In a recent post on Scienceblogs, Pharyngula (aka PZ Meyers) applauded a US politician who called out a representative of a conservative pressure group on his misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the term “nuclear family”. Just for the sheer bloody delight of seeing an elected representative do his job, here’s that magical moment:
Sen. Al Franken sounds like my kinda guy. His “I SMACKED DOWN STUPID” T-shirt and matching sock suspenders are in the mail.
Unfortunately the same monumental stupidity persists elsewhere. Step forward conservative French politicos Anne Grommerch and Hervé Mariton, who recently (13 July 2011) farted out a report entitled “Family” Work Group. The preamble starts (my translation):
French family policy is cited worldwide for its recognised efficacy in promoting the welfare of families and their children [sic]. The fundamentals of French family policy should be distinguished from those of any complementary social policy. It ensures and enables horizontal redistribution of resources, depending on family size and the attendant financial burdens.
At this point you are probably rolling in the aisles while your WTFometer goes haywire. The prose really is as turgid and pretentious as that. Forget that “the whole world admires us” bollocks, everybody does it, your government included. Now, just to get things in perspective here: French social policies for families in difficulty, including single-parent, aren’t that bad. They could certainly be a lot worse. No, the problem here is that the report is yet another propaganda document against same-sex unions and homoparentality, with a side order of bitchy for single parents:
Certain social groups are extremely vocal in their demands, and we feel the technical responses [sic] made to people of the same sex living in a stable relationship and wishing to protect the other partner are entirely legitimate. However, we are convinced that it is important not to downplay the concerns of the overwhelming majority of French families, often overlooked by the media. Promoting family durability is one of the key objectives identified by this work group.
Durable, stable families as the centre of intergenerational solidarity would reduce the need to call on the rest of Society to help face up to crises and solitude. We choose to uphold the institution of marriage as the starting-point for a family and the best means of guaranteeing protection for the family as a group and its individual members. It responsibilises individuals and protects the weakest. Some form of awareness-raising, such as a preparation for civil marriage, might be a good approach.
I’m sorry, I was throwing up a little in my mouth by this point. I’ll stop translating: not only is it painfully obvious that these people write in Pompous Sans, but it’s pretty easy to see where they’re going. Well, easy once you’ve got past the terrible style. The traditional Roman Catholic definition of marriage rears its unpleasant, sexist, homophobic head. They even suggest some form of premarital counselling for civil marriage, for fuck’s sake!
The accusation that the media often overlook the “concerns of the overwhelming majority” of French families is a nod to the far right, of course. No figures, studies or whatever are cited to support that assertion. That alone should, in a sane world, ensure that this report ends up as little squares of recycled paper hanging on a hook in the smallest room. Let’s throw a huge steaming bag of <Citation needed>™ at that nonsense, and soldier on a little further just for the hell of it.
Like that Focus On Family ninny (I can’t be arsed looking up his real name again), these creeps define the nuclear family as being composed of a father, a mother and children. Later on, they state that a couple should be free to have as many sprogs as they want. I’m sure an overpopulated planet that has rapidly disappearing natural resources and is undergoing anthropogenic warming would agree.
Now the French, being Latin, actually have an official definition of the word family which a politico would be expected to use correctly. This is the relevant part of the text: a couple, married or otherwise, with one or more children belonging to the same household (French version here). Yep, you read that right: same-sex marriage might not be legal here (there’s a form of civil partnership open to all, but conveying nothing like the recognition afforded to married persons) but homoparental families are implicitly recognised in the official definition.
Moving swiftly over the rest of this disaster, which wouldn’t get them a pass mark even as a first-year political science essay, you will notice on your right the usual Catholicist chestnut of questioning aid to single-parent families because it only encourages them. We also observe our old friend, the ploy of misrepresenting statistics: if civil union is more popular among heterosexual couples than was expected, then the fact that the percentage of homosexual couples entering such union is consequently diluted means gays don’t want civil union or long term relationships. Simples!
And underlying all this fuckwittery? Make ‘em all get married, and have lots of BABIES!!! I’m sure harassed governments of any political colour will be less than delighted at the idea of potentially increasing pollution, overcrowding and unemployment while spending ever more on social aid, housing and education.
Now for the really good bits where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry:
- Among the sources quoted in the paper is an article in ELLE magazine
- One of the report’s signatories quotes herself from an interview on a TV news channel
- The report blatantly promotes a premarital counselling organisation
|A bigoted twat, unfortunately not alone|
If you can read French and are a total literary masochist, here’s a link to this retardfest. (PDF file)