Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not quite "Bigoted question of the week" - but close to it

It is remarkable to witness the kaleidoscopic range of views expressed in the House of Commons. In yesterday's debate on IVF with respect to female couples and solos, I was rather shocked by a jarring intervention by Iris Robinson MP. Bear in mind that this intervention was delivered in something of a shout and accompanied by a very angry expression on the face of the Hon. member for Strangford (DUP):

I note that the Minister places great importance on the quality of parenting. Can she envisage, down the road, a child going to primary school and being collected by two
females or two males, and the bullying and abuse to which those children will be exposed; or going into their parents’ bedroom, as is natural for a child to do, and finding two women or two men making love?

Quite how men got into a debate on female access to IVF is beyond me. The amendment under discussion proposed the consideration of the presence of a "father or male role model" when female couples or solos applied for IVF treatment. So presumably Mrs Robinson was proposing that the "male role model" would stand guard at the bedroom door at the appropriate moment to prevent a child precipitating coitus interruptus. By the way, this hardly ever happens in the real world - I mean children interrupting parents looking for Uganda. The worst that normally happens is that they see a rapidly deflating balloon-effect in the duvet.

As for school pick-ups. Again, it very rarely happens that both parents pick up a child together. It's usually one or the other. Trust me - I have stood in those school playgrounds. But is Mrs Robinson proposing that this "male role model" would accompany one or both of the female parents to school to keep up some sort of pretence?

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