Tag Archives: nuclear family

Notes on the Nuclear Family

Be advised these are not proper “notes” but more like a slapdash pileup of sources on the subject, loosely categorized, and sprinkled with the occasional quotes and bullet points. I figure they can be a starting point for anyone interested in investigating further. More or less a response to this conversation. Crossposted. Updated 9/17/19.

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On “single”

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

In the midst of other inter/intracommunity discussions going on, here’s something I want to put back on the radar: There’s some unspoken assumptions underlying some of how the ace and aro communities discuss “relationships,” and I think that needs to be addressed. For the purposes of making this point, though, I’ve decided to come at the issue by discussing the word “single,” specifically in relation to recent developments in my own life.

This is a post which has been exceptionally difficult to write.

But for now, here is where it starts. The word “single,” for describing a state of not participating in a romantic relationship, has certain limitations — limitations which have been addressed by aromantics before. In short, they would say, the word “single” implies too much. Those observations have weight, but personally, my problem with the word is the opposite: that it doesn’t convey nearly enough.

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cw: heterosexism, cissexism, fundamentalism

Contrary to popular misperceptions of fundamentalists, then, [James] Dobson does not see sex as a necessary evil.  For Dobson, sexuality is our most primary energy.  Whereas in Dare to Discipline, he castigates the “scientific experts” whose theories of child rearing led the nation to lose confidence in its heritage of biblical wisdom… Dobson idealizes and fights to preserve the modern family created by those scientific experts he loves to hate. But the point of his nostalgia was never historical accuracy. The point was discipline.

In large measure… this discipline is about maintaining middle-class status.  Historian George Mosse has argued that the emergence of nationalism in the nineteenth century was intimately connected with white middle-class norms regarding respectable sexuality. Dobson cites Joseph Daniel Unwin… who frames the issues as quasi-mathematical law: a civilizations level of cultural attainment is inversely proportional to the openness of its sexual regulations regarding extramarital and premarital sex.

Drawing on Unwin, Dobson identifies sexuality as our deepest truth. It is the heart of personality: “Self-awareness begins with an understanding of our sexual identity… Everything we do is influenced by our gender assignment.” […] Whereas Freud presented the discipline that civilization exacts as a source of discontent, Dobson presents this discipline as true contentment. For the mechanism by which society effects sexual discipline (according to Dobson) is private property: having a mate, a family, and a home of one’s own.

Ann Burlein, Lift High the Cross, p.155-156


compassionate leave

Okay there are a lot of other things I should be doing right now instead of posting here but I was thinking again today about how my company offers “compassionate leave” as a category of time off from work and how my coworker had to use her PTO hours (a different category) when she took time off to go to her uncle’s funeral, because she didn’t get compassionate leave for that, because her uncle isn’t considered “immediate family.”

The nuclear family is an economic unit.


IMAGINE

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