Her name, Shere Hite, may suggest majestic heights of feminist thought. We will let the reader decide whether such a claim is valid. Our purpose here is to criticize an idea of hers, which I read about in April, 1994 – wherein she witheringly condemned the traditional two-parent family. If that article is on the Internet, it must be well-buried, though a passing reference to the book in which she presented her thesis, The Hite Report on the Family, is found in “Oedipus Schmoedipus, Hite knows better”, in Beatrix Campbell’s 2 March 1994 write-up in the Independent. By following the criticism, a guess can be made of what her statements were.
So, what we have here is the reproduction of a letter written by myself to the now non-existent Buenos Aires Herald. At that time, an Argentine peso was worth one American dollar. The copy I have of the issue in which my letter appeared next to one by a writer with a Teutonic surname in London, two Argentine gentlemen with English surnames, and one by the Human Rights representative of a small political party. I will leave it to the reader to guess whether I was one of those who took advantage of the Herald’s printing of comments from abroad – and these came from Europe, America, and Australasia, if not from all the continents.
(Darker days were to follow: ownership of the Herald passed hands, even becoming somewhat of a government mouthpiece by its last owner, who, according to my inquiries, after divesting itself of the paper, seems to have done the same to its archives.)
The paper made no claim that they would own the rights to the letters received, and because of the impossibility of tracing non-existent files, the letter is here reproduced. It may or may not reflect my current thinking – clues might be obtained by viewing some of my other writings.
It was published Saturday, February 26, 1994, on page 10, in the “Your View” section of the editorial page, and given the title, “Hite Trite”.
Shere Hite’s attack on the traditional family is bad enough (February 19), but that the “holy family” model of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” be dragged into the debate is yet another example of the sheer depths towards one is willing to go in order to achieve some dubious goal.
She destroys the model of some of the very things she says she is striving for, in attacking this component of some important monotheistic religions. Joseph may have been a patriarch, but it was Mary who seemed to exercise all the authority, and who ultimately received most of the honours.
Going further, the dominant character in this family is neither father nor mother, but the child. His reply to Mary, at 12 years of age, when he was found teaching in the temple at Jerusalem, was not the reply of someone cowed into submission by a repressive, patriarchal family. Lastly, at no time can either of the parents have mistreated Jesus, nor can Joseph ever have mistreated Mary.
The preceding being the case, Ms Hite should have concluded that the traditional family is a failure in that it does not emulate what she would have found to be most appealing about the model, had she looked hard enough.
I can see where some improvements could have been made in punctuation and wording, which may not be exactly as originally written. That letter still exists, but it would be too much of a chore to look for it. Be that as it may, the following might be worth noting: editing at that newspaper, probably American-owned at that time, was never perfect. At one time, it was claimed that new personnel was obtained off the boat (from England – as the paper had a pro-British slant, in spite of its ownership. The spelling I have used corresponds to Canadian rules. Letters to the Editor were limited to 350 words.
To the extent that this is a new work, based on my previous writing in a now non-existent publication, I assert my full ownership rights to the above. Should anyone care to quote part of my letter, however, lest I be mistaken in my claim, I suggest the following style, or its equivalent in other reference systems:
Paul Karl Moeller, “Your View”, The Buenos Aires Herald, 26 February 1994, 10, quoted in “Commenting on Past Sheer Triteness”, WordPress, 3 August 2017, : https://paulkarlmoeller.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/commenting-on-past-sheer-triteness/
August 3, 2018
© 2018, Paul Karl Moeller