This is the complaint being made, that the National Health Service doesn’t particularly think about fathers any more, preferring pap like “birthing partner” instead. This is something which can indeed be blamed upon political correctness and there’s a certain amusement to it all. There’s also a rather deeper underlying point, the way in which modern civilisation, for better or worse, has rather changed human relationships. You know, Marx all over again, technology determines social relationships.
NHS guidance is airbrushing fathers out of parenting and they are at risk of being seen as a “dispensable extra”, a think tank has claimed. The Centre for Social Justice accused the NHS of cutting dads “out of the script on parenting” with the mention of “fathers” apparently vanishing from official documents. The CSJ said that NHS ante-natal guidelines now referred to “birthing partners” instead of “fathers” with critics blaming the change on “political correctness”.
The argument in favour of this sort of political correctness is reasonable enough on the surface. When it’s the fat lesbian xe member of the polyamorous collective holding the hand of the she doing the pushing a reference to father might not be appropriate. And yet.
Think through what the basic argument for state provision is. That we should all get that roughly average, that we shouldn’t be demanding special treatment for us and our individual concerns. Health care itself is going to be what the government thinks you should get, based upon some average of what the population should be getting. Individuality ain’t really in it. And when we look around at society as a whole we do in fact see fathers and mothers in very traditional forms. We’d not have that gender pay gap if that weren’t true. It is still mothers, by and large and on average, who break careers to wipe snotty noses, fathers who go out earning more money to provide.
Yes, sorry, that is the whole and entire gender pay gap. Mothers earn less than non-mothers, fathers earn more than non-fathers, both after adjustment for all other factors, and that’s all we need to explain the gap we can see. So, that traditional household arrangement does seem to be the modal form. As it has been ever since human children required that couple of decades of upbringing.
Which is the amusement, that the one size fits all of state provision isn’t in fact delivering according to that modal arrangement. Such things appear to cease when we’ve the latest fashionable nostrums to discuss.
There is though a deeper point. Whether rightly or wrongly – accord your own prejudices here – that necessity for fathers to provide for their children so that they grow up to produce grandchildren, the very point of life itself, has rather been usurped by the welfare state. So perhaps other parts of that state shouldn’t be referring to fathers?
Despite cis-hetero forms of child producing still being the overwhelming norm.