Write 4 pages thesis on the topic pulling punches by christopher duncan. Mr. Duncan wants to be a just parent, as he worries about “failing [his] children” (Duncan 2009, 1). What he means to be the implications of failing his children, one is not exactly sure. Would his children become effeminate if they didn’t learn how to fight Would they not have material success in the world if they didn’t learn how to fight Duncan says the conflict between pacifism and fighting “creates a kind of parental dissonance, a discomfort that [he feels] slightly embarrassed to talk about in polite company” (Duncan 2009, 1).
Duncan wonders if he is being a good father by not teaching his son to fight-just as his father seemed to have been an effective father by teaching his sons how to fight, and also carry on the legacy of his grandfather. Duncan seems to be indebted to his father but conflicted by the social message of the Catholic teaching he grew up with: “My father would tell me that my son should learn to fight. My church tells me he should learn to love. Am I a bad father for teaching him one, and not the other I hope not” (Duncan 2009, 1).
In some ways, Duncan feels a call to lead a “countercultural” sort of lifestyle. He says he is “a Catholic who takes the call to be a peacemaker much more seriously than [his] own parents did. Though [he] is not a pacifist[he has] great admiration and respect for the kind fo courage pacifism entails[my own] paradox” (Duncan 2009, 1).
Some advice for Mr. Duncan is in order. First of all, Mr. Duncan must realize that there are certain unwritten codes that we all follow according to the gender roles which society dictates. In a study of ads, “Goffman’s models seem to follow one body of tacit social rules about gender, not two or three, or some mix[a sort of] code” (Hochschild 2003, 46).
Mr. Duncan’s child is young. It is normal for a child to question at that age who he is. “So, at this point [in a boy’s life], [he’s] asking [himself], Who and what am I Is this my identity” (Cahill 2006, 146) A good relationship with his father is guaranteed to help his son have success in life, not learning how to fight necessarily. Gathered from the “clinical experience of many psychiatrists and therapists does stem from problematic relationships with parents. The basic idea is that each individual in some sense has to ‘achieve’ his gender identity by going through a developmental process” (Cahill 2006, 153). This solves the issue of gender roles.
Now, Duncan is worried if he is being a just parent. “[W]here the ordinary relationships with parents are disrupted [in this process of achieving gender identity]this process is short-circuited” (Cahill 2006, 153). Clearly, Duncan does not have problems here. He may perceive he is being a bad parent if he does not clearly define gender roles-ultra-masculinity being demonstrated by the fact that his son would know how to fight.