Feminist demand for technological substitute for pregnancy and birth goes back to 1970

AD writes:

Your entry about feminists who think pregnancy is an injustice to women from which they must be rescued by society could hardly be more timely. I think it’s also important to remember that this view is not new in feminism. In 1970, Shulamith Firestone argued, per the Wikipedia summary of The Dialectic of Sex, that:

[G]ender [sic] inequality originated in the patriarchal societal structures imposed upon women through their biology; the physical, social and psychological disadvantages imposed by pregnancy, childbirth, and subsequent child-rearing. She advocated the use of cybernetics to carry out human reproduction in laboratories as well as the proliferation of contraception, abortion, and state support for child-rearing; enabling them to escape their biologically determined positions in society. Firestone described pregnancy as “barbaric”, and writes that a friend of hers compared labor to “shi**ing a pumpkin”. Among the reproductive technologies she predicted were sex selection and in vitro fertilization.

Firestone explored a number of possible social changes that she argued would result in a post-patriarchal society, including the abolition of the nuclear family and the promotion of living in community units within a socialist society.

Please pardon the offensive and clumsy language in the linked article.

LA replies:

In a sense, the feminists are right. The realities of pregnancy and birth, as well as of childrearing, do create a tremendous inequality between the sexes. From this point of view, it is understandable, even “natural,” for women to say that sex differences are “unfair” and to seek some way to end the unfairness. But the madness and destructiveness of what’s involved in that attempt only point us back to the ineluctable human reality of sex distinctions. This is the way we are. This is the way we’re made. We don’t have a choice as to our basic nature. It is given to us. And this, ultimately, is what traditionalists accept and what liberals rebel against and try to overcome.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 15, 2012 10:40 AM | Send

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