Sophie Lewis wants to Abolish the Family. In her sympathetic review of Lewis’s book, Erin Maglaque traces through the “utopian” views of the anti-family movement. She tells of the 19th Century Fournier communes that “freed” women of the “drudgery” of cooking for their families. Lewis wants to expand on the idea of kitchenless households to include collective childcare. Maglaque writes,
The family, Lewis and other abolitionists and feminists argue, privatises care. The legal and economic structure of the nuclear household warps love and intimacy into abuse, ownership, scarcity. Children are private property, legally owned and fully economically dependent on their parents. The hard work of care – looking after children, cooking and cleaning – is hidden away and devalued, performed for free by women or for scandalously low pay by domestic workers.
“If we abolish the family,” Magaque writes, “we abolish the most fundamental unit of privatization and scarcity in our society. More care, more love, for all.”
Family abolitionists see themselves as liberators, but their dreams are dystopian. Only through force can the family be abolished as a crucial foundation of society. There is no love in force; the utopian hope of “more love” really means more hate for all.