A 24-year-old man who authorities say was among masked Antifa supporters attacking conservatives at a June demonstration in Portland, Ore., was sentenced Friday to nearly six years in prison in connection with a brutal baton assault.
Gage Halupowski pleaded guilty to second-degree assault after authorities accused him of using a weapon against a conservative demonstrator who suffered blows to the head that the victim claims left him with a concussion and cuts that required 25 staples to close.
After the assault, police saw Halupowski collapse his metal baton and conceal it in his pants, FOX 12 Oregon reported.
The attack outside a Portland hotel on June 29 was “completely unexplainable, completely avoidable and didn’t need to happen,” Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero said, according to OregonLive.com.
Gage Halupowski, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in connection with a baton attack in June, authorities say. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)
Authorities say Halupowski attacked Adam Kelly as Kelly was attempting to help another man who’d been assaulted, the news outlet reported.
Halupowski’s defense attorney, Edward Kroll, called his client’s prison term “one of the harshest sentences I’ve seen for someone with no criminal background and young age,” but acknowledged that having the attack caught on video left Halupowski with few legal options other than accepting a plea deal.
Marrero disagreed, calling the sentence appropriate for Halupowski’s crimes, according to OregonLive.com.
Charges dropped under Halupowski’s plea agreement included unlawful use of a weapon, attempted assault of a public safety officer and interfering with a peace officer, the outlet reported.
The attack against Kelly occurred the same day that a group of assailants attacked conservative writer Andy Ngo, dousing him with liquids and pelting him with objects, with those attacks also caught on video.
Ngo claims he was later hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage and says no suspects have yet been charged in connection with the assaults against him.
Violent clashes between Antifa supporters and members of conservative groups have been a vexing problem for the city of Portland, whose mayor, Ted Wheeler, has faced harsh criticism for the city’s response to such events. President Trump and some Republicans in Congress have called for Antifa to be declared a domestic terror organization.
Over the past 30 years, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has gone from a rare and obscure medical curiosity to a common developmental disorder affecting millions of American children. Conventional medical and psychiatric treatments are limited to therapy and a handful of minimally effective drugs. But decades of research and clinical practice from a small group of dedicated practitioners has shown that autism is, in fact, treatable.ADVERTISING
ASD affects 1 in 59 children and now comprises 1 percent of the whole population of the United States. Lifetime cost over the entire lifespan of each autistic individual is estimated at nearly $2 million per person. Thirty-five percent of young adults with ASD are unable to work and are dependent on family or public services for survival. Prevalence is projected to increase 15-25 percent in the coming decade, making all these figures even worse. The average American gives this problem very little attention until it enters their lives through an affected family member. At this rate, a larger and larger proportion of Americans will be thinking about it soon.
ASD is a behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorder characterized clinically by delays and qualitative differences in communication and social interactions as well as repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Currently, it is characterized by the vast majority of healthcare practitioners as a subjective psychiatric diagnosis based on behaviors exhibited in the child rather than an objective medical diagnosis based on measurable core clinical imbalances resulting in their abnormal behaviors. This subtle but powerful difference in diagnosing patients with autism has resulted in profound effects on medical trials. Many of these trials have been plagued with inconsistent results because patients are being selected based on the subjective behaviors they exhibit rather than the objective clinical imbalances they possess that cause or contribute to the behaviors. This effectively reduces the power of the study and dilutes the therapeutic potential of the therapeutic agent being studied.
There is no single cause of autism. Instead, the causes are as varied and diverse as the individuals who are affected. This is the primary reason why the pharmaceutical industry has failed to produce any effective treatments beyond simple symptom control (such as antipsychotics for agitation or stimulants for inattention).
I want to be clear on which ASD individuals I am not referring to. There is a growing number of very high functioning ASD adolescents and adults who can be seen writing long, eloquent social media posts outlining their support for neurodiversity and see no need to change anything in themselves. I commend these individuals for their bravery and the level of function they have achieved.
