The Nannies Are Okay

Posted on 12 July 2020

I object to “nanny state” on the same grounds as I object to “throws like a girl” or “screams like a girl”. The formula is: “this is bad, therefore it is like a female because females are laughably low status.”

However, as a metaphor “nanny state” is revealing.

Traditionally, nannies have been servants in wealthy households. They were live-in workers, sometimes even slaves, who made it possible for the woman of the house to participate in an upper-class social life.

For someone to create and use such an analogy they would probably have experienced being raised by a nanny. They may well be someone who resented a lower-class woman telling them, as rich children, what to do. In their estimation they may believe that they should have the right to tell the nanny what to do, and a nanny should have no power at all, even if it is in their best interest.

So what exactly are we saying with the phrase “nanny state”? No one for any reason should have a right to tell a rich person, regardless of age, what to do? The poor should never have power over the rich? Women should never have power over men? That caring for the populace: ensuring they have all they need and don’t hurt themselves, is a bad thing?

I am much more concerned by a surveillance state or a police state, than a nanny state. Perhaps when someone uses “nanny state” take a hard look at who they are and what their agenda is. Certain leaders right now come off as spoiled brat three year-olds yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do, I’m telling my daddy on you.”

I would love to see Mary Poppins become a positive protest symbol! I would much prefer to see her in power than many others.

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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