The inspiration for Greer’s sneering piece is the Welfare Reform Bill, which threatens to compel women to disclose the name of the baby’s father on a birth certificate.
It is curious that Greer is so vehemently opposed to something so seemingly innocuous.
When the idea was proposed by the minister of state, John Hutton in July 2006, “wiser heads pointed out that being forced to identify a reluctant or violent father could place vulnerable women and children in danger.”
For “wiser heads” read ‘the radical feminist lobby which dominates the domestic violence industry’.
The issue has raised its ugly head yet again, much to Greer’s displeasure.
“Kate Stanley, the head of social policy at the left-of-centre IPPR, announced that “everyone should know who to send a card to on Father's Day,” an assertion hardly more cogent than grammatical.”
I would like Greer to point out what precisely she thinks is wrong with Stanley’s grammar. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it that I can see. But I’m only a humble English teacher, and a man, so what do I know about it?
Greer continues: “She went rampaging on through sense and syntax, laying all waste before her. “Most people will be thanking their fathers... but many will be wondering who their father is and why they have not helped support their family. Requiring fathers to be registered on a birth certificate sends an important signal about the duties of parenthood. It communicates the message that fathers have an equal role to mothers and that they must take their responsibilities seriously.”
It is intolerable for a feminist like Greer that someone – particularly a woman – is representing fathers positively and suggesting that men should perhaps be allowed a few rights.
“Common sense tells us that a father's role is not equal to a mother's.”, she fumes. That’s funny. I thought feminists were people who advocated sexual equality. Obviously not.
She becomes positively dewy-eyed about the magical mystery of motherhood.
“A woman can only become a mother after she has carried her child to term; regardless of what happens to her baby, whether it dies, or is given away, or grows up in her care, or commits a hideous crime, she will always be attached to it. She will suffer more for her child than she has ever suffered for herself. If her child is taken from her, she will experience pain at the site of the separation for the rest of her life.”
What does this childless crone know about what it is like to be a mother? She has done more to undermine stable parent-child relationships than anyone else in this country. Now she sets herself up as a champion of motherhood.
“This is a real difference between men and women; neither fashion nor politics can argue it away.”
Oh, so after all these years, she has finally abandoned social constructionism in favour of evolutionary psychology? I think not somehow.
“Fathers may want me to believe that their experience of parenthood is just as involved and passionate as mothers'. As far as I'm concerned this is like the pretence that men suffer menopause. Claiming to replicate female experience is another way of belittling it, just another insidious variation of misogyny.”
So there we have it. Fathers who expect to have equal rights within the family are misogynists.
Now she gets disingenuous.
“Mothers will no longer be able to keep the name of the father off the birth certificate just “because a relationship has broken up acrimoniously. This is a curiously prissy way to refer to the prevalence of domestic violence and the role of such violence as an important cause of miscarriage, stillbirth and maternal death in this country”
She knows as well as I do that denying the father access to the children he loves is a mechanism that vindictive women frequently use to make their ex-partners suffer, just for their own amusement; that false accusations of child abuse and domestic violence are routinely used by women to gain advantage in the divorce courts, often on the specific advice of their lawyers. Germaine Greer knows all of that, and she thinks it is perfectly fine. Anything which destroys men and breaks up families is good, as far as she is concerned.
I wonder what her point is supposed to be anyway. By the time the mother comes to disclose the father’s name on the birth certificate, one can safely assume that she is still alive and has a live baby.
Then comes the usual torrent of ludicrous, politically-motivated false statistics. “The risk factors for domestic violence are three; being a woman, being young and being pregnant. Physical violence is only part of the story; women who fall pregnant are even more likely to be belittled, reviled, deserted, rejected and denied than they are to be bashed.”
Nonsense from start to finish. When you look at feminist propaganda on subjects such as date rape, domestic violence, and marriage, it is easy to see a pattern emerging. It is a clear attempt to demonise heterosexuality, marriage and family life in the eyes of impressionable young women.
- Don’t go on dates with men. They’ll only rape you.
- Don’t get a boyfriend. He’ll beat you up.
- Don’t get married. It’s a form of slavery. Your husband will beat you up and rape you.
- Don’t get pregnant. Your husband will abuse you
- Don’t have children. It is servitude. Your husband will rape and abuse your children.
- You should, instead, embark upon a succession of soulless casual sexual encounters, until you lose your looks and are too old to have a baby, after which you should spend your declining years in bitterness, loneliness and regret. Hey, it worked for me.
Feminists are telling women, “Whatever you do, don’t act like a woman”.