I am referring to ASD children who are unable to engage in a simple conversation with loved ones and cannot communicate their needs. These children may spend the majority of their day engaged in repetitive, self-stimulatory activities and are frequently unable to go on a simple shopping trip or even sit in a restaurant with their parents without one severe melt-down after another. These are the children who have a very low level of function and without intervention will likely be dependent on others for their survival well into adulthood.
Conventional medicine practitioners have very little to offer these children because they have been trained that there is no treatment or cure for autism and the child’s symptoms and behaviors are a result of their autism. In the current diagnostic paradigm, the diagnosis of autism in the child is made subjectively, based on the symptoms and behaviors they exhibit. This reasoning dictates that the symptoms define the disease (behaviors, therefore, autism) and the disease causes the symptoms (autism, therefore, behaviors). This is a logical fallacy called circular cause and consequence. With this illogical thinking, it is no wonder conventional medicine has little to offer these children beyond an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy referral and possibly a symptom-suppressing medication. Autism is not an entity that infects your child and then causes disease, it is just a convenient name to place individuals exhibiting similar behaviors stemming from a multitude of different physiological insults and imbalances. Language may guide thought, but names do not cause disease.
The Role of Genetics
Over the past decade, conventional medicine has directed much of its research efforts and funding toward identifying the genes responsible for autism. Billions of dollars have been spent with no substantial changes in the proportion of patients identified with a clear-cut genetic cause. This misdirection of research resources has resulted in a grave disservice to children with autism. Future generations of children with autism may possibly benefit from this research but the current generation is being marginalized by resource allocation decisions of our current conventional medical model. Effective treatments are available for these children today and with the availability of adequate research dollars, these treatments could be refined and improved at a much quicker pace than is currently happening
The Functional Medicine Treatment Approach
We start with two key questions:
Is the body and brain getting what it needs to function optimally (i.e. vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, healthy clean food, etc.)? Get the good stuff in.
Is something present in the body and brain that is interfering with its ability to function optimally (i.e. toxins, occult infection, disrupted microbiome, free radicals, cytokines, histamine, etc.)? Get the bad stuff out.
In the context of these two questions, causes and contributing factors leading to clinical imbalances are identified and corrected.
We do not accept the conventional thinking that autism is an entity onto itself causing disease in the individual. Instead, autism is viewed only as a label for a group of individuals who share similar abnormalities in development and behaviors. By providing the body and brain with what they need and eliminating that which may be interfering, the potential exists to significantly improve brain function and improve the quality of life for these individuals.
Current Treatment for ASD
The backbone of current treatment for ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA. This is a form of therapy built upon the principles of operant conditioning and the evidence supports that this therapy is effective for children with ASD. Occupational and speech therapies can also be helpful. All these modalities should be continued as the child and their families work with an experienced practitioner to determine the causes and contributing factors driving the autism.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Causes and Contributing Factors
A large and rapidly growing body of research points toward ASD as an inflammatory disease associated with immune dysfunction activated by environmental triggers. The various permutations of these three components then become the causes and/or contributing factors that we connect to the patient’s existing psychiatric diagnosis of ASD. There are a myriad of core clinical imbalances that may directly or indirectly affect the brain function of children with autism.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation: Both are present in the vast majority of children on the spectrum. Addressing these two key issues is critical to treatment success.
Gastrointestinal dysbiosis with increased intestinal permeability: A pathological alteration in the gut microbiome with “leaky gut,” both of which can underlie a subsequent immune dysfunction or autoimmunity.
Mitochondrial dysfunction: This refers to the impaired function of the portion of the cell responsible for providing all the energy needs of the individual. It has been theorized that in this state mitochondria become generators of inflammation rather than energy.
Unmet nutrient needs: These are rarely a cause but commonly a contributor. These result from nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal malabsorption, or variations and mutations in the enzymes involved in nutrient utilization.
Food sensitivities and intolerances: This is particularly true of gluten and casein. They can produce immune dysfunction and inflammation or opiate-like byproducts in susceptible patients.
Impaired detoxification: This is typically a consequence of other imbalances and occasionally an isolated cause of disease.
Autoimmunity or immune dysfunction: This is frequently caused by persisting gut issues and a contributing factor to decreased energy production and chronic inflammation. Caution should be exercised when altering immune function.
Impaired production of hormones and neurotransmitters: This is evident in decreased levels of oxytocin (the “love hormone”), increase levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”), as well as erratic levels of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin driving much of the self-stimulatory behaviors and sleep disturbances commonly present.
One or more of these factors are present in almost all individuals with autism and it is the intricate interplay of these imbalances which ultimately create the complex clinical presentation of ASD. Dozens of other, less common, imbalances have also been identified as contributors to the complex condition of ASD.
Autism is now treatable but we have to displace the out-dated psychiatric baggage it brings with it from the 20th century. The optimal approach to treating ASD in the 21st century continues to be early intervention with psychological and educational services (ABA, special education, speech, and occupational therapies) working from the “outside-in” as well as an in-depth functional medicine investigation into the causes and contributing factors working from the “inside-out”.
A “shoplifting boom” is plaguing West Coast retailers, Christopher Rufo warns at City Journal: “Since 2010, thefts increased by 22 percent in Portland, 50 percent in San Francisco and 61 percent in Los Angeles.”
Driving it is “an explosion in addiction rates for heroin, fentanyl and meth” — since getting cash for drugs is “the most common single motivation for crime” across America.
And the problem “has only accelerated because of decriminalization,” as “many criminals now believe, justifiably, that they can steal with impunity.” Fearing lawsuits, many stores no longer try to stop even blatant shoplifters.
San Francisco “now leads the nation in overall property crime,” while the problem is driving retailers to close their downtown Seattle shops. Yet the leaders of progressive cities still “refuse to consider how mass decriminalization fuels a breakdown in public order.”
“SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland,” the article reads.
Barker calls SpongeBob’s colonization of Bikini Bottom “violent” and “racist,” and also claims that the cartoon is guilty of the “whitewashing of violent American military activities” against natives of the Pacific.
Barker’s beliefs come from the idea that the show is set in a version of the real-life Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. During the Cold War, natives of the area were relocated and the American military used the zone for nuclear testing.
Fox News caught up with ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ cast members Carolyn Lawrence, Bill Fagerbakke and Clancy Brown, who talked about their favorite moments from the series and how the show made a huge impact on US culture.
The area remains uninhabitable to this day. That history has given rise to fans’ theory that Bikini Bottom is inhabited by creatures who owe their mutation to that testing.
Barker stated that as an “American character” allowed to inhabit an area that natives had no choice but to leave, SpongeBob showed his privilege of “not caring about the detonation of nuclear bombs.”
Barker also points out the cultural appropriation of Pacific culture, with Hawaiian-style shirts, homes in the shapes of pineapples, tikis and Easter Island heads, and the sounds of a steel guitar perpetuating stereotypes of the region.
Even the theme song, according to Barker is problematic, as it denounces the area as one full of “nautical nonsense.”
Barker understands that the writers likely didn’t have colonization in mind when creating the show, but she’s upset by the lack of acknowledgment that “Bikini Bottom and Bikini Atoll were not (the writers’) for the taking.”
Other issues for Barker: a perceived imbalance between male and female characters, and the name “Bob” representing an everyman rather than a culturally appropriate character
In the article, Barker claims that because of these themes, children have “become acculturated to an ideology that includes the U.S. character SpongeBob residing on another people’s homeland.”
The article concludes with this: We should be uncomfortable with a hamburger-loving American community’s occupation of Bikini’s lagoon and the ways that it erodes every aspect of sovereignty.”
Last month, 12-year-old Amari Allen appeared on television to share how she had been brutalized by racist white boys at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia. The sixth-grader, who is black, wept as she recalled how she was pinned down during recess, had her arms pulled behind her back and had a hand placed over her mouth so she couldn’t scream.
She said the boys cut off her dreadlocks, calling it “nappy.” By Monday, it was revealed that, following an investigation by Fairfax County Police, the girl admitted she had made it all up.
