Tom Daley, perfect mother for our time

Or is it a perfect father? With homosexual couples it’s hard to tell, although the problem isn’t insurmountable.

Richard Littlejohn pointed out the problem in his article, but he didn’t offer a solution. Being a positive man, I’m happy to suggest one.

But first a historical detour showing that the notion of a child having two fathers isn’t new. At the end of the twelfth century, 16-year-old Börte, wife of a young Mongolian chieftain Temüjin, was kidnapped by a hostile tribe. When Temüjin, soon to become Genghis Khan, recovered Börte a year or so later, she was pregnant.

Yet, ignoring biological probability, Genghis declared her son Jochi his own and promised to impale anyone who disagreed. Nonetheless, Mongolian mauvaises langues slyly called Jochi “a son of two fathers” behind his, and wisely Genghis’s, back.

However, diver Daley and their [sic] spouse have added a new twist to this ancient story of two fathers to one child. “They,” as the press has announced, “are expecting a child.”

Diver Daley describes themself as their husband’s wife, which suggests that they has cast themself in the permanent role of mother. That betokens gender pigeonholing out of tune with our progressive times.

The whole point of homomarriage is freedom of choice, isn’t it? The previous 5,000 years of recorded history were troglodyte in their staunch denial of this basic human right.

However, after a campaign heroically led by that quintessential Tory Dave Cameron, homomarriage was finally legalised in 2013. Since then freedom of choice has made giant strides.

Now any person of any age can choose any sex – sorry, I mean gender – from the list of 11 options. And whatever choice they makes (I hope this is proper grammar, but one can never be sure), they is then entitled to marry any other person, whatever their choice of gender.

Diver Daley’s insistence on describing themself as a wife betokens a retreat into gender stereotyping, which is akin to admitting defeat. It also deprives both spouses of a chance to experience motherhood and fatherhood at the same time – and how many of you have had such an exciting opportunity?

So here’s a simple solution: diver Daley could be the child’s mother on the odd days of the week and their spouse on the even ones. And on Sunday the roles could be assigned by a coin toss.

The spouse whose turn it is to play mummy can wear a dress, lingerie and high heels, switching to man’s clothes the next day. (If you’ve heard the prison joke with the line “So do you want to be mummy or do you want to be daddy?”, I hope you’ll keep it to yourself. Nobody wants to hear such smut.)

The child may be slightly confused, but the upside will be their early exposure to true progress and the redemptive value of free choice. By the time they grows up, they may be in a position to choose not only their gender but also their species.

At this point one could abandon levity for gravity. One could talk about the perverse nature of modernity. One could even try to explain its roots, such as the abandonment of Judaeo-Christian morality and replacing it with the only possible alternative, in the West at any rate: no morality at all.

At a weak moment one could even talk about the essentially destructive desiderata of modernity, hell-bent on trying to knock out every cornerstone of Christendom, such as religion itself and its social expression, the family.

The possibilities are endless, and I’ve taken advantage of them on many occasions. But what strikes me now is the ghostly, phantom nature of modernity.

It’s as if in a few short years we’ve moved into a virtual world inhabited by virtual people and animated by virtual ideas.

In the past, ideas, good or bad, reflected life. At present, life is forced to reflect ideas, invariably bad. It’s as if virtual reality has been slapped together to conform to anything clever creatures think up, and stupid  creatures clamour for.

Now Littlejohn usually displays the kind of common sense that has become most uncommon. Here too he says “Please don’t pretend the two dads are the new normal” and insists that children are better off when raised by a man and a woman.

Yet at the same time he makes misguided concessions to virtual reality, belying his common or any other sense. In one sentence he preempts a charge of homophobia and commits a factual error:

“I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable and I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused.”

The first part of the sentence evokes the image of a textbook anti-Semite claiming “Some of my best friends are Jewish”. Fine, Richard, you’ve established your progressive credentials – while forgetting that actions have consequences.

One inevitable consequence of legalising what until the past few decades was considered a mortal sin is an entry ticket into virtual reality. That, irrespective of the form such legalisation takes. Recognising civil homopartnerships removes a logical objection to recognising homomarriages – just as recognising female priests defangs any subsequent objections to female bishops.

The second part of Littlejohn’s sentence defies many things, including facts. First, one may disagree that “loving gay couples” are better for children than state-run institutions where they may be abused.

That’s certainly a possibility, but does Littlejohn preclude abuse by “loving gay couples”? Moreover, one can argue that being raised by two homosexuals ipso facto constitutes abuse, whose psychological damage hasn’t yet had the time to be properly assessed.

Be that as it may, this situation doesn’t apply to this particular loving couple. Even accepting Littlejohn’s assertion on faith, it would only matter if diver Daley’s child were adopted. But it’s not.

As the ultrasound images of the foetus prove, the proud future parents commissioned a surrogate mother, to be impregnated by some natural or unnatural method. Without this, the baby wouldn’t exist and thus wouldn’t run the risk of falling into the clutches of “state-run institutions”.

Anyway, congratulations to the happy parents, with commiserations to their future baby – and bitter tears shed for actual, sane reality now lost.

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