Readers may be interested in this HuffPo gem by Kate Manne, which was sent to us. Who is Kate Manne, you ask? A quick Google search tells us everything we need to know: she’s another over-paid leftist political activist—and feminist, of course—at an elite university. In that sense, HuffPo is a suitable venue for her musings. But we live in strange times—times when Internet op-ed quality material by a misandronist gets contracted with Oxford University Press. Her forthcoming book is titled Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.
Manne’s piece gives us little to chew on. Our guess is that she had three aims in writing it: the first was to shame white men by labeling them “family annihilators,” the second was to shame and slander Trump supporters by implying, not so subtly, that Trump resembles a family annihilator, and the third was simply to call Trump—in original fashion—orange. The rest of the article is padded with armchair psychology about family annihilators to make dubious parallels to Trump (and possibly his supporters).
What there is to chew on is the concept of a family annihilator. Manne (and apparently others) characterize a family annihilator as a mass murderer whose victims are one’s own family. And, as already noted, Manne claims that they are “generally white men,” and discusses one example at length (does she have more evidence of this claim? If so, why didn’t she cite it?). She summarizes the work of other “researchers” on family annihilators:
Wilson and other researchers have come to distinguish family annihilators of four main types: self-righteous, anomic, disappointed, and paranoid. The self-righteous type blames others, often their wives or estranged wives, for their downfall. The anomic type feels humiliated by external events like bankruptcy. The disappointed type feels let down by his family, as if the social order is crumbling. The paranoid type feels his kin is under threat from outsiders. So, to stave off the threat, he takes it upon himself to murder them.
Notice the pronouns and gender assumptions? It’s almost as if the very concept of a family annihilator excludes women. Real research, such as the U. S. Department of Justice report on women offenders, tells a different story. According to that and other data, “By nearly every measure, women are far less violent than men, except in one chilling category—killing their own children,” as one article summarizes. The article continues with a list of motives common among female family annihilators:
Criminologists have broken down the reasons that mothers kill into a few general (if somewhat broad) categories: mental illness (including postpartum depression or psychosis), retaliation against a spouse or other parent, abuse/neglect, mercy, and the effort to get rid of an unwanted child.
Interestingly, this last category is especially important, because if we count mothers who murder their unwanted children in utero as family annihilators—and I see no reason why we shouldn’t—male family annihilators become almost statistically invisible by comparison. In fact, women who annihilate their children in utero are much more plausibly motivated by shame than are men who annihilate theirs. What otherwise explains the over-compensatory braggadocious tone of “#shoutyourabortion”?
If Manne wants to expand the concept of family annihilators so as to include more men, she might find support from those who argue that black men destroy their prospective families by abandoning, in disproportionately high numbers, the women they impregnate. A 2011 U. S. Census Bureau put the single motherhood rate in the black community at 68%, and more recent estimates put the figure as high as 75%. And, of course, in abandoning their children’s mothers, they abandon their children—assuming that the children survive getting annihilated in utero. Black mothers, with the moral imprimatur of feminists, murder their children in utero at disproportionately higher rates than whites and Hispanics. They account for 36.7% of all abortions in the U.S., despite being just 14% of the female population.
But if Manne wants to expand the concept of a family annihilator to include those who don’t murder their own family but annihilate the family in other ways, she shouldn’t forget about same-sex couples. As Richard Swinburne recently reminded us, homosexual couples have the disability of not being able to bring children into the world. For every same-sex couple that gets married, two potential families get annihilated. And the “but they can adopt!” reply is a farce. True, they can “create” a “family” by adopting children, but those “families” turn out to be unhappy ones for the children.
What the above shows is that there is something most family annihilators have in common, all right—family annihilators tend to be leftists, or at least enabled by leftist policies. But this isn’t news. The left’s attempt to annihilate the family has been well-documented. You won’t find any mention of that, however, in HuffPo’s Mannesplaining of family annihilators.
- The Pedagogy Paradox for Conservative Professors - December 6, 2016
- The Girls Who Cry Wolf - November 29, 2016
- What the Electoral College and the Free Will Defense Have in Common - November 16, 2016
- How to Thrive in Philosophy as a Woman - November 14, 2016
- Craig and the “Lesser of Two Evils” Argument for Voting Trump - November 7, 2016
- Why the Alt-Right is Ult-Wrong - October 29, 2016
- Mannesplaining Family Annihilators - October 25, 2016
- What is Metaphysics, and Why Do Feminists Care? - October 16, 2016
- For the Record… - October 9, 2016
- Something Stinks in the Philosophy Blogosphere - September 30, 2016