Friday, July 29, 2011

Is there a case for Hereditary Ratchetassness?

The saying is that an apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. I say it's not where the apple falls, it's where it ends up. Check it out:

A group of civilized Dallasites almost came to blows in John K's brand new spacious living room one night this week. I don't even know what channel it was on but there on the TV screen was some dude talking about the reason he cheated on his wife was because his father cheated on his mother. He said that's all he'd over known. The psychologist said that often children that see cheating, hitting, yelling, and general ratchetass behavior accepted as the norm growing up will perpetuate the same shadiness in their own grown up relationships.

Jayme went onto give the example that the abused tend to become abusers. Bryan said that he didn't believe that if your parents never taught you to be neat, you'll be a messy grown-up. Annette said that her mother was that needy woman who always clung to a man and couldn't make a decision without one. Her sister became the same kind of woman in relationships, Annette became the polar opposite.

I argued that at some point, if you are made aware of the fact that your behavior is unacceptable, it's up to you to break that genetic chain and evolve. I couldn't get past the thought that "my father did it, so I do too" seemed like a cop out to me. Someone brought up the Kennedys and the Marleys as glaring generational examples of sons who followed in their fathers' unfaithful footsteps. If someone tries to tell me that there's a DNA indicator that can predict infidelity, I want to know how to patent it... immediately

So we had several heated conversations going. 
1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)
2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?
3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?
What say you? Agree, disagree? To one, two, all premises? Think nature vs. nurture is a bunch of hornswoggle? Here's your chance to share. The floor is yours...

45 comments:

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

This is easy.


Yeah, sometimes...except when it isn't. Next question.  


Y'all gonna get enough of that always and never stuff. 

Jubilance said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)Yes, and so do men who fathers were faithful...and so do men who didnt haave fathers in the home. It is absolutely NOT a valid excuse, its a copout. What happened to personal responsibility?2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?IMO, all of it. People have a choice in whether to continue to doing the same old rachet stuff, or changing & becoming a better person. The latter takes WORK & is much more difficult to do, and sadly most people are lazy. People that WANT to do better, will do so, no matter how hard they have to work or how many times they have to try.3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?I will agree with that. Its just like how negative words that are said to us as children stay with us more than positive words. Its human nature to have the negative stick with us - maybe its a throwback to caveman days where doing the wrong thing would get you eaten by a wooly mammoth. But even still if those things do affect us more, it's still the responsibility of each person to do better.

Lady Ngo said...

Im not even going to waste my time commenting because you literally took all the words right out of my mouth *shakes fist* lol

MichelleG said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? Sometimes but there is no excuse for it. He may have seen dad do his thing and mom make excuses and seek out the same type of relationships if he doesn't see anything wrong with dad's behavior. Too many variables to stereotype either way.

2) Anything can be corrected. The first 18 years doesn't have complete power over the next 70. Once you know better do better and stop blaming your parents for what they did or didn't do.

3)I think your assuming that everyone recognizes their parents failures. IF you don't think anything is wrong (we all have big bellies from heredity not from constantly eating fried food and not exercising) then you will not do anything to change it. If however you see your parents behaviour as something to avoid and grow from but don't have the support system to make the neccesary changes (making it hard to envision this alternate life you desire) then yes it can be difficult to overcome all that you've ever known.

Richard J Wright said...

Interesting. I gotta ask answer the questions with questions. Do men with cheating fathers cheat? Well, my question would be, what if the the son didnt know that dad was a cheater? Surely that is possible. I know guys who fathers cheated and they cheated as well. IMO its load of crap. Your johnson doenst have a "connection" to your father. You do with it what you want, not because something in your gene pool is making you do it.  As far as how much behavior learned as a child can be corrected. That is a hard one. Its harder to unlearn than to learn. It takes years and for some, a life time. You have to have a charted course with a principle and moral compass to help guide you. As far cheating goes, no decent parent is not going to teach their child how to cheat. If they do, that's a dirtbag. Our parents failures do ring out louder than their successes. As children we saw their flaws and at the time we might have thought of it as virtue. Yet, the turns and twists of our lives show us what was really going on. In the end blaming mom and dad for your screw ups is the trait of a weak person. Because its a weak argument.

GrownAzzMan said...

Well, I will just cosign this.right.here and save keystrokes. All of it. Well said sistah!

Bianca said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)I think it's more than just their fathers cheating, it also has alot to deal with how their mothers dealt with it, how old they were when they knew about it and how much they knew.  I think if their mothers stayed around and made excuses they grow up to see this as how to behave, if they know the pain it caused and saw their mothers not stand for it, they learn not to do it. However everybody reacts differently.  2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?Behaviour can always be corrected.3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?Not sure, depends on the situation and the individual.

