The Daily Bork

June 09, 2005

Spiritual teaspoons

Rosemary McLeod, an interesting writer with the NZ style of understated irony, has a thoughtful article about feminism in NZ since the 70s.

Parenting can now write fathers out of the script, and not just through the domestic purposes benefit. Future generations will rejoice at being the turkey baster products of gay men and women who never had emotional ties. I know women, fanatical about animal rights and genetic engineering, who've dashed with warm sperm in teaspoons - or turkey basters - to their waiting girlfriends. They say teaspoon conception is spiritual and romantic, when done with incense and candlelight, but I've noticed that all-female "parents" separate as often as anyone else, and someone's still left holding the baby. The middle class women who dominated feminism in the '70s have done very nicely, it's true, and experiments such as the teaspoon one have been fun. But what of less advantaged women from the wrong side of the tracks, less interesting heterosexuals? What of women who were too busy pushing carrot puree into babies' faces in 1975 to sing along with Helen Reddy?


Feminists choose strange poster girls. I still don't understand how killers Gay Oakes, who poisoned her partner, then buried him in her garden, and Tania Witika, who stood by while her two-year-old daughter was tormented to death by her de facto husband, became heroic figures to the sisterhood. Yet saintly figures they were for the defence of battered woman's syndrome in the '90s: Witika left prison in a limousine. I saw their stories as a sign of how feminists often want it both ways: power without responsibility. Just blame men. Even if you killed them, it's their fault.


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