The male is just a bundle of conditioned reflexes, is incapable of a mentally free response, is tied to his early conditioning, is determined completely by his past experiences. His earliest experiences are with his mother, and he is throughout his life tied to her. It never becomes completely clear to the male that he is not part of his mother, that he is him and she is her.
Such is the content of the mental life of the Hemingway hero and the good guy in general. Every day he gets beaten into a servile pulp by his own mechanical reflexes, which are constantly busy registering and reacting to the violent stimuli which his big, noisy, kinesthetic environment has provided for his unreflective reception.Marshall McLuhan
Those of us whose parenting style can be described as "a series of reflexes, instincts, and minute-by-minute adjustments," as Julie of A Little Pregnant puts it, rather than as a philosophy, are less invested in our own practices. What we do is often less a matter of conviction than one of convenience. What we need to remember is that there is no need to apologize for that, even in the face of the most red-faced outrage.ayelet waldman