Sasha Iman said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)

Sure, so do men who didn't have cheating fathers. This issue is a matter of principles and resolve."It's in my blood" my arse.

As for the cheating all up, down, and betwixt the Kennedy & Marley bloodline, that has nothing to do with genetics. All that boils down to is the shiggity those men and their women felt the Kennedy/Marley name, money, and influence afforded.
 
2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?

I don't know, but I'd wager a lot. Therapy and a willingness to do better goes a long way.

While I don't deny that children think the behavior they see and learn at home is normal, there comes a time, long before you're legally responsible for yourself, when you realize that everyone wasn't raised the same, and there's ways to handle things other than the one you've been taught. It's then up to you to decide if there's a change that needs to be made and make it. Yeah the parents may very well have made you a certain way but, when you know better, you do better. And once you're legally able to chuck the dueces up and roll out from under your parents roof, ain't nobody to blame but you for the decisions that YOU make.   

3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?

Affect more? yes. Influence to the point it outweighs all the situations they were FTW, and gives reason for you to act the fool? no. That takes failure of a spectacular kind, or #FAIL describing A LOT of their parenting skills.

blackprofessor said...

Cosign!

blackprofessor said...

Jubilance pretty much covered everything I would say. 

I will add that changing patterns learned from our parents requires an "awareness" that 1) there is a pattern and 2) the pattern needs to be changed.  IMO, a LOT of people need to be taught self-awareness before we can begin to have conversations like this. You can't change what you won't acknowledge and you can't acknowledge what you aren't aware of.     

thinklikeRiley said...

If you past the age of 25 still talmbout what mama & daddy did, grow da fugg up.

Linnon said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)

Seriously?!  Men (and women for that matter) cheat for all manner of reason...because they can, new cocoa, really good cocoa, revenge, insecurity, because they are not getting any cocoa, and the list could go on and on.  That's like the answer of a three year old when he knows he did wrong, "I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't help myself."  At least he's three.  Or even better, "I slipped on a banana peel and fell in."

2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?

In this case I agree with MichelleG...a person first has to see, and then come to grips with the fact that they exhibit behavior that needs to be changed.  At that point it is a factor of how well that individual deals with change, and that is not about what their parents did.

3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?

Absolutely!  But I think that is because one requires change, and one does not, and change is hard.

Paul on Ice said...

I do believe we are greatly developed and shaped by our parents but at a certain point c'mon now. Many parents raise their kids in a 'do as I say not as I do' household but that child still knows right from wrong. And the grown up definitely does. I'm with you, I don't buy that piss poor behavior is inevitable.

GrownAzzMan said...

*dap*

GrownAzzMan said...

"I slipped on a banana peel and fell in."
Stealing this...LOL

Ruth said...

My husband's grandfather was a serial cheater/serial monogamist. He got married 4 times, though the last one has stuck...over 20 years now. Anyway, my husband's mom responded by telling her kids how hard this was for her growing up, how she felt abandoned and unstable, etc. All when they were pretty young. It seems to have affected them positively, knowing that their grandfather's cheating hurt the mom they all love. My husband & my sibs-in-law all have a strong reaction against cheaters, must stronger than most people's.

We'll have to see how it plays out over the course of their lifetime, but I think my MIL was onto something there.

maureen said...

Yes to number 3. I dated a guy that  swore off kids because of his dad. As he  used to say it "his dad was a sperm donor". He believed his dad's failures as farther permeated his DNA and  for that reason he did not want to be like his father.

This chic I went to high school does not believe in marriage b/c of  her parents relationship; she thinks her mom  took a lot of b.s from her dad (in her words, her mom was weak and a doormat). Her case is very serious; she has anxieties issues and  she does  not have a good relationship with her mom. 

GuessImJay said...

Your childhood is either the foundation you stand on or the weight on your back keeping you from moving on. It's up to you. #NoCountryForExcuses

Mykeia said...

It's up to you to break the cycle...we all know right from wrong.
I grew up in a house that had a lot of issues and with a mother who liked drama, I am now the EXTREME opposite because of that.  I found out in my adult years that her parents often had a lot of drama.  I do believe that sometimes people will stick with behaviors that are familiar and what they know and my mother is the epitome of this.  
Question one:  people in my family saw my grandfather cheat some accepted it some thought it was wrong for their mom to have a wife-in-law, my uncles are the opposite in their marriages.
Question number three:  yes people can show you what not to do by example.  
Happy Friday!

SingLikeSassy said...

