Mother vs. “Person”

Is it really true that a woman whose main job is caring for her children at home is not a “person”? Is it the case that stay-at-home mothers fail to develop their personalities or mature as human beings?

But mothering is a highly complex job that requires enormous professionalism and responsibility. You are supervising the growth and development of human beings in a way that will make an indelible mark on their characters and destiny, including their immortal souls. “If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea,” (Mt 18:6) our Lord warns all mothers and fathers.

Dealing with children is a highly specialized job within the social division of labor. It is invaluable for the “consumers” who are the children; it requires non-trivial skills; and it can be highly rewarding, as the mother watches her children grow and improve in nature, virtues, and arts.

If the job is well-done, then the children will grow up to be holy and eager to seek their own happiness and that of other people. They themselves will have children. And they will become friends with their parents. Achieving these goals is extremely difficult and requires full self-giving, attention to detail, delicate discernment of spirits, patience, understanding, and numerous other qualities that are unlikely to be present in a woman at the outset and are developed in the process of looking after her children. The woman, too, grows in her powers of doing good to her children.

Quite frankly, I am in awe of the women who have successfully brought up their children. A person finishes his maturation in his 30s. A mother must then supply her child for 30 years with unfailing love and devotion. This is unbelievably hard, but fun, too.

No, a woman becomes a great person, if she cares for her children well.

Reductio of Feminism

Now feminists officially want women to be like men. (Unofficially, they want men’s power without men’s responsibility.) I already pointed out that this involves women allowing themselves to have petty vices. But where else do women fall short of men? How about in the number of murders committed? Ultimately, the desire for equality must involve efforts to equalize the number of violent crimes perpetrated by men and women. The ultimate “privilege” of being a man is his prerogative to go insane and kill lots of people. When a man does something like that, it’s considered to be part of life. A ruthless male warlord slaughters a village. What’s the big deal? In today’s news, male insurgents in Afghanistan down a helicopter and kill 30 male Navy SEALS. Eh, happens every day. If a woman did it, then that would be a scandal. The “unfair” “double standard” must entail a desire on the part of the feminists for more women to be cold-blooded murderers, thieves, and con artists in order to desensitize the public to the women’s newfound “equal” bloodlust.

I never understood why people liked The Sopranos. It is a tribute to the actors’ skill that the characters they portrayed were so disgusting. Tony and his gang are monsters disguised as men. They are filthy inside. And they dare call themselves Catholic. I found watching them nauseating. One moment he pats you on the shoulder, the next he pumps you full of lead. I personally could never be around such people, even if they were not violent. The fiery unpredictable and unmanageable arbitrariness of the Mafiosi — from generosity to hatred in 2 seconds — is more than I can stand. The reductio of feminism is that their logic drives them to advise women to imitate Tony Soprano.

The paragons of feminist high achievers then are all the women in prison for violence. Those women have broken through the glass floor rather than ceiling, but I suppose the feminists will take progress wherever it may occur.

Of course, the reply will be that women want to remain better than men at those things, such as law-abidingness, at which they are already better, but be equal to men in those things at which they are presently worse. (With the help of the government rather than honest market competition.) At the very least, this is deeply unfair. Switch “women” and “men” in the sentence above; how is the resulting proposition not an anathema to feminists?

Look, women are better than men at some things; worse at others. I do philosophy; Whiskas makes treats for cats. I have an agreement with Whiskas: they don’t philosophize, and I don’t produce cat food. Let’s keep the division of labor, shall we?

Parents Beware: You Are Ultimately Responsible

The peculiarity of parenthood consists in the fact that ultimately, there is in it no division of labor. Like dressing oneself or brushing teeth, one can’t hire someone to do these things for him.

It is possible that Alice the manager works for A, Inc. and pays Betty the nanny to look after her children. However, from the social point of view, the situation in which Alice cares for her own kids, and Betty is thereby released from service to find work at B, Inc. is almost indistinguishable.

Further, few people can afford to hire nannies. Now we get to the argument that daycare should be run or subsidized by the government in order to free women to work. Again, it’s unclear why this is more efficient. First, employment is not a path to self-esteem for women; women become factors of production for the sake of satisfying consumer desires.

Second, this will result in higher taxes, possibly to the working women themselves; of course, taxes harm society quite capably in and of themselves.

Third and most important, in daycare or kindergartens, the children are unloved. They are anonymous, impersonal, customers. Love is tangible; it can be seen and felt, and children do feel it, when they are loved; it’s the most beautiful and rare thing in the world. Children in their capacity as consumers of parental care are deeply harmed, rejected, wither through their mothers’ selfishness. Fox-Genovese is correct in saying that what “the child above all needs” is to “feel loved and ‘at home’.” Mises argues that “From the parents the child learns to love, and so comes to possess the forces which enable it to grow up into a healthy human being.” But the only way to learn to love is to be loved first.

