G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Pretty much nobody agrees with Hugo Schwyzer. It is telling that the few that do are either young females who’d like to keep open the option of committing paternity fraud or older men who have likely been cuckolded and whose rationalization hamsters are of marathon caliber.
Besides Amanda Marcotte’s singular Tweet on the subject, no gynocentrist bloggers have rallied to defend Schwyzer’s posts – the crux of which were that women have the right to choose whether to inform a man that the child he is raising is not his biological offspring. The fact that nobody of supposed substance is supporting Schwyzer during this blow-up shows that he is on the wrong side of both feminists and anti-feminists. A weird spot to be.
Underlying any of my frustration over this issue is the ultimate Marxist goal of all of this “biology is irrelevant” talk. If biology is irrelevant then paternity is arbitrary and if paternity is arbitrary then we suffer from the Tragedy of the Commons and the attendant lack of decision rights that eventually destabilize such a system. Basically, children become the domain of the many. Insofar as someone has to be responsible for children, the old axiom applies: when everybody owns something then it is owned by none.
This is one step away from a full-on Daddy State scenario whereby the government provides all parental services for mothers. This is Schwyzer’s Utopian ideal, which he has laid out before:
Strong public institutions of the sort we associate with healthy social democracies make the promise of feminism available to those of all social classes. The welfare state recognizes what feminism recognizes: that dependence on family and spouse may be lovely if one’s family and spouse are kind and congenial, but all too often, families are prisons. We speak of our relationships as “ties that bind” for a reason; women from traditional families in particular are likely to be raised with a strong sense of both duty and guilt. Charles Murray can wax eloquent about the marvelous qualities of the traditional family, but I suspect he’s not scrubbing floors or putting on another meal for a truculent and incommunicative husband with a sense of entitlement. [GLP: One wonders if Schwyzer’s household operates this way. If not, then I’ll call strawman.] Strong public institutions are not, as Murray would have us believe, “traps of dependency”; rather, they are agents of liberation. Excellent day care, good hospitals, inexpensive education and a strong social safety net give the traditionally underprivileged, men and women alike, the chance to do something vitally important: form and maintain relationships based on desire and mutual respect rather than on need and vulnerability.
Feminist theory posits that the family is hegemonic and must be eradicated. The State must step in to perform the family role in order to free women of their bondage. Even when they do choose to have sex and not use a condom, not get an abortion, or not give an unwanted child up for adoption, mothers must be encouraged to seek out relationships unfettered by full responsibility for their decisions. Thomas Sowell called this idealism the unconstrained vision. Resources are infinite; possibilities are unlimited. Everyone can have it all if only the trappings of society were eliminated.
It is one thing to teach young men and young women about the myriad of ways to express their masculinity and femininity, but it is a completely different thing to force one subset of the population to serve the whim of another. And that’s exactly what would happen. A Provider State shifts the responsibility of parentage onto another group of people. But when the care of children becomes the responsibility of society this diminishes the strongest social connection of all: the biological relationship.
As Charles Murray is famous for saying: the social democracy (the European model which Schwyzer lauds) ”drains too much of the life out of life.” We are not responsible for our losses or gains, our ups or our downs. The good is not offset by the potential for bad – we are lulled into passivity, and the spark is gone. Following this model, Hugo Schwyzer prefers to take the parent out of parenting.