The word "eugenics"
connotes evil. It evokes images of death camps and more recent
"ethnic cleansings." But the term did not originate
with Adolf Hitlers anti-semitism. It dates back more
than a 100 years to the work of Sir Francis Galton, who established
the science of eugenics based on the notion that society could
be improved by selecting and encouraging its brightest its
citizens to flourish.
Dear to Galton, and others of
his social class, was the belief that intellectual greatness
was inherited. His studies, in which all of the subjects were
eminent members of the aristocracy, bolstered arguments for
lowering the birthrate in the lower classes. One result was
the imposition of harsh sterilization laws in the early 1900's
in both England and North America.
Decades later, spurred by similar
eugenic values, psychologist, Cyril Burt, began publishing
data to support the genetic inheritance theory. His work,
for which he was later knighted, had far-reaching impact.
Throughout the Commonwealth, governments mandated the measurement
of "innate intelligence." Based on their test scores,
generations of children were streamed into unequal educational
systems. Only after a journalist noted contradictions in Burts
writings and exposed his faked data, were these laws challenged.
Nowadays, we condemn eugenics,
oblivious, it seems, to the ways in which it is once again
having a pervasive influence on our society. The underlying
belief that individuals, grouped by some common factor, share
genetic features which are either good or bad, has not disappeared.
Prominent researchers promote the bias. And laws are put in
place which, by discriminating against one group, promise
to make society a better place.
A case in point, currently shaping
Canadian law, is a body of quasi-research premised on the
belief in female superiority. The much touted 1993 Statistics
Canada survey on Violence Against Women claims that
51 per cent of Canadian women have been the victims of rape
or attempted rape and that 98 per cent have personally experienced
In reality, in their efforts
to portray women as innocent victims of male violence, the
researchers looked at the numbers through a "feminist
lens" and committed what has been rightly called "data
Likewise, in another study,
supporting this image of men as violent, researchers reported
that 11 per cent of Alberta women were assaulted in one year,
1989, by their partners. But the public was told only half
the story; the rest of the data revealed that men were being
assaulted by their female partners about as often.
There are dozens of studies
worldwide which report virtually identical rates. When researchers
look fairly at both sexes, it is the similarities between
the genders, not the differences, which are remarkable.
But this is not what we are
told. A study of "woman abuse" on Canadian college
campuses shocked the public when it was reported that "81.4
per cent of women said they had been victimized by at least
one form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse during the
preceding year." What was not made clear was that the
"abuse" may have been nothing more than a swear
word or insult.
Regrettably these widely reported
studies are having a profound influence in the political arena.
Men are being successfully portrayed as the violent sex. Federal
and provincial ministries spread the propaganda. Canadian
laws are being rewritten in response to the cry: "Women
must be protected."
What really needs to be acknowledged
is the eugenic underpinnings of the anti-male data. This is
the type of data which Hitler used to justify the extermination
of the Jews. It is the type of data which the British Upper
Classes used to justify sterilizing the retarded. Now, it
is being used to condemn men.
The radical feminists are using
their version of eugenics research as a weapon. Feminist,
Marilyn French declares that "All men are rapists."
Andrea Dworkin defines romance as "rape embellished with
meaningful looks." Sally Miller Gearheart writes that
the proportion of males must be reduced to 10 per cent of
the population, with this low number to be maintained only
to allow for the propagation of the species.
While such extreme opinions
may not be officially endorsed, the stereotyping of the male
as violent and beast-like is generally accepted. Consider
the bias in favour of mothers in custody disputes. The outrage
if one dares to question a womans accusation. Or how
a woman can take a rifle, murder her husband and, then, manage
to convince the courts that she was the victim.
These eugenic manipulations
have gone too far. Such acts of violence against men should
be identified for what they are: crimes against humanity.