17 June 2008 Vol. 10 / No. 24
Last Wednesday, the British House of Commons decided that a father is completely and totally irrelevant to a child’s development.
The legislation, which dealt with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, would have included a clause requiring a fertility doctor to “consider a child’s need for a male role model before giving women IVF treatment,” according to news site This Is London. Even though IVF already marginalizes fathers by effectively removing them from the procreative process, feminists would not allow even this bland and toothless reference to men to stand. The clause was voted down.
This Is London went on to add that “the Government argued that the law as it stood discriminated against single women and lesbian couples – although both these groups can already get fertility treatment on the Health Service. From now on, doctors will have to consider only a child’s need for ‘supportive parenting’.” Whatever that means.
Those of us who still celebrate Father’s Day should reflect on this not simply as an isolated event, but as the latest in a long string of attacks that fatherhood has suffered at the hands of feminists and abortionists.
Modern feminists maintain that their highest goal is equality and liberty, but their agenda runs far deeper than that. It is summed up in the phrase, “bodily autonomy,” an idea first developed and promoted by Margaret Sanger in her 1914 book, The Woman Rebel. This old-new catchphrase is still used by her ideological descendants. For the sex-obsessed feminism that Sanger helped create, simple equality is not enough. Women need to free themselves not only from men, but also from families, from religion, and especially from pregnancy. They must be completely free to do what they wish, when they wish, with no responsibility to anyone else but themselves.
This goal of radical autonomy essentially views men as members of an alien species. It completely ignores the complementary nature of men and women as two halves of the same race, whose bonding in lifelong, monogamous relationships is necessary for the survival, happiness and salvation of both. For this brand of feminism, the feminine defines what it means to be human. It is all there is, and it is infinitely plastic. Folk singer Ani DiFranco gleefully calls it “self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.”
In their quest to free themselves from the supposed bonds of male oppression, radical feminists have gone far beyond simply marginalizing and dehumanizing men. They have striven to form a world where every function that has historically been performed by men can be performed by women, with the aid of technology. Their goal is to renders fathers and husbands not only unnecessary, but completely superfluous. Even the terms “father” and “husband” are to be rendered out-of-style and obsolete, odd relics from a bygone age, snatches of a song no longer sung.
This predictably wreaks havoc on the family, whose structure follows an age-old reproductive logic: a man, a woman, and the children that they procreate or adopt. If women are autonomous beings, answerable only to themselves, then the family loses its fundamental meaning. It must be redefined in nonbiological ways, and become infinitely inclusive.
Gender itself becomes fluid, as in California, where what bathroom one chooses to enter depends not upon one’s genitalia, but upon what gender one has adopted that day. And, of course, ways must be found not only to exist, but to procreate, without men. The Amazons of legend kept men in cages; the radical feminists, assisted by modern technology, keep only the biologically necessary germ cells in test tubes, with abortion as a backup in case the experiment goes awry.
If men attempted to build a society on such principles, it would rightly be considered insanity. But when radical feminists do it, it is merely “feminism.”
The pro-life movement faces multiple tasks. It is not enough simply to overturn back laws and change attitudes about abortion, contraception and sex. The very fabric of the relationship between men and women must be stitched back together. What radical feminists do not realize is that by exploding the family, they are destroying the institution that has protected most women over most of human history from abuse. If men are not to be allowed to grow into their vital role as husbands and fathers, then they will simply use, violate and abandon women. The radical feminists are thus exacerbating the very attitudes and trends among men that they purport to be trying to escape.
One of the keys to ending abortion is to reinvigorate fatherhood. Intact, functioning and loving families protect their youngest and most vulnerable members. Isolated individuals — of either sex — do not.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of PRI
Colin Mason is the Director for Media Production at PRI.