When the story first broke, left-wing politicians and activists raged. Rep. Rashida Tlaib published a personalized message on Twitter to the girl: “You see, Amari, you may not feel it now but you have a power that threatens their core. I can’t wait to watch you use it and thrive.” On Twitter, some even found a way to blame the Trump administration, noting ominously that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, teaches art part-time at the school.
As with Jussie Smollett’s original accusations, Allen’s yarn had all the elements of a rage-bait story. Fervid media interest turned a regional non-incident into a national crisis, featured prominently and uncritically on televised reports from NBC, MSNBC, CNN and CBS, in addition to numerous print and online outlets.
Left-wing activists and the mainstream media refuse to learn lessons about hate-crime hoaxes. Sensational claims deserve additional scrutiny. Was Allen or her family asked why no known students had come forward to corroborate her claims? She said it happened during recess — around dozens of other students presumably.
The accused boys were also never sought for comment. On the contrary, the NAACP demanded “immediate disciplinary action” against the minor suspects.
It’s hard to blame the public and media consumers for their naive credulity. The real problem is that highly publicized fake hate crimes like this one usually receive little public coverage after it is revealed that the original accusation was a hoax.
Then, too, few Americans are aware that in just the past few years, several children have been caught fabricating hate-crime allegations.
In January 2017, police in Gambrills, Maryland, identified a “14-year-old black female” as the suspect responsible for sending out a violent racist threat against her high school using a Twitter account pretending to be part of the Ku Klux Klan.
The following month, students at Plano West Senior High in Texas discovered their school vandalized with racist, anti-black graffiti all over its buildings and school vans. After several months, police arrested and charged Alexandria Monet Butler and Elizabeth Joy Police, two black female minors, for the incident. They were caught on camera vandalizing the school.
Then last year, a 5-year-old black child in Grand Rapids, Michigan, launched a frenzied police search after she told her family that a white man in the neighborhood had urinated on her and called her a racist slur. A 60-year-old man was arrested. The child made up the story with her friends.
Nor are incidents like these confined to the United States. In early 2018, Khawlah Noman, an 11-year-old Muslim girl in Toronto, claimed that a man had attacked her by cutting her hijab. The story reverberated across the country, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately issuing comments condemning Islamophobia in Canada. Local police invested huge resources into catching the at-large suspect. Noman had fabricated the incident. She was never charged.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf is as old as time immemorial, to be sure. What’s different today is the mind-boggling credulity of mainstream media and politicians, who jump to ideological conclusions and dial the outrage to 11 before the facts have played out.
It’s no surprise that children lie, but when they are rewarded by an all-too-willing media and audience, we should expect more incidents like what happened in Virginia. The final result: Americans are bound to become ever more cynical and skeptical of hate-crime allegations — even when they’re true.
Andy Ngo is a journalist in Portland, Oregon. Twitter: @MrAndyNgo
A female who transitioned to male as a teenager is speaking
out about transgender regret.
Twenty-eight-year-old Charlie Evans told Sky
News in a recent interview that she’s spoken to “hundreds” of young
people, mostly same-sex attracted women, who regret their gender transition.
She also encountered an “online community of 5,000 in a similar position,”
according to the network (video report below).
Evans transitioned and viewed herself as male for almost ten
years, before deciding to detransition.
“I’m in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had
full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria
hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it,” she told Sky News,
adding, ”I think some of the common characteristics are that they tend to be
around their mid-20s, they’re mostly female and mostly same-sex attracted, and
often autistic as well.”
“They don’t know what their options are now,” Evans
After dealing with her own experiences and connecting with
hundreds of others, Evans has started a charity called “The Detransition
“The Detransition Advocacy Network was established to
support people who have stopped or reversed gender reassignment,” an ad
on Eventbrite for
an event for the charity explains.
