Should Children Obey Their Birthing People?

Sept. 10 2021

In its 2022 budget proposal, the Department of Health and Human Services sometimes uses the locution “birthing people” in place of “mothers,” apparently to include females who present themselves as men but have not been surgically rendered infertile. Cole Aronson seeks to explain why this linguistic contortion betrays something more sinister than politically correct absurdity:

If a mother is just a birthing person, a mere channel introducing into the world an otherwise rootless individual, then a mother’s child is not hers in any morally thick sense. If children are raised to believe parental authority is arbitrary, and if lawyers and policymakers ingest the same vision, then the rich network of claims and duties binding parents to children will become publicly unintelligible. Those interested in defending parenthood should explain its basis, rather than just sputtering their umbrage at the latest progressive assault on our language and thought.

Motherhood is (like fatherhood) sourced in biology, but not exhausted by it. It’s a thickly normative office. You can be a better or a worse mother, dutiful in your maternal obligations or negligent of them. . . . What would it even mean, by contrast, to be a good birthing person, or to act like one? The nomenclature refers to an hours-long event, and indicates no deeper prior bond, nor any relationship to follow.

Why would they allow youngsters to remain tyrannized by the caprices of birthing people and (I dunno) sperm bearers? And why would young adults who might otherwise raise families feel any obligation to the human beings their bodies disgorge? . . . Why, in short, would anyone choose motherhood in a society that holds motherhood in contempt?

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Read more at Public Discourse

More about: Family, Political correctness

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy