Favorite headline of the day

Reason magazine topped its article on the “we need more white babies!” movement (and its accompanying film, Demographic Winter) with this great headline:
bestheadlinenokids.JPG
Best EVER! But seriously, the article also makes the excellent point that people don’t choose to remain childless for some weird or nefarious reason. Some of us, uh, just don’t want kids, and have decided our lives will be just as happy or happier without them.
When I think about my happiness and my lack of desire to have babies, I’m reminded of the Simpsons episode in which Marge starts a crusade against “Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays,” and she has the following exchange with childless activist Lindsey Naegle:
simpsonspuke.JPG

Bart: Mom, I locked your keys in the car.
Marge: Then wait in the shadows!
Bart: Also, Maggie puked in your purse again.
Lindsey Naegle: Poor me… all my purse is full of is disposable income.

Of course, you should feel free to have lots of babies if you like them and they make you happy!

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298 Comments

  1. Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Mina- That only makes sense
    1. if you believe that all people poor enough that it would adversely effect their kids are aware of that fact and making a conscious decision to put a child in harm’s way. It’s possible a lot of them don’t know any way to raise children beside the one they experienced, which was also not awesome financially.
    2. if you believe that poor kids = unhappy and awful.
    3. if you think that there’s no such thing as mobility, so that rich people never become poor and poor people don’t have children knowing, or at least thinking they will become richer.
    4. if you refuse to ask yourself why it’s a bad situation. (Answer: not enough of a social safety net/social safety net which is being rapidly dismantled. Something which has very little to do with the actions of individual parents.)
    5. Thanks for trying to tell me I’m some sort of child abuser for thinking poor people are allowed to have kids. That’s like two steps up from people who call me a babykiller for supporting abortion, but I digress.
    6. Okay, so how much money do you have to make to be allowed to have babies in Minaland?

  2. Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Oh, and if you believe it’s higher priority to train poor people to put their lives and life decisions on hold until they’ve beat a system which is designed to work against them rather than change the system.

  3. eastsidekate
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Wildberry: [i]Having a lesbian relationship doesn’t cost money[/i].
    Bwa-ha-ha-ha! I suppose you’re right. I mean, in the same sense that being a person of color “doesn’t cost money” either.
    I think the point EG was making was that lesbian couples are given the choice between:
    1) Making massive sacrifices to have a relationship
    -and-
    2) Not falling being love
    Which, interestingly enough, does seem to be a pretty parallel to the argument that women who wish to have families should be forced to make massive sacrifices or simply suck it up and not have a family.

  4. A male
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I’ll reiterate, as I have in every thread on parenthood, SAHMs/SAHDs, or being child free, I respect each of those choices (and other lifestyles like that uncle being gay, or my brother being middle aged and freshly single). I just don’t understand the sniping I see every time this comes up. The cartoon above is not really witty. It’s the truth – children cost money.
    http://aol1.bankrate.com/aol/calc/raiseChild.asp
    Using their USDA default figures, it costs $190,528 to raise a child to 18, no uni. So instead of having two kids, you can buy a Ferrari, take a round the world cruise, go to medical or law school, whatever you please. Selfish? No, cool, practical, or responsible, as the situation would have it.
    “It helps to acknowledge when it’s a choice instead of calling it helplessness.”
    Well, yes. This whole unequal access to women’s health services is another issue, isn’t it? I don’t see how taxes can be claimed to be spent for the low income to have more children (unless to pay Republican lawmakers’ salaries), but I can easily see how a *lack* of funding leads to increased unplanned pregnancy and childbirth, and yes, a perpetuity of poverty.
    Single parent family, before tax income under $39,100? A cool $118,590 to raise EACH kid to 17, no university, in 2001 dollars.
    http://moneycentral.msn.com/articles/family/kids/tlkidscost.asp
    Schools in low income communities could use funding for comprehensive sex ed, and to bring their services up to par with those in middle class communities. You need to read or experience to believe how poor conditions are in some inner city schools, like I’ve read about New York City. One computer per student? Internet? Career counseling? Please. How about textbooks and chalk? How about patching the roof? How about enough teachers, with a license? How about a school principal? In one Hawaii community, a full 40% of the students in one elementary school are HOMELESS, living in tents on a 16 mile stretch of white sand beach with communicable diseases, or under bridges and such. I’ve been there. You think they have how to improve their futures foremost on their minds? How did their parents get in this mess? The economy, and the sharply rising cost of living, tripling house prices in about five years.
    I also see Planned Parenthood receives federal funding. If anything, low income communities need more tax money, particularly for education, not less.
    “I’m not impressed when someone knows a situation will be bad for a child then still chooses to put a child there anyway.”
    Humanity could go extinct, thinking like that. A lot of people think the world is getting worse for themselves and their families, with fears of global warming, peak oil production, recession, job insecurity, terror, and perpetual war. I wonder if our US standard of living in the 80s and 90s will be seen or improved on, again.

