I’ve been trying to make sense of the psychology underlying political correctness for almost thirty years, now. For the first several years it was quite difficult, emotionally. I was very depressed much of the time, which made it difficult to pursue the work, and I did not know why. I had never felt that way in developing theory.
One day, I began to understand what it was about. Up until that time, I had been answering to the voice of my father, and he said “I don’t care what you say, as long as you can prove it.” But this was a different voice. I realized it was the voice of my mother, and she was saying “I don’t care what you can prove, you are a terrible person even to be thinking these thoughts.”
I chose the voice of my father. I went back over my reasoning and my evidence and I concluded they were sound. On the strength of that, I maintained my explorations.
I cannot say that my mother gave up. I still hear from her from time to time. But I do believe she became a bit less noisy, and certainly less shrill. She seemed to resign herself to going through the motions. Good for her; my mother was certainly not stupid.
But I think there is a lesson to be learned from this; a generalization, as it were.
Why, we ask, do people, especially men, have such a hard time standing up to the insanities of political correctness? The answer is that their mothers won’t let them.
2 thoughts on “Choosing my father’s voice”
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“I realized it was the voice of my mother, and she was saying ‘I don’t care what you can prove, you are a terrible person even to be thinking these thoughts’. I chose the voice of my father. ‘“I don’t care what you say, as long as you can prove it’.” HSS
Great insight! My parental experience was substantially different. My “Missing From Action” cultural Catholic father, who became a successful homebuilder/artisan, dropped out of school (rural) at the end of the 8th grade. His intellectual inferiority would haunt him for the rest of his days.
There was little for a young Boomer-generation son to admire. By the time I reached middle school, he was so threatened by me, that he waxed bigoted and hostile. rather than demonstrating even an ounce of love. Nevertheless, much later I would successful “internalize” the residual of virtue I could find.
For me, my mother did her best to fulfilled BOTH traditional bi-parental roles. I think this was a dynamic common to many children of the ’60s generation. She transferred her family values of intellectual freedom and discovery.