Are Families Dangerous? Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

In "Are Families Dangerous?" Barbara Ehrenreich discusses how "media fixations" are recently allowing us to see the true grime that is our ideal family system. Ehrenreich's main contention is that families "can be a nest of pathology and a cradle of gruesome violence." She states that somewhere inside us, whether or not we want to believe; we know that this is going on around us, and media representations are outing the evils of family life. Implying that families might not be the shiny, happy role-players that we all would like to think of, she speaks of the unthinkable, gruesome crimes to the weak, and infirm, of these so-called families. She elaborates with the supposed fact that ."..families get...more dangerous...and dysfunctional (so) they ought to disband," even though she mainly grasps on to media portrayals. All in all, she concludes that we all try to duck away from all ill feelings toward anti-families, yet she does mention hope that come in the form of outside moral help. Ehrenreich asserts that we all, healthy or dysfunctional, need guidance from friends, relatives, and our community so we do not implode; also, in her final plea she emphasizes that we need more gender equality and better child welfare.

Ehrenreich's assumption that we all need help is just that, and assumption. On some levels some of us do need help, be it outside, or inside, but her article is flawed. She starts out with the media coverage of certain so-called dysfunctional families. No one doubts their validity of being dysfunctional, we must, however, doubt Ehrenreich's attempt to make the actual family norm more akin to a pride of self-defeating lions rather than what you or I might call "normal." Instead of saying normal, or the "norm," to mean a clear-cut representation (husband, wife, kids, career, education, cozy house, picket fence, etc.), it will be used as a positive structure (including the negative that accompanies everyday living). If we went by the percentage of life in media, then all newscasters would live happy, healthy lives, ninety percent of all crimes would be caused by African-Americans, and there would rarely be anything good in the world (since about one story in around two to three news showings are truly positive). I contest that we as people, being of sound mind, cherish the good, can realize, and understand the effects caused by our inadequacies and negative behavior. Ehrenreich's article is clearly one-sided, and far differentiates from the emotionally supportive, educationally aware, and politically sculpted family dynamic that we should all know and adhere to.

I am constantly drawn to the emotional staple in my family, support. Family support systems are just one of the most enriching, and rewarding aspects of daily family life. Through time the family archetype has gone through a tremendous amount of metamorphosis, including the most notable, and varying present-day version. No matter what creed, color,...

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