The late 1960s and early 1970s were a period of flux. Social and political revolutions abounded. Western governments granted new civil rights. There seemed to be no rules or boundaries any more. Every kind of value was under question, if not attack.
I should like to acquaint you with an important civil rights document of the period. The name of this document, which I will reveal later, used Marxist analysis to attack the most fundamental collective unit of human civilisation – the family. Please try to guess which kind of pressure group authored it. It is still held in high regard today by prominent civil rights activists.
Here is how this publication defined its enemy:
“[...] the family, consisting of the man in charge, a slave as his wife, and their children on whom they force themselves as the ideal models.”
But families are not entirely to blame. Apparently Jesus Christ is also at fault:
“Formal religious education is still part of everyone’s schooling, and our whole legal structure is supposedly based on Christianity, whose archaic and irrational teachings support the family and marriage as the only permitted condition for sex.”
For the authors, social reform is not enough:
“It will take more than reforms to change this attitude, because it is rooted in our society’s most basic institution – the Patriarchal Family. We’ve all been brought up to believe that the family is the source of our happiness and comfort. But look at the family more closely. Within the small family unit, in which the dominant man and submissive woman bring up their children in their own image,[...]”
The authors clearly have some serious 'Dad Issues”. It's all Dad's fault, just because he wanted to start a family:
“Our entire society is build around the patriarchal family and its enshrinement of these masculine and feminine roles. Religion, popular morality, art, literature and sport all reinforce these stereotypes. In other words, this society is a sexist society in which one’s biological sex determines almost all of what one does and how one does it; a situation in which men are privileged, and women are mere adjuncts of men and objects for their use, both sexually and otherwise.”
But that is not enough. Men are also far too dull, as well as being – of course - sexist. Left wing politics isn't really left-wing without open abuse. Just ask any moderate Labour MP:
“But why can’t we just change the way in which children are brought up without attempting to transform the whole fabric of society? Because sexism is not just an accident – it is an essential part of our present society and cannot be changed without the whole society changing with it. First, our society is dominated at every level by men, who have an interest in preserving the status quo; second, the present system of work and production depends on the existence of the patriarchal family. Conservative sociologists have pointed out that the small family unit of two parents and their children is essential in our contemporary advanced industrial society where work is minutely subdivided and highly regulated – in other words, for the majority boring.”
The authors also create something in the demonology of the Left which simply does not exist: the Conservative Sociologist. I can state that there is no such thing simply because no truly Conservative sociologist would have permitted a situation to arise such that girls in local authority care were the subject to organised gang rape for over a decade and would have done nothing due to diversity issues. Perhaps we need more, or indeed some, Conservative sociologists. Thousands of teenage rape victims can't be wrong.
And here is the crux of the demands by the authors:
“That is why any reforms we might painfully exact from our rulers would only be fragile and vulnerable; that is why we, along with the women’s movement, must fight for something more than reform. We must aim at the abolition of the family, so that the sexist, male supremacist system can no longer be nurtured there.
WE CAN DO IT
Yet although this struggle will be hard, and our victories not easily won, we are not in fact being idealistic to aim at abolishing the family and the cultural distinctions between men and women. True, these have been with us throughout history, yet humanity is at last in a position where we can progress beyond this.”
In the context of these demands, promiscuity is seen as mandatory with monogamy subject to Marxist analysis and rejected being as oppressive and bourgeois-like:
“Monogamy is usually based on ownership – the woman sells her services to the man in return for security for herself and her children – and is entirely bound up in the man’s idea of property; furthermore in our society the monogamous couple, with or without children, is an isolated, shut-in, up-tight unit, suspicious of and hostile to outsiders.
[…] suffocating, leading to neurotic dependence and underlying hostility, the emotional dishonesty of staying in the comfy safety of the home and garden, the security and narrowness of the life built for two”
This tract was authored nearly half-a century ago, but it does concern itself with a long-term social plan to debase what a Labour leadership candidate recently described as “a normal household, a wife and three children”, statement which caused him to be the subject of ridicule and perhaps this is why:
“To achieve our long term goal will take many years, perhaps decades. But attitudes to the appropriate place of men and women in our society are changing rapidly, particularly the belief in the subordinate place for women. Modern conditions are placing increasing strain on the small nuclear family containing one adult male and one adult female with narrowly-defined roles and bound together for life.”
