Thursday, June 19, 2008

British parliament decides Fatherhood is irrelevant

Last Wednesday, the British House of Commons decided that a father is completely and totally irrelevant to a child's development. The legislation in question, which dealt with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, would have included a clause requiring a fertility doctor to "consider a child's need for a male role model before giving women IVF treatment," according to the news site This Is London. Even though IVF already marginalizes fathers by effectively removing them from the procreative process, feminists would not allow even this bland and toothless reference to men to stand. The clause was voted down.

This Is London went on to add that "the Government argued that the law as it stood discriminated against single women and lesbian couples - although both these groups can already get fertility treatment on the Health Service. From now on, doctors will have to consider only a child's need for 'supportive parenting'." Whatever that means.

Those of us who still celebrate Father's Day should reflect on this not simply as an isolated event, but as the latest in a long string of attacks that fatherhood has suffered at the hands of feminists and abortionists.

Modern feminists maintain that their highest goal is equality and liberty, but their agenda runs far deeper than that. It is summed up in the phrase, "bodily autonomy," an idea first developed and promoted by Margaret Sanger in her 1914 book, The Woman Rebel. This old-new catchphrase is still used by her ideological descendants. For the sex-obsessed feminism that Sanger helped create, simple equality is not enough. Women need to free themselves not only from men, but also from families, from religion, and especially from pregnancy. They must be completely free to do what they wish, when they wish, with no responsibility to anyone else but themselves.

This goal of radical autonomy essentially views men as members of an alien species. It completely ignores the complementary nature of men and women as two halves of the same race, whose bonding in lifelong, monogamous relationships is necessary for the survival, happiness and salvation of both. For this brand of feminism, the feminine defines what it means to be human. It is all there is, and it is infinitely plastic. Folk singer Ani DiFranco gleefully calls it "self-determination, and it's very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do."

In their quest to free themselves from the supposed bonds of male oppression, radical feminists have gone far beyond simply marginalizing and dehumanizing men. They have striven to form a world where every function that has historically been performed by men can be performed by women, with the aid of technology. Their goal is to render fathers and husbands not only unnecessary, but completely superfluous. Even the terms "father" and "husband" are to be rendered out-of-style and obsolete, odd relics from a bygone age, snatches of a song no longer sung.

This predictably wreaks havoc on the family, whose structure follows an age-old reproductive logic: a man, a woman, and the children that they procreate or adopt. If women are autonomous beings, answerable only to themselves, then the family loses its fundamental meaning. It must be redefined in nonbiological ways, and become infinitely inclusive.

Gender itself becomes fluid, as in California, where what bathroom one chooses to enter depends not upon one's genitalia, but upon what gender one has adopted that day. And, of course, ways must be found not only to exist, but to procreate, without men. The Amazons of legend kept men in cages; the radical feminists, assisted by modern technology, keep only the biologically necessary germ cells in test tubes, with abortion as a backup in case the experiment goes awry. If men attempted to build a society on such principles, it would rightly be considered insanity. But when radical feminists do it, it is merely "feminism."

The pro-life movement faces multiple tasks. It is not enough simply to overturn back laws and change attitudes about abortion, contraception and sex. The very fabric of the relationship between men and women must be stitched back together. What radical feminists do not realize is that by exploding the family, they are destroying the institution that has protected most women over most of human history from abuse. If men are not to be allowed to grow into their vital role as husbands and fathers, then they will simply use, violate and abandon women. The radical feminists are thus exacerbating the very attitudes and trends among men that they purport to be trying to escape.

One of the keys to ending abortion is to reinvigorate fatherhood. Intact, functioning and loving families protect their youngest and most vulnerable members. Isolated individuals - of either sex - do not.


British teachers bad at mathematics

Most just barely scraped through middle-school math

Teachers would be paid 1,000 pounds to attend week-long summer schools in maths under proposals to improve teaching of the subject in England's 17,000 primary schools. The recommendation is outlined today in a major review of maths teaching in primary schools by Sir Peter Williams, a distinguished academic and businessman who chairs the Government's Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education. Sir Peter's report, seen by The Times, exposes how poorly equipped primary schools are to teach maths, noting that the highest qualification in the subject held by most primary teachers is grade C GCSE, often gained a decade or more before they embarked on teacher-training.

Only 227 of the 10,000 trainee primary teachers recruited on to PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) courses, or 2.3 per cent, have previously studied maths, science, technology or engineering to degree level.

