Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to use blame to avoid tough issues

Let's say that there are some serious issues in your societal. Want to feel like you are addressing them while avoiding any responsibility whatsoever? Play the blame game!

Are there women who feel overwhelmed by pregnancy? No problem - just join the endless abortion debate! You can yell and scream for years without lifting a finger, let alone providing better services, protecting women from domestic violence, having better maternity leave policies, or providing social and financial support. As an added bonus, you can find those who argue with a straight face that men should be legally allowed to walk away from any unwanted pregnancy without paying child support "since she could just abort".

Are there parents (particularly moms) who feel torn between home and work? Again, no need to look at putting practical solutions in place. Just have an endless stay-at-home vs. working mom debate, complete with nasty name-calling and rhetorical flourishes. Brownie points for animal references, like comparing daycare to a dog kennel or saying that if you wanted to get out of the house, you should have a cat instead. On the other side, try to use images of maximum sloth and financial irresponsibility. If you continue long enough, no one will need to deal with parental leave, or funding childcare, or putting before and after school care programs in place, or any other flexible or creative alternatives.

More recently, I've been watching the growth of the financial chaos variation of this. Are there families drowning financially? Apparently, this means more debate! We can all throw around blame for having kids, blame for being materialistic, blame for being too selfish to support everyone else, blame for having the wrong priorities, blame for lacking faith....and this will nicely delay any demands that may be made for real changes based on financial reality.

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