In short, if you are having children, you’d better be prepared to sacrifice everything for them, including your very life. It is likely that you will not actually be called upon to do this, but it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that your own ambitions will be scaled down.

Choose carefully.

Highly Distinct Parental Roles

Fox-Genovese mentions an interpretation of a feminist argument that “men are not as good mothers as women,” saying that feminists probably don’t mean that. That there is even a controversy here is hard to believe. For it is obvious to everyone that women, indeed, are better mothers than men, while men are better fathers then women.

Fox-Genovese apparently thinks that the role of the mother is identical to the role of the father in a family. And of course, that’s not the case. In my book, I call the mother an “unconditional nurturer,” and father, a “guardian and guide.” Thus,

the father’s task of guiding his children toward moral goodness is more important than the mother’s job as unconditional nurturer; or rather, the latter is subordinate to the former, just as health is a means to contemplation.

How the Free Market Will Help Families and Children

In a number of ways. First, it will create powerful incentives to women not to have more children than they can “afford.” The private safety nets may well refuse to assist a genuinely irresponsible mother. By “afford” I mean that a family will not have a marginal child, if the parents feel that this child will impair the standard of living of both the parents and their existing children “too much,” i.e., below what they find acceptable.

Second, it will strengthen the institution of marriage, insofar as women will know that it is in their interest to have a provider for them and their children. No public welfare here!

Third, it will eliminate taxes, thereby easing the burden on the majority of the population.

Fourth, it will create ever greater prosperity, thus, e.g., making day care, if such a thing is desired, more affordable. Both (3) and (4) will reduce the utility of a second income from the mother’s wages. An average man should be able to support his entire family on his own paycheck alone. This does not mean that women ought not to work; merely that they will have an expanded choice about what to do in life.

That Rolling Stone Article

So, it’s not a problem that people were falsely accused, a national scandal was created viciously, chaos reigned on the University of Virginia’s campus, and lives were ruined.

No, it’s that many unsophisticated people unfortunately pay attention to such trivial injustices that caused the “message” about the “culture of rape” to be “lost.”

If the massive slander had never been exposed, then the ends would have very well justified the means for the leftists or feminists; how sad for them that the perfectly valid general ideological “point” might now be overlooked because of this particular irritating failure. I’m sure next time the feminists, etc. will lie more carefully.

Catholic Equality Mongers

His communist Holiness expresses the following opinion:

We should support with decisiveness the right to equal pay for equal work. Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.

But no arbitrary Smith has a “right” to earn the same or more as any arbitrary Jones, including in a special case of this general rule in which Smith is a woman, and Jones is a man.

Francis said the “radical equality” that Christianity proposes between husband and wife must bear new fruit.

Francis has spoken out frequently about how the Catholic Church in general must give greater value to the “feminine genius”…

But if men and women are “equal,” then there is no special “feminine genius,” because the feminine is equal to the masculine is (presumably) equal to neuter.

I’m not sure Francis has thought any of this through.

Poverty of Identity Politics

How many identities has the political correctness movement been able to synthesize?

So, there are blacks and maybe brown people, though the latter tend to be foreigners, and we seem to be killing them in large numbers; there are a number of sexual disorders which have received the blessings of the PC; and there are the women who, though a majority, have been lumped by feminism into a single homogenous mass. Seriously, is that all?

Consider Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routine on immigration:

I am for open immigration but that sign we have on the front of the Statue of Liberty, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…,” can’t we just say, “Hey, the door’s open, we’ll take whoever you got?”

Do we have to specify the wretched refuse?

I mean, why don’t we just say, “Give us the unhappy, the sad, the slow, the ugly, people that can’t drive, that they have trouble merging, if they can’t stay in their lane, if they don’t signal, they can’t parallel park, if they’re sneezing, if they’re stuffed up, if they’re clogged, if they have bad penmanship, don’t return calls, if they have dandruff, food between their teeth, if they have bad credit, if they have no credit, missed a spot shaving;

in other words, any dysfunctional defective slob that you can somehow cattle prod onto a wagon, send them over, we want ’em.”

Why aren’t the PC defending, for example, all of those miserable bastards? Why aren’t they legitimate (and oppressed) identities?

Or take Ko-Ko’s little list of society offenders, including “the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs; all people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs”; etc.; why aren’t the PC championing them?