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Presenting: Mom

| Thursday, November 8, 2018

If you are a casual consumer of the news, you may have thought the most offensive thing a leader of a major country said about women two weeks ago was when President Trump (somewhat accurately) called a certain adult film star “horseface.”

Would that it were.

In comments made at a conference about African education, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, said, “I always say, ‘Present to me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”

My unfiltered reaction to this is more fit for a Martin Scorsese screenplay than a student newspaper, so I will do my best to filter it. I will also leave aside for the moment the Orwellian notion of a “perfect education.”

Mr. Macron, I would to “present to you” my mother. She graduated high school in three years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberalarts, a Master of Arts degree in theology and, having been *very well* educated, decided not to complete the dissertation necessary for her Doctorate in Theology. Instead, she opted to focus on what her education led her to understand as important: She is the mother of nine children, and the grandmother of two (so far). She homeschooled us through the eighth grade, and did so so well that all of us thus far entered high school better prepared in every respect than any of our peers. When we sit down in the evenings to the delicious meal she prepared, she and my father lead philosophical, theological and literary conversations which rival any theo, philo or lit class I have ever taken.

The suggestion that only an uneducated, unintelligent, rube-ish woman would raise a large family is absolutely repulsive. The most incredible thing a woman can do is bring a child into this world. And, lest I am misconstrued, the most incredible thing a man can do is help. How much more incredible it is to raise seven, eight or nine (or 10, or 11 or 17, like my amazing grandmother). Macron seems to believe that some amount of “education” can eliminate the fulfillment that comes with acting in accordance with our nature, and following God’s directive in Genesis 1:28. It’s disgusting, and I pity him.

Even more disgusting is what Macron said with his next breath: “Please present me with the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12.” Yes, he compared the decision of my 28-year-old mother to what is essentially the rape of young African women and girls. There is no 10-year-old who “decided” to get married at 12.

There are, however, countless amazing, intelligent women who decided to have seven, eight or any number of children God would grant them. And this leads me to the only thing about this speech which is not disgusting: the reaction to it. You have probably heard about Judge Barrett and her seven children, and now you have heard about my mom and her nine. But if you go on Twitter and look at #PostcardsForMacron, you will see a brief CV for thousands of inspiring women, accompanied by pictures of their wonderful families. It is well worth the time.

Andrew Lessard


Oct. 21

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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