Little to say for myself

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Shakespeare gets it right

There was a really interesting edition of The Commission on R4 last night, about the issue of sex selection (in unborn children). I'm not sure if it was timed to coincide with yesterday's court case, but it was really pertinent to what I was trying to say in that last post about parental "ownership" of their children's lives. You should listen to it.

I did while driving home, and was alternately appalled and enthralled by what people were saying. When Tom Shakespeare started his submission, I found myself shouting "Yes!" "Yes!" at the rabbits grazing on the verges. Ruth Deech made a lot of sense, but it was Shakespeare who hit my nail right on the head.

He and Deech (to a lesser extent) were the only ones who looked at it from the viewpoint of the child, and I was amazed that so many erudite and responsible people could come to their different views without seeming to acknowledge that the child has the biggest (in my view the only) stake in all this. You should really listen to him live, but his notes on the beeb's website go some way to summarising what he said:
adults should not make choices for their children or control their destinies. Why should parents be able to make this choice? It is not for the child's own benefit. Who wants to be predetermined?
Children are a gift, not a commodity - parents should take what comes, and not attempt to predetermine or manipulate. After all ... there is nothing better about a 'balanced family', and the 'right' to have both boys and girls is a socially generated want - not a right.
He also mentioned a lovely thin-end-of-the-wedge metaphor I'd not come across before - the camel's nose: Once you let the camel stick its nose into the tent, it's very difficult to stop it from pushing all the way in.

He's a giant.

posted by Plig | 13:29 |

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