The very rich and famous Elon Musk, boss of Tesla, is worried about the future of humanity. For him, the greatest danger currently is the drop in the birth rate. It is therefore quite natural that he tells the population to put a little heart into the work and make babies!
We know it: Elon Musk loves to spark controversy. For this, he often holds provocative remarks, even in areas that he obviously does not master very well. We are therefore not really surprised by the statements he made on Monday at the Annual Council of the wall street journal.
Visionary for some, calculating opportunist for others, the boss of Tesla unfolded a natalist discourse worthy of a post-war! According to him :
“One of the greatest dangers to our civilization is a low birth rate, and its rapid decline. »
Since the Covid crisis, the birth rate has been at half mast in America. People of childbearing age fear for the future, especially the economic one… and we understand that.
Father of seven childrenElon Musk had the last – which as a reminder was to be called X Æ A-12 – with Grimes, from whom he is now separated (the Canadian singer has just released a song which evokes this rupture).
But for what reasons does Elon Musk enjoin families to imitate his high productivity in the field of procreation?
Elon Musk’s problematic natalism
The Tesla boss seems very concerned about the birth rate, especially in the United States. During this conference, Elon Musk said:
“And now so many people are thinking, including smart people, that there are too many people on the planet and they think the birth rate is out of control. […] It’s the complete opposite. Please look at the numbers, if people don’t have more children civilization is doomed, listen to me. »
Historically, during recessions, birth rates fall and then pro-natalist policies very inciting are put in place. This was the case in France, for example, under the Vichy regime, where women were no longer considered as mothers.
For the American media Jezebelthis statement is also reminiscent of Mussolini’s Fascist Italy “Birth Battle” of 1927 and the theories of American white supremacists that white women should have as many children as possible to avoid the “great replacement” ( fanciful racist concept, unfortunately well known in France) and the decline of western civilization. Here then…
Elon Musk’s desire to interfere in families is problematic in more ways than one.
Already when we know that natural resources, exploited by humanity, are dwindling over the decades. For some and some environmentalists, not having children or having less would help preserve our resources.
Otherwise, the economic situation, particularly linked to the Covid crisis, is plunging many people into precariousness and a critical financial situation. It can therefore be normal to think twice before adding a member to your family.
Moreover, the childfree movement, which tends to normalize the fact of not having children by personal decision, is lifesaving for many people, especially women, who thus emancipate themselves from the pressure to procreate. This type of statement constitutes a step backwards and tends to further stigmatize the people who make this choicewhich is also in the realm of the intimate and which should in no case be the subject of incentives on the part of society.
We still too often have the impression that it is difficult to separate the female destiny from the maternal destiny. Having a child should be an option, absolutely not an obligation!
Injunctions always to the detriment of women
Most shocking in all of this is how Elon Musk dreads parenthood. For him, it is the women who must take care of the babies. He had declared for a paper of Times when her baby boy was still an infant and still in a relationship with Grimes:
“Well, babies are just eating and pooping machines, right? For now, I don’t see what I can do. Grimes has a big role right now. When he is older, I will no longer have my place. »
This “visionary” seems to be stuck many years behind by having a very gendered vision of parenthood. We thus find in his speech the idea that men have no role during early childhood and should only worry about their offspring when interactions are possible…
Is it in women’s genes to take care of babies? Do they have special skills for changing diapers? Absolutely not. And it’s unbearable that a person with so many admirers gives such a devastating image of the role of fathers, both for children, for couples and for the fathers themselves. When it’s not about tech, we knew, Elon Musk had better shut up.
Introspection is required
This archaic vision but still unfortunately too present in all strata of Western societies is completely consistent with the way women and mothers are treated in Elon Musk’s companies.
In 2019, three women denounced having been fired from Tesla after being pregnant and taking a kind of parental leave (“childcare leave”). In 2021, an employee of a California factory had filed a complaint to denounce a sexist atmosphereconducive to harassment.
Elon Musk, to make matters worse, strongly opposes Joe Biden’s Build Back Better welfare plan — he specifically asked the Senate to reject it. This plan would particularly help families reducing child poverty : 109 billion dollars would be devoted to this program which could benefit some 6 million children, according to USA Today. The guy is no longer apart from a contradiction…
We are then surprised that there is only few women in tech but with such examples, the road to equality is strewn with great pitfalls.
Elon Musk is for many a kind of guru, partly because his wealth fascinates… And perhaps he takes this role too seriously, taking himself for father of the american nation and by making very abject remarks concerning areas where he clearly has no lesson to teach!
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Elon Musk and Grimes had to change their baby’s mysterious name
Featured image: © Wikimedia Commons