Dads & Heros
As I think I mentioned in the Life More Extraordinary post, we declined to (try) to learn the gender of our upcoming offspring. I’m also pretty sure that Carolyn read that generally, men prefer to have boys.
Not me. I hope she’s a girl. That said, if she decides she wants to be a boy, that’s fine too. I’ll do my best to teach my child cross-gender skills. She will learn to fix toilets and ride motorcycles. He’ll learn to cook and sew/knit. Well the sewing if he’s interested. But who wouldn’t be? 😉
I was talking about this preference on a bicycle ride with a communications professor. He said that it made perfect sense to him. (He has a 1-year-old daughter.) But he said that it made sense because of the Oedipus story. I told him that I didn’t really have much fear that my son would kill me and then have sex with Carolyn. He chuckled and clarified. He meant simply the pervasiveness of the role of the son as the hero of the story. As soon as a man has a son, he’s no longer the hero. Then he pointed to Star Wars (the original trilogy). Luke, the son, is the hero who redeems his father.
Carolyn and I were talking about this on a recent hike and trying to figure out culturally pervasive stories where the father is the hero (or the hero is a father.) The best we could come up with was the Andy Griffith show and Home Improvement. More recently, the Incredibles almost fit, but that’s more a family affair generally. There are plenty of non-hero fathers in our cultural awareness (Homer Simpson, Peter Griffith and Al Bundy jump immediately to mind). But generally, the heros are the sons making their way in the world.
Why is that?
AC (hanging on to the possibility of herodom as long as he can)