Monday, January 27, 2014

Now This is What a "Feminist" Should be Like

While the debate about women getting the vote was ongoing, the more intelligent and perceptive women did not want women to get the vote. They said it was far more important to raise children to grow up to be smart, creative, happy, successful adults.

It turned out they were right.

Now we have enough women thinking marriage and children are a trap, and instead think they should devote their lives to their make-work "careers." Then when they want to get married and have babies, sometimes at age 30 or later, they wonder where all "the good men" have gone. And instead of taking responsibilities for their choices, they blame their problems on men.

When I hear that mantra of "Where are all the good men?" I tell them, right where you left them: back in your 20's.

Thomas Edison was one of those almost indispensable geniuses. Had he not existed we wouldn't be as far along as we are. And who helped create him? His mother.

We don't all that many mothers like her anymore. Some want to farm their children out to the State. Others do it because they have to, because they have to work. The whole thing is a mess, and sooner or later it's going to collapse slowly. It's happening right now.

I don't have any idea who wrote this article, but it was from here.

"Those familiar with the life of Thomas Edison remember the story of how he left school. Edison didn't do well in school. He particularly disliked math and had difficulty sitting still and paying attention. He constantly drifted in and out of daydreams. He was impulsive, and his persistent questioning and inability to be quiet and wait for instructions exasperated the strict teachers. One day, the schoolmaster, Reverend G. B. Engle, belittled young Thomas Edison as being 'addled.' Young Thomas was so outraged, he walked out of school and stormed home (something that could get a student arrested today). He complained to his concerned mother about his treatment, and the next day, she accompanied him to speak to the schoolmaster. But the meeting didn't go well. The reverend stuck by his remark and claimed that her son could not and would not learn. The petite, normally mild-mannered mother had some choice words for the reverend for that remark. That day, she stormed out of school with him and decided that she would educate herself. And, though nobody knew it at the time, this was the beginning of Thomas Edison's life of accomplishment.

"The Edison family wasn't a wealthy family. Though not destitute, they were a working-class family who had to stretch their budget. And they weren't people of means. The former Nancy Elliott had been an accomplished teacher for a short time, but she wasn't a professor or anyone of title.

"But the loving and devoted mother was more than up to the task. In raising her child, she found that he had an amazing ability for reasoning and comprehension. And she felt that he had something inside himself that his detractors (often including his father) were just missing. She vowed that she use her own abilities and understanding of him to bring out the best her bright but unusual son could be.

"In her briefly observing the school at work, she disliked what she saw. Although the school was church-run, its structure adhered closely to the new, Prussian created public schools (then called common schools) that had been introduced to the nation. The way that all the lessons were forced on the students particularly appalled her.

"As a result of his mother's choice to sacrifice her own time and schedule to teach her child, he wound up being better educated than most American children of his time (and of present days, as well). There were two factors in that. First of all, Nancy Edison was a more devoted, concerned, and dedicated teacher than anyone else could possibly been. But just as important, she had the creativity and flexibility to try out unorthodox approaches to instructing her son, even when it was at odds with the traditional schooling approach. Matthew Josephson, author of a very good Edison biography, wrote, 'Her son had the impression she kept him home, as he said, partly 'because she lived his very presence.' She taught him not only the three R's, but 'the love and purpose of learning...she implanted in his mind the love of learning.' It adds, 'In this case, the remarkable mother gave the boy sympathetic understanding that bred confidence. She avoided forcing or prodding and made an effort to engage his interest by reading him works of good literature and history that she had learned to love--and she was said to have been a fine reader...While immature and ill-disciplined in some respects, had was advanced in others and soon became a very rapid reader.' As Dr. Lucy Jo Palladino points out, "She made a deliberate decision to define her son by his strengths, not his weaknesses.'

"The key moment was when Nancy Edison introduced her son to the book School of Natural Philosophy, by R. G. Parker. The young boy was captivated by the book, which taught how to perform chemistry experiments at home. He proceeded to perform every experiment in the book. She then bought him, The Dictionary of Science, and soon science became Thomas Edison's passion. And this is how it was begun.

"Edison later recalled, 'My mother was the making of me. She understood me; she let me follow my bent. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint.'

"In this case, the hand that rocked the cradle changed the world."


Wyowanderer said...

Sadly, the modern version of this is the "mother" who shuttles her brood between daycare/school/soccer/music lessons, and complains to her peers about how hard she works and how useless her husband is.
Count me out of marriage, if this is what it's become.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article, thank you!