A guide to “bias-free language” posted on the University of New Hampshire’s website (until it was taken down recently) deems these words and hundreds of others problematic. That’s right—the preferred term is “parenting,” not “mothering” or “fathering.” “American” is biased because it, “depending on context, fails to recognize South America.” (What?) And “healthy,” applied to the able-bodied, implies that people with disabilities are not, and so “non-disabled” is the better term. Also, please replace “homosexual” with “same gender loving,” and did you know that "old person" is somehow preferable to "older person" and “elderly”?
That sound you hear is the fast-approaching clickety-clack of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
One man’s apocalypse is another man’s utopia. I’m surprised UNH tolerated “parenting.” Unless they redefine the word, it implies a hierarchical relationship between guardian and dependent that is most common to the natural order of husband/father, wife/mother, and children. To a society obsessed with eschewing nature to remake the world, even “parenting” will not do.
In Brave New World, the two greatest obscenities are birth and mother. But every child is borne from a mother. How could something so common, so natural, so essential to the human race, be obscene? For children to be born, mothers have to bear them. Enthralling, exclusive, conjugal love creates new life and enthralling, exclusive maternal love nurtures new life. This isn’t so in Brave New World, where “effective” procreation occurs in the hands of genetic matchmakers in the lab. Then children aren’t born, they’re mass-produced to meet the Keynesian demand of the entropic, fascist economy. Love is stigmatized to keep procreation out of nature, once its exclusive domain. Conjugal and maternal love are primitive, passé, and plain icky. Promiscuity and childlessness are celebrated. The man and woman don’t have to worry about potential offspring disrupting their using other people for sex.
The reason fatherhood isn’t stigmatized as severely is because the father’s tie to his child is through the mother. Her physical connection to the child is the limiting factor in the father-child relationship. The best he can hope for is to match the mother’s love, but he almost never does. Male indifference to progeny is the norm in the animal kingdom. He can leave her when she is pregnant with child, and does, too often. The vast majority of single parents are mothers, and it’s not because the fathers died. They simply left. It doesn’t take as much encouragement from the authorities to defenestrate fatherhood. It is an action to him that he can refuse to make, not a passive role. He learns fatherhood, like he learns the other manly virtues.