Saturday, June 1, 2013
AMANDA: TAKING CONTROL AT AN EARLY AGE
(Note from Mark Remond: I mentioned Amanda in a previous post, Ask Your Mother, as an articulate advocate of Female Led Families. Before sharing some glimpses into her own matriarchal household, Amanda offers the following self-introduction in her own words.)
I think it’s important to know a little bit about my upbringing as it played a large part in shaping my future as an alpha female. I will start with my teenage years and in a later post discuss how I met my husband.
My parents both worked, and our family was reasonably well off. I was the middle child of three with two brothers. One was a year older and the other two years younger than me. My brothers were typical teenage boys, idle, inattentive and nearly always in their bedrooms.
My life took a memorable turn one Saturday morning when I was 16. My parents went out shopping and I left for a girlfriend’s house, but returned earlier than expected to pick up a CD she wanted to borrow. Entering the house I heard laughing from my elder brother’s bedroom. I knocked on his door and walked in—and was shocked by what I saw. Both boys were sitting on the bed watching a porn video. It was disgusting stuff—well, for a 16-year-old girl!—involving two men and a woman. Leave it at that.
I was so angry (particularly with my elder brother for exposing a 14-year-old boy to this stuff) that I walked right to the video recorder and ejected the tape. I then informed my brothers that I would be showing Mum what they’d been watching. They knew—we all knew—that she would be livid. They pleaded with me not to tell her, but I was adamant and walked out of the room with the tape.
My older brother ran after me and said he would do anything as long as I didn’t tell Mum. He was really scared. This got me thinking. Anything? We all had chores to do in our house—cleaning bedrooms, doing our own washing and ironing, etc. I told my brother that if he and my younger brother cleaned my bedroom and cleared away the breakfast dishes (my job that particular day), then I would think about not telling Mum. He agreed, and I went back to my friend’s house with the incriminating video (in case my brothers tried to take it back) and my CD.
On my return I found they had done a pretty good job, but I told them that I would not be returning the tape. The matter would probably have ended there except for another incident a couple of weeks later. I went into my little brother’s bedroom (while he was out) to retrieve a CD I’d loaned him earlier (I had a big music collection!). When I couldn’t find it, I started to rummage through some of his things. That’s when I found several pornographic magazines hidden behind some books on a shelf.
I confronted my brother with the magazines on his return. I told him this time I would definitely tell Mum. He started crying and pleading. He told me he had only borrowed the magazines from his brother!
To cut to the chase, I did not tell my mother. Instead, the following Saturday while our parents were out of the house, I made my brothers burn all the magazines (in the back garden) but two, which I kept as evidence should I ever need it. When only ashes remained, I told them to come into the living room where I informed them that things were going to be changing for them. I told them that they were both immature and could not be trusted. Therefore, from that moment onward, they would be doing exactly as I told them.
There were some feeble protests, but I cut those short with the simple threat of telling Mum about their nasty habits!
As promised, from that time forward I had my brothers doing all my chores as well as their own, and some additional ones for Mum and Dad. In fact, it wasn't long before my mother was commenting that she’d noticed a change in the boys’ attitude and was very pleased.
I, too, felt pleased—with myself, and I enjoyed my new authority. Something that I particularly enjoyed thereafter was conducting random inspections of the boys’ rooms. I would walk in without knocking (which I had always done in the past) and start looking under the mattress, pulling out books and turning out drawers. I never found anything pornographic again, but I enjoyed the fact that they didn’t dare complain, but meekly accepted these regular intrusions. I would then leave, after instructing them to make sure everything was put back tidily and in order.
I’ll pause here, but, if anyone is interested, in future posts I’ll write a bit about how this power (and moral authority) over my brothers affected my subsequent relationships with boyfriends and eventually with my husband and my own family.