Tag Archive for: traditional family

In a post-capitalist utopia, the family has been abolished

Is pregnancy really just an extreme sport with a high death rate?


According to the famous assessment of Tolstoy in Anna Karenina, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This fundamentally unfair situation, it might be said, goes against the key socialist tenet of spreading all social assets around equally – particularly misery.

One contemporary far left thinker who seems to have come from an unhappy home is Sophie Lewis, an Oxford-educated German-British academic, lecturer and writer currently employed part-time at The Center for Research in Feminist, Queer and Transgender Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Ironically for someone based in the City of Brotherly Love, Lewis is an open hater of the traditional family unit, as the proudly provocative titles of her 2019 book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against the Family, and its 2022 sequel Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation rather give away. As MercatorNet said of Lewis’ first book at the time, “Full Surrogacy Now is a bracing read, with something to offend nearly everyone.”

The mother of all lies

Lewis’ big idea is “gestational communism”, or the abolition of “dyadic modes of doing family”. Traditional bonds of love between a child and its parents only train infants to believe in the capitalist notion of private property, which is what many parents “selfishly” see their children as being, rather than the common property of society at large, or the State.

“Human nature”, so-called, is nothing but a sick illusion. The (generally) automatic love of mother for child is not natural at all, argues Lewis, but an emotional phantom conjured by the current dominance of global capital. The family is nothing but an artificial capitalist brainwashing factory, Lewis explained in 2019, designed for “training us up to be workers, training us to be inhabitants of a binary-gendered and racially stratified system, training us not to be queer.”

Traditional families even caused racial genocide. Whilst “black motherhood was always queer” and collectivized, she says, “it was the invention of the ‘natural’ private family household that entrenched the disposability of black life in America.” How else could you explain the sinister fact that “black gestators are dying in maternity wards” at higher rates than their white peers today are?

Wait, “gestators”? What are they? Lewis really means “mothers”, a term now so passé in the world of contemporary Marxist gender-studies that she prefers not to use it – after all, men can have babies too these days, at least if “men” are defined purely verbally, and not biologically.

To abolish these manifold ills and so usher in an alleged utopia of “queerer, more comradely” forms of reproduction, surrogate gestators from Africa and Asia should henceforth be used to birth all white Western children, demands Lewis, or maybe one day even artificial biomechanical wombs, in a rapidly-developing process known as ectogenesis.

“No to biogenetic possessiveness” and “Let every pregnancy be for everyone” are two mottoes of Lewis’ which will surely soon pop up on angry placards outside maternity wards.

There’s one born every minute

Pregnancy itself is nothing but an “extreme sport” to Lewis or, more accurately, a form of unpaid work (do we not speak of gestators “going into labour”?) and one with an absolutely abysmal Health & Safety record. In a 2020 interview, Lewis explained how:

“The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300,000 people died from pregnancy-related causes in 2015 … I reject the notion that there’s some kind of ‘biological’ necessity for this kind of human carnage … What other workplace or industry would society accept, if it injured millions and killed 300,000 a year?”

If those particular pregnancy-related stats make Sophie blanch, just wait until she hears how many people die every year from the long-term effects of simply being born!

But there is an even wider political agenda at work here too. Breaking down the barriers between men and women, parents and children, families and society, will also help erase other barriers.

No believer in borders, Lewis dreams that, if white Western women begin to habitually use non-white African or Asian women as their hired foetus-carriers, then this will help erase the supposedly artificial divide existing between Canadians and Kenyans, or Belgians and Burmese, hopefully making the idea of the nation state itself collapse. Then, everyone of every gender, sexual orientation and nationality can end up living together in perfect interracial queer harmony in a global post-capitalist paradise of her own imagining.

Pregnant with meaning

But would this be the actual likely result of Lewis’ grand designs? In her new book Feminism Against Progress, the conservative-minded English feminist Mary Harrington argues reproductive developments like ectogenesis and mass surrogacy will in fact only benefit Lewis’ hated Big Capitalism even further.

