Dang, I can’t believe I had to read a whole parenting article in order to figure out what all is going on here!
So here’s what I think happened - I think Rudie got annoyed at a non-parent coming advising about how to parent, which is a common thing I have seen, and then while likely typing on his phone threw out “returning to a state of nature” without thinking about it too hard. My reading of the situation is that if he had in fact used quotes to surround “returning to a state of nature” his intent would’ve been more clear, as he clarifies later that he meant (but maybe didn’t satisfactorily articulate):
1) mythologizing Inuit people as a group with one ethos rather than complex humans is reductive (that would’ve been clearer if that were in quotes - I personally get pretty skeptical when a white person embeds themselves with “a culture” and then writes a book about it, but it seems in this case her writing has been at least somewhat accepted by the folks she was talking about, at least those who knew her)
2) using lessons from a social structure that is centered around different tentpoles than ours doesn’t really make sense. Other societal pressures of living in a city and with the kinds of jobs we have keeps us from dedicating as much time to our children as the folks in the article were able to.
Meanwhile Gaagaagiins reacted to the “state of nature” thing as a slur against native peoples, and I can see thinking that, especially since the tone of the short statement there was itself somewhat combative because as we all know, parents do not like being told about parenting by non-parents!
My conclusion here is that this is a misunderstanding and that this was not an intentional or unintentional slur, it was trying (with, let’s admit, limited success) to actually communicate the opposite. I think this issue is exacerbated by Rudie responding with short quips to Gaagaagiins’ long posts, which pretty much caused both of them to get more annoyed.
I don’t think Rudie was intentionally using white supremacist language (thank you to jaws for weighing in), and I do think Gaagaagiins was acting in good faith calling out what they saw as offensive or reductive language.
I really do think this is a mutual misunderstanding followed by explanations that both parties found unsatisfactory. If the clarifications I laid out above are correct then I think we need to kiss and make up on this one and move forward from it.
Now as to what to do with the thread, I am not sure - I will unlock it so people can weigh in on my thoughts here, but I think it might be tough to extract the conflict from the thread going forward? Should we create a new thread, or erase/split some portion of this discussion, or do something else?
I would like there to be a parenting discussion thread that is a mutual support place for folks who are working through the difficulty of parenting during the pandemic, losing their sense of self, etc etc. We’ve got to work out a way to do that, so I’ll put a poll in here after Rudie and Gaagaagiins are satisfied with my conclusion, or not, in which case I’ll take it up with those two specifically, unless anyone thinks I should do otherwise (and please feel free to message me in any regard!!)
As always, DM or email me with concerns privately, too!