What Feminist ‘Success’ Looks Like
After you’ve ‘smashed patriarchy,’ guess what you get?
Tennessee made headlines as the Deadbeat Dad Capital of the World a few years ago. The story started in May 2012 with Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville, who had reportedly sired 30 offspring by 11 different women. WREG-TV quoted Hatchett: “I had four kids in the same year. Twice.” When that story drew nationwide attention — “Tennessee Baby Machine Is A State Inmate” was the Smoking Gun headline — a Memphis TV station did some checking with local court records and discovered that Terry Tyrone Turnage had spawned 23 children with 17 different women, while Richard M. Colbert was the father of 25 children by 18 different women. Then in 2013, a Nashville TV station reported that Orlando Shaw, 33, was the father of 22 children by 14 different women. “I was young and ambitious, and I love women,” Shaw told WTVF. “You can’t knock no man for loving women.”
In case you lost count: 4 men, 60 women, 100 children.
None of these serial inseminators was a “father” beyond the mere facts of biology. They were not capable of paying child-support adequate to the needs of their offspring, nor did they support the “baby mamas” who incubated their seed. Various taxpayer-funded government programs — Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, AFDC, etc. — make possible such reckless sprees of irresponsible procreation. Any student of sociology would expect that when these children are old enough to reproduce, they will do so in similarly disordered ways. And this is what feminists call success.
“The biological family is an inherently unequal power distribution. … The end goal of feminist revolution must be … not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself. … The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.”
— Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex, 1970
“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”
— Sheila Cronan, “Marriage,” 1970, in Radical Feminism, edited by Anne Koedt, et al. (1973)
“We want to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family. . .. We want to destroy the structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws . . .
“The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (1974)
“The first condition for escaping from forced motherhood and sexual slavery is escape from the patriarchal institution of marriage.”
— Alison M. Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1988)
Having destroyed “patriarchal power,” through laws and policies that undermined the marriage-based family, feminists thereby abolished the incentives to responsible behavior both for men and women. If the consequences of “escape from the patriarchal institution,” as exemplified by the adventures of Desmond Hatchett, et al., aren’t quite what Professor Jaggar and her comrades had in mind, so what? From its inception, the goals of the feminist movement were entirely destructive, without regard for what would follow the destruction of “tyranny” and “male privilege.”
But what about equality? Isn’t this what feminism is supposed to be about? Actually, no — “equality” was merely a slogan used to persuade the masses to support feminists in their destructive crusade. This was emphasized last year by Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy, who denounced a self-proclaimed “male feminist” as similar to “men’s rights activists” (MRAs):
“Claiming that ‘feminism’ is actually about ‘gender equality’ is exactly what allows MRAs to pretend ‘reverse sexism’ is real and to pretend our movement is just as much about men’s rights as women’s. The reason we name ‘women’ in feminism is because women are the class oppressed by men. And we aren’t seeking equality with men, we are seeking an end to male power and to gender, in and of itself.”
Because their actual goal is the destruction of “male power,” without regard to “gender equality” — and certainly with no concern for “men’s rights” — feminists will endorse any policy which is anti-male, even though such policies don’t necessarily benefit women. Abolishing “gender, in and of itself” (notice that Murphy’s words in 2016 echoed Firestone’s in 1970) means that feminists advocate androgyny, as Dworkin made clear: “The discovery is, of course, that ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are fictions, caricatures, cultural constructs. As models they are reductive, totalitarian, inappropriate to human becoming. As roles they are static, demeaning to the female, dead-ended for male and female both.” Insofar as feminism seeks “equality,” this is to be achieved by eradicating any meaningful differences between male and female. People can only be radically equal if they are exactly identical.
Skeptics react to this by asking: “What about sex? What about procreation?”
Having broken the “tyranny of the biological family” (Firestone) through “the abolition of marriage” (Cronan) and destruction of “the structure of culture as we know it” (Dworkin), how will people have babies and who will be in charge of raising children? What sort of sexual behavior is to be expected in the post-patriarchal feminist society? Taxpayer-subsidized anarchy in the manner of Tennessee’s infamous deadbeat dads is one result. However, feminists have never really concerned themselves with the impoverished underclass. Urban baby mamas aren’t Gender Studies majors; they’ve never read these radical authors, nor ever heard their names. The feminist movement has always been led by, and represented the peculiar interests of, a college-educated professional elite, most of whom had no children.
