… And Now Something Completely Different


Husbands, who of late have been invaded by an indomitable feeling of limitless partnership with their wives, have become a routine fixture in the delivery rooms across the country. Some Lamaze instructors regularly speak of “the pregnant couple. “This unnatural exaggeration of equal participation must have resulted from an exalted exercise of illogical premises: why should we limit our cooperation to the beginning only let’s have it out together till the very end, consistently with the modish intersexual identification games. Never mind that a precious gamut of refined emotions and spiritual experiences get lost in the cancellation of the old ritualized apartness: the spirit of making trite any existential event, of pulling down every traditional curtain of exceptionality and wonder in order to reveal the commonplace wins hands down in the sweepstakes of the liberal culture.



And now, we are one step down the ladder. According to the reports gleefully distributed by CBS News, children of all ages are invited to attend, witness, and inspect what’s going on on the obstetrician’s table. No agony, privacy, or intimacy any longer accepted, the redemption of our kids is said to be in stark, merciless authenticity. The CBS maven who related the story hailed the event as finally doing away with the mendacities of the stork fable. Well, throughout recorded history, nobody over the age of five believed in storks, but paying lip service to mythology seemed not to be the worst kind of cultural didacticism. Countless generations of strong, valuable, decent personalities have been formed on this innocent falsification of reality, because a nourishing metaphor always was, and still is, the best friend of the moral imagination. How will the generation of toddlers who have faced the murder of the storks in the name of naturalism shape up to be human and civil? We’ll see in some two decades.   cc



The Feminist Inquisition


Long a leading feminist, Jean Bethke Elshtain recently had this to say in The Progressive about the vituperative response among sister feminists to her stunning suggestion “that a substantive vision of family life is essential to our humanity”:


If one does not greet as good and progressive all the mixed fruits of sexual liberation and alternative intimate arrangements … if, additionally, one insists that there is much that is humanly vital, morally significant, and politically important in inherited images of the family … then one must be prepared for an onslaught of criticism….


If one is a member of the intellectual elite, as I am, and a feminist thinker to boot, one’s criticism invites criticism of bad faith and suggestions that one is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.


But who is this ‘enemy’? Not men…. It appears that the real worry is other women.


Ms. Elshtain appears to have stumbled across feminism’s own dirty little secret: as much as the most chauvinistic patriarch, feminists want “to keep women in their place” and will persecute to keep them there. TI1e assault upon Ms. Elshtain and others who even hint at departure from feminist orthodoxy will doubtless continue. But those who spearhead this self-righteous assault ought really to move their headquarters out of New York, where they are currently ensconced, to a location a bit to the north. Salem offers such a congenial setting for witch-hunts.                cc 



Liberal Culture


American liberalism has come a long way in 150 years — from Emerson down to one Susan Steward, a syndicated gossip columnist. Here’s a sample of her ethical canon, as promulgated by the Detroit Free Press:


A major pregnant-celebrity trend is shaping up. In the old days, like last year, pregnant actresses were almost never married, and many of them admitted only a vague curiosity about the identity of their children’s fathers. Most of today’s mothers-to-be are actually married to the fathers of their forthcoming children.


Then comes cri de coeur of the neosanctimony:


Why this new Victorianism?


Followed by the de profundis of the neobigotry:


What is next?