Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family Values

When did "family values" start coming up as an actual electoral issue among Republicans? It's not so big this year, except with Rick Santorum, who has made "family values" a big thing for probably more than a decade now.

Santorum and other religious people define "family values" as a "man married to a woman." These folks say that "a man married to a woman" equals a happy family life AND a good America.

I beg to differ.

My mother and father were married for 15 years (1962 to 1977). I was born in 1965. During their marriage, I remember very little but hate.

One early memory was when I was 4, and my dad was trying to teach my mom how to drive a stick-shift. They didn't have a baby-sitter, so I had to go out with them... He screamed abusively at her constantly. After a few driving sessions and listening to him, I remember screaming myself at both of them: "I don't want to go! I don't want to go!" I still had to go.

That was at age 4. There were dozens of shitty things and moves in between then and the end.

The end of the marriage came when I was 12: Dad went out for the evening in his suede jacket. Came home. Wanted my mom to go to the bedroom and have sex with him. She refused. I was ordered to my room. Peeked out to see them grappling, her pulling his gold chain off, her on her knees before him and him then ordering her to PICK IT UP.

The next thing I knew, my mother was running off into the woods while my dad shot after her.

I closed my bedroom door that I'd been peeking out of. I got lucky that my drunken father went and passed out rather than choosing to shoot me.

How many families has something like this happened to.

To Rick Santorum and any other asshole claiming "family values" just because there was a "man and a woman" in the equation: It has NOTHING to do with "man and woman." Male/female marriages are at the 50% rate of failure. How dare anyone say that these things, just because they're "male/female," are what anyone should be aiming for? (Especially when what I knew as a kid as "aiming for" was my father shooting at my mother?)

I will never forget the night that my father shot at my mother. Aside from that most-major trauma, I will also never forget the time that my father gave my mother a black eye because she got home late from the dentist. I will never forget every possibly happy thing that he did with me that he turned into shit:

Like a high-school football game that he took me to... My dad taking me to a game! Only, he spent the whole time pointing out which girls looked like sluts.

And then there was my dad driving me to a skating rink: Per his instructions, I had to keep my hair in a pony-tail and I had to keep my coat on the whole time.

And then there was the one Dallas Cowboys game I got to go to: My dad got drunk by the end of it, and I, at age 12, had to steer the car home because he was so fucked up.

And the above were the supposedly GOOD things that I experienced while I was a kid. I'm not talking about the times he hit my mother or the times he terrorized me.

So don't talk to me about "family values" featuring a positive male figure. I had the shittiest male role model imaginable. That political figures are claiming that such "male-female-marriage" is automatically the ideal is psychotic to me.

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