  5. Mina
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    BTW, here’s yet another point in favor of social safety nets:
    Suppose a couple who can raise only 3 children pretty well themselves decide their 3 aren’t good enough and choose to have 6 more. Making up the difference by going on welfare isn’t as great as stopping at 3 in the first place…*and* making up the difference by going on welfare is way better than paying for the babies’ diapers with the preteens’ sweatshop wages and/or bride prices. That’s yet another reason I like good public schools and other well-run social safety nets.

  6. lyndorr
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I think it’s sad so many people have to choose between having children and having enough money for basic necessities in such rich countries. It’s one thing to not be able to provide a lot for your children. It’s another for children to to grow up in an unsafe neighbourhood and go to bed hungry often. I think people shouldn’t have to make this decision and the government should make having children more affordable. Recently, parents here can get more money than before from the government if they have children, particularly if they make under 20 000 a year, there is free healthcare, and paid maternity leave.
    You know, I wish people would concentrate on making progress for the people who need it rather than arguing.
    It’s incredible that the American government seems to want people to have children (with being against abortion, birth control etc) but then makes the society a hard place to raise a child financially and otherwise.
    On another topic, I think I’d be quite glad to marry someone who is a househusband for a few years. I do know a woman who might’ve worked full time if her husband did more around the house. But I also know someone who might’ve stayed at home a couple more years if her husband would live on less money.

  7. Mina
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “‘I’m not impressed when someone knows a situation will be bad for a child then still chooses to put a child there anyway.’
    “Humanity could go extinct, thinking like that.”
    Likewise, I once saw someone claim that homosexuality is evil because if all his children were gay then he’d have no grandchildren.
    “You know, I wish people would concentrate on making progress for the people who need it rather than arguing.”
    How about progress for the people who already had progress and didn’t want it?

  8. lyndorr
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    “How about progress for the people who already had progress and didn’t want it?”
    I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  9. purdueattorney
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Sera -
    No problem standing down, as you are right, the discussion is a little off the topic at hand. I think we are really coming at this from 2 totally different perspectives.
    However, I still think it is an interesting question whether feminism is enough of a big tent to include a small “l” libertarian, but that can be a question for another day.

  10. spirina
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Yeah, yeah, I understand it was your freely made choice, but isn’t it funny how your freely made choice was based on values inculcated into you from the moment of birth in a patriarchal society, marketed to you by advertisers from the moment of birth? Isn’t it funny how your freely made choice just so happens to put you firmly back in a patriarchy-approved territory, supporting the menz who go out and actually do shit in the world? How come most stay-at-homes are women? Am I infringing on your choice by pointing out the likely answers to these questions?
    Yes, Sera, the “likely” answers to these questions are that many SAHMs did make the choice because of patriarchial expectations. And yes, most stay-at-homes are women, which is certainly a sign that the patriarchy is alive and well. However, that does NOT mean that ALL stay at home mothers are there because it feeds in to the patriarchial expectations, or because they’ve been indoctrinated. It is completely possible, in my opinion, to be a feminist stay at home mother. Here’s a question: Is a lesbian stay at home mother inherently feeding into patriarchial expectations? Obviously the situations are different, but both mothers are making the same decision.
    Obviously none of you meant this as a personal attack. But my mother was a SAHM for much of my childhood, and she is an outspoken feminist. I guess you’re trying to tell me that the woman who taught me that women can do anything, that our ideals of beauty are sexst and sizeist, and about the history of the women’s movement, is not ACTUALLY a feminist, because she decided that the thing that would make her happiest, and contribute the most to society, would be to stay home and raise her children.
    It is incredibly condescending to imply that every stay at home mother is a tool of the patriarchy. It is just as bad, in my opinion, as the anti-feminist view that women in the workforce can’t possibly be fulfilled because they are a tool of a vast feminist conspiracy. Give SAHMs more credit than that. Some of them genuinely want to be there, and that choice is NOT a direct result of patriarchial indoctrination.

