slacktivist: “Pro-Family” means anti-familiesPosted: January 6, 2011 | |
Great post by the slacktivist on the anti-family agenda of conservative “pro-family” groups:
This abstraction — “The Family” — does not actually, tangibly exist in any meaningful way. All those verbs they pile on in front of this abstraction — strengthen, defend, support, etc. — require a direct object. They require a direct object that actually is an object, a thing, something objective and real. Strengthening the abstract concept of The Family doesn’t really mean much of anything.This would be a purely semantic complaint if it were a purely semantic problem, but it’s not. It’s not simply a matter of these groups saying “pro-family” and speaking of “The Family” when what they really mean is that they are pro-families or that they are in favor of helping families. The track record of these organizations shows the opposite. When it comes to policies, regulations or legislative proposals that will actually, tangibly help actual, tangible families, these groups are almost always opposed to such proposals.
That suggests to me that this semantic slipperiness, this elusive abstraction is deliberate. It is a feature, not a bug. It allows these groups to avoid any accountability for the consequences of the positions they advocate. Their effect on or effectiveness on behalf of The Family is, like The Family itself, hopelessly abstract. It cannot be measured or evaluated.
And I think that’s intentional. Or at least suspiciously convenient. Because after decades of work, the impact of these pro-The Family groups is clear. Their efforts to strengthen The Family have weakened families. Their efforts to protect The Family have attacked families. The result of their work is, quite simply, pro-Family and anti-families . . . .
If those pro-The Family groups really were pro-families — if they really were in favor of strengthening, supporting and defending actual families of actual people — then you might expect them to support efforts like Oportunidades or Bolsa Familia.
But they don’t. They view such real, tangible assistance for real, tangible families as a Bad Thing. Those programs empower poor women, and empowering women, the “pro-family” groups say, weakens The Family. Those empowered poor women are more likely to use safe contraceptives, and the use of contraceptives, the “pro-family” groups say, threatens The Family. So in the name of The Family, the pro-family agenda opposes policies that help families.
They’re pro-Family and anti-families. So if you’re a part of an actual family, anywhere, of any kind, they’re anti-you. Keep that in mind.
Update: For one of today’s examples (there are multiple examples of this every day), read how Concerned Women for America protected The Family by helping to torpedo the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010. They argued that the “victims support” part was anti-The Family because it didn’t call for the arrest and prosecution of minors enslaved in the sex trade. Prostitution is against the law, after all, and if we go around not enforcing the laws when they are broken by children forced to break them, then we erode morality and weaken The Family. The Family cannot abide allowing these children to be restored to their families. The Family requires that these children be incarcerated.
Read more: slacktivist: “Pro-Family” means anti-families.