Growing up the freedoms my parents gave me were deemed unorthodox to my family. In the South the hierarchy of power has not changed. Conservatives still control every aspect of life. A big part of that conservatism stems from strong Christian values. These Christian values ultimately supporting the patriarchy.
From as far as I can remember, progressive thoughts of gay marriage, free the nip, and free thought are looked down upon. My parents were never allowed to communicate openly about the things that were truly bothering them. Instead this overabundance of respect and loyalty to protecting the image of the house kept them shame. Everyone is my grandparents generation tolerated nothing less than a “Yes ma’am , No ma’am, Yes sir, No sir.”– but in fact these same policies that “kept a child in place” were destroying the trust between parents and children.
So growing up there was a more democratic way of expressing your emotions. Of course I was not allowed to slam a door or curse at my parents, but talking the problem out instead of the traditional authoritative parenting style shook the family table. All of the elders just could not understand this discussion of behavior and why I was not popped in the mouth a few more times.
During my most crucial developmental years these discussions helped me to understand the root cause of my frustration and anger. A non-physical punishment always worked better than a physical one — but watching my parents have to justify what is done in our house was the biggest demonstration of bravery. My parents evaluated how they were raised and the things they did not agree with were thrown away. I forever appreciate their bravery and courage to fight against those traditional southern norms. The lessons they have bestowed upon me have been such a testament to that bravery.