Sunday, October 26, 2003

Mermaid- Drowning

24 October 2003 The Waterline: Drowning p3

The mermaid loves profoundly, enough to cause self-mutilation. She denies the validity of her own existence in order to risk acceptance and rejection in another's world. The witch warns her of the danger, but she does not listen. She cannot hear the anxiety of others around her that her yearning for acceptance is impossible. She cannot see the barriers that divide the two worlds because water is transparent. The surface of water is seen from an angle or from above, but she believes that because she swims on the surface, she can also live on the surface. She does not understand that the transparent barrier between their two worlds is as real as a the Great Wall of China.

Today, 33% of children in America are homeless. based on a report from 1979. They grow up in worlds, raised by single mothers who are abandoned just like Butterfly or the Mermaid. The consequences on American society are staggering.

Consider these factors :

According to a studies from the Institute for Children and Poverty ( ), The typical homeless family is headed by a single mother who is 32 years old and has two children of about eight years. 50% of these women have no High School Diploma, and therefore do not have the educational skills to provide for themselves or advance their careers. 44% of these families have NEVER RECEIVED welfare support. 14% have receivesd some assistance for less than a year. Many of these women are very work-oriented and have had long-term jobs. Approximately 20% are currently employed but they receive only 86% of the designated amount (11,440 USD) needed to survive at the minimal living standard. Two of Five homeless families were living in their own apartments or homes at the time they became homeless. In addition, the minimum hourly wage fell 17% between 1979 and 1995, so that although these women may be working relentless hours, the money they earn is valueless. They also fill the least stable positions in society as they are disposable in a slack economy. They are picked up and dropped like things, rather than human beings who need support and acceptance from society and government. "The poor shall always be among you" is a frequent excuse for greed.

In addition to this, 23% of these children are raised totally by single mothers. Recalculate that to comprehend that 77% of all children from homeless families are fatherless. This destroys any emotional or financial stability for their lives. A high proportion of these families become urban nomads, moving from one place to another to find shelter and often living in horribly crowded conditions. Those people above the waterline, look down and say that they're as shiftless as fish –they can swim. Leave them lost in their sea. Consider the fathers momentarily, for like the Prince in Mermaid or Rusalka, they do not want any responsibility for their involvement. They turn their backs, cut and leave. The typical father is about 35, a High School graduate and spends no or little time and support on the family he creates. Modern society has a tendency to blame the woman for everything and leave her in a ditch, reminiscent of Dicken's England and the melodrama, No Mother to Guide Her. Men are not responsible for their actions.

Of these men, 30% have acted violently against the partner of the children; 44% have spent time in jail and 33% have a history of substance abuse. 45% of the men have children with multiple women and cut all ties because they want no responsibility or are afraid to accept responsibility for their actions. Men are mavericks and women cows.

Younger men are twice as likely to maintain some relationship with their families, visiting or giving some financial support. Older men over 45 have multiple relationships and give little or no support. Usually they cut and leave. 63% of the fathers spend no time with their children, so that children are condition to insecurity and rejection. They experience little acceptance, love or bonding and therefore are no able to adapt later into society. 79% of men 45 or older spent no time with their families. 44% were employed but spent no time with their families. 68% of working men, gave no financial support to their families and of these 50% had sufficient means to support their families but refused to do so.

Reconsider the elements of Andersen's Mermaid. Is it really a myth or a children's story or does it reflect the attitudes of society. Those who live the hidden lives under the sea can never break through to be accepted above and stand on solid ground. Although the waterline is invisible, it is definitely a solid barrier to acceptance and "successful life."

Homes for the Homeless
Institute of Children and Poverty


22 June 2003 The Ugly Duckling

1 December 2004 Nix of Mill Pond

3 November Silence of Longing part 2

part 2: Rusalka, Berg and literary social criticism

1 November The Silence of Longing p2

reposted on 3d November was deleted

2 November Silence of Longing Part 1

1 November The Silence of Longing p1

24 October The Waterline p1

24 October The Waterline Going Deeper p2

24 October 2003 The Waterline: Drowning p3


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