The review, commissioned personally by Gordon Brown amid concerns that almost a quarter of 11-year-olds are failing to meet the expected standards in numeracy, calls for every primary school to appoint a maths specialist. These would be required to develop a deep "mathematical subject and pedagogical knowledge" to masters degree level so they could coach colleagues in the subject. "We have good reason to believe that the last maths training for the average primary teacher is their GCSE maths. That does not constitute a basis for pedagogical understanding," Sir Peter said.

The review rejects the idea of raising the minimum entry requirement for a teaching degree from grade C GCSE to either A level or AS level maths. Even raising it to a grade B GCSE would prevent large numbers of candidates from applying. Instead the review says that a nominated maths specialist from each primary school should be required to attend a week-long summer school at a university or other training institution for three consecutive years. They would be paid œ1,000 each time.

During their three summer school courses, teachers would build up credits towards a masters level qualification, which they could complete after two further years of part-time study. Maths specialists attaining a masters level qualification qualify for a one-off payment of 2,500 pounds.

Sir Peter is also proposing that an incentive payment of 5,000 pounds be made to trainee teachers who undertake a maths-focused PGCE course, with half the money paid up front and the remainder when the teacher achieves maths specialist status. Similar payments already exist for those training to teach maths at secondary school. Sir Peter estimates that the programme will cost less than 20 million a year. "It should be seen as an investment in the nation's future, not as a cost," he said.

Training for childminders and nursery workers should include appropriate mathematical content so that children could start learning their numbers through play from an early age. The review also says that schools should actively engage parents in maths workshops or with maths home-work that the whole family can join in. It was essential, if children were to grow up feeling confident about their maths abilities, that schools and parents combat the pervasive "can't do" attitude to maths, that appeared to be unique to Britain, Sir Peter said.

The review concludes that the current primary curriculum should remain, although it recommends a greater emphasis on the use of maths in everyday life. Mark Siswick, joint head teacher of Chesterton Primary School in Battersea, South London, which already has a maths specialist teacher, said: "Her role is to skill up other teachers. Once you do that, if teachers are strong, confident and enthusiastic, they will transmit that to the children."


Disgraceful act by British hospital

Mother was accused of kidnapping baby as part of hospital exercise

An unsuspecting mother was accused by hospital staff taking part in a security exercise of stealing a baby from a ward as she left the building with her new daughter. Clare Bowker, 37, was confronted by staff as she got into her car outside Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. She was asked to accompany them to the maternity unit with Hannah, her seven-week-old baby, and her other daughter Holly, then four, where she was told a baby had been snatched. Mrs Bowker was questioned by police and her bag searched to verify her identity.

She was recognised by her midwife who confirmed that Mrs Bowker had given birth to Hannah by caesarean section at the hospital seven weeks earlier. During the same exercise, it was arranged for another baby to be taken off the ward, with the father's consent, to make staff believe a baby had genuinely been lost.

A distressed Mrs Bowker was allowed to leave the hospital after 40 minutes, still believing the situation was real. It was only when she called the midwife a few hours later that she was informed she had been involved in a "staged" staff training event. She suffered post traumatic stress after the experience in December 2005 and underwent a year of counselling over what the hospital has called a case of "mistaken identity". The Good Hope Hospital Trust has agreed to pay her undisclosed compensation, believed to be a five-figure sum, to cover her suffering and loss of earnings.

Mrs Bowker, of Four Oaks, West Midlands, said: "It is an awful thing to be accused of and I want to make sure nobody else has to go through what I went through. "I think I am a strong person, but you can be quite vulnerable so soon after giving birth. If somebody in management had approached me on the day and asked me to take part in some kind of exercise, I probably would have done so. "Instead they targeted me and the 40 minutes felt like hours. They clearly made no risk assessment, they didn't use actors and they also put the staff members through a very stressful ordeal."

She gave up her job as a conference manager at Birmingham's Aston University and now works four hours a week as a support tutor at Sutton Coldfield College. Mrs Bowker added: "For a long time I was blaming myself for my reaction. I would burst into tears for no reason. I thought I was being silly for getting so upset. "Then I was told I had post-traumatic stress disorder."

A spokesman for Good Hope Hospital said they had apologised to Mrs Bowker for her experience. He said: "The safety of babies in our maternity unit is very important so we regularly carry out routine exercises to ensure our ward and security staff know what to do to prevent babies being unlawfully taken from the unit. "Unfortunately on one occasion in 2005, there was a case of mistaken identity in which a member of the public, Mrs Bowker, was caught up in an exercise. "A full investigation of the incident was carried out and we have apologised for this mistake and compensated Mrs Bowker for her inconvenience and embarrassment."

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which now manages the hospital, said it did not carry out such exercises and uses alternative methods to test security procedures.


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