For Harrington, “The universal solvents of freedom and equality can only do their work by liberating us from ‘embedded’ life in a web of given social relations,” like that once spoken of by George Eliot in Middlemarch: social relations like those of family, friends and organic local communities. And, once this web is successfully dissolved, we can then be exploited even further by big business.

If not only child-rearing becomes a kind of semi-communal activity, as nurseries and pre-schools already provide today, but also child-gestating, then what does this actually leave the “liberated” mothers who have farmed out their duties in this respect free to do with those newly unencumbered nine months of their lives? For most, it will set them “free” to do nothing other than keep on working in their pre-existing jobs – maybe even taking on a few extra hours, to pay the hired Eritrean mothers or robo-womb operators their necessary fees.

Lewis dreams of a future world in which work has been abolished. Yet if our future truly is one of Full Surrogacy Now, there will probably be more work for women than ever. At least today’s new mothers get a few months’ maternity leave; within Lewis’ Brave New World of gestational communism they won’t.

The Handmaid’s fairy tale

Would most ordinary mothers – sorry, “gestators” – really want this to happen? And would most children really want to be raised not in an ordinary family, as today, but within a gigantic, inescapable “classless commune” encompassing our entire globe (or the gullible Western bits of it, anyway)? I’d imagine not, but Lewis, who is herself happily childless, doesn’t seem to care. “It’s true: I am not thinking of children here,” Harrington cites her as airily admitting.

So who is she thinking of, then? Only of herself. Lewis aspires for her own personal friendship networks of radical far left “aspirationally universal queer love” to become the ideal mode of all our future living, a New Model Family queerly engineered to spawn a world of “beautiful mutants hell-bent on [social] regeneration, not self-replication” of the family-line, as today.

In other words, a world filled only with self-styled “beautiful mutants” just like her. Her childhood was terrible, and so should everyone else’s now be.

Home is where the hurt is

By her own account, Lewis’ childhood relationship with her father was dysfunctional, to say the least. When she told him she had been raped aged 13, he allegedly accused her of lying, saying rape was “good for the feminist CV”, and blaming her for one of her mother’s past suicide attempts.

Unsurprisingly, Sophie left home the first chance she got. More surprisingly, she later formed her own dyadic family unit herself, by getting married (to a woman). Yet, at their wedding, they did not exchange vows but what a credulously celebratory portrait in Vice magazine called “disavowals: of the institution of marriage, of the biological family, and the dysfunction that both can breed.”

However, when her own mother later lay dying in hospital, Lewis still attended “my closest bio-relative’s bedside” – but, as Vice explained, this didn’t make her into a hypocrite:

“Lewis didn’t find that looking after her sick mother contradicted her stance on the nuclear family. If we had achieved the ends of family abolition already, there would have been a vast [communist] network of people to care for her mother in those final months of her life, not just Lewis and her mother.”   

How can Lewis guarantee that? If you can choose your family, as Lewis ultimately advocates – she says infants produced by gestational communism should adopt and periodically drop parents, grandparents and siblings voluntarily as we do today with our friends – then what happens to those poor souls who nobody wants to adopt? Who will look after them in their hours of need?

Losing the lottery of life

The ultimate stated aim of Lewis’ pseudo-philosophy of “Gestational Justice” is to ensure that “the provision of basic physical and psychological needs is no longer dependent on a genetic lottery”, i.e. that of birth. Theoretically, this will break the logic of Tolstoy’s celebrated aphorism, ensuring that, rather than just some lucky people being born into happy families, one day everyone will be able to choose their way into one, the exact reverse of Sophie’s fate as a child.

But whilst there are innumerable sad cases like her own, far more people are already born into more-or-less happy families anyway, just like Tolstoy implied. Stripping these lucky lottery winners of their prize in the name of “equality” will not necessarily make everyone equally happy at all, but simply run the very real risk of making everyone equally unhappy instead.

Still, that’s socialism for you.

AUTHOR

Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience… More by Steven Tucker.

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Null and Void’: Iowa Aims to Expunge Same-Sex Marriage

The political battle to defend natural marriage is far from over in the nation’s heartland, as Iowa legislators have introduced two bills that would expunge same-sex marriage from state law and declare a national law redefining marriage “null and void.” The bills come as yet another local Republican Party chapter condemned Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), one of 12 Republican senators who voted for the so-called Respect for Marriage Act.

