I’m enjoying writing about the abortion issue.
There are few issues which so exemplify the modernist vs. traditionalist divide. God and nature are on one side of the divide. The human will and its darkest impulses are on the other side of the divide.
Margaret Atwood is the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. She has a new article in The Guardian whining about how motherhood is literally slavery to the state rather than a blessing.
“Nobody likes abortion, even when safe and legal. It’s not what any woman would choose for a happy time on Saturday night. But nobody likes women bleeding to death on the bathroom floor from illegal abortions either. What to do?
Perhaps a different way of approaching the question would be to ask: What kind of country do you want to live in? One in which every individual is free to make decisions concerning his or her health and body, or one in which half the population is free and the other half is enslaved?
Women who cannot make their own decisions about whether or not to have babies are enslaved because the state claims ownership of their bodies and the right to dictate the use to which their bodies must be put. The only similar circumstance for men is conscription into an army. In both cases there is risk to the individual’s life, but an army conscript is at least provided with food, clothing, and lodging. Even criminals in prisons have a right to those things. If the state is mandating enforced childbirth, why should it not pay for prenatal care, for the birth itself, for postnatal care, and – for babies who are not sold off to richer families – for the cost of bringing up the child …
No one is forcing women to have abortions. No one either should force them to undergo childbirth. Enforce childbirth if you wish but at least call that enforcing by what it is. It is slavery: the claim to own and control another’s body, and to profit by that claim.”
What kind of country do you want to live in?
That’s an easy one. I want to live a country where liberalism and modernism and the tidal wave of cultural degeneration that this ideology and its accompanying aesthetic has unleashed has been rolled back. I want to live in a country that is based on organic bonds, not liberal abstractions. I want to live in a country where blood ties are meaningful, not meaningless. I want to live in a country that is at peace with nature and natural roles, not in a perpetual revolt against them. I want to live in a country where the Self has been knocked off its pedestal and a culture that is no longer sick and atomized, hedonistic and contemptuous and neglectful of future generations. I want to live in a country where women are unable to dispose of their offspring for selfish and frivolous lifestyle reasons. Humans are social beings who are born into society, not little atoms floating about each with no relation whatsoever to the others.
I’m sorry, but sexual dimorphism isn’t fair. Men and women are not biologically the same. The sexes are complementary. Human reproduction isn’t based on some absurd notion of equality. Motherhood isn’t slavery, but a natural biological process in our species. Society has a stake in the matter because its entire future is based on reproduction. The fact that men are unable to get pregnant is not a cosmic injustice. Women who kill their own offspring or who feel enslaved by pregnancy are mentally disturbed or indoctrinated in a sick anti-natalist culture. A pregnant woman is by definition not “autonomous,” but carrying the child of a man who she had sex with with which was in the vast majority of cases a “choice” she made. Human reproduction is not an “autonomous” act. It takes two to tango.
If you value your “autonomy” that much, the simple solution is not to have sex with a man that results in pregnancy. If you do, you should take responsibility for your own actions.
Am I “enslaved” by my obligations as a parent?
When exactly do men and women become obligated to care for their offspring? Is a negligent father who is forced by the courts to pay child support a slave of the state?
If mothers have a sovereign right to their own bodies and no responsibility to their offspring which is their own blood, why can’t mothers just abandon their children whenever the mood strikes? Shouldn’t a mother have a right to abandon and expose a six month old or abandon a six-year-old?
Parenthood begins at conception for both sexes. Parents have a natural and legal duty to care for their offspring which necessarily comes at the expense of self-indulgence and self-expression. Parenthood is not “slavery” for either sex. It is having a genetic stake in the next generation. The state is not “tyrannical” either for maintaining a norm based on natural roles and natural obligations and stepping in to ensure that parents care for their own children instead of dumping them on the rest of society.
The liberal modernist position is that blood ties are meaningless. Mothers do not have a natural duty to care for their children, but strangely only fathers do. Their supreme duty is to themselves. This principle extends to marriage which is a contract which can also be dissolved based on whims. It extends to weaker biological ties like race and ethnicity which are obviously meaningless. If you don’t have a duty to your own offspring, you certainly don’t have a duty to random strangers with similar surnames.
There shouldn’t be such a thing as a right to have your baby dismembered and thrown away in a dumpster in a bag of garbage because having a child might disrupt your lifestyle. It is also one of the most callous, evil things that goes on in this country. The fact that something like that has happened 63 million times explains a lot about why this country is cursed.