We probably shouldn’t expect much from a website that runs pieces like “My boyfriend didn’t want to be a rapist, but he was” and “I have a hot husband and it is harder than I thought.” But the Sydney Morning Herald has managed to hit an all-time low with their recent think piece about a mother rejecting her newborn son because of his gender.
We’ve seen it before—extreme, third wave feminists talk about equality in theory, but in practice they prefer to marginalize males and masculinity. This time, however, their target is a harmless infant and his entire future. In other words, this author crosses a lot of lines that most feminists at least have the decency to toe.
The article opens with what can only be described as a first-world, third-wave feminist’s idea of an actual source of strife: the author’s world being rocked when she saw “[her] son’s dangly bits in [his] 19-week scan.” While finally getting to know your future child’s gender is usually an important milestone met with joy by prospective parents, this author found it to be troublesome, even dealing with “dark moments in the middle of the night” where she “felt sick with worry thinking.”
The problem that haunted her? She didn’t know how to raise a man who would “respect [her] the way a daughter would….who sees women as just like him.” The author became completely obsessed with raising her son to counter a problem that simply doesn’t exist in most of today’s world. Naturally, the issues she found raising a son didn’t end there. She also lamented people saying boys are easier to raise and the sexism that presented, and found time to attack her son’s privilege before he was even born.
Throughout this, of course, she didn’t seem to think of her own privilege. To even consider raising a boy as a traumatic experience speaks more for her own privilege that she needs to check than her unborn child’s.
The worst part about the article, though, is likely what she perceives as strength. Eventually she gets over rejecting her son and learns to embrace him. Of course, any sane person would see this conclusion as child abuse when she ends the piece by proclaiming proudly that she will “raise a feminist boy.” As a mother, her child will be “immersed in feminism by a family who models it in their everyday life.”
In other words, not only did she initially reject her son solely because of his gender, she plans to raise him on an intellectual diet that will constantly remind him of the supposed sins that his gender has committed over the centuries. He will be indoctrinated to feel ashamed of who he is before he can ride a bike, if she even bothers to teach him to do normal child-like things. In all likelihood, she’ll forgo Dr. Seuss for bell hooks [sic] as bedtime stories and swap Disney films for Lena Dunham videos. After all, she wouldn’t want to introduce him to problematic patriarchal themes that are present in children’s classics.
This is just as bad as fathers who have daughters that they wish were sons—who berate them for being weaker than the boy they wished they had. Children deserve to be loved, no matter their gender, and they should be allowed to grow into who they choose to be. But by hiding under feminism’s untouchable banner of progressivism, this traditional tale of near child abuse becomes something worth sharing with the world as a touching personal essay about growth and equality.
It wouldn’t be as bad if it weren’t being sold as fighting sexism. But somehow this piece is heralded as a feminist woman fighting the patriarchy when in reality all she’s doing is instilling fear and guilt into her newborn child through an irrational hatred of the opposite sex. Third wave feminism is just sexism by another name—and yes, sexism can happen to men.