Thursday, August 22, 2013

The war to make sex distinctions not matter rolls on

Laura Wood has found an interesting story about an American woman, Karla Erickson.

Karla Erickson is very keen to push forward with the liberal aim of making sex distinctions not matter. She admits that women have a biological connection to babies that men do not, first by carrying the baby and then by breastfeeding. She even writes about how special this connection is. Nonetheless, she doesn't think it right that mothers should have such a connection because it sets up an "inequality" (by which she means a difference) in the position of men and women in raising children. She therefore concludes that her role should be to "disrupt" the special connection that exists between mothers and babies and that part of the way she can do this is to refuse to breastfeed any future children.

Here she is on the special bond between mother and child:
For birth moms, we have this physically grounded centrality to the baby-making process that carries through birth. If we breastfeed we deepen rather than disrupt that primacy.

In my case, I was pregnant and carried our son to term. As a result, I was deeply connected to that little guy before he ever came into the world. His heartbeat and mine were connected, as were our digestion and sleep patterns.

...My little son already knew my smell, my voice, and my heartbeat. It was perhaps the moment when my gender was the most salient it has ever been in my marriage: these things that my husband literally could not do, I had done.

And then I breastfed.

Every time I got to breast feed him I was holding my son, singing, whispering, touching, and loving on my sweet little boy.

If I had not breastfed I would have missed all those beautiful quiet times with my son...I had never known what it was like to be that close to another human.

Despite all of this, she concludes with the idea that women shouldn't breastfeed, precisely because it attaches a baby more closely to the mother than to the father - and this then produces "social differences" between men and women:
If we really want to address and redress the ongoing inequalities around the work of making life — the work of raising the next generation — then we have to look at breastfeeding. It’s one thing our bodies do that reinforces the social differences between men and women, moms and dads, and boys and girls.

...Over the years, my husband and I will work to unwind this preliminary advantage, but we could have avoided solidifying it if we had decided to use formula, or to pump and bottle feed our son.

So in a pro-breastfeeding era, I say, “I’m out.” Not because I don’t benefit everyday from that “special connection” to my son, but because I do.

...Sometimes we have to do a runaround our bodies to ensure equity. Sometimes we have to do some social engineering to help dislodge our social aspirations from the dictates of our glands and gonads.

Sometimes, to make sure that the next generation has more wiggle room around the gendered division of labor, we have to tuck away those breasts and reach for a bottle instead.

Why do liberals want to make sex distinctions not matter? Because their aim is to maximise individual autonomy. This means that our life is supposed to be self-determining, which then means that predetermined qualities like our sex aren't supposed to matter.

You might think that Karla Erickson is a crazy lady for thinking the way she does, but she is following through with a philosophy that is widely accepted in society. There are young people today being brought up with the idea that parenting should be strictly unisex and that it is unjust for a mother to spend more time with her child than the father does. Karla Erickson is just pushing that unisex ideal a little further along and with a little more honesty. She admits that there are reasons grounded in biology for a close relationship between mother and child, and that this relationship can be a fulfilling one for a woman, but she wants us to overcome this natural connection in the name of a social ideal.

That's what happens when you adopt the wrong principles for deciding social ideals.

The good side to this for traditionalists is that liberalism is advancing so radically along the lines of its principles that it must inevitably leave behind a good many people. Liberals like Karla Erickson want to suppress important aspects of human nature. That puts us in a good position to defend these positive aspects of human nature and to rally those whose strength of instinct puts them in opposition to a liberal culture.


  1. Isn't breastfeeding one of the best things that can be done for a baby's health and well-being?

    If some lunatic, fruitcake ideas of "equality" are jeopardising the well-being of a young child, then that goes to show how deranged and demented these left-wing weirdos are.

    It just adds further weight to my conviction that opposing "equality" is actually a moral thing to do, on many levels.

  2. What this foolish woman will discover is that, in a few years time, her husband will have certain biological advantages in bonding with his son. Unless her husband is a complete dweeb--which is certainly possible, given that he is married to this foolish woman--he will be bigger, and stronger, and more masculine. And the result will be that their son will love his mom (for nurturing him) and admire his dad (for being what he aspired to become). She cannot bond in the same way her husband can (one hopes), so if she doesn't bond in the way that she can bond, she will have no bond.

  3. JMSmith,

    I thought the same thing. A very young boy will look to the softness and warmth of his mother for nurture, but when he is older his instinct is to want to look up to his father and emulate him (particularly if the father has maintained a good relationship with the son).

  4. Individual autonomy may be the basic principal behind Liberalism, but I don't think this is an example of Liberalism. It is Leftism which is driven by a desire to distribute happiness equally. I can't imagine any Right Liberal approving of the ideas of this woman.

  5. CamelCaseRob,

    I think you're right that it is left liberals who drive this kind of agenda, but right-liberals end up accepting it.

    We've seen this in Australia just recently with the right-liberal party (the Liberal Party) formally giving up on the traditional family on the basis that women and men must be integrated in the same way into the workplace. It's the same logic of measuring equality in terms of making sex distinctions not matter - of not wanting there to be "social differences between men and women".

    And here's the thing. If you are faced with a choice of one political party which drives the agenda and another which half-heartedly opposes it for a while before fully embracing it, then which one does it make sense to support? If those are the only choices then why not be part of "the forward thinking" party?

  6. People like this make me want to scream, or tear my hair, or shake them hard until their brain turns right-side up. Don't the... fools, to put it kindly, realize that the very fact that only a woman can have a child is 'reinforcing social distinctions'? She already had a special connection to her son before she began nursing him that her husband didn't have. Breastfeeding merely solidified or strengthened the bond.
    I suppose that babies should simply be grown in a lab and given to families so that no inequality will be present. The day that they actually figure out how to do that is the day that I'll just give up on the human race in general and become a hermit in some uninhabited place. Well, no, actually not. I'll be married hopefully and having a dozen children that I love and not caring a fig whether nursing them is creating a bond that they don't have with my husband. And my husband won't care either. Parents have different roles in a family, just as a husband and wife have different roles in marriage.
    Idiots like this woman are tearing our society apart and I can't stand it. Their predecessor virtually ruined the family, and now they are finishing the job. And they are becoming ever more blatant and twisted.
    I think part of the problem is that in this day and age of convenience and comfort (and I'll be the first to say that I've been guilty of this myself) people are worrying more and more about insignificant, ridiculous things. Things that if they really thought about it they would realize as very childish.
    It's like my younger brother. He (and my other siblings when they were his age) would ask our mom for something to drink. She would say, "Go tell Laura that I said to get it for you." The child would then come to me and tell me. If I was busy and couldn't do it at the moment, I would say, "Emma will get it for you." She would start to do it, but the child would insist that because I had been randomly chosen as the one to get it, that I had to, no exceptions. It's this same kind of thinking that liberals have: childish and trivial and completely unable to see the big picture.

  7. I suppose that babies should simply be grown in a lab and given to families so that no inequality will be present.

    Laura, don't give them ideas!:)