The following post was written by a guest blogger. It's views do not necessarily reflect the views of P.O.V.
By Megan Broutain
I am all about empowering parents to make their own choices and I am all for women not judging other women on their mothering abilities or limitations. I am a firm believer in democracy and the power of an engaged citizenry. I am a card carrying member of the freedom of speech and would fight for anyone’s right to spew insanities, if they so wish. Because I am not perfect, as a parent or as a woman, because the alternative is not acceptable and because I can easily stop listening or change the channel on my TV.
I can see the grey area in any argument, provided it is reasonably posited and backed with supporting facts. I may lean for or against a piece of argument, based on my own personal preference and past experience, but I don’t know everything so I’m generally open to hearing your side.
But, there are some things -- in parenting, politics and life in general -- that are simply common sense. Touting counter-logic as an alternative lifestyle choice will simply not fly.
Allow me to demonstrate:
· If you teach your children that hitting is bad, then turn around and use spanking to discipline them, don’t be surprised that your non-violent stand is not sticking. Children learn vicariously through the adults who influence them. It’s do as I do, not do as I say.
· If you want to extol the virtues of extended breastfeeding because it is a private choice, then don’t pose for the cover of a magazine with your boob in your three to four year-old’s mouth. It’s incongruent at best. You can have private or you can have public, you can’t have both; I’m afraid they are mutually exclusive.
· By the same token, if you want to sell magazines for their content, don’t put a questionable photo on its cover and flank it with a confrontational question then wonder why no one is taking your content seriously.
· If you are discontent with the divisiveness of the political discourse around you, starting a sentence with “you people” will not really demonstrate the opposite, will it?
· If you run for political office, your political voting record and your past political positions are part of your platform, whether you like it or not. You cannot pick and choose which ones you can list on your current resumé.
· And by the same token, if you promise something, publically, and garner support for and because of it, don’t be surprised when you are expected to deliver on that promise. Sticking your head in the sand and playing ostrich will not get you off the hook.
So there you have it, folks: Cognitive dissonance -- be it in parenting, politics or life in general -- is not persuasive. Period.