Earlier this year a young Montréal couple sued a local photographer. They had decided to pose for him for a group of "erotic photographs" as some perverse sort of gift to themselves, but had expected the pictures to be kept private. While casually browsing in a pornographic magazine store, however, the woman found that she and her husband were actually featured on large posters.
My conclusion is that it served them right. If you live by the smut you may well die by the smut. There is something else though. And that is the nature of the good lady's profession. She works in a daycare. I am not for one moment implying that everyone who works in a daycare is a consumer of porn, but I am questioning the underlying premises behind the phenomenon.
CFRB radio more than a year ago. A woman explains that daycare is better for children than being at home. She should know, she said, because she worked in a large daycare centre. I disagree, arguing that she could not be objective because she was part of the highly lucrative daycare industry. But at least, I continue, your children are under your supervision in their mum's daycare. No, she says. They go to another daycare facility.
"So you go out to work in a daycare so that you can earn enough money to send your kids out to another daycare. You look after other people's children so as to be able to afford to have other people look after your own." Yes, she shouts. And I don't care, because it makes me more fulfilled. "What about your children" I ask. "Don't you see the irony and the absurdity of all this?" She does not, and angrily hangs up.
This dialogue from the dark side came back to me recently after going to see an acquaintance with whom I'd lost contact. I write this, by the way, because I care for him very much indeed.
He and his wife are wealthy and come from wealthy families. Their house is huge and highly decorated. But where is the new baby? Sleeping apparently. Mum is at work but the nanny is here. We go out for lunch, come back and begin to watch a video. Baby wakes. She is beautiful. But after just a few moments of inspection she is given back to nanny and removed from our sight. Dad knows I love kids, but still the new life is put aside.
Dad isn't working at the moment and probably doesn't even have to. When he discusses mum going back to work and stopping breast-feeding he explains that "she had to." He then quickly corrects it to "she wanted to." I leave feeling rotten inside, almost in pain.
Now let me distinguish between those who cannot avoid using daycare and those who can. Single mothers, couples who genuinely need two incomes to put a roof over their heads, these people have to use daycare because of the dictates of our cruel economy. But let's be honest here. What about the others who simply prefer the fantasy of being parents to the reality of the job.
I was raised without very much and it could well be that in the modern world my mum would have had to go out to work. Instead my dad worked seven days a week and my sister and I knew that mum was always there, that there was tea on the table, that there was our own flesh and blood to listen to us, talk to us, be there. Be there.
Cut the nonsense. If there's really no economic option, use daycare. If there is, do the job you're supposed to do and raise your kids yourself. If dad can do it, fine. If mum, better. But a stranger should be the last resort and no amount of lies and revisionism will turn what is unnatural into what is natural. One day you might be asked what you did in the war to preserve family. Don't let your answer be that you decided to put up your hands and surrender.
Coren may be booked for speaking engagements by contacting his website at www.michaelcoren.com. He can also be heard daily on The Interim's website, www.lifesite.net.