The Left have always been hostile to the traditional family, beginning with Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, which regards the family as where women are little more than “instruments of production” for men, and where patriarchy and capitalism worked in tandem to produce alienated workers.
The Left’s antipathy to the traditional family is fully displayed in feminist theorist Sophie Lewis‘ new book, Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (Verso, 2019), wherein Lewis outright calls for the abolition of the family.
Central to Lewis’ thesis are pregnancy (“gestation”), mothers (“gestators”) and babies (“neonates”). For Lewis, motherhood is a form of exploited and unremunerated labor (or work) that enables that most exploitative of all economic systems — capitalism. In Lewis’ words, pregnancy and motherhood are capitalist devices for “propping up the propertarian, biogenetic, nuclear private household that is our main kinship model.”
It’s a central idea to feminism anyway, that mothers aren’t natural entities; they’re making choices to look after this other person. It’s not some sort of mechanical, automatic process…. That’s why it’s so valuable to denaturalize the mother-child bond. To do anything otherwise is to devalue that work. That’s the horizon that I think opens up the space for a revolutionary politics….
I want to challenge, the idea that babies belong to anyone—the idea that the product of gestational labor gets transferred as property to a set of people. That is actually one of the revolutionary horizons that the Sisterhood of Black Single Mothers advocated for: how children should belong to no one but themselves….
[W]hen we say we want to abolish the family…there’s the whole question of what it is for: training us up to be workers, training us to be inhabitants of a binary-gendered and racially stratified system, training us not to be queer….
Sometimes you need the poets to help you articulate something concretely. You need Sylvia Plath describing the process of giving birth as a “black force blotting out [her] brain and utterly possessing [her]”; you need Elena Ferrante describing motherhood as being “a cud made of a living material that continually amalgamated and softened its living substance to allow two greedy bloodsuckers to nourish themselves.”
[…] it would be useful to implement a sense that it is normal for us to think about babies as made by many people. I would support policies that expand the number of people who are socially and legally recognized as central, fundamental players in the constitution of a person….
Lewis is too much even for The Nation‘s “progressive” readers, as indicated by some of their comments:
Alexis Treeby: “This interview is horrible. There may be merit to Ms. Lewis’ ideas. I say may, because I have no real idea what they are. It isn’t a sin against Marxism or feminism to speak in clear English instead of jargon, particularly in a general interest political magazine such as The Nation.”
Elizabeth Vincent: “Of course there are women who don’t want to be mothers, but why is that a problem to be solved by having all babies born to paid women of color in other countries? Why can’t women who don’t want to be mothers just not be mothers, and leave mothering to people who do want to be mothers? I feel like there is an unfortunate tendency for intellectuals to over-complicate issues in a way that scares people away from the left. I am a mother myself, and although it was difficult bringing up children, to me it was completely worth it.”
Muhammad Thompson: “I’m so sick of this pseudo-scientific crap, these social analyses pulled so easily from the ass of the Neo-Marxist. Pretentious fabrications like “heteronormativity.” This is why I pull away from socialism. Marx and Engels have nothing to offer our age”
Francis Louis Szot: “If I hadn’t read this article, if I heard some Ozark snake-kissing, old-testament-based champion of genocide claiming that the left wing of the Democrat Party was in favor of “abolishing the family”, I’d have been able to chalk-it-up to faulty attribution, or malignant, purposefully deceptive translation of some weird, offhand remark by an isolated, grumpy individual.
Now, I’ll have to admit that the dolt CAN claim that he saw that prescription inside one of the most prominent publications on the Left Side of the USA political spectrum, and thereby semi-legitimately extend the silliness beyond the immediate coven members who penned it.
Thanks to The Nation, such an asinine assertion can be repeated by the religious right with validity.
If there was any possibility that the claimed cause & effect had the slightest chance of actually happening, or actually being true, I might be persuaded to give it a little slack, but this stuff is 100% nonsense, IMHO.”
Sophie Lewis explains why feminists are so hell-bent on killing their young, in utero and post-birth.
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- Alabama demorat on abortion debate: ‘You kill them now or you kill them later’
- Pro-abort assaults 82 y.o. pro-lifer, breaking her leg
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