Undoing the American family
James, a man who has often dreamed of being a young girl & is adored by young girls, has such an interest in a young actress that he signs on to a movie to act alongside her – a story where father & daughter exchange bodies. He is aware that this has never been done, but not why. When the crew realize that incest is next, the clever conceit collapses. Presumably, all who would play around with the family had better beware …
Of course I had to say we are lesbian lover co-parents, says Chloe. How else get a kid? Otherwise, an assistant were necessary. Chloe revives an ancient opinion: Children owe their parents their lives, are property, & must be useful, if they are to live. If not justified, that opinion was excused by poverty. Though maybe not female infanticide… Expediency may not offer the same excuse… Prosperity, however, is even more obviously based on the opinion that the good is the useful!
June, of course, is won over to the new opinion: Adults need to make sacrifices for their children – or at least make themselves useful to their children. The key to democracy is responsibility. June wants to raise this girl right, which turns out to mean slavish obedience to a child’s whims & to the conventions regarding education.
The girl, of course, feels no gratitude, & finds responsible June boring – she does not mind the shouting as much as the bad breath – whereas Chloe is exciting. June might learn how those men feel who work for a living in a society where everywhere pleasure is on display, whether advertised or threatened. She eventually loses her mind & takes her anger out on the girl, in public. Even New Yorkers have something left to shock them…
Perhaps the old opinion about parenting was made to preserve the sanity of adults by allowing them anger – to encourage their property rights over their children. That is one way to deal with the problem democrats call responsibility, but it allows parents to rule their children rather than be ruled by them.
Some consequences of the new opinion are embodied by June: Behold a young, attractive woman, unattached to a man or an employer, & left defenseless by her family. The closest she gets to a job is an unpaid internship where she is tyrannized by her clueless boss, who is Chloe without the beauty, sex, & humor. Bossing people around may be childish. But being bossed around is the only way to learn jobs. Money might solve the problem of ingratitude, but work solves the problem Chloe presents to mankind. Chloe refuses to work because she is undeluded about order.