18/02/2018

To say that children "benefit most" from being raised by a man and a woman is absolute bullshit

Those of you who have read my blog for some time know that I like to give my opinions on current affairs, topics that are being discussed widely at that time, and generally just hop onto my soapbox every now and again.

When I give my opinions, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. The world would be incredibly boring if everyone thought the same thing, and held the same views on things. Debate is healthy, after all.

However, I am always careful to never offend anybody. I am well aware that everyone is entitled to hold their own opinion on things, it's what makes this country, and this world, special that everyone holds their own beliefs on things.

People like Katie Hopkins make me really mad. They have made names for themselves by preaching these controversial points of view and being inappropriate; targeting individuals and preying on them to try and big up their own profiles.

I don't ever read the Daily Mail, I'd just like to put that out there. I occasionally browse Mail Online, but purely for the 'column of shame' (aka the celeb 'gossip'). So this weekend, the only reason I heard about Richard Littlejohn's latest column was because of the news stories about Center Parcs pulling their advertising with the media organisation because of its content.

Littlejohn went on a lengthy rant entitled 'Please don't pretend new dads is the new normal'. He was talking about the news this week that Tom Daley and his husband, Dustin Lance Black, are having a baby.


Just the title alone made me incensed. 

His claims throughout the article made my blood boil, I could physically feel my blood pressure rising as I struggled to comprehend what this man was saying.

He says, and I quote: "I'd rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused."

He then goes on to say: "That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman."

He calls the announcement by Tom Daley and his husband and a "publicity stunt" and goes on to question who the baby's mother is. He's concerned that she has been "written out of the script entirely" and is worried that he doesn't know her identity. He assumes she is a surrogate and refers to women bring treated as "mere breeding machines".

He doesn't know her reasons for having this baby for them. Perhaps she fell pregnant and didn't want a termination, so has put the baby up for adoption. She may have had her own children and want to help give other couples that same blessing. There are so many reasons why women carry children for others and that should be applauded, not criticised. They are doing such a brave, incredible thing and giving the best possible gift to a couple whose one dream is to have a child. What exactly is wrong with that?! 

I'm not sure that's really why he is so bothered, though.

Despite Littlejohn saying "No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can't make excellent parents" he queries why the story has been reported everywhere "without so much as a raised eyebrow".

Maybe, just maybe, that's because we live in 2018?

Why do we need to question the parentage of this baby? Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black clearly want to have this baby, they clearly have enough love to give him/her, and they are obviously more than ready to be parents.

So many babies are brought into this world everyday to parents who aren't ready for them, don't want them, and give them up, or worse, abandon them. What does it matter if this baby doesn't have a male and female bringing them up?

I know some amazing single parents - both men and women - who provide more than enough love to their children. Absent fathers - and mothers, of course - are a regular sight in our society today. But does that mean that children who come from a single-parent home aren't going to do as well? I don't think so.

Single parents are absolutely incredible and I totally admire them bringing up their babies single-handedly. They give so much love and that's all that matters. Some of the brightest kids I know have come from single-parent homes, it genuinely makes no difference who is loving these babies as long as they get enough of it. So to say that children "benefit most" from being raised by a mum and a dad is absolute bullshit.

Why should it matter if Tom Daley's baby has the love of two dads? Love is love, it doesn't matter who or where it comes from. Children all over the world crave love from one, or both, of their parents. They may be in a family with a mum and a dad, but not get the love and affection they need, deserve or want.

It's 2018, for goodness sake, you can't brand things as 'normal' anymore. 

Littlejohn's article goes on to rant about him not agreeing with a transgender woman breastfeeding her baby. He even uses the word her in inverted commas. *Facepalm*

I am pretty certain that Tom Daley's baby is going to be a much kinder, caring, and loving soul than Richard Littlejohn ever could possibly hope to be. Whether that is down to the fact he has been raised by two men, who knows, but I know who I would rather align myself with. And it certainly isn't a bigoted, arrogant man such as Littlejohn.

All the Daily Mail's reaction to this news is remind us that we aren't all equal yet and, despite the amazing work of so many, we all still have so far to go.

Huge congratulations to Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black on their exciting news.

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