If women could be fathers

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

Cloning would have to be 100% safe, and so would extracting the male genes from a woman’s cell. But the technology is not yet ready, and I have trouble imagining that any government will give this line of research any priority. Because a lot of people are afraid of women having that kind of freedom. But this is what Shulamith Firestone dreamed of:

So that just as to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility – the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ – would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.
— Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex

Off topic, I couldn’t remember Shulamith Firestone’s name so I had to Google “feminist 1970s schizophrenia machines that can produce babies” and of course Google knew exactly who I meant and offered that as the #1 link. That suggests that other people associate those same words with her, and perhaps run similar searches when trying to look her up.

Martha Gellhorn had a fantastic career as a journalist and she deeply regrets her short marriage to Hemmingway, because afterwards everyone referred to her as Hemmingway’s Third Wife rather than a pioneering female journalist. Her least favorite title is commemorated by Google, possibly because a lot of other people use those exact words when looking her up.

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