Thursday, 2 February 2012
The very disturbing report by the BBC, concerning British men forced into slavery, can simply be viewed as a consequence of the hard times that the nation is facing. Austerity measures have meant that there is far less money available for the worst off in our society. Those worst effected are often men because of the general belief that they should be able to 'stand on their own two feet' and, because of this, they are less likely to be offered, or be willing to accept, help from friends and family than their female counterparts.
No doubt the 'tough love' argument would be used by the current government as to why these men should be allowed to sink into slavery, or more likely they will promise some new - but ineffective - legislation. There is little doubt that difficult situations do throw individuals back on themselves and often they find strengths that they never knew they had. 'When the going gets tough - the tough get going' is a popular concept - but not everyone is that tough.
The question to be asked, in our modern day society, is - do we consider slavery to be the reasonable consequence of not being tough enough? If it is not, perhaps we should reconsider whether we can afford to give aid packages to foreign governments, whilst many of our own citizens are in such difficulties - doesn't charity begin at home?
It seems to me to be very likely that the reduction in British males 'inner strength' is, in many cases, a consequence of mothers being encouraged to work whilst their children are young. Whereas, grandmothers and other family members can provide a reasonable substitute for mothers - this is unlikely to be the case for others providing this service for pay.
No doubt this view would be hotly contested, however, I would be surprised if many of those ending up in slavery are Jewish! Jewish mothers a notoriously protective of their children - to quote Lisa Aronson Fontes who describes the stereotype as one of 'endless caretaking and boundless self-sacrifice' by a mother who demonstrates her love by 'constant overfeeding and unremitting solicitude about every aspect of her children's and husband's welfare'.
There can be little doubt that Jewish men and women are over-achievers, and this is probably no coincidence, for this constant attention must raise their children's self worth and belief. It is, at least partially, our self worth and belief that will make us fight against subjugation in difficult situations.
Although traditionally British mothers did not go to the extremes of Jewish mothers, they did see their role, first and foremost, as one of looking after their families - work was fitted in around this important role. However, this view of mother's role has changed dramatically over the last 10 - 15 years - now they can 'have it all' - both family and career.
Many women have embraced this concept and it has become very fashionable for them to demonstrate their abilities in traditional male preserves - in fact the aim seems to be to outdo men in whatever field that is possible. It will be for mothers to decide whether this goal is one that they wish to fully embrace if the risk to their sons, in particular, is so high - for no government is likely to have the courage to take action!