Forty years after the Western middle-class’ pitiful dalliance with Maoism, Lady Haw-Haw’s broadcasts are still on the airwaves.
“It should be obvious that in a humane society no woman or child should be forced into an enduring relationship with a reluctant and resentful father.”
It is ironic to hear Germaine Greer lecturing us about humanity. This woman has devoted her entire life to waging war against men and families, and the very society which sustains her.
“In the ten years or so that DNA paternity testing has been available it has been used almost exclusively by men who have had a relationship with a woman and seek to disprove paternity of her children.”
I can’t believe that Greer is really that stupid, so she must be deceiving us. No such ‘deadbeat dad’ would risk getting the test done unless he was pretty sure that the kids were not his own.
How does she think that DNA testing should be used? To prove paternity so that a man can be plundered for money, but never to disprove it, because that might lead people to think that women sometimes tell lies.
Men use DNA testing in order to protect themselves from what is known as ‘paternity fraud’, the practice of falsely naming a man as the father so that he can be compelled to provide financial support for a child which is not his. It also has a valuable role to play in combating false rape accusations, which of course Greer never mentions.
“The State has proved so spectacularly incapable of getting recognised fathers to fulfill the obligations they have already acknowledged, that one can only wonder why they are so anxious to track down still more from whom they will fail to get a penny”
But then later she says this:
"You would think that a Labour Government would know that the only way to make sure that no child grows up in poverty is, not to replace one inefficient and outrageously expensive bureaucracy with another that has even greater powers to harass and humiliate, but to provide for all children out of tax revenue."
If she thinks the state is incapable of keeping tabs on absent parents, why does she think it will be any better at providing child-care? It is perfectly all right if government agencies harass and humiliate men, just not women.
“A father who wants to take responsibility for a child whose mother wants no more to do with him will have the Government on his side”
Perish the thought that men might have the law on their side. That will never do.
“Heaven help the child if the mother wants nothing to do with him because she doesn't trust him around young children.”
All men are rapists and that is all they are. Women are good and men are bad. Men abuse children. Women are magical angels who can do no wrong.
Heaven help the father if the mother is simply denying him access to his own children out of sheer vindictiveness. Heaven help the child if the mother turns out to be negligent and abusive, and the secret family courts award custody to her, rather than to a responsible father, just because they have swallowed the crypto-Marxist bullshit that people like Greer have been spewing for the last forty years.
Anyway, having just stated that Big Government doesn’t work, Greer is now in favour of it, so that women do not have to take responsibility for their own children, the children that they themselves chose to have. All children will be raised by single mothers, and Big sister will tax everyone and give the money to the mothers.
“That way all men and women provide for all children, including their own and ones they didn't know they had”
So. The answer is Socialism.
And get this: “Nothing else has worked”
1 Socialism was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in mass death and unprecedented social breakdown.
2 Marriage and the family worked all over the world for countless centuries, and continues to do so today, in countries where people like Greer have not had any significant influence.
So Greer’s plan is that, for a woman, having a baby - or twelve - will be a free meal-ticket for life, at everyone else’s expense, no responsibility, no questions asked.
“including ones they didn't know they had”. There weren’t many children who didn’t know who their father was until Greer and her generation of drug-addled hippies advocated ‘free love’.
Now we have over 200,000 abortions a year in the UK. Half of children are born out of wedlock, and half of all marriages end in divorce. Let’s not forget that fatherlessness is the single biggest indicator of youth delinquency, more even than poverty or ethnic group. Let us not forget that children are stabbing and shooting each other on the streets of South London on a weekly basis. Greer is demanding socialist bureaucracy to solve a set of problems which she herself was instrumental in causing.
“A woman must be relied upon to decide whether or not she wants or will allow the sire of her child to share their lives, and her decision should be respected.”
An outrageous claim, based apparently upon nothing more than Greer’s breathless love of motherhood, and her belief that all men are violent rapists and child abusers.
But wait: Greer is standing up for fathers’ rights!
“In the world according to the Welfare Reform Bill, the woman who had a fling with a married workmate in a moment of madness at the office party, say, found herself pregnant and decided to have the baby, would have no choice but to finger him, thereby wrecking his marriage and bringing disaster upon his children.”
Germaine Greer defending philandering husbands! Just when you think you’ve seen it all.
A close reading of the article makes it plain that Greer thinks women should have all the rights without any responsibility, and that men should have all the responsibility without any rights. The standard feminist position, from those lovely women who just believe in equality.
And now the most ironic part of all. She accuses the government: You don’t really care about the welfare of children. All you really care about is the money.