Fatherhood seems to be the theme for this week, after my Electra-Oedipus discussion last week. After observing the behaviour of emperor penguins, I now discover that fish exhibit loving paternal behaviour as well. Today’s fact tells us that:
“A father sea catfish keeps the eggs of his young in his mouth until they are ready to hatch. He will not eat until his young are born, which may take several weeks.”
Brad retorts to my earlier post with:
“For a male penguin, it is normal basic instinct to share parental responsibility. And basic instinct precedes their lower (relative to humans) intelligence.
When it comes to the male species of humans, most males use their intelligence to be less-caring, lazy, irresponsible, egoistic, chauvinistic and other not-so-fine virtues. Intelligence, after all, is a neutral capacity of thought and reason, and works both ways, for good or for bad.”
The assumption here is that intelligence leads to the ability to monitor and control emotions. Personally I always thought the two of these were seperate. Intelligence only gives you an egoistic sense of control and maybe you do manage to control your behaviour well. But what you feel is just what you feel, isn’t it (even if you don’t act on it)?
I’m sparking off an age-old question of whether men care as much as women do. As my last post muses, perhaps a man is capable of being as good a parent as a mother is, in a different way. I just find it difficult to actually visualize that happening…..not about men being good fathers (I’ve said this after all), but today’s men being capable of deep emotion for any human being but themselves.
I have to add that I saw an ad on TV yesterday that really touched me deep down. It was for a digicam (I think!) showing a father running up and just missing the sight of his baby’s first steps on the beach. Later that evening sees him sitting broodily till wifey calls him in to see the moment captured for posterity on film. The ad ends with the father proudly re-running the clip all night to watch his tot take her first steps.
Yes, very cute. So are today’s men only capable of caring for a human being they’ve helped create? I’m apt to think that even this so fashionable trend now of being a good dad is just a by-product of the media hyped sensitive, metrosexual man. I mean…it just goes so well with the ‘Complete Man’ image, doesn’t it? It’s fashionable to cootchie-coo over the little one so they do. But is it an inherent feeling? Ah, but I’m just an old cynic. Prove me wrong.