To celebrate the launch of The Detransition Advocacy Network
on November 30, a group called “Make More Noise” will host an event “discussing
the ethics of the social and medical transition of gender non-conforming women
and girls” and will feature “talks from professionals working in the field
followed by a panel discussion of detransitioned women talking about their
After speaking publicly about her transition, Evans recalled
being confronted by a young woman “with a beard” who also regretted her
transition. “She said she felt shunned by the LGBT community for being a
traitor. So I felt I had to do something,” Evans said.
Another woman who reached out to Evans said she began her
transition at the tender age of 13. “After taking testosterone her voice got a
lot deeper, she grew facial hair and her body changed. She had been planning to
have surgery to remove her breasts this summer,” Sky News reported.
Now, at 21, the young woman, who only wished to be
identified as “Ruby,” wishes to try to undo the damage done to her body and
live as a female.
“I didn’t think any change was going to be enough in the end
and I thought it was better to work on changing how I felt about myself, than
changing my body,” Ruby said.
Ruby compared gender dysphoria to an eating disorder; she’s
personally suffered with both.
“I’ve seen similarities in the way I experience gender
dysphoria, in the way I experience other body image issues,” she said.
“When I was at my gender clinic to get referred for
hormones, we had a session where I went over my mental health issues and I told
them about my eating disorder and they didn’t suggest that that could maybe
connected with my gender dysphoria,” Ruby explained. “For everyone who has
gender dysphoria, whether they are trans or not, I want there to be more
options for us because I think there is a system of saying, ‘okay here’s your
hormones, here’s your surgery, off you go.’ I don’t think that’s helpful for
A spokesperson for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust,
which takes on gender-confused “transgender” patients as young as three years
old, pushed back on the women’s lived experiences.
“Decisions about physical interventions made in our care are
arrived at after a thorough exploration process. While some of our patients may
decide not to pursue physical treatment or drop out of treatment, the
experience of regret described here is rarely seen,” the spokesperson said.
As highlighted by Sky News, questioning gender transition,
even within young people, has been largely castigated as “transphobic”
rhetoric. Still, folks like Evans and Ruby who regret their transition are
resisting pressures to keep quiet.
And there are more. In 2016, PJ
Media ran a piece on two young people, both female, speaking out
against transitions of children and young people. One of the women detailed
irrevocable physical harm she had undergone in the process of her own
now-regrettable gender transitions.
“I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest
and a broken voice, and five o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of
growing up to be a woman, that’s my reality,” Cari Stella revealed
in a YouTube video. As noted by PJ Media, Stella “objected to transgender
journalist Julia Serano’s insistence on calling her ‘transgender.’”
“Gender was done to me,” Stella continued, “gender was
traumatizing to me, I don’t want anything to do with it anymore.”
“When I was transitioning, I felt a strong desire — what I
would have called a ‘need’ at the time — to transition,” she explained, though
the transition would eventually have what she underscored were harmful effects.
“It can be damn hard to figure out that the treatment you’re being told is to
help you is actually making your mental health worse. Testosterone made me even
more dissociated than I already was.”
Another young woman who has decided to detransition after
identifying as male, Carey Callahan, voiced frustration with the transgender
journalist for “erasing” her lived experience.
“If self-definition is a human right, I don’t know how much
louder we can shout to the world we’re not trans,” she said. “And for me, if
you say that I’m on the transgender spectrum, what you’re doing is you’re
erasing everything I’m telling you about my life and my story.”
“I had trauma that led to me disassociating from my female
body, and … the longer I chased that disassociation — the more I asked people
to call me special pronouns, the more I tried to change my body, the more I
ensconced myself in a community that would affirm a trans identity, the worse I
felt,” Callahan explained.
“It’s a central story in my life, and you’re erasing it to make me fit into your ideology,” she added. “Your set of ideas of how the world works is not worth acting like I don’t exist, or acting like you get to define my gender for me. No, that’s not how that works. I’m a real person, and you have to deal with my existence.”
The 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China was “one of Hong Kong’s most violent and chaotic days”, the city’s police chief has said.
An 18-year-old protester was shot in the chest with a live bullet – one of six live rounds fired by police.
Protesters – some armed with poles, petrol bombs and other projectiles – fought pitched battles with police in several parts of Hong Kong.
