Thursday, June 20, 2024

Dad influencer’s wild explanation for why he thinks smacking his toddlers across the face is acceptable

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A pro-natalist influencer dad has given a wild theory about why he thinks hitting children is good for them in the long-run after he slapped his toddler in the face in front of a journalist.

Malcolm Collins, 37, left a Guardian journalist ‘appalled’ after he smacked his two-year-old son in the face as they dined at a restaurant in his hometown of Valley Forge on the outskirts of Philadelphia on Saturday. 

The boy, called Torsten Savage, knocked the table with his foot, causing it to wobble, and his influencer father reached over and smacked him in the face so loudly it was caught on the reporter’s tape recorder. 

At the time, they had been discussing father-of-eleven Elon Musk, who shares Malcolm’s enthusiasm for pronatalism – an ideology promoting high birth rates. 

After hitting his child he continued the conversation as though nothing had happened. 

But the next day, Malcolm revealed the Guardian article detailing this interaction triggered a wave of calls to child welfare services by concerned members of the public. 

A pro-natalist influencer has explained why he thinks hitting his children in the face is good for them in the long-run, based on his observations of wild tigers

At the time, he justified the controversial parenting style to the journalist by drawing parallels with tigers and how they deal with their misbehaving cubs. 

He said that he and his co-influencer wife Simone, 36, who is pregnant with their fourth child, observed the wild cats reacting to unruly cubs with a quick swipe of the paw. They tried this with their own kids and found it very effective, he explained. 

‘I was just giving you the context so you don’t think I’m abusive or something,’ Malcolm told the reporter, who said the slap was not ‘heavy’, but it was loud enough to hear in her voice recording. 

Malcolm’s explanation for the physical response didn’t satisfy some readers, who raised concerns to child protection officials. 

‘Multiple people called [child-welfare services] over this,’ Malcolm told the New York Post on Sunday. ‘There’s now an active movement to take our kids away.’ 

Malcolm Collins (pictured with his family), 37, left a Guardian journalist 'appalled' after he smacked his two-year-old son in the face as they dined at a restaurant in his hometown of Valley Forge on the outskirts of Philadelphia on Saturday

Malcolm Collins (pictured with his family), 37, left a Guardian journalist ‘appalled’ after he smacked his two-year-old son in the face as they dined at a restaurant in his hometown of Valley Forge on the outskirts of Philadelphia on Saturday

Malcolm said that he and his co-influencer wife Simone, 36, observed the wild cats reacting to unruly cubs with a quick swipe of the paw. They tried this with their own kids and found it very effective, he explained

Malcolm said that he and his co-influencer wife Simone, 36, observed the wild cats reacting to unruly cubs with a quick swipe of the paw. They tried this with their own kids and found it very effective, he explained 

The Pennsylvania couple are leading advocates of the theory that large families are necessary for the future of civilization through their charity, The Pragmatist Foundation.  

Known as pronatalism, the ideology promotes having a large brood of children as a means of tackling declining global birth rates, which believers say will lead to the collapse of the economy as retirees eventually dwarf the working population.

The Collins couple have had child welfare services called on them before due to their unconventional parenting style.   

Malcolm told the Guardian they were called ‘because our kids were wearing used clothes, because they were sick too frequently’. 

‘This was when we had them in daycare; of course they were sick all the time – and because they were seen playing outside without us being outside.  

‘It’s a locked-in, gated area that you can see from the house.’

‘Pretty much all high-fertility families have had it happen to them,’ he added. ‘The government says, if you raise your kids in a cultural context that’s different from ours, that’s child abuse.’ 

The Pennsylvania couple are leading advocates of the theory that large families are necessary for the future of civilization through their charity, The Pragmatist Foundation

The Pennsylvania couple are leading advocates of the theory that large families are necessary for the future of civilization through their charity, The Pragmatist Foundation

Simone is currently pregnant with their fourth child, a girl they plan to call Industry Americus

Simone is currently pregnant with their fourth child, a girl they plan to call Industry Americus  

The Collins couple have three children currently and they plan on having seven overall

The Collins couple have three children currently and they plan on having seven overall

 Malcolm and Simone Collins have three children: six-month-old daughter Titan Invictus, and sons Octavian George, four, and Torsten Savage, two. They use IVF to have their kids, and they hope to have seven children in total. 

Simone is currently eight months pregnant with their fourth child, a girl they’re going to call Industry Americus Collins. Both parents are also autistic, which they see as a strength.

When conceiving Titan Invictus – a name the decided upon because they feared a feminine name would be taken less seriously – they used genetic testing and embryo selection to eliminate genes connected with conditions like obesity and depression. 

It is one of the many reasons the pro-natalist movement is controversial, with many viewing it as a form of eugenics.

Indeed, the Collinses have been called ‘hipster eugenicists’ – a label they denounce.

‘We don’t think humanity can be perfected, we just want to give our kids the best possible roll of the dice,’ Simone told The Telegraph earlier this year. 

Pictured: the Collins couple picking raspberries in a photograph shared on Instagram

Pictured: the Collins couple picking raspberries in a photograph shared on Instagram

Malcolm working in his Pennsylvania home with two of his three children

Malcolm working in his Pennsylvania home with two of his three children 

Malcolm playing with his children at their Pennsylvania family home

Malcolm playing with his children at their Pennsylvania family home 

 Preimplantation genetic screening is unregulated in the US, but there are several companies which will test embryos for risks of certain conditions. 

They include the Sam Altman-backed Genomic Prediction, which the Collins couple used for their childrens’ health scores. 

For what they call ‘the controversial stuff’ they took data from this company and employed a team of scientists who say they can predict the likelihood of an embryo being happy in the future. 

On the topic of pronatalism, Malcolm said Tesla tsar Elon Musk, 52, has been ‘fantastic’ for the movement, describing him as ‘our version of being the king’. 

‘I mean – the most powerful, most wealthy person in the world advocating for your cause helps a lot,’ he told the Guardian moments before smacking his toddler. 

‘Within this time period, he’s our version of being the king, or something. He’s to an extent disconnected from –’ Malcolm said before pausing momentarily to hit the two-year-old. 

‘What Elon stands for, largely, I support,’ he continued after. ‘Our politics are very aligned.’ 

The father wore matching red pajamas with his children and wife in photographs shared on Instagram

The father wore matching red pajamas with his children and wife in photographs shared on Instagram 

The Pennsylvania couple are leading advocates of the theory that large families are necessary for the future of civilization through their charity, The Pragmatist Foundation

The Pennsylvania couple are leading advocates of the theory that large families are necessary for the future of civilization through their charity, The Pragmatist Foundation

The couple have become the face of the pro-natalist movement in America

The couple have become the face of the pro-natalist movement in America 

Musk’s ex-girlfriend, and the mother of three of his children, follows Malcolm’s wife Simone on X. 

The richest man in the world has had 11 children with three different women. ‘If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words,’ Musk told a business summit in December 2021. 

He described population collapse as ‘the biggest danger’ to humanity, even more so than climate change. Musk went as far as to say that Japan, where birth rates are the lowest in the world, ‘will eventually cease to exist’. 

The tech mogul has six children with first wife Justine Wilson, who he divorced in 2008, three with on-again/off-again girlfriend Canadian musician Grimes and twins with his employee Shivon Zilis.

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