The Time I Asked a Teacher to Expand On Her Statement

This story is from Ayelet, who believes prejudice should at least have some thought put into it. 
In twelfth grade, a teacher informed us that only Jewish mothers loved their children.
The non-Jews, she said, were incapable of loving their children. They had babies for selfish reasons, and brought them up with selfish reasons. They might think they love their children, but it was a lie, it was no true love. It was all about them.
I raised my hand.
“So you’re saying that all non-Jews have narcissistic personality disorder?” I asked.
My teacher looked at me, puzzled.
“What’s that?”
“Well, one of the main symptoms of narcissistic parents is that it’s all about them and never about their children. They’re incapable of loving their children. Do you think all non-Jews have that?”
The mechaneches was confused.
“Well, like I said, yes, they are incapable of truly loving their children.”
Unluckily, I knew a lot about narcissism, having a few relatives who very likely had NPD though they were never diagnosed. I had done quite a bit of research to understand how to deal with them better.
“According to the DSM, only up to 5% of the population has narcissistic personality disorder. Even taking into account other personality disorders which may have the same symptom, more than 90% of non-Jews love their children, and only 10% or less are not capable of that.”
“Besides, there are many Jewish parents who also have NPD. In fact, there may be more personality disorders within the Jewish world than the secular non-Jewish world in America, because of the holocaust and years of persecution. So how can you say that Jewish mothers love their children and non Jewish women don’t know how to?”
She was silent, then mumbled she would have to look into this more. The bell rang and she fled the room.
My teacher never got back to me on this one. But I hope I made my mark and that she erased this particular lesson from her curriculum.
The Time I Asked a Teacher to Expand On Her Statement

4 thoughts on “The Time I Asked a Teacher to Expand On Her Statement

  1. >They might think they love their children, but it was a lie, it was no true love.

    I’m sure the teacher never thought this through, but she’s suggesting here that love is something objective “out there” that can be measured for authenticity. Like someone *thinks* they have a diamond, but really its cubic zirconia. But emotions aren’t like that. They’re subjective. If you think you’re experiencing an emotion, then you are.

    Also, the dehumanization of everyone outside the in-group is disturbing.


  2. DF3 says:

    People in that world don’t like to be challenged on rhetoric they were taught. They don’t like to think about the idea that their teachers might be wrong about something. If they were wrong about one thing, they could be wrong on another, and another, and another. Then what’s left that’s accurate? Ask for a widely accepted source. The guy or woman they learned it from is NOT a widely accepted source. If it is, and they spout stuff like “only Jewish parents love their children”, the source needs to be challenged.


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