1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)Some do, yes. But many do not. And no, "my daddy did it" is not a valid excuse for poor behavior. If you know better, you should do better.2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?I think once you recognize it as negative behavior, you can and should put the work in to change. 3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?Hm. I think this depends on the person. If you are a cup half empty person then you might focus on those failures. A cup half full person might look to the successes. Either way, at some point you have to own your own shit.

Grace said...

Either way, at some point you have to own your own shit.
Might as well scream "Sexual Chocolate!" and drop the mic after that.

Grace said...

Either way, at some point you have to own your own shit.
Might as well scream "Sexual Chocolate!" and drop the mic after that.

Leopard_Print_Pumps said...

I'm Team #NoCountryforExcuses all.damn.day. There comes a point in one's life when you have to face up to who you are and take responsibility for your behavior and actions (I would agree with thinklikeRiley that this is circa age 25). No one has any time to hear excuse after excuse after excuse, no sir. Your upbringing will most definitely impact your behavior and actions, but it is up to you and the people you choose to surround yourself with to hold you accountable to certain standards (this is assuming you have both standards and people in your life).

One of my cousins just got married a few weeks ago to a woman the entire family hates. The reason there is no love lost between her and the rest of the family is entirely due to her behavior. She does and says things that no grown ass woman should be saying and/or doing; she disrespects her in-laws and more or less acts like a 16 yo hormonally challenged woman rather than the 28 yo she is. It's through her that I am coming to fully understand that the individual has to desire CHANGE themselves. Ev'body else can say whatever they want, but unless the person decides its time to change ain't a damn thang going to happen. 

blackprofessor said...

Perfectly stated and please know I am stealing this.

tishatweets said...

I'm definitely of the camp that believes nurture tramps nature in most things, and certainly here. That said, if your upbringing is steeped in raggedy, ratchet behavior, it doesn't mean you have to be that way. It turns into an excuse at some point and you simply can't excuse this type of wretched behavior. Why? Because the hallmark of adulthood is that you are now free to make your own choices. Choose differently. So...naw you can't hang your adulterous, raggedy behavior on anyone but yourself.

David Chase said...

I know too many people who grew up with "suspect parenting" and turned out to be excellent (as in non-ratchet) human beings for this excuse to fly with me. One of my pet peeves is when people are determined to point fingers everywhere but at themselves. Grown ass people do grown ass things.

C Nelson said...

Bleah. Let me put it this way: my parents gave me lots to overcome in the way they raised me and the examples they set. One drank like a fish and got violent with the other spouse after; one still smokes two packs a day and got violent with the children without the excuse of drink; one is self-medicating a long-diagnosed mental illness and refuses to admit it's a problem. Both cheated.

I can't say that none of the things I do spring from that history -- I'm their daughter in lots of ways, from the speech patterns to the testing I tend to do in relationships to the way I don't know how to maintain close friendships because they taught me not to trust anyone and never liked me to keep friends long enough for them to find out what our home was like.

On the other hand, I drink two beers maximum, maybe twice a year, I've never cheated on anyone, and I've never touched a cigarette (or anything stronger, sans prescription.) Some things are harder to change than others. Some things are easier to avoid than others. So maybe the guy who cheats doesn't have an excuse in the fact that his Daddy did -- but maybe that same Daddy was also a violent drunk or a convicted rapist or a drug dealer, and grown-up kid is winning the fight on some of those fronts but not all of them.

mutemia said...

I'm not going say just pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and fix everything but I think if you know and understand what's wrong you should make some effort to fix it. It's just like people who a predisposed to certain addictions or diseases have to precautions and other preventative measures. Also, I'm sorry if a guy used my daddy or mommy cheated therefore its okay I cheated on you that would piss me off so much. Then I would DTM that instance, because that's some bullshiggity. I do agree that failures can impact us more than successes, since in many ways we're always expected to succeed that becomes taken for granted. While failures tend be like big flashing neon lights, that we can be drawn into. The whole mess is complicated, but bottom line if you have some awareness and you have the means to fix it, I don't want to hear that's what mommy or daddy did. 

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Your parents might have been a steaming hot pile of ain'tshiggity, but YOU have to make life decisions in YOUR adult life. So cheating because your Daddy cheated, or being a thirty man-chaser because that's all you ever saw Mummy do is a cop-out to me. Your parents may have shown you poor examples, but YOU decided to carry them through into another generation.

MichelleG said...

The doors of the church are now open...

AishaOaktree1122 said...

You are right, but many people don't even know why they do the things they do. Many people subvert their feelings and pretty much run through their lives without noticing it. When they are made aware of their issues they should work on changing it. One of my cousins stopped talking to me because I pointed out she was repeating her mother's mistakes, and choosing the wrong men in her life, she hung and hasn't spoken to me in three years (ask me if I miss the drama).