  11. EmmaSteinfeld
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    To fishboots:
    My comment about sex ed was that I received the same (or less, because my parents didn’t discuss it with me at all) sex education as my classmates. Yet some of them had unintended pregnancies.
    “You were never raped, or bullied, or or or(insert patriarchy here)….so no other woman must ever be in that situation.â€?
    Really? I dreamt the whole thing? What a relief! Thanks for telling me what I have and haven’t experienced. And you think –I- come off as morally superior? Look in a mirror.
    To rileystclair:
    Our sex ed was pretty simplistic. This is how an egg is fertilized. These are the methods to keep the egg from getting fertilized. I don’t see a lot of room there for “interpretation.� But, again, you all seem to have a much clearer view of –my- experiences than I do. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I decide to comment on this blog. So much for sharing and discussing.
    To EG:
    “That we’re willing to trade away their happiness, needs, and rights.â€?
    What about the happiness, needs, and rights of the child they’re going to bring into the cycle of poverty? But it’s the childfree who are constantly told they’re selfish. Meanwhile, people are having kids they can’t afford and those kids are going to be at night with growling stomachs.
    “It’s just selfishly wanting to live a life with one’s basic emotional needs met.â€?
    Yes. At the expense of the child. How is knowingly bringing an innocent human being into a family that can’t meet its basic needs a good thing? What kind of life is that child going to have? Were I to have a child, I would want the best possible life for that child. I certainly would want him or her to have a better life than I’ve had. How silly of me to assume others would feel the same way about their children.
    “Why shouldn’t lesbians and poor women who want children just suck it up and live a miserable, unfulfilled, lonely life in order to make conservatives feel better and relieve you of the terrible burden of whatever miniscule fractional percentage of your taxes goes to TANF?â€?
    How about because they are thinking of what would be best for the potential children they would have instead of what they want?
    And the lesbian analogy? In that situation we’re dealing with two consenting adults making choices. Having a child brings an innocent life into the picture who had no choice in the matter. An innocent life who is dependent on its parents to care for it – feed it, shelter it, clothe it, and nurture it.
    To Wildberry:
    Thank you. At least someone understands where I’m coming from on this. Use tax dollars for educational programs, job training, etc. Help people out of poverty before they bring more people into it.
    In a volunteer capacity, I worked with many families in poverty whose children had been placed in foster care because of abuse and/or neglect issues. If the parents expressed an interest in regaining custody of their children, then I worked with those parents to help them find programs, training, and employment to allow them to better their own lives and the lives of their children. Some parents were interested in trying to lift themselves up and out of poverty…others…not so much. And those who were not willing to do anything to try to better themselves, help themselves, and provide for their children…IN MY OPINION, should have never had the children in the first place, because while you may have the right to have a children, you don’t have the right to fuck them over.
    You’ve probably all heard the saying, “opinions are like assholes…everybody has one.â€? Well, I’m simply expressing my opinion. I absolutely do not think that people should have children until they can provide the basic necessities for that child. It’s not about the rights of people to have children…it’s about the rights of those children to have food when they’re hungry, shelter in which to live, clothing to keep them warm, and parents to love them, care for them, and protect them.

  12. EG
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Oh, and if you believe it’s higher priority to train poor people to put their lives and life decisions on hold until they’ve beat a system which is designed to work against them rather than change the system.
    Single most perceptive thing that’s been said on this thread. It bears repeating. So I’ve repeated it.
    The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath. If we have an economic system that’s causing pain and suffering to people, I do not think the solution is to change the people. The solution is to make the economic system humane, and I am more than happy to pay higher taxes to make that happen.

  13. Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    American “families” already receive financial assistance from the government in the form of all those credits and deductions they get on their tax returns. The childfree? Nope. We don’t get those, which means we’re already subsidizing American “families.” We pay more taxes already. How much more would you have us pay? Should we be put into financial hardship to support the personal choices others have made?
    There’s a lot of room between what some people are saying “Don’t have children if you can’t afford them” and the extreme you’re painting now “bleed the childfree dry to pay for other people’s children”. Nobody here has suggested that the childfree should be put into “financial hardship” to pay for other people’s children, and it’s dishonest to claim otherwise.
    Why…especially when we may have made the childfree choice partially because we could not afford to raise a child? And then you want to bleed us dry financially to support others’ children?
    As someone who is childfree, I have no particular desire to be “bled dry” either. Good thing that’s not what I or anyone else was advocating. You belong to a society, and that means that you have certain obligations to uphold your end of the social contract. Part of that is recognizing that there’s social benefit to ensuring that children are provided at least a minimally decent quality of life. At the very least, it’s in our society’s best interest to ensure that children are fed, clothed, housed, and educated.
    I’m sorry, but it’s completely ridiculous to think that your tax dollars should only go to things that benefit you immediately and personally. Your taxes are to maintain society, and you do benefit from being a part of that society. That you might never personally visit a library doesn’t mean that libraries shouldn’t be funded or that your tax money shouldn’t go to them. And arguing “Hey, if people want books, they can just go to Borders” wouldn’t change the social benefit that libraries provide. The same thing applies to programs that help families in need.
    And lastly, yes, you should be able to reasonably afford kids before you have them. I don’t understand what the problem with this is. You should be in the best position possible… …No one’s saying you need to be rich, but you should at least have some stability. Some savings. Something like that.
    The problem with this is that there are a lot of people who will NEVER be in “the best position possible” as you define it. A not insignificant percentage of the population will never have savings or economic stability. They just won’t.
    Again, I ask: Should the poor just never have children?
    If the standard is economic stability and savings, the answer is “no, they shouldn’t.”
    I know some people REALLY want children. Well I REALLY want a hot tub, but I can’t afford it… …I know its not the same, but if you can’t afford something, you can’t afford it, no matter how happy it will make you. You have the right to PURSUE happiness, not the right to BE happy. There’s a difference.
    I realize I sounded callous there, but that’s life. You shouldn’t buy nice houses that will put you into debt that you can’t handle, and you shouldn’t choose to have children if you can’t provide for them. THAT is what is selfish.

