Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

August 19, 2010

primitive vs western families

Alma maintains that western style families are not more civilized than primitive families because of the way we treat our elder relatives - particularly our old women, our mothers and aunts and grannies, who tend to live longer than the men.

"Adult children are dropping their aged mothers at the doors of churches and hospitals in the same manner that desperate young mothers drop newly born infants at the same institutions," says Alma, "and what is civilized about that?"

"In some primitive societies old women have always been seen as a burden, having no use whatsoever," says Alma, "they were either banished from the tribe to die of starvation or exposure, forced to commit suttee - throw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre - or, as is the case with some 21st century African tribes, the old women are segregated and form their own villages to take care of themselves.

"Segregating old woman may sound a bit cruel, but it may be the way of the future for our society, too."

"The bottom line is that old people need as much care, if not more, than a newly born infant," says Alma. "Changing and bathing a soiled baby is obnoxious enough to some people, but being required to perform the same duty for an aged relative is far worse. I do it every day for my mother-in-law and I know about these things."

"With more and more women working full-time jobs, as well as performing the traditional roles of a mother and wife," says Alma, "I believe it is far too much an imposition to expect them to care for elderly, ill or disabled relatives on top of what they already do.

"And yet, if families cannot or will not take care of their own, then who will?"

"It is abominable," says Alma, "that so many families expect the State to take responsibility for their aged, ill or disabled relatives."

"Since this problem affects women as caregivers, and women as the predominantly cared for," explains Alma, "I see it as our responsibility to make sure that we do not become a similar burden on our children - or the State."

"A segregated village of elderly women taking care of each other sounds great to me!" laughs Alma.

Read more by Alma on this subject:

  • the burden of caregiving
  • mother-in-law care
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