On Tuesday, eight Iowa state representatives introduced House Joint Resolution 8, which would amend the state constitution to read: “In accordance with the laws of nature and nature’s God, the state of Iowa recognizes the definition of marriage to be the solemnized union between one human biological male and one human biological female.” The measure must pass both this session and next session, then go to a statewide referendum of the voters no earlier than 2025.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brad Sherman (R) felt moved to introduce the bill based on history, law, and the Bible itself. “The definition of marriage was defined as being between male and female for 5,000 years of world history. Marriage has been defined as a model of Christ and the church for 2000 years (see Ephesians 5:31-32),” he wrote to constituents.

But Democrats claimed the measure originated from a lower motivation. “This kind of disgusting hatred and backwards thinking has no place in Iowa,” fumed State Rep. Sami Scheetz (D). “And I’ll fight it every single day.”

The second bill, House File 508, would nullify the Respect for Marriage Act, rendering it a dead letter inside state boundaries and protecting any state resident from being forced to carry out a same-sex nuptial ceremony. The legislation invokes the First Amendment, Tenth Amendment, and the separation of powers between the state and national governments established by the Constitution’s federalist system.

“The state of Iowa considers certain elements of the federal Respect for Marriage Act … relating to the definition of marriage to be null and void ab initio and to have no effect whatsoever in Iowa,” the bill declares. Any “attempt by the federal entity to erect a legal definition of marriage plainly falls outside the enumerated powers of Article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States” and violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“The Respect for Marriage Act violates the tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States by encroaching upon state powers that are reserved to the states or to the people,” it adds.

Since marriage represents “a sacred religious sacrament that is fundamentally” tied to the free exercise of religion, the bill says the government compel anyone to take part in a same-sex rite. “No resident of Iowa shall be compelled, coerced, or forced to recognize any same-sex unions or ceremonies as marriage, notwithstanding any laws to the contrary that may exist in other states, and no legal action, criminal or civil, shall be taken against citizens in Iowa for refusal or failure to recognize or participate in same-sex unions or ceremonies,” says H.F. 508.

Both measures come as the Tama County Republican Central Committee censured Joni Ernst and fellow Iowa Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson for voting to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law last December. The censure says their votes violate the Republican Party of Iowa’s platform, which states:

“We believe that traditional, two-parent (one male and one female), marriage-based families are the foundation to a stable, enduring, and healthy civilization. Therefore, public policy must always be pro-family in nature, encouraging marital and family commitment, and supportive of the parental rights and responsibilities. We encourage the repeal of any laws allowing any marriage that is not between one natural man and one natural woman.”

“In line with the [f]aith and [r]eality with respect for all Judeo-Christian ethics, that are endowed to us by our Creator we affirm the following: ‘Only marriage between one man and one female’” the censure states.

The motion made the organization the 16th county GOP to censure Ernst over her vote to redefine marriage, according to a list compiled by The Iowa Standard. Others who have faced backlash for voting for the measure include Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis, and Richard Burr (both R-N.C.), as well as Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), and Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas).

The right of citizens to enact their own laws figured prominently in both Iowa bills, as well.

Iowa’s left-leaning Supreme Court imposed same-sex “marriage” on the Hawkeye State by judicial decree in 2009, making it only the fourth state in more than two centuries of U.S. history to recognize the institution — all by judicial decree. State supreme courts in Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut forced states to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2008; California passed Proposition 8 to overturn the ruling less than six months later.

“The reason I signed on” to H.J.R. 8 “was because in 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court made an unlawful decision to define marriage,” State Rep. Luana Stoltenberg (R) told the Quad City Times. “It never went through the legislature. So, if this resolution goes through, it would go to a vote of the people of Iowa.”

Some say lawmakers hope their bill will return to the U.S. Supreme Court, which now has a far more conservative, constitutionalist membership. “Let’s be clear: their goal is for SCOTUS to strike down the RFMA and overturn Obergefell,” said Santiago Mayer, the executive director of the Generation Z-focused Voters of Tomorrow.

