[Parentsgroup-list] Time out, please

Christine Dianne Wenc wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Aug 1 23:06:37 EDT 2005

Okay, kids...As much as I enjoy this (and I do), we'd better chill now.

1. I think the idea of two threads is a good idea. If you are interested
in sharing research and opinions on
general parenting issues and discussing them amongst ourselves, send me
your email address with "discussion" in the subject heading.  If anyone
signs up (and I have my doubts), I will make a separate list.

2. The parenting list will ONLY be for issues related to parenting at
Harvard or in academia in general, along with practical things like
apartment searches etc.

3. EVERYONE is welcome here, but it will only work if we're grownups.
We're setting examples for our kids, right?  And you never know who
you might end up being friendly with.  Lots of people started
unfearing/unhating gays/lesbians when
they actually met one, for instance (heck, I actually dated someone who
voted for Ronald Reagan once! Er, huge mistake, though) so making an
effort to attend meetings/social events would help.

4.  All that said, I do regret sanitizing this list.  We haven't seemed to
make much progress in bridging the unbelievably hostile gap between "blue"
and "red" or however you want to describe it.  I'm not sure how BOTH sides
ended up with the absolute certainty that THEY are the marginalized
group.  Who's laughing all the way to the bank here?

5.  Finally, one last political comment.  Calling anyone who wants to
discuss the negative effects of our version of industrial capitalism a
communist has been the classic shutdown technique for the last, oh, 80
years or so.  It doesn't help.  Same goes for left-wing assertions of
poltical correctness (or, rather, the lack of it) and the personal attacks
which often accompany it, of which I have ALSO been on the receiving end
in my previous life as a newspaper editor/writer (for an alternative newspaper no less!).
The experience left a new sour taste in
my mouth to go with the previous one associated with right-wing hypocrisy
(and both inspire expeletives in me).  One my favorite writers is Doris
Lessing, which will make sense to anyone who knows her novels.

What this means is that, since BOTH sides claim to value community,
values, relationships, and family, it would be really nice if we could all
stop making our initial encounters into political litmus tests and
actually attempt to practice what we preach.  Christians--love your
neighbor.  Buddhists--treat everyone you meet as if they
were your mother, the person who birthed you and cared for you when you
were a helpless child.  Atheists--be objective.  (All other faiths fill in
your compassion requirements here.  Yes, I know that not everyone has
nice neighbors or nice mothers.)

So let's have a picnic and meet face to face, okay?  If not Walden, there
will definitely be one for registration week.


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