Last updated on May 5th, 2023 at 05:21 am
As Serbian N1 channel reported on its website, a Serbian feminist and a Croatian activist opened fire against the international pro-life summit to be held in Belgrade in mid-May. The two women believe that there are “dangerous ideas” behind the summit and that “they operate in a half-secret manner”, whatever that means.
Since the entire article does not mention any names (of involved persons or organizations – except once, but the mentioned organization Pro-Life Europe does not participate in the summit), we can only assume that when they say “they”, the women in question mean the organizers and all the organizations that in some way are participating in the summit or are connected with it, as well as all those who are part of the pro-life movement in the world and in Serbia.
And so, “they” are accused of “pushing dangerous ideas that conceal fascism underneath.” We are not aware that in any aspect of their activism, the pro-life movement as a whole or individual organizations insist on creating a nationalist, dictatorial system that advocates for economic equality and a classless society, as one definition of fascism reads. Indeed, the pro-life movement does not deal with those aspects of social life at all. Therefore, we are inclined to say that the term “fascism” is used here as a label that is supposed to undermine the credibility of the other side, given that leftists and “woke” progressives in today’s society are increasingly using it when they want to paint their opponents as bigoted, intolerant, etc., in the absence of any valid arguments on their part.
“They” are accused of advocating “anti-gender policies, and a ban on abortion and contraception.” The Serbian Constitution does not recognize the category of “gender” (gender is a grammatical category in linguistics); however, its Article 15 guarantees “the equality of women and men”, i.e., equality of the sexes. Yet, as frequently written here and elsewhere, left-oriented movements (feminists, LGBTs, Marxists and other bearers of the Bolshevik legacy and “values”) forcibly introduced the concept of gender into our language; hence in our contemporary discourse you can often hear phrases not recognized by the Serbian Constitution, such as “gender equality”, “gender policy”, “gender studies”, “gender-sensitive language”….
Of course, the fact that the Belgrade Mayor and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church have scheduled an event called Family Days at the same time as the Summit was immediately interpreted as “not a coincidence” and something that is “symptomatic”. It never occurred to them that both events might have something to do with the fact that the 15th of May is International Family Day. Therefore, it is appropriate and logical that those who care about that date should try to mark it in some way, or organize appropriate events.
In their condemnations, the activists mostly stick to general statements and phrases (“they” spread “dangerous ideas”, “dangerous ideologies”, “dangerous agendas”, “lies and fabrications”…), and only once do they mention specific “crimes”, i.e. the “lies” that “they” spread: “that marriage is the safest, that there is the least violence in marriages, that children have great difficulties when their parents divorce.” The Croatian activist then explains it further: “Such stances are deeply problematic because they cement the marriage, and put the sanctity of marriage above the safety of women.”
The “lies” of which the pro-life movement has been accused are nothing of the sort. Indeed, the social sciences confirm what common sense tells us: that marriage (by marriage we mean the married union of a man and a woman) is the best place for women, men, and children–but not just any “place”, as the lady says, but rather the best environment for children to grow up in, as well as the best environment for both parents to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Marriage as the best environment for children
Every child has the right to know and grow up with both biological parents–the mother and the father. In a healthy, functional family, the married union of a husband and wife is truly the best environment in which a child should be raised. Of course, that doesn’t mean that single parents shouldn’t exist or that they can’t/don’t know how to raise children. One’s parenting abilities are not dependent on that person’s marital status–just as they are not dependent on one’s sexuality. Thus, one large study has shown that the fact that children of same-sex parents have worse outcomes has nothing to do with the parents’ sexual orientation, but with the fact that every child needs parents of both sexes while growing up.
We believe that girls don’t grow up dreaming of being single mothers one day. Why would anyone knowingly want to take on the burden of parenthood all alone, given that it is indeed a very heavy burden to carry, yet also the most beautiful in the world? Single-parent families, families where grandparents are raising a child and similar forms of families have always existed and will always exist, and in those situations we try to do the best we can to make up for the absent parent(s). The difference is that we do not make those families an ideal or a norm that society should strive for.
Marriage as the best environment for spouses
A healthy, functional family is also the safest place for both men and women. If their mutual relations are based on respect, reciprocity and understanding, they will be able to achieve both their professional and family goals. For example, US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is a mother of seven children (two of whom are adopted and one who has Down syndrome) and married to a successful lawyer. When asked how she managed to build a career and have a large family at the same time, Amy replied that she and her husband took turns in looking after the children, so that the other spouse could pursue a career. Agreement, understanding and reciprocity led to the fact that both of them were able to have a successful career and be parents at the same time.
As for the statement that “there is the least violence in marriage”, we’d like to ask the women to state the source of that statement because, as far as we are aware, the pro-life movement does not claim that violence is “the least present in marriages” but rather in healthy and functional families, which are the norm in society and which a healthy society should strive for precisely in order to be healthy, and thus be an optimal environment for all members of society. No institution (social or government) is immune to human weaknesses, including violence. The fact that people say that there is bribery and corruption in the judiciary or medicine does not mean that medical science or justice are not good, or that hospitals and courts should not exist.
The impact of divorce on children
As for the third claim for which “they” are accused (“children have great difficulties when their parents divorce”), again we have a truth that is confirmed by science and statistics. Thus a study by Brian D’Onofrio (h index 56) and Robert Emery (h index 48) titled “Parental divorce or separation and children’s mental health” states that “parental divorce/separation is associated with an increased risk for child and adolescent adjustment problems, including academic difficulties (e.g., lower grades and school dropout), disruptive behaviors (e.g., conduct and substance use problems), and depressed mood. Offspring of divorced/separated parents are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, live in poverty, and experience their own family instability.”
Moreover, it was found that the most devastating and complex social problems have one common element: the broken family. Namely:
- 90% of young people who run away from home and live as homeless grew up in fatherless homes
- 70–85% of convicts in prisons grew up without a father
- 63% of teenagers who commit suicide did not grow up with a father
- fatherless children are four times more likely to live in poverty
- 71% of pregnant teenage girls grew up in a family without a father
- children whose parents lived apart before they were born are almost twice as likely to be obese as children whose parents lived together
- 71% of high school dropouts grew up in a fatherless family.
Given that the other side usually twists our words and attitudes, it is necessary to emphasize that pro-family organizations (which includes a part of the pro-life movement, but not all of it) make a distinction between “at fault” and “no fault” divorce (consensual, or at the initiative of one spouse, without elements of violence, adultery, etc.). This means that these organizations do not believe that someone should stay in an abusive marriage and suffer violence “for the sake of the children”, because if there is violence in the family, it will certainly have an adverse effect on the children as well. However, “at fault” divorce accounts for at the most 20% of all divorces in the USA, which also supports the claim of pro-family organizations that dysfunctional families are the minority and constitute exceptions of behavior that should be dealt with by professional institutions in society (social services, police, courts…). Also, it is clear how exaggerated are the claims of certain feminists and activists that “all men are violent”, “all men are rapists”, etc. And despite all their cries about “femicide”–the murder of a woman just because she is a woman–the statistics again reveal a different reality.
As we can see, women in Serbia are slightly more often victims of violence than men. However, to avoid being accused of belittling the seriousness of someone’s life and health, we will not go deeper into this topic here because it requires much more room. We will only add that children who grow up in healthy families where spouses respect and help each other adopt such healthy patterns of behavior and later imitate them in their own families. And that’s why, the more healthy and functional families there are in society, the more healthy and functional individuals there will be, who will in turn also create their own healthy and functional families.
Part 2 is posted HERE.