“Because feminist ideology is pro-abortion and anti-marriage, the simple fact is that the movement directs women toward what I’ve called the Darwinian Dead End. Feminists consider men their enemies, an attitude that makes male-female cooperation impossible, because no feminist can cooperate with the male enemy.”
Unlike poor women, dependent on government programs to support the children spawned by deadbeat dads, college-educated feminists are likely to have few if any children. Consider the Census Bureau data:
U.S.-born women, ages 40–50
Not a high school graduate
Lifetime births (average) ………… 2.6
Childless ………………………….. 11.6%
Lifetime births (average) ……….. 1.8
Childless ………………………….. 19.9%
High-school dropouts, on average, had 44% more children than women who had college diplomas, while childlessness was 72% more common for college graduates than for high-school dropouts. Those numbers are for women born between 1962 and 1972, and the gap (differential fertility) will almost certainly widen in the future, as feminism continues its “success.” The resulting demographic shift will mean more poverty and social disorder, as the children of poor and uneducated women make up an ever-increasing share of the population. Meanwhile, in Arizona . . .
Suzan McLaughlin is a lesbian who, in 2008, married Dr. Kimberly McLaughlin in California, where same-sex marriage was legal at the time. Susan is a nurse. Kimberly is an anesthesiologist. Suzan wanted a baby, and was inseminated using sperm from an anonymous donor, but suffered two miscarriages. “In 2010, Kimberly underwent the same process and became pregnant. During the pregnancy, Kimberly and Suzan moved to Arizona. In February 2011, they entered a joint parenting agreement declaring Suzan a ‘co-parent’ of the child.” Suzan had taken her wife’s surname “so everyone in the family would share the same last name,” and in June 2011, Kimberly gave birth to a boy they named Edward. Suzan “stayed home to care for the child full-time,” as the Tucson Weekly reported.
Then one day in March 2013, Suzan went out to run some errands and when she returned “a moving truck was in front of their house and her wife was taking apart their son’s crib with her father-in-law’s help”:
“I was in shock and when I asked where Eddie was, I was told, ‘Never mind that. You know I am unhappy. I am moving out,’” she recalled.
“He was so well adjusted and so happy — he loved both of us. To just cut me out of his life, I know he suffered because I was his safe place.”
After more than four years of legal fights, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Suzan “ entitled to equal parental rights under the U.S. Constitution, even though a state law doesn’t recognize those rights”:
Citing the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide, Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales wrote, “It would be inconsistent with Obergefell to conclude that same-sex couples can legally marry but states can then deny them the same benefits of marriage afforded opposite-sex couples.”
Details of how to define parenting and a raft of other issues have been working their way through state courts since the nation’s high court legalized gay marriage.
Artificial insemination cases raise difficult issues. Several states, including New Mexico, Washington and Nevada, allow women or men who consent to another woman’s insemination to be legally considered the child’s parent, even if the couple is not married, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Arizona isn’t one of the states. . . .
Kimberly McLaughlin’s attorney argued during a June hearing that state law doesn’t establish any rights in artificial insemination cases for the non-biological parent of the same sex. However, the high court sided with Suzan McLaughlin, saying she is entitled to the same parental rights as her same sex spouse.
“I am relieved and overjoyed that the court recognized me as my son’s mother,” Suzan McLaughlin said in a statement provided by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, whose lawyers took the case to the high court. “All I have ever wanted is to be there for him like any mother would.” . . .
Which is to say, the woman who actually gave birth to Edward is now forced to share custody of him with her ex-wife, and this is a victory for “equality.” Compare this to the situation in Tennessee, where four men who sired a combined total of 100 children by 60 different women, were being compelled by courts to pay child support for biological offspring whom they had no interest in parenting. All this confusion is “success” for feminism.
Women may “escape from the patriarchal institution of marriage,” as Professor Jaggar said, but where will their “escape” lead them? And what will become of children born and raised in this post-patriarchal craziness?
Perhaps someone should have asked these questions long ago.
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Robert Stacy McCain is the author of Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. A journalist for more than 30 years, he is a correspondent for The American Spectator and blogs regularly at The Other McCain. His ongoing research and reporting about feminism have been sponsored by blog readers’ contributions to the Shoe Leather Fund.