In all police made 269 arrests, more than on any day since protests began.
Those detained ranged in age from 12 to 71. More than 100 people were taken to hospital and 30 police were injured.
Tuesday’s unrest saw police fire 900 rubber bullets and 1,400 rounds of tear gas. That compares with 1,000 tear gas canisters fired in the first two months of protests.
In the days leading up to the anniversary, tensions were high in Hong Kong, which always sees protests on National Day.
This year, however, Hong Kong has seen four months of protests sparked by proposed changes to an extradition bill. Though the changes have been abandoned, the unrest has continued, expanding into demands for greater democracy.
The shooting of Tsang Chi-kin, who was attacking an officer with a pole, was captured on video and shared online.
“My chest is hurting, I need to go to hospital,” said the 18-year-old, who was arrested after being shot. The government said he was now in a stable condition.
Although people have been shot with rubber bullets in previous protests, this was the first injury from a live round.
Police chief Stephen Lo said firing the bullet was “lawful and reasonable” as the officer thought his and colleagues’ lives were under threat.
Asked why the bullet was fired at close range, Mr Lo said: “He [the officer] did not decide the distance between him and the assailant.”
Hundreds of people staged a peaceful sit-in outside the teenager’s school on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 96 people, mostly students, who had been arrested on Sunday appeared in court charged with rioting.
Repairs to shops, businesses and public facilities – including the mass transit system – are under way following Tuesday’s violence. All metro stations are now open.
What made Tuesday different?
In Beijing, the anniversary of Communist Party rule saw a parade of Chinese military might: 15,000 troops, 580 vehicles and missiles, and 160 aircraft.
In Hong Kong, some 1,200 miles away, protesters marked the day very differently.
Peaceful marches soon exploded into violence. BBC reporter Tessa Wong, who was on the streets, said protesters fought “pitched battles” with officers.
Shortly before Tsang Chi-kin was shot, men wearing helmets and gas masks attacked an officer on the ground with a pole.
An officer responded by firing his gun at close range.
Elsewhere, protesters threw petrol bombs, started fires, and ran at officers. Police responded with water cannon, tear gas, and – in total – six live rounds.
The day saw the highest number of arrests since this year’s protests began, and the highest number of live rounds fired.
What explains the anger?
The protests were sparked earlier this year by a proposed law, which would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland.
Like fools, we rushed in. I came of age politically in the 1960s, earned my doctorate in the 1970s, and taught social work students (mostly at masters and doctoral level) until retiring in 2011.
In the first period of the sexual revolution, my students and I mostly celebrated the revolution as a period of liberation for adults, especially women, from the constraints of tradition, law, and custom.
Insofar as we considered at all the impacts of the revolution on children, families, and communities, we minimized them or saw them as beneficial. Easy divorce would free children from having to grow up in loveless, conflict-ridden families. Thanks to the pill and abortion, all children would be “wanted.” Children would be freed from the stigma of their parents’ divorce or their mothers’ unmarried status, cohabitation with an unrelated man, or other nontraditional family structures.
We didn’t consider seriously the coming drop in fertility and the shrinkage of families. What was the impact on children to spend, as half of them now do, at least some of their childhood without one or both biological parents? What was the social impact of fatherlessness, of growing up with few or no siblings, of having few cousins, aunts, uncles, or little involvement of the father’s side of the family?
Sometimes, especially at the end of the 20th century, a family scholar sounded the alarm, but far too few of us seriously examined these questions.
These issues go to the heart of almost every social problem social workers address. Yet my students and I had difficulty discussing them frankly, no doubt in part because many or most of us were directly affected by them in a world of divorce, premarital sex, cohabitation, and lone parenthood.
There was also concern that noticing the adverse outcomes in education, criminal justice involvement, employment, mental health, and just about every other social indicator, from fractured families and fatherless children would stigmatize single mothers, children born out of wedlock, and cohabiting couples.
