Feminism, Children and the Future

There seems to be a surprising insouciance about the total fertility rates, 1.4 in many Western countries, with 2.0 needed to maintain population numbers. My article, published in the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, looks at some of the possible reasons why we are not seeing more alarm about this nor any proposed remedies.

Feminism, Children and the Future

35 thoughts on “Feminism, Children and the Future

  1. Pingback: Feminism, Children and the Future | Aus-Alt-Right

  2. Actual replacement is higher than 2.0, depending on the childhood and adolescent mortality rates. I have seen figures ranging from 2.1 to 2.3. I suppose that has to be looked at on a country by country basis.

    At any rate, even if every couple had 2 children, the population would decline at a slow but compounding rate.

  3. The first and most important step in reversing this existential crisis is to REFUSE TO SUBMIT to linguistic subterfuge by granting the categorical reality of “feminism” FULLY KNOWING that such category possesses not one scintilla of concrete femininity. And in fact, “feminism,” as liberally conceived and distributed, is fundamentally anti-feminine.

      • Mr. Cocks…

        So “feminism” is a place where the illusion of normalcy strikes effective at the traditional mind. All the “progressives” understand that “feminism” is really just an inverted front for dyke movement while soon-to-be cuckservative minds IMAGINE “it” as a place where femininity resides OR why else call it “feminism?”

        So the wise guy rebuts…

        “No one believes there is any femininity in feminism.”

        Indeed.

      • I agree, again! Femininity is demonized and words like “actress” are excised from the language in the misguided notion that only terms that denote men signal respect. Dare we say, yay for women?

  4. Pingback: Feminism, Children and the Future | Reaction Times

  5. I was talking with my brother about this general idea earlier this summer, and I’m afraid the conversation teetered on the brink of acrimony. He has a liberal outlook on life, and seems to regard the cultural changes of the past half century as advances, so he finds the equation of liberalism and demographic suicide a hard pill to swallow. He is, at the same time, a smart fellow with rather impressive scientific credentials, so he understands what numbers mean. This throws him back on wishful thinking that “something will change” or “it doesn’t really matter.” I’m of the opinion that very likely nothing will change and it will matter a great deal, not only in a subjective sense, but in the counterfactual sense that the world would have been a very different place if people of European descent had not undertaken massive voluntary self-sterilization, beginning around 1960. (Fertility was suppressed in various ways before that, but remained above replacement levels in aggregate.)

    My impression is that the trend is intensifying, although what I see at the university is biased towards extreme self-sterilization. When my father was a graduate student in the 1960s, graduate student housing was full of young families. In most cases the father was working on an MS or PhD while mom raised kids in a tiny apartment (three in one bedroom in our case). When I went through graduate school in the 1980s, there were a few married couples, but they were childless. In the graduate program of the department where I now work, I can think of only a handful of students who have been married with children in the course of more than 25 years.

    A fertility rate of 2.1 is the standard replacement level, although this will vary based on the rates of premature death, involuntary infertility, and voluntary infertility. Modern medicine has, of course, reduced the rate of factors one and two, while modern culture has greatly increased the rate of factor three. This is how a population gets into a “demographic death spiral.” If one third of our children fail to reproduce at replacement level, our fertility rate must be 3. If half fail to reproduce, each fertile woman must give birth to four. This is very hard to sustain because the overworked and unpaid mothers of four are literally surrounded by sterile career women (and images of sterile career women) flaunting “fabulous” lives, vacations, boyfriends, consumer goods, etc.

    Just about the only hope for reversing the demographic death spiral is that philoprogenativeness is to some extent congenital (and that it is not too strongly correlated with low intelligence). On the cultural front, we need to raise the specter of the lonely old cat lady whenever we can.

    • Where I live I see a few young mothers pushing their children up and down the street who look to be welfare recipients or at least very poor and uneducated, but the educated in particular seem loath to procreate. My own parents were unusually well-educated and academically high-achieving. I imagine that today they’d be childless or perhaps have just the one.

  6. Over the past decade, reactions of faculty colleagues to events in my life have made it blindingly clear to me just how anti-marriage and anti-natalist our society has become. When our daughter got married almost ten years ago just one month after receiving her B.A., I was taken aback by reactions of friends on campus. “Married?!? But she’s so young!” exclaimed one colleague, as if it were something very shameful (his own daughter was on her third live-in boyfriend by then, so his attitude suggested marriage=shameful, cohabiting=sensible). Now that our daughter has given birth to our fourth grandchild, I’m getting similar reactions: “(pregnant, accusatory pause) … I didn’t think anyone had four kids anymore.” The conventional wisdom now seems to be to marry (if at all) in one’s late thirties, just in time to have one designer child … and of course the marriage part is entirely optional.

    I have no doubt that feminism had contributed enormously to this trend. Along with the reactions mentioned above, we get questions about what our daughter is “doing,” meaning what is she doing for a paycheck. (Actually, she has an in-home music studio with more students than she can easily manage, but that doesn’t pass muster with people who think that a woman is cheating herself unless she pulls in a salary comparable to her husband’s.) Work that is not monetarily remunerated is not work, and raising children is drudgery, not a contribution. There are feminists who practically make a career of denigrating stay-at-home moms.