    Yeah, damn those poor people and their unreasonable desire to have children.
    And you know, if you started off able to provide, but later something happens that destroys your financial stability? Well, you either shouldn’t have had children in the first place, or you should give them up to someone who can provide for them, because now you’re not fit to be a parent.
    Yes, I do think that sounds pretty callous.
    Honestly, I never thought advocating that people take responsibility for themselves and their choices was so controversial.
    I think that there’s a difference between “advocating personal responsibility” and “suggesting that the poor shouldn’t have children.”
    See, you’re doing both.
    And you know what? This is exactly why poor women, women on welfare, working-class women, and women of color often feel that the feminist movement does not care about their interests. That we’re willing to trade away their happiness, needs, and rights. Because it appears that many of us are. Because the rhetoric of “they don’t have the right to breed” has been used against them over and over again. Because making it possible for them to exercise their reproductive rights isn’t a priority. Because apparently “reproductive justice” doesn’t mean that all women should have access to their full range of reproductive choices.
    Damn, yes, EG. Excellently put.
    It disgusts me that most of us live in one of the richest nations on the planet, and we’re actually having a conversation where people are complaining about the need to provide economic support to needy families- that there is even a question of whether or not someone ought to have children because of their economic situation. It’s disgusting, and I just can’t completely get my mind around that. And I’m sick and tired of seeing people called “selfish” for choosing to have children despite living in economic hardship and requiring outside help. The fact that you don’t have a lot of money doesn’t make you a bad parent. The economic aspect of parenting is a tiny part of the process- it’s important, to be sure, but it’s only important in a strictly pragmatic “how am I going to afford food” sort of way- it’s not the bulk of parenting. It’s no more or less selfish to want children than it is to not want them, and I’m sick and tired of seeing either side maligned because of it. What I think is selfish is thinking that a person’s place on some financial pie-chart should determine that person’s fitness to be a parent. I think it’s incredibly shallow and short-sighted to think that THE most important factor determining a person’s ability to raise children is the size of their paycheck. The attitude that bringing a child up in poverty necessarily means that you’re a terrible person and that your child’s life will be horrible is insulting and offensive. Poverty is a big problem, but, you know what? It doesn’t automatically make your life total shit, nor does it automatically make you unfit to raise children. It’s annoying, to say the least, to see the lives and experiences of the working class poor dismissed as “horrible” or unredeemable “bad for a child”. The working class have just as much a variety of experiences as anyone else, and the fact that they live in financial hardship does NOT reduce their lives to nothing but constant “horrible” suffering, or mean that they can’t have other things, besides financial security, to offer a child that would make them amazing parents.
    Er, didn’t I say that I supported efforts to lift them out of poverty? If those efforts work, then they can afford to have kids.
    And, meanwhile, in the real world, about a third of the nation should just suck it up and go child free. To speak nothing of the vast numbers of people around the planet who barely eek out livings, and live in conditions of gross poverty.

