Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Child Free, Yet Spawning Ugly

People who do just about anything to the extreme, scare me. Even if it's good stuff, like, say adopt a shelter pet. One stray cat is cute. Twelve and sorry, but your looking like a crazy cat lady (or dude). My sister and I usually laugh and say, "NOTHING TO THE MAX!... Except on 'Saved By The Bell'!" Yeah, I really did drop another "Saved By The Bell" reference in the span of a day. My bad.

I was over at the National Catholic Register, reading Mark Shea's blog, and it linked to an appalling story in The Weekly Standard about the assault being waged against... ready for it? Ready for it? Did you guess terrorists? Nah. Obama? No. Tea Partiers? Nuh uh. Dustin Diamond for having turned into such a collasal jerk since his Screech days? NOPE! And really, that will be my last reference for a while. I promise. No, the war is against... dum, dum, DUM... children. Yes. Babies, ankle biters, toddlers and teens, children.

"In 2007, Corinne Maier’s saucy No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children became a sensation in Europe. It was translated for American audiences two years later, and Maier’s quips—“Breastfeeding is slavery,” “Motherhood or success: Pick one”—were just as welcome here. Maier’s book is meant to amuse, but her conclusion is serious: “No kids, thanks. It’s better that way.” She would know. Unlike most people in the childfree movement, Maier has two children of her own.

There is more, so much more. In 2006 David Benatar, a philosophy professor at the University of Cape Town wrote Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence—a book which argues that all births are harmful. “[T]he quality of even the best lives is very bad,” Benatar explained, “and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.”

In The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless, Elinor Burkett argues that the childfree are forced to work harder to compensate for their loafing, child-loving colleagues. The entire family-benefits system, she cries, is “affirmative action for mothers.” It’s a sign of how angry she is that Burkett—a liberal in excellent standing who almost certainly embraces actual, race-based preferences—would imprudently compare the unfair advantage mothers get from “the system” to affirmative action. Another sign: Burkett was the crazed woman who stormed the stage and hijacked an acceptance speech at this year’s Academy Awards..."

Oh snap, this anti-Baby Lady pulled a Kanye! Ha! Shrug, back to the story:

"...The environmentalist group Optimum Population Trust (OPT) has as its motto “fewer emitters, lower emissions.” OPT runs a program whereby environmentally conscious Westerners can purchase carbon-offsetting family-planning credits. In other words, concerned citizens give the OPT money to be used for funding birth control in developing countries. In case you’re curious, the OPT estimates that it takes $144.20 per year to keep enough of the great unwashed from reproducing to offset a typical American’s existence."

Aww, how charitable! Keep those poor folks from reproducing in the Third World and we can keep on living it up over here in the real world, where things matter- like our adopting stray animals!

Yet for all the Malthusian worry-warting, at the street-level, being childfree is mostly about disdain for conservative traditionalists. Thus, the childfree refer to parents as “breeders” and mothers who breastfeed as “moomies” (as in cow). Those are the nicer terms. (The site happilychildfree.com cheerfully catalogues childfree slang.) The great joke, however, is that the childfree rarely bump up against actual conservative traditionalists. One of the motivating presumptions of the lifestyle is that being childfree lets you live the fabulous life in a glittering metropolis. But real breeders can’t afford hip urban living. So the type of childfree conflicts we see in the Post are really schisms in the great urban liberal order. Childfree liberals aren’t chafing against minivan-scale, Republican families. They’re chafing against neighboring liberals who choose to have one, or at most two, children...

Last January, Ken Archer posted an essay to the urban planning website GreaterGreaterWashington.org. Archer is chief technology officer at a local tech-company and lives in Georgetown with his wife and  child. In his piece, Archer noted that one of the D.C. bus lines had recently adopted a policy requiring baby strollers to be folded while on board, making it nearly impossible for parents with small children to ride the bus. Archer suggested that D.C. should follow European and Canadian transit models which make special allowances for strollers in order to (1) cut down on car use and (2) make city cores more accessible to families.
It’s hard to imagine a more politely liberal solution to a politely liberal problem.

But the comment board erupted in childfree rage. “Why do people with children always think that they should be catered to? Fold your damn giant stroller,” replied one typical correspondent." 

Eww. If strollers evoke that much rage, I shudder at the thought of being wheelchair bound and trying to take public transportation in that city.  Also scary are the comments Shea received after opining. Many seemed to think the worse thing any "rational" person could do is have a child. Why bring an earth destroying, whiny, poppy, ungrateful kid into this world?

I'm not anti-family planning, don't have a problem with birth control and do feel people should only have children they can take care of. I also believe we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of this planet God has gifted us with so graciously.

That being said, what the fudgenut is wrong with these "Child Free" people? No one is saying they MUST have kids. With their altogether scary attitudes, I hope they never do. And for that broad who had 2 and is writing books against kids, hope you're ready to fork over a good chunk of change for all the shrink bills in their future.

I pray one day to have children. That's right, more than one. I might be childless, but I hope to never be "Child Free." That form of extremism is undoubtedly at its root, the most self-centered. And incredibly ugly.


Don said...

Hilarious @ Elinor Burkett storming the stage during an acceptance speech and the actions of others who are apparently convinced that children are not a gift from God.

I'm thinking, probably every one of these individuals will one day reflect upon their thoughts and actions and manage one big laugh. Cause, in the end, each individual was a child themselves at some point and time.

Surely they don't have such intent in their heart of hearts.

And I remember being addicted to Saved By The Bell during teen years. It was a pretty good show and the cast was star studded, many went on to greater heights. Especially Tiffani-Amber Thiessen.

Alisha De Freitas said...

I was doing some thinking about these "Child Free" people and I'm curious as to why some of them are so vehemently against children. Why? Really, why? Is it that they had very bad childhoods? Is it the self-sacrifice required to be a good parent? Is it a general hatred against anyone under the height of 4'10 (Look out Snooki)? I really don't understand.

No one is forcing babies on people, so what's all the brouhaha? And if you desire the right to live in a child-free environment, why is your rights greater than people who have children? There are some neighborhoods where there are far more adults than kids, to the point children have to bused to nearby towns (I know of a couple here in Jersey not too far from me). Why not live there? Why would you move someplace full of Chuck E. Cheese's, Babies R Us' and Jamborees and then get enraged there are so many kids causing a racket in the neighborhood? You didn't think there might actually be children around??? Smh.

Alisha De Freitas said...

"And I remember being addicted to Saved By The Bell during teen years. It was a pretty good show and the cast was star studded, many went on to greater heights. Especially Tiffani-Amber Thiessen."

Lol, so many guys had a thing for Kelly. But you didn't think it was foul how she played Zack (more than once, btw)? Think about it...

Lakeyia J. Medina said...

Umm....wow. I found it interesting and what I like to deem 'typical hypocritical', that the man who claimed we should stop bringing more people into existence also made it clear..."Well except for the ones that are already in existence (which would include himself)."
Hey I have an idea, since this earth is SO 'over-crowed' and we should shrink the population. Since we can't force people to not have anymore kids, why not the child-free advocates be the shining 'example' and give up their own lives???? =-D That way they can 'make room' for the 'ankle-biting whining poopers'. SMH and RE (rolls eyes)
Also Screech is now Jerk??? Did I miss something?? =-(

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Keyia, yes Dustin is a jerk. There's a whole website dedicated to his douchebaggery: http://dustindiamondisadick.com/

"Since we can't force people to not have anymore kids, why not the child-free advocates be the shining 'example' and give up their own lives???? =-D That way they can 'make room' for the 'ankle-biting whining poopers'." HA HA HA HA HA!!!

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