    When I ask feminists what feminism is about, they invariably answer “equality.” But FEMinism literally means “womanism.” Can an ideology that calls itself womanism be about equality any more than an ideology calling itself “manism” could be? Could “whitism” be about racial equality? Its very name gives it away as being about something other than equality.

    • Nice comment. When I suggest that there needs to be some a push to change attitudes toward natality I am told by some that individualism and choice must take priority. The fact that progressive ideas about how we should live are strongly prescriptive seems to be invisible to such critics.

    • “Feminism” IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT “womanism.” “Feminism” is anti-woman…

      This is one of the simple inversions that Dr. Charlton likes to bring light to.

    • Equality is a false idol held up by its supplicants as a golden scale upon which all questions may be decided (and upon which all questions *will* be decided) and hence must be denigrated at every opportunity.

  7. Can we talk about how nobody’s up in arms about the fertility rate because it’s the next-best-thing to an intentional program a la the Holodomor to soft genocide the Left’s political enemies?

    No? Hmm. You do bring up the good point that those whites on the Left have the fewest children of all. But then again, they’re dynasty-building, and the truly upper-class ones always make sure to have at least (and usually no more than) one.

    • @Rhetocrates – I’m not sure I quite understand. It’s the credentialed Left in particular who are not having children. Their political enemies are reproducing in greater numbers. As far as I can tell, it’s the Left’s self-extermination. I’m not aware of them imposing it on anyone else in the manner of the Holodomor. The dynasty builders will go extinct soon if they are having just one kid.

      • If leftism was something transmitted primarily from parent to child, you might have a point. Of course, it is not. I would think people here would understand that. If the essence of leftism is rebellion agains traditional power relations, then it is unlikely that it would pass itself down through the generations like a traditional religion.

      • The tracking is hardly perfect, but children tend to follow in the ideological footsteps of their parents. The explanation is probably a tangled mix of congenital predisposition, socialization, and filial piety. We are all familiar with cases of violent repudiation of the father’s creed, but no one doubts that, even in these cases, the opinions of the father gave birth to the opinions of the son.

        Leftism must “pass itself down through the generations like a traditional religion” because Leftism must be learned, whether in the schools or at the family dinner table. This is obvious from the fact that there are and have been vast human populations in which no one spontaneously through up Leftist notions.

        Leftism is only a “rebellion against traditional power relations” when it exists as a protest movement within a traditional society. When Leftism comes into power, Leftism becomes conformity with, and defense of, the status quo. If Leftism were essentially a “rebellion against traditional power relations,” we’d see a lot more Leftists wearing Trump hats!

      • My parents were 1950s-style liberals and I was raised as such. But they had four children. Their kind of liberalism has morphed almost beyond recognition and both of my parents are now classified as conservative. They regard moral and cultural relativism as obviously wrong, they are worried about the effects of immigration, they are interested in cultural continuity and cultural self-preservation, they accept a canon of inherited culture, etc. It’s possible they might qualify as right-liberals, I don’t know. One is deemed reactionary and anathema as soon as one steps off the crazy liberal boat and rejects the path to cultural self-destruction.

        The craziness of liberalism is increasing with more and more ridiculous notions being promoted. From the outside, the rate of change seems like it is accelerating. At one point, liberals having children in wedlock was the norm. Now it is not. Although, it is possible that rather than accelerating, the trajectory of liberalism is simply continuing forward to more and more self-evidently (to the sane) ridiculous positions/views.

      • My background is somewhat similar. Both of my parents were farm kids who benefitted hugely from public education, and thus have a strong personal commitment to programs that expand opportunity for the poor. However, they never repudiated the rural culture they came from. They saw it as somewhat narrow in outlook, but kept hold of its basic religion, morality, and sense of decency. When I was a teenager, they struck me as very old fashioned and rigid, but I was comparing them with parents who were cool with fornication and marijuana smoking in their children’s bedrooms. They’re still Democrats, but of a highly qualified sort.

        My oldest son has begun to take an interest in politics, and we discuss political news and philosophy fairly often. I explain my views, but tell him to think for himself.

      • See my reply to JMSmith above. The earlier forms of liberalism of just a generation or two ago didn’t involve not having children. Plenty of children have been raised as liberals. The essence of liberalism is a rejection of hierarchy, power relations as you say, but it takes a while for the logic of that to show its completely destructive effects – effects which we are now facing.

      • a.morphous makes a good point.

        Leftism (really liberalism, which includes right-liberalism: without right-liberalism to enable and sustain it left liberalism metastasizes and destroys itself along with its hosts) — liberalism is not procreative in human terms, in the sense of liberal human beings procreating more liberal human beings like themselves. It is a basic mistake to think of liberalism in those terms.