In his concurrence to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which found the Constitution contains no “right” to an abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas invited his fellow justices to reexamine other cases premised on legal theories he considers erroneous. Among them, Thomas listed Obergefell v. Hodges.

Lower courts would typically have to issue conflicting rulings on the issue of same-sex marriage, and justices would have to agree to take the case, before it would come before the high court. The constitutionalist-leaning Supreme Court would then have the opportunity to reverse this precedent, which bars U.S. citizens from having a democratic voice on the policy.

First, both bills must pass committee by the end of this legislative day. Neither has been assigned to a subcommittee, and Speaker of the House Pat Grassley (R), Senator Chuck Grassley’s grandson, has stated, “I don’t expect any of those bills to move.”

The eight Iowa state representatives who introduced the marriage protection amendment are: Mark CisnerosZach DiekenThomas GerholdHelena HayesBrad ShermanLuana StoltenbergMark Thompson, and Skyler Wheeler.

The eight Iowa state representatives who sponsored H.F. 508 are: Sherman, Cisneros, Dieken, Gerhold, Anne Osmundson, Stoltenberg, Charley Thomson, and Thompson.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Marriage and the (Forgotten) Middle Class Welfare State by Daniel Bier

Jason Kuznicki, in his wonderful post on marriage and the state, included this baffling chart of how the marriage penalty/bonus affects couples jointly filing tax returns:

Kuznicki points out that the penalty/bonus part is just an inevitable artifact of the progressive income tax system. The math just works out that way.

But, my friend Sean J. Rosenthal points out, the chart also shows Director’s Law: “Public expenditures are made for the primary benefit of the middle classes, and financed with taxes which are borne in considerable part by the poor and the rich.”

George Stigler, channeling the work of the great Chicago economist Aaron Director, coined the term in a 1970 article in the Journal of Law and Economics.

The logic of Director’s Law is:

Government has coercive power, which allows it to engage in acts (above all, the taking of resources) which could not be performed by voluntary agreement of the members of a society.

Any portion of the society which can secure control of the state’s machinery will employ the machinery to improve its own position.

Under a set of conditions… this dominant group will be the middle income classes.

Stigler went on to describe the Public Choice calculus for a wealthy modern democracy. In a society like ours, with our electoral institutions, the interests of the middle class will always have the biggest sway on public policy, since most people fall in the middle of the income distribution, rather than at bottom or the top.

Politicians will (and must) try to gratify the middle’s desires and shift the costs somewhere else — i.e., the rich and the poor and future generations, since they have relatively less influence on public policy. (Though this general rule is not to say that there aren’t also policies that primarily benefit the poor or the wealthy.)

This explains a lot of features of public policy that don’t fit with the normal “welfare is all about the poor” or “the rich run everything” paradigms.

For instance, Obamacare’s insurance scheme is basically all a big subsidy for older, relatively wealthier middle class people at the expensive of younger, poorer people. The other half of Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion, increases eligibility for Medicaid up to 400% of the poverty line — that safety net is catching some pretty middling fish at this point.

Medicare and Social Security, the marriage penalty/bonus distribution, college student loans, tax write-offs for mortgage payments and employer-sponsored health insurance, small business favoritism, and a host of other policies are essentially giveaways to the middle class, at the expense of the rich and poor.

Nonetheless, we should expect politicians to continue harping on the plight of the middle class, stroking voters’ fears and concerns about the “shrinking middle,” promising to “rebuild the middle class,” pass “tax cuts for the middle class,” save “Main Street,” and on, and on.

And who could ever be against helping middle class? Nobody. And that’s how we end up being content with a marriage policy that punishes poor (and rich) working couples, even while pundits bemoan the state of marriage.

Update #1: As with many later developments in economics, Frederic Bastiat anticipated Public Choice by more than a hundred years. In his Selected Essays on Political Economy, recently republished by FEE, he wrote,

When, under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices.

Now, is it the most unfortunate who gain in this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating.

Update #2: I see that Director’s Law was first mentioned in the Freeman, before Stigler published on it in JLE, in John Chamberlain’s coverage of the 1969 Mont Pelerin Society meeting in Venezuela.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.

