The left has had the nuclear family in its sites for at least a century, blaming the God-ordained institution for every imaginable societal ill and, at various times over the years, waxing poetic about a utopian world without families. Most of the time they’ve merely flitted around the edges of destroying the nuclear family, but now, as the world is laboring under the weight of the coronavirus and mini-tyrants across the country are exulting in their newfound dictatorial powers, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.
Sophie Lewis, a so-called feminist theorist who says she’s interested in “queer communism,” came right out and said it in an article published at openDemocracy: “In short, the pandemic is no time to forget about family abolition.” (Don’t bother clicking through to the article at that link. It’s a silly call for all of us to live in hippie communes.)
Lewis goes on to quote fellow traveler Madeline Lane-McKinley, who tweeted in March: “Households are capitalism’s pressure cookers. This crisis will see a surge in housework – cleaning, cooking, caretaking, but also child abuse, molestation, intimate partner rape, psychological torture, and more.” (In communes there’s no housework or something.)
Lewis’s thesis is basically that since we’ve been at home thanks to stay-at-home orders, it’s become crystal clear that the family needs to go.
“How can a zone defined by the power asymmetries of housework (reproductive labor being so gendered), of renting and mortgage debt, land and deed ownership, of patriarchal parenting and (often) the institution of marriage, benefit health?” she asks. “Such standard homes are where, after all, everyone secretly knows the majority of earthly violence goes down.” (These chicks really hate housework, don’t they.)
“Far from a time to acquiesce to ‘family values’ ideology, then, the pandemic is an acutely important time to provision, evacuate and generally empower survivors of – and refugees from – the nuclear household,” she opines.
Refugees? Yes, because China has reportedly seen a threefold increase in domestic violence “related to the Covid-19 epidemic.” She also quotes the CEO of a national domestic violence hotline in the U.S. who said, “Perpetrators are threatening to throw their victims out on the street so they get sick… We’ve heard of some withholding financial resources or medical assistance.”
Never mind that we are all living in a giant pressure-cooker right now and the nation’s stress levels are through the roof thanks to tyrannical governors who won’t let people earn a living. Also never mind that children in homes where the parents have chosen to cohabitate rather than get married or where there is no father present fare worse on nearly every indicator, even after controlling for factors like race, household income, and parental education.
The nuclear family is the problem and don’t you forget it. Housework too, we can’t forget that!
“We deserve better than the family,” Lewis declares. The coronavirus pandemic “is an excellent time to practice abolishing it,” she adds, echoing Obama wingman Rahm Emanuel who famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” (Emanuel trotted that terrifying statement out again in a recent discussion about COVID-19.)
“We do not know yet if we will be able to wrench something better than capitalism from the wreckage of this Plague and the coming Depression,” says Lewis. “I would only posit with some certainty that, in 2020, the dialectic of families against the family, of real homes against the home, shall intensify.”
While it may seem unthinkable that the family could be abolished in any meaningful sense, if the last decade has taught us anything it’s that nothing is unthinkable. We are all witnesses to the ongoing denigration of marriage, the redefinition of the institution, and the rapid acceptance of any and every relationship as equivalent or even superior to the traditional nuclear family. While many of us warned a decade ago that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to a slippery slope that would bottom out at the acceptance of every bizarre proclivity imaginable (and were ridiculed for it), our worst fears have been realized in recent years. Now, thanks to moral revolutionaries like Lewis, we’re apparently incapable of even defining something as simple and immutable as male and female. Anyone who tries is branded a transphobe or worse by the anti-science left.
The traditional family is increasingly viewed as oppressive, a relic of the patriarchy that must be abolished to achieve a just (read: communist) society. What the American family will look like in another decade is anyone’s guess. No society in the history of civilization has ever experienced such a rapid, all-encompassing moral revolution. We’re all guinea pigs in an ongoing social experiment, the results of which will be rained down on our children and our children’s children.
God help us if people like Lewis ever get control of the levers of power.
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