I have to wonder why the BBC is giving the revisionist whitewash treatment to Marie Stopes. Howard Falcon-Long seems to be deliberately leaving out the bits that taint her life and character by the standards of today. She is portrayed as a female pioneer in a man’s world, someone with hidden depths and talent. Which in a way she was. But why has the more unsavoury aspects of her career and her thought been left out?
We can start with eugenics. She was an advocate of selective breeding and eugenics to ensure racial purity. She disowned her son because his chosen wife needed to wear glasses. She campaigned to get people of mixed race, the poor and the sick sterilised. She continually called for the compulsory sterilisation of the diseased, drunkards, or simply those of bad character. That’s Parliament dealt with then!
She seemed to have a soft spot for Hitler and admired his initial policies on racial purity. She attended a Nazi party congress on ‘Population Science’ in 1935. The lower classes, the ‘working class’ were another of her special targets, hence the opening of her ‘birth control’ clinics in poor areas.
I think she would fit in rather well today given the recent furore surrounding the idea of compulsory sterilisation that we see in the news.