The Gay Attack on American Values

In societies around the world, homosexuals encounter not just resistance, but the threat of death for their sexual orientation. In the West we regard this as barbarian and it is. I concluded long ago that gays—using their own term—have no choice over this sexual aberration from the norm of heterosexuality.

In America, gays—male and female homosexuals—represent about 3% of the population. That leaves 97% in a majority and that majority is now under a full assault on their traditional values concerning marriage—intended only for the opposite sexes—and in some cases on their religious faith that deems homosexuality a sin.

In recent years we have seen gays achieve a legal status for same-sex marriage, thus undermining centuries of tradition that understands marriage to be for the purpose of procreation and as the keystone of society. We have a President who changed his mind from his 2008 political campaign and announced that he not only approved of gay marriage but that his administration, the Department of Justice, would not enforce the Defense of Marriage law passed by Congress.

The Obama administration has pressed hard to alter the military that went from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” under the Clinton administration, to the present status that sees no problem in the close living conditions under which heterosexual and homosexual troops must live and work together. This was always regarded as a problem of unit cohesion in the long years leading up to the 1990s and it likely still is. In a similar fashion, the infusion of women into combat units poses problems that the military understandably avoided for most of the last two hundred and twenty-eight years of the nation’s history.

The passage of Obamacare has posed significant problems for religious groups that oppose abortion and related practices. It has particularly affected Catholic institutions and, most recently, the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who do not want to signal any concurrence with the law as it is written. The Supreme Court has granted that some respite, but their issue and others will surely have to be addressed by the Court at some point.

In Massachusetts, a homosexual legal group has filed papers to force a Catholic school to hire a man who is “married” to another man. As reported by MassResistance.org, “Back in July, Matthew Barrett of Dorchester applied for a job as the food service director at Fontbonne Academy, a Roman Catholic girls’ high school in Milton, Mass, and was subsequently offered the job. When he filled out a pre-employment form listing his ‘husband’ as an emergency contact the school told him that ‘the Catholic religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. We cannot hire you.’”

“Barrett claimed to be shocked by the school’s action,” noted MassResistance, “But it appears that he was purposefully dishonest. He told the Boston Globe that he was raised a Catholic and that he was informed by school officials during the interview process that employees are expected to follow Catholic doctrine. However, he did not tell the school that he was openly involved with homosexual behavior and was in a ‘gay marriage.’”

MassResistance regards the case as “the beginning of the homosexual movement’s legal assault on conservative churches, particularly Catholic, that have steadfastly refused to modify their religious convictions and comply with the homosexual movement’s demands on society. Up until now they’ve been largely left alone. But that is about to change.”

As the Boston Globe noted, “Barrett’s complaint, which may be the first of its kind in the country, comes at a time when religion-based schools in the increasing number of states where gay marriage is legal have been scrutinizing hiring and firing practices to ensure they conform with the pillars of their faiths”

“School administrators,” the Globe reported, “have been fired from Catholic schools and universities in Arkansas, California, New York, and Washington, among other states, after marrying their same-sex partners or announcing plans to do so.”

Bennett Klein, the lawyer for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination, asserts that “Our laws carefully balance the important values of religious liberty and non-discrimination. When Fontbonne Academy fired Matt from a job that has nothing to do with religion, they came down on the wrong side of the law.” It has everything to do with the free practice of religion.

“We’re seeing religion-affiliated entities more and more trying to push the line toward discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people,” said Klein.

No, it is the homosexuals who are pushing the line against religious groups who believe that their belief in God and their faith precludes the destruction of the construct of marriage is a sin against mankind and society.

It is 3% of the population demanding that 97% toss aside their faith and their values to accommodate the aberration called homosexuality. And, yes, it is an aberration because homosexuality cannot be interpreted as “normal” in any species.

MassResistance correctly says “This is madness and should not have any legal leg to stand on.”

If the homosexual assault on values and practices that have existed for centuries in the Catholic Church and in other religious faiths succeeds, the whole of our society will suffer for it. The Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion—murder—has resulted in the deaths of millions of unborn children who had a right to life.