When we get to the point that a Labour leadership candidate describing having a wife and kids as 'normal' is the subject of ridicule and denouncing the woman's role in that family as 'subordinate', then it is clear that the 'long term goal' is close to achievement.
I admit to have been selective in my extracts, but my aim was to leave you guessing which pressure group authored this document.
Although it may seem that this document was written by some radical women's libbers, it is in fact the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) Manifesto.
It is fanciful to assume that, armed with this document in an emulation the Little Red Book's inspiration of Mao's Red Guards, that a vanguard of sexual activists infiltrated our state institutions to put the GLF's demands for the abolition of the family into practice. It is however, reasonable to assume that socialist thought about the structure and role of the family was informed by the attitude of this manifesto. Certainly, Patricia Hewitt, who was General Secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) at time when it was campaigning for gay tights, appears to have been influenced. Hewitt, together with Harriet Harman, stated in an article for the Feminist Review back in 1992 that:
“It cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life, or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion”
Harman and Hewitt served as senior ministers in Tony Blair's governments. During their time in office, the status of fatherhood was debased to the point that pressure groups have had to be formed in their defence.
Perhaps the hatred of fatherhood and families seen in the GLF manifesto is related to another demand of groups affiliated to the NCCL and part of the Gay Rights movements in the 1970s, which was the abolition of the age of consent, even though there was an absence of ten-year-old boys and girls demanding this sexual liberation. A good father would protect his young offspring from the attentions of older sexual predators. But not if he was not there and did not have the law on his side. The GLF's 'father issues' may have been informed in part by human and legal barriers to child rape.
Fatherhood is not celebrated or respected in this country any more. To be a father, to stop being 'Jack the Lad' in modern Britain, attracts no appreciation or status. Being a breadwinner, keeping a family together, having any kind of responsibility or authority is just 'meh'. The State has evolved institutions to permit fathers to walk away from families they have created with no stigma or blame, but also to exclude them from family life in a way not generally applied to mothers. And this is all in the name of mathematical equality by stating that every different type of family is just as good as another and that people can choose the brand of their choice with a state guarantee of no downside. And they do this because of the absence of Conservative sociologists. There is no proper debate.
To the Left, fathers are actually seen as The Enemy and fatherhood and families as disposable. Indeed this is epitomised by the fact that a certain over-promoted political leader walked away from his fatherhood responsibilities and his family a few years back when his wife insisted that their offspring attend a good school.
According to The Guardian, the man's wife:
“[...]admitted that conflicting views on their eldest son's schooling were a key element in the collapse of their 12-year marriage.
She was adamant that Benjamin, 11, should not go to the local comprehensive; her husband, the far left MP for Islington North, who opposes selection in education, insisted his son should not travel out of the borough to a selective grammar school.
The wife went on to state:
[...]she had decided against her husband's wishes to send Benjamin to Queen Elizabeth boys' school in Barnet, north London. She was concerned he would not receive a high standard of education if he took up the place allocated to him at the local comprehensive, Holloway school, which has been on Ofsted's failing list for three years.”
Such is the value of fatherhood in what now amounts to mainstream socialism.
The well-known gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, was unashamed as recently as 2013 to write in The Guardian - where else? - of his appreciation of the GLF's family and father-hating manifesto, stating:
“It was an eye-opener: expanding my civil rights perspective into a more radical critique of heterosexism, male privilege and the tyranny of traditional gender roles.”
It may be assumed that the Left's hatred of fatherhood and the conventional family is as strong as it was forty years ago. To them, a father walking out on a family over choosing a good school for their children is acceptable and understandable and not in any way a serious character defect that disqualifies them from leadership of a mass movement.
Remind you of anyone?