.

8 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

I'm not sure about your third assumption...isn't it usually the father, not the mother, who "moves on" first?

kinglear said...

ww - depends on the mother.....Although I think this word is a misnomer in many cases. Mothers in my mind have certain characteristics. Unfortunately, very few of them now seem to have them

In Actual Fact said...

Well, maybe it was relevant to that family (the people, not the ducks), rather than society in general.
Say (for wont of an example) that the mother was widowed at a very early age, shortly after the daughter's birth and that after a couple of year's of shock she'd finally found a decent chap who was prepared to act as a father to the child, but they weren't married yet? Of course, it's highly unlikely and she'd probably run off with a driving instructor (say), rather than marry the decent chap, but you never know.....

kinglear said...

Ah Mr. Fact, you have altogether too much faith in our present population. In surprised, seeing as you are a Factual person....

In Actual Fact said...

Oh, I don't know, the run off with a driving instructor bit seems believable...

Anyway, maybe the woman was a biologist and was aware of the sexual habits of ducks: if it was the swans you often talk about - who mate for life - she might have used the wife moniker.

Winchester Whisperer: "isn't it usually the father, not the mother, who "moves on" first?" Maybe as a male I'm biased on this one, but the pendulum of rights between the sexes seems to have swung so far in favour of the female in relationships that many men in my age bracket (mid 30s, educated and devastatingly handsome) consider the idea of having children financial Russian roulette (and it's not because of the rise in school fees). Ignoring the moral/emotional reasoning (I know, I know....) it does actually seem more sensible (from a female perspective) to be a single mother with disposable male partners than be part of a "traditional" nuclear family with 1.9 children. I'm not in favour of going back to the bad old days of women being trapped in awful marriages because of, or for the sake of, the children, but there now seems to be an economic incentive (or at least no disincentive) for mothers to go it alone.

kinglear said...

Mr. Fact - I would have thought you of all people would have known that a recent finding is that the DNA of swans shows that they may stay with the same partner for life, but their offspring frequently have different DNA ie SHE'S been sleeping around.

In Actual Fact said...

What?!? It's even happening in swans now? 11 years of a Labour government and look what happens to the natural order of things...

kinglear said...

.. and elephants never forget and goldfish can only remember things for a nanosecond or two....Even these truthsd have been subborned by NuLabour. Elephants get alzheimers and goldfish actually have very good memories.