So we talked, not about the family, but families, as if one kind of family structure was as good as another and it was discriminatory to say otherwise. We could call for more public resources to meet the needs of single mothers and their children and praise the heroic struggles made by such mothers, but not worry that such family structures themselves disadvantaged children or that the government was bankrolling and incentivizing them by substituting for the role of fathers as providers and protectors.
Many of us saw such dependence on government as liberating women and children from dependence on men. Some described marriage, in the common phrase of the time, as a “hitting license”—ignoring the research evidence that women were safer in marriage than in any other kind of relationship, such as cohabitation. Children were most at risk of violence and abuse when living with their mother and her partner who wasn’t the children’s biological father.
Textbooks used in marriage and family courses treated marriage as pathological rather than what it had been understood as since it was recognized in the first legal codes millennia ago—as the optimum setting for raising children and assuring paternal responsibility. They continued to expound these distortions and expose hundreds of thousands of students to their ideology long after researchers of all political persuasions had shown them to be false.
Against all evidence, textbook authors, publishers, and professors persisted in perpetuating a false narrative about marriage and the needs of children as if it were factual.
They grew toward adulthood in a state of panic over identity. They had lost the experience of a natural, intact family, not to war or disease but to the sexual consumerism of their parents. In the process, they were bereft of a clear answer to the question “Who am I?”
Previous generations, Eberstadt says, had answered the question in terms of their expectation of growing up in a family—the expectation that they would have children and a family themselves, that parents and siblings and extended family would remain their primal community, and thus, that it was a tragedy not to be part of a family.
Eberstadt discusses many aspects of the “Great Scattering” of families and the angry responses to it.
In some cases, young people whose interests were ignored when they were babies—like the children of anonymous sperm donors who were conceived with the deliberate intent from the start that they would grow up fatherless, without knowledge of or contact with their own biological father—found their own voice as young adults.
Unlike adoption, which had developed as a way to provide a child without a functioning family with parents, the aim in surrogacy was to meet the desires of adults, not the needs of children. But those children grew up and expressed publicly their sense of loss, as in organizations like The Anonymous Us Project and Stop Surrogacy Now.
One of the most striking manifestations of the anger and loss of sense of belonging is the profound shift in the pop music that children of the Great Scattering drove up the charts. It was no longer the music of abandon of their parents’ youth but, as Eberstadt says, the music of abandonment. It was anger—expressed most powerfully, but not only, by rap superstar Eminem, against parents, especially fathers, for breaking up their families and leaving them to grow up with a dysfunctional childhood.
As Eberstadt puts it, “During the same years in which progressive-minded and politically correct adults have been excoriating Ozzie and Harriet as artifacts of 1950s-style oppression, millions of American teenagers have enshrined a new generation of music idols whose shared signature in song after song is to rage about what not having had a nuclear family had done to them.”
In some cases, especially on college campuses, the identity rage took on irrational, preadolescent forms. Protesters behaved like children having a tantrum, shouting down speakers on campus with different views from their own, crying, chanting, screaming, or taping their mouths shut as if they were the ones being silenced rather than doing the silencing.
Shorn of identity rooted in family, argues Eberstadt, young people adopted alternative nonfamily identities as ways of being—defining the self in terms of combinations or “intersections” of race, sex, sexual appetite, and “gender”—with some curious results.
In its coarseness, vulgarity, swagger, and belligerence, says Eberstadt, feminism in its latest phase (as in the Women’s March) has adopted some of the more obnoxious features of the “toxic masculinity” it deplores. Feminism manifests the “routine renorming of women toward men”—the message continually given to women that, to succeed, they must behave like men. It’s a message that, far from liberating women, traps them in the paradigm of being “failed men.”
These, a generation later, are some of the poison fruits of the sexual revolution that we rationalized as being in the interests of everyone. But it was, as much as anything, a revolution in parenthood—in the subordination of children’s needs to the desires of adults.
Paul Adams is a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Hawaii and was a professor and associate dean of academic affairs at Case Western Reserve University. He is the co-author of “Social Justice Isn’t What You Think It Is” and has written extensively on social welfare policy and professional and virtue ethics.