Let me just start off with a disclaimer that I am almost universally against reality t.v. shows. By and large, they highlight humanity at it's very worst and are one of the lowest forms of entertainment for the masses. That said, I do occassionally watch American Idol (I know, I know). I just love music and I love to sing. I think they find some very talented artists on that show. So, I sometimes put aside my bias against such types of entertainment and tune in. Unfortunately, I saw something that reminded me quite clearly of why I avoid these shows to begin with. Allow me to recap.
A very nice, young man who was originally from Egypt was auditioning. As he was waiting for his turn, an (American) woman behind him asked if he had any kids. He said that, no, he didn't, he wasn't married. She, of course, started laughing incredulously and told him (and I am paraphrasing here) that he didn't need to be married to have kids...that's the only way we do it around here.
I mean, come on, what's he thinking? He's in America now, we don't mess around with any of that traditional family nonsense. Why wait until you're married to start a family when you can have scores of children growing up in single parent homes? [/sarcasm]
Now, don't get me wrong. I sympathize with those who are left to raise children on their own without the benefit of a spouse. I saw another American Idol episode that highlighted a single father trying to raise his son on his own because the boy's mother had died. Of course, my heart goes out to him and to anyone else who's left to try and take the place of both mother and father. It's the 'modern women' laughing in the faces of sweet, young men who want something better for their children, who I take issue with.
I hear all the time little analogies concerning traditional families, like 'you can't stuff that genie back in the bottle', 'you can't go back to the sixties'. Well, I'm not interested in going back to the sixties or stuffing anything back in the bottle. It's not about regressing. We would have had to have progressed in order to regress. It's about righting a wrong, curing a sickness, fixing a mistake. If we found out some revolutionary new drug was causing a horrible, malignant cancer in everything it touched, would we just say, "oh well, we can't go back...can't take back progress"?
Women wanted to be able to do what they want. If they want to have children without husbands, they should have that right. If they want to pursue careers while their children are raised by strangers in daycare, it's their life, they should be able to do it. We were so worried about whether or not we were allowed to do something, nobody stopped to check if we really should. In pursuit of our social experiment, nobody worried about what the reprecussions would be or who would pay the price for them. Well, we're all paying the price. Society, men, women, children, we're all paying for it. The problem is, those largely responsible aren't willing to admit it. While the reasons are staring us all right in the face, they try to invent scapegoats as to why everything's so screwed up.
It's time to own up. It's time to admit that the social experiment failed and to start trying to fix some of the damage we've done. Logically, I don't think it will happen. Society's so intent on having their 'Brave New World' and in such denial that it could possibly be wrong, they'll continue to invent increasingly ludicrous excuses for what ails us. All the while, the obvious solution is resolutely ignored.
As for the sweet, young man from Egypt? Honestly, I hope he goes back to Egypt. I hope he goes back while he still has his ideals firmly in place. That, or he finds some small, backwards little town that hasn't been too polluted by our pathetic concept of 'progress'.