        Liberalism is a parasitical disease, a virus, a sickness. It has human hosts, but is itself inhuman and even anti-human, antagonistic toward human nature, reason, and reality in general while at the same time dependent upon its human hosts for its ongoing existence. If it is not wiped out entirely, comprehensively, and unequivocally it will always have a place to take root and thrive as long as there are human beings at all.

        To take comfort in the fact that left liberals don’t procreate as much as right liberals is self-congratulatory right-liberal delusion. In order for leftism to suffer decisive defeat there would have to be a significant population which does not carry the virus at all, just as a start.

        And there is no such population. The most theoretically ‘anti-liberal’ of the current waves of political ‘reaction’ are still thoroughly and deeply infected, in the sense that those persons have not fully and unequivocally repudiated liberalism.

        When you understand how extremely few people are capable of truly eliminating the mind virus from their own minds, delusions of wiping its more advanced expressions out of the population look more than a little precious.

      • @ Zippy – “To take comfort in the fact that left liberals don’t procreate as much as right liberals is self-congratulatory right-liberal delusion.” You’re not attributing this comforting view to me, right?

      • @Richard Cocks:
        I am not attributing right-liberal views to anyone in particular, and I don’t know enough about your personal views to say one way or another.

        I’ve spilt an enormous quantity of both words and time at my own blog specifying, arguing, and clarifying what this all means.

        To sum it up in a combox, the belief that liberty or freedom is a good, correct, just, or even coherent basis for political action in any circumstance is liberalism. Any significant commitment to liberalism makes an individual a liberal; though one need not be a liberal even in this sense in order to be a material enabler of liberalism. In order to avoid being a material enabler of liberalism one must actively and unequivocally repudiate liberalism, in substance and not merely by name, without engaging in any motte-and-bailey attempts to define a ‘good liberalism’ or a ‘good liberty’ qua principle of political action.

        Again I’ve explained and argued why all this is the case in great detail in blog posts, lengthy comment threads, and the like. The preceding paragraph is simply a summary of my view.

        Whether a particular person has commitments to liberalism or, even absent such commitments, is a material enabler of liberalism, isn’t up to me. It is up to that person and his own commitments.

      • If you conceive of “liberalism” as the homo-sexual “nature,” ie., the self-annihilating “nature,” then that which must be repudiated is the perpetuating self-annihilator.

        “Our” side’s most subversive act is in the continuous narrating of “spiritual” and “intellectual” creation myths for “liberalism.”

        No one seems to fathom that the first, “greatest” and most fundamental right… Final Liberation… Is to self-annihilate in the face of “infinite regress” and absolute degeneracy.

        This desire for self-annihilation IS NOW the mark of “high intelligence.”

      • a.morphous…

        It is entirely irrelevant as to whether desire for Final Liberation is nature or nurture. An extremely high IQ possessed by the “white” male is an almost certain indicator of one who desires Final Liberation. And the dispersal effect of this desire upon the dull “white” masses is catastrophic.

      • @Zippy:
        Liberalism is a parasitical disease, a virus, a sickness

        Only in the exact same sense that Christianity or any other ideology is. Without imposing value judgements, we can say that certain systems of ideas are adept at colonizing human minds and societies. Whether they are beneficial symbiotes or harmful parasites is to some extent a matter of opinion, unless they actually kill their hosts. The verdict is still out on modernism, which if it kills us will not be due to declining birthrates but because it gives us the technical capabilities to fatally damage our environment.

      • a.morphous @ I think you may overestimate the speed with which modern environmental degradation might lead to mass death. At present, any such deaths are more than balanced by the lives that are saved through beneficial modern environmental modification, as can be seen by rising global population. Modernity aggrades some environments (admittedly mostly for humans) while it degrades others. In contrast, demographic decline moves very quickly in sub-replacement-level populations. With a fertility rate of 1.5 a population shrinks by 25% every generation (20-30 years). The effect is masked by an “aging population,” meaning plenty of sterile oldsters hanging about, but the reality can be seen in the shortage of people in or approaching their childbearing years. When climate change kills 25% of some large population (>1% a year), we will be able to say the environmental degradation is the most lethal aspect of modernism. At present, feminism is the most lethal aspect of modernism.

      • It’s silly to claim Christianity an “ideology.” And it is a stretch to even call “it” a religion when Islam and Judaism and Scientology are also called religions.

        What Christianity shall be is a Supremacist doctrine. What Christianity claims is objective Supremacy. What Christianity asserts is the existence of Perfection. What Christianity IMPLIES is the subordination of “universal equality” to the Highest Thing.

        This isn’t ideology. It’s an ordered mind.

      • “What Christianity shall be is a Supremacist doctrine. What Christianity claims is objective Supremacy. What Christianity asserts is the existence of Perfection. What Christianity IMPLIES is the subordination of “universal equality” to the Highest Thing.”

        But can’t the same be said of Islam, Judaism and Scientology (I mean, of course, as those ideologies/religions are understood internally, not as they project themselves through the practice of religious deception.)? And if so, then there must be some other outstanding or leading characteristic of Christianity which distinguishes it from the common stock of religions/ideologies.

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