Some people however swing the exact opposite way of their parents and make their life decisions based on how their parents acted, so they live their lives locked out in a pattern of making decisions that make them ' happy' but they really aren't. They don't really live the lives they want, they live what is considered 'ok' but societies standards. Then sometimes down the road they really end up hurting themselves and others with addictions or acting out.  

We simply have to find the balance in between growing past our parents who did the best they knew how with what they knew, and making sure we don't perpetuate the same cycle.  Just my HO

Cocoa Winston said...

This all day

rozb said...

Why do folks always want to claim that crappy behavior is hereditary? It's just another way to toss responsibility away. My father, as they say, was a rolling stone. I have half-siblings sprinkled everywhere, and yet, my two younger brothers take pride in being faithful and loving when in the relationship. My youngest is married and makes a conscious decision to be that way. Hair color, eye color, body quirks and stuff are hereditary. Behavior ain't. Miss me with that one.

sol_dier said...

I believe your parents flaws are divine messages showing us paths & behaviours to avoid.

There used to be a time when parents would tell their kids, its was their job to improve on the family flaws.To be better, do better, avoid the traps they fell into. Le Sigh. Thanks papa & mama for your flaws. Couldn't have had a clearer map on things to avoid as well as things to do. 

We all have a choice, do you fall down the same ditch or do you figure out a way to bridge it. 

Mykeia said...

Me too.
Damn.  Good one.

Singlelif said...

I don't believe these questions can be answered with blanket responses. There are a contingent of folks who were adopted and/or were foster children raised by society, who were affected by and took on the behaviors of the families they were raised with. There are others who werent raised in families, and made their own decisions given circumstances. So, I'm not sure that heredity is responsible for it all.

1. Some men with cheating fathers will cheat as they grow older. Some won't.
2. Most behaviors learned as a child can be changed as adults.  With age comes wisdom,
in most cases.
3. All things being equal and possible, I can roll with our parents failures affecting us more than successes - dependant on the circumstances,  and how we view the world.

By the same token, there are some children raised in violent households, who think that ish is normal, and grow up to either be abusers, or accepting of abusive behavior.  There are some who practice "poor sperm management" and overall irresponsibility, and leave children scattered across the globe...because that's what they are used to. I choose to believe that when you know better, you do better. Regardless, learn from others, and do better.

Mina B. said...

I cosign with most of the comments I've read that basically say you are responsible for yourself once you reach adulthood and that mommy & daddy's faults influence you but do not determine your actions.

However....I do believe that one "failure" that seems to stick is the concept of Marriage. I can understand how difficult it can be for people who have not been exposed to a good marriage to accept that it exists. Especially with such a high divorce rate.  It's like trying to convince someone that drinking poison will not make them sick. I think this is where the cheating comes into play. A lot of people who have never seen it work have difficulty believing that monogamy for life is real. They don't have the same expectations. Now, I still don't think that's not an excuse to cheat b/c if you don't believe marriage works then you need to stay off the altar. So I guess this all boils down to being self aware and then making decisions accordingly.

Singlelif said...

This is loosely related. I just returned from a date.  Omega Psi Phi are in town for their centennial celebration this week. So dude and I are having drinks and dinner, getting to know each other. He tells me he has six children and four "baby momma's", and he doesnt have sex in December because three of his children were born in September. When I asked him about birth control, he says he's a "strictly rhythm method man", and refuses to use condoms.  The night progresses, and he tells me he likes my style, and wants to invite me to their closing bbq and tomw nights festivities. When I decline based on all that I didnt like about him, he tells me I'm "high maintenance", but still wants me to come.

This man is a succesfuly Lawyer, born and raised in a Harlem project, primarily by his father. He has two siblings (by his Mom). I was born and raised in a 2 parent household in a Brooklyn Brownstone. What's his ratchetness excuse, if any ?

OneChele said...

He has no excuse. I hope you ran quickly in the opposite direction. Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Singlelif said...

I wish I could've recorded him as he defended his "sloppy sperm management", because I straight up told him his situation was sloppy.   Five of those children are under 18. And get this, he received an award earlier in the evening for mentoring the kids.  I couldnt get out of there fast enough !

rozb said...

Wow! He displays his ratchedness like a badge of honor - glad you went in the opposite direction of that shiggity!

BTW - I am stealing "sloppy sperm management">

sol_dier said...

O_O 
Honest to God, I thought men like him are myths. #unbelievable!

Singlelif said...

We should be so lucky to have them be a myth. Unfortunately, he was real.

Mykeia said...

DEAD at "poor sperm management"...but the children scattered all over the globe is so sad but so true.

Singlelif said...

...and more often than not they are scattered across the globe with names that will automatically label them "unemployable" by society's standards.    #ImJustSayin' 

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