The Corner

DNA Sayer

Sadly, this article (“Who’s the Daddy?” by Melanie McDonagh) lurks behind the London Spectator’s paywall. That’s a shame, because in its own quite astoundingly malevolent way, it’s not without interest. The author’s complaint? That DNA tests now allow men to know whether they are truly the fathers of the children that they are being asked to provide for. I would have thought that this was a good thing. Ms. McDonagh does not.

DNA tests are an anti-feminist appliance of science, a change in the balance of power between the sexes that we’ve hardly come to terms with. And that holds true even though many women have the economic potential to provide for their children themselves…Uncertainty allows mothers to select for their children the father who would be best for them. The point is that paternity was ambiguous and it was effectively up to the mother to name her child’s father, or not… Many men have, of course, ended up raising children who were not genetically their own, but really, does it matter…in making paternity conditional on a test rather than the say-so of the mother, it has removed from women a powerful instrument of choice.

Words fail me.  

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