Now, in Massachusetts and other States where same-sex marriage is deemed to be legal, the whole of the nation’s defense of marriage is under assault.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED COLUMN: Questions You’re Asking About Cakes, Gays, and Religious Freedom

REPORT: Child Obesity Caused by Single Parent Households

In 2010 Michele Obama made it her mission to address the “child obesity epidemic”. The goal of Mrs. Obama is to reduce child obesity from the current 20% of all children to 5% by 2030. WebMD reports, “To accomplish this, the plan makes 70 recommendations for early childhood, for parents and caregivers, for school meals and nutrition education, for access to healthy food, and for increasing physical activity.”

According to WebMD, “Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI.”

“U.S. kids haven’t always been obese. Only one in 20 children ages 2 to 19 was obese in the 1970s. But around 1980 child obesity began to rocket to today’s stratospheric level: Nearly one in three kids is overweight or obese, and nearly one in five is frankly obese,” notes WebMD.

What is the cause of this stratospheric increase in child obesity? ANSWER: Single parent households.

In July 2010 the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reported, “Prevalence of childhood obesity and its complications have increased world-wide. Parental status may be associated with children’s health outcomes including their eating habits, body weight and blood cholesterol.” [My emphasis]

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 1988–1994 provided a unique opportunity for matching parents to children enabling analyses of joint demographics, racial differences and health indicators. Specifically, the NHANES III data, 1988–1994, of 219 households with single-parents and 780 dual-parent households were analyzed as predictors for primary outcome variables of children’s Body Mass Index (BMI), dietary nutrient intakes and blood cholesterol.

The NHANES survey found:

  • Children of single-parent households were significantly more overweight than children of dual-parent households.
  • Total calorie and saturated fatty acid intakes were higher among children of single-parent households than dual-parent households.
  • On average, Black children were more overweight than children of other races.

The study results implied a strong relationship between single-parent status and excess weight in children. The NHANES survey states, “Parental involvement in the development of school- and community-based obesity prevention programs are suggested for effective health initiatives. Economic constraints and cultural preferences may be communicated directly by family involvement in these much needed public health programs.”

Mark Mather from the Population Reference Bureau reports, “In the United States, the number of children in single-mother families has risen dramatically over the past four decades, causing considerable concern among policymakers and the public. Researchers have identified the rise in single-parent families (especially mother-child families) as a major factor driving the long-term increase in child poverty in the United States.” To read the full report click here.

Data from the Sarasota County School Board shows that since President Obama took office the number of children who are classified as obese is Sarasota public schools has risen as the children progress from Grade 1 – to Grade 3 – to Grade 6. The cohort obesity numbers go down at Grade 9. For example, 15.7% of students in Grade 1 in the 2008/2009 school year were obese. In 2011/2012 school year 18.8% of students in Grade 3 were obese. An increase of 3.1% of students in grade during school year 2008/2009 18.8% were obese. In Grade 6 that cohort increased to 20.1%. The Grade 6 cohort in 2008/2009 data was 21.5% and in 2011/12 dropped to 17.6%.

Public schools do not keep data on obese children who live in single parent households. 

Many are questioning whether the First Lady is addressing the root cause of child obesity – single parent households. Some see this health initiative as expanding government control of parents and children. Setting caloric standards is the first step in setting eating limits. Limits lead to control of food sources, leading to the redistribution of calories. Should not we be focused on the rising number of single parent households?

Perhaps it would be better for the First Lady to focus on increasing the number of traditional two parent families? After all, she has a traditional family and her husband and children all have normal weights according to the BMI calculator.

JUST FOR FUN:

As an aside, Watchdog Wire looked at some well known public figures and calculated their BMI scores.

Using the BMI calculator we determined that New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who is 6′ 3″ tall and weights 236 pounds, is overweight. If Tebow gains 5 pounds he will be categorized as “Obese Class 1”. In fact the entire New York Jets offensive and defensive lines are obese.

Muscle Chemistry lists the height and weight of actors. Those in Hollywood who are overweight according to the BMI calculator include: Whoppi Goldberg, Al Pacino, Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Sylvester Stallone is rated as Obese Class 1.