Saturday, May 4, 2013

Smotherin' Mothers

Over at ROK there is a review ("How to Build a Beta Male") of a short 2007 Danish film called "Dennis" (link to the film here).  It depicts an evening in the life of a stolid, hypertrophied body builder who lives with his clingy, emotionally incestuous single mother.  He asks a girl from his fitness club out for pizza.  The evening doesn't end well, as the girl's friends make fun of him and he runs back to his mama's bed (literally).  A little disturbing, a little sad, but I like to think that this was only Dennis' first attempts to strike out on his own(In fact, the director Mads Mathiesen took Dennis on an extended and more upbeat adventure to Thailand in a feature length 2012 film called "Teddy Bear").

The character Dennis, and his enmeshed relationship with his tiny terrifying mother, seems to have struck a chord even with Roosh, and the discussion on ROK focuses on "beta/omega" males and how women create them.  The whole concept of alpha vs. beta men is rubbish, of course, which is why the manosphere spends huge amounts of time just trying to define what these distinctions are.  However, that there are a lot of lonely single men out there with undeveloped social skills is self-evident by the very existence of a PUA/game industry.   

I hate to admit I recognize the Evil Mother in this film, but sadly I do.  I know a few mothers, both married and single, who have turned their sons into their proxy "boyfriends," and it ain't pretty.  Very close to home is my partner's ex, who has been undergoing a kind of emotional meltdown as their son (now nineteen) begins to flex his wings.  The youth, whom I'll call Kirk, is still living at home, still cooking and cleaning for mom, still accompanying her on holidays, still tucking her in to bed when she's polished off the nightly bottle of wine

I see hope on the horizon though.  Unlike "Dennis," Kirk has great social skills.  As a result, he has a lot of close friends, both male and female.  In fact, he has recently acquired a girlfriend whom he texts constantly, much to his mom's dismay.  He has a part time customer service job that he is good at and he goes to school part time.  

Kirk and his dad (my partner) spend regular time together, sailing, attending musicals, cooking, building stuff, flirting outrageously with everyone they meetBoth are the gregarious sort for whom the expression "He never met a stranger" was coined.  Kirk also seems to have inherited his dad's sunny resilience and unflappable self-confidence.   From his father (a M2F transsexual), he has developed a spirit of tolerance and all-embracing compassion.  It seems a bit ironic that it is his transgender parent's qualities that already make Kirk his own man. 

I'm not really worried about Kirk even though I am sympathetic with the prolonged and often painful separation process he is undergoing.  I stay on the sidelines, of course.  We encourage his growing autonomy, but never disparage the attachment with his mom.  He's going to be fine (and eventually, I hope his mother will be too).

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