There’s so much material on father-daughter relationships in the fundamentalist groups these days as well as plenty of material on the issue of “emotional incest” within the purity movements. In short, a very close father-daughter relationship is supposed to make the girls grow up to be pure princesses who will not sleep with any man, won’t end up as drunk drug addicted teen pregnant sluts and will make awesome wives, simply and only because they stayed absolutely pure.
While there is this strong emphasis on the value of a very close father-daughter relationship, there is another emphasis on mother-son relationships. These aren’t considered to be as beneficial to the developement of sons – actually, quite the opposite. A strong, involved mother will rather turn a son into a wimpy little boy who will never be able to be “manly” in any way. This attachment to their mothers will turn into something they can’t cut off. They’ll never be able to “leave their parents” because his mother will be more important than his wife. Yes, those sons will turn into men who cry because their wives call them losers. They will cry when they realize they made a terribly wrong decision. They will cry for every reason a woman is typically supposed to cry.
I remember how my parents encouraged us daughters to seek their help and support for every problem we had. The emphasis is on their. They believed a daughter needed both parents’ care to grow into a good woman. Their were both equally important. For my brothers, however, things were a little different. Asking Mom for help was discouraged – they were supposed to come to Dad with everything. A lot of times, Mom wasn’t even informed when something was wrong with the boys, she wasn’t asked for advice or anything. My Dad would just go ahead and work out the problems by himself, telling Mom only after everything had been worked out that there was a problem to begin with. It’s not uncommon at all that Mothers almost push their sons away in order to make them grow into strong, manly men. A mother can’t even do much with a son! The daughters she can involve in her daily life. They can help her clean, care for the babies, cook and do laundry. Boys can’t do that. Boys must do things boys do – play in the garden, make something, play knight and dragon. Mom doesn’t have time for it and even if she did, she would probably prefer to spend some girl time with her daughters. Too much time spent together makes boys way too attached to that first woman in their lives.
While a daughter’s heart is supposed to belong to her Dad and her Dad only (see purity balls etc), a boy’s heart is never supposed to belong to his mother only. A boy’s heart is free, it belongs to him. If his heart wasn’t free in this sense, he would have to ask his mother for her opinion and, finally, for her approval, if he had picked out a girl he wanted to court. And that is simply impossible – a woman lacks the ability to make sound, godly decision. After all, her head is her husband, not God directly. She cannot know what God wants because he can’t tell her – only her husband can. You see where this is going – a woman is simply unable to be a mother in a spiritual sense because she simply lacks the spiritual ability and permission – and if you can’t be, shouldn’t be a “spiritual mother”, you might want to be careful about all the other ways to be a mother. A woman’s advice, care and involvement can’t do any good for a boy’s developement. At the end of the day, it will be his Dad and his Dad only who makes the final call as the head of the home. A son’s mother is degraded merely to an incubator, a feeder and caretaker for the first year of life. After that, her influence can only be damaging.
Today I found this very interesting article here. And I realized that much of it is true.
You see, my boyfriend is one of those “wimpy sons”. At first it kind of scared me, almost… disgusted me. I thought he was too attached to his mother. His Mom is a lovely Lady. She is very very quiet and calm, very emotional and very introvert. All of these character qualities are true for Daniel. He is the exact copy of his mother, at least when it comes to character and personality. He was sort of her favourite child. While his siblings had a much stronger relationship with their Dad, who is the exact opposite of his wife, he was Mama’s boy. Until today they have a very very close relationship. If he has problems, questions or anything, he will ask his mother first. Once a week they meet up to spend quality time together. They usually rent a movie, or go for pizza, or simply have a cup of coffee somewhere. It’s an important thing for both of them.
I’m sure you can imagine just how confusing this was for a fundamentalist child like me. He clearly picked the wrong parent! He should be doing all of that with his Dad. Everything else makes him a wimp.
Except that it doesn’t.
He can very well make decisions without his Mom holding his hand. He is disciplined, loving and caring, a hard worker, emotionally connected, strong in relationships, honest and protective. How could it be that he displays all of those qualities when he grew up being Mommy’s boy?
Could it be that listening to a woman’s advice doesn’t make a man soft and weak? Could it be that a child might not be focused on the parent of the same gender but rather on the parent with the same personality? Could it be that an involved mother doesn’t make a man weak but strong and appreciative of female qualities, respecting a woman the same way he respects his mother – as an intelligent human being capable of making sound decisions and giving advice that you can actually listen to?