So this really brought something home for me on a personal level, too. I have a cousin that is a lot like RA: the only boy in our generation, aimless, been to jail a few times, doesn't have a steady job and he just does whatever he wants to do, there for his kid, but not necessarily dependable. His mother and father worked themselves to the bone to provide for him and he grew up in a very loving and respectful family.
The older women in my family (aunts, my mom) are very much like Aunt Vi: they coddle him, tell the rest girls to lay off of him and tell him that he's fine. Tell us that he's a victim (of something) and he can do whatever, blah blah blah. I've been accused of being jealous, spiteful or putting him down whenever he...does what he does. Now? I'm just quiet and I shake my head from a distance. LOL.
That said, I think back to aunt Vi and the women in my family and realize that there are quite a few families that value and treasure the son, who is in line to carry on the namesake and the pride of the family. If he messes up along the way? That's just in his nature, but we carry him along anyway. For the women, it's a bit different. We don't get those types of chances and sometimes -- we don't get that type of support.
Anyway, seeing this family dynamic on TV just makes my blood boil, but I'm definitely familiar with it. I'll be damned if I ever raise my son like that (if I have one).