It's an awkward transition to make any claim about whether or not someone
else is progressive, since you are applying the range of political and
cultural ethos on a culture that hasn't necessary embraced the same schema.
Enlightened cultural imperialism is still cultural imperialism. Most of the
G7 nations had remarkably similar cultural values to the roma up until only
about 20-50 years ago. Child labor was and is a cornerstone of every major
economic model in history (in the US it still is a viable option, provided
they are your own), and even now, the G7 nations offload the responsibility
assigning child labor to other cultures where is it more palatable. So
having many children is a key step in the economic development of a family
lineage. For diasporic cultures, replacement birth rates are a crucial issue
(and for stable ones. Most European nations do not have sustainable birth
replacement rates, which typically need to be 2-3 live births per family,
even with the advanced medical technology available) in survival of the
culture. To our materially excessive existences, it may be difficult to
witness, but then again, owning a car and eating hamburgers will probably to
more damage to any family unit in a non-G7 nation than any amount of
charitable giving (allowing for an agglomeration of effects in a culture
that celebrates car ownership and corn fed beef).
A single child as precious commodity is a notion that is only a little older
than me, and, in economic terms, a fallacious model for any social system,
since it is prohibitively expensive and emotionally debilitating for a child
(we are only a few years away from what is to be the inevtiable cry of the
Netzien nation, busy training 3 and 4 year-olds for Harvard, that an 11 or
12 year old cannot do this or must do that because "we invested so much in
you." Imagine what a fucked up level of responsbility that will be for an
11-year-old, or, even now, being told you are being positioned for an Ivy
League education when applying for pre-school).
From: ef <firstname.lastname@example.org> [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: gimme some advice
> >and her husband agrees that it would be a good
>> thing but for that fact. cause if she was in the hospital who would
>> take care of the kids. (don't say it, i know... but it's unusual for
>> a gypsy man to agree to such a thing so i can't really push it).
>wow, he must be a pretty frustrating person to deal with. he wants no more
>kids yet he won't allow his wife to grab a couple of days away from them so
>she can prevent any more pregnancies.
>i'm sorry, e, but he sounds like a fucking asswipe.
sure, by our cultural standards he is. but we mustn't try to impose
that... we have to take into consideration *his* culture. and by his
cultural standards the guy is, well, fucking progressive!
as i said, most gypsy men would never allow their wives to even
consider such a thing as birth control.
and we are talking of nine children, 3 of whom are essentially
babies. he diesn't know how to take care of them.
and canela... me take care of them? no. i can't. i could possibly
help with the older kids, had i an appartment there i could take them
home with me i guess... but i don't have an appartment there, i will
probably have a room (maybe) or maybe just a couch in someone else's
place. and whereever that will be, i can assure you that the persons
who live there would not accede to 4 gypsy children coming for a few
days. i know my hungarians well. <spit>
you know, something else happened while i was there, that involves
that hungarian family i was staying with... i never wrote about it
cause it was too fucking painful. but i will write about it soon.
anyways... where were we... yah, taking of the kids. well, even if i
*could* figure out where to take the older ones, yeah, if there were
no problem with taking care of the older ones... that still leaves 5
more little ones. and i don't have the first idea about taking care
of babies. my ahm, newfound maternal inclinations do not go that far.
oke, so now you will ask, why don't i just stay at their place. hah.
cause it is one room. everyone sleeps there, on two beds. and cause
it is infested with fleas. cause everytime i visit i come home
covered in bites, being very sensitive to that kinda stuff.i fucking
itched for three weeks solid. i fully expect to itch again... but i
couldn't stand it to that extent.
nope. there are limits... and tho mine are few, that is one of them.
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