  14. Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    A coward named Reginleif dug up my email address in order to respond to my comment above, rather than posting openly here. I originally wrote:
    It’s disappointing to hear so many people, particularly progressives, say that they hate kids. Since when is it OK to hate on an entire group of people, particularly a group of people as profoundly disempowered as children? Kids are individual people. Some of them are fantastic, and some of them are assholes, just like adults.
    Reginleif responded in an email:
    “ONOES, how dare people hate cheeeldrunn??
    Because they’re fucking annoying, that’s why.
    As for being “disempowered,” there’s a good reason for that – they’re not capable of making the same decisions adults do. Let me guess, you’re one of those mommies who tries to “reason” with your sprogs as they tear up the supermarket? ‘Now stop that, Snotford and Bratleigh, you’re invalidating Mommy’s feelings!’â€?
    Reginleif, I’ve blocked your email address, so don’t bother writing to me again. I’ll respond here:
    No, I don’t have children, and I don’t plan to. But I still find it offensive that you would malign children as a group. Would anyone here say, “I just don’t like old people�? Children are individual human beings. As I said earlier, some are fantastic and some are assholes, just like adults. The fact that you chose to send hate-mail for the sole purpose of insulting my imaginary children is evidence of the latter.
    Your ugly generalizations about all children are only revealing your own discomfort in interacting with them. Of course, Reginleif, based on your email, I think it’s safe to assume you’re not all that great at interacting with adults, either.
    Finally, yes, children are disempowered. They have almost no control over their own lives. They’re incredibly vulnerable to exploitation. If children are being hurt, it’s likely caused by the very person/people that they should be able to trust. Why not show a little compassion?

  15. Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s an old and tired phrase, but it’s fitting: a hand up instead of a hand out.
    I’m all for government programs to help get people out of poverty. I’m not in favor of putting more people into poverty.

  16. tink manslaughter
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I rarely write here anymore, for a variety of reasons (hate mail being one), but was going to sign on this morning just to remind everyone that children are PEOPLE.
    No one should ever have to defend why she did or did not have children. But to say “I don’t like children” is not funny. Nobody decides to be a kid and “children” do not deserve to be categorically considered as a single entity anymore than the rest of us do. So, I am late to the party, and am simply backing up SingOut now, but please think about this. You do not have to PROVE that you are not cut out to be a parent, and maligning kids…well, I would like my feminism w/ a healthy dose of considering all humans as individuals – me, you, and the kid next door too.
    Also, remember, if someone questions why you do not have children and smugly suggests you will change your mind, answering them by maligning a whole group of people doesn’t in any way communicate that the OTHER speaker has been rude and inappropriate – and you do NOT have to prove that your choice was right for you. You do not have to prove that you are not mommy material. “I don’t want children,” is all the answer they deserve. If they persist, and insist that you will change our mind, unless that person is your partner, “that’s none of your business,” even when it seems to be a non-sequiter works well too.
    It is true that women w/ kids are treated as “more valuable” than women w/out them. But let’s NOT take it out on the kids.

  17. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    “That…doesn’t make sense. Because of the wage gap, the family should try to get by on less money?”
    EG,
    Hell no! If they feel one or the other parent should stay home then it should be the man. I dont think any parent should stay home. Women and men have worked since the beginning of time while raising kids, so theres no reason they shouldnt work. It was a response to spirinas comment about feeling its her duty to be SAHM.
    I feel the more money, the better. You can never have enough.

  18. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    “I prefer working with women and feel they offer more.
    So, in addition to being ignorant, you’re also sexist? ”
    How is that sexist? Studies back me-women make better workers. I dont have to deal with the leverage or entitlement sexism can have torwards me by a male misogynist in the workplace. Women can be sexist, but they dont have the power. You cant really be a passive person if you work, and a self-hating women has limits that affect her rather than me.
    Ignorant? Youre on a feminsit website and you say that if I hate men and prefer working with women that I’m sexist? Since when has hating your oppressor been wrong?

  19. lyndorr
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    “Women and men have worked since the beginning of time while raising kids, so theres no reason they shouldnt work.”
    Well, lots of things have happened since pretty much the beginning of time. Doesn’t mean they should or shouldn’t keep on happening. I can understand people not wanting their six-week old baby to be in daycare 40 hours a week with someone the parents barely know.

  20. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    “If its about choice then I choose that women cant be housewives and feminists at the same time.
    Who appointed you the arbiter of what is and isn’t feminist? ”
    You acted as arbiter of feminsim when you stated feminism is about choice. I’m all for choice, but not stupid ones. If you can summarize feminism in one simple statement, then why cant I?
    However, that does NOT mean that ALL stay at home mothers are there because it feeds in to the patriarchial expectations, or because they’ve been indoctrinated.”
    Thanks sera for your defense. I am stating that women have so few power in the world or the US. There is no evidence to back up one parent staying home, and the other working. Cavepeoples didnt do that.I think it would be selfish for one parent to claim that they want to spend all the time with the kids, and make the other (who would probably love to do that too) the one who earns the bread. Equal invested parenting is best for the child. Situations like this cant help but fall back on patriarchal sexsim. I mean, do you get an allowance from your husband? What if your kids asked you to work, would you? If not, then its really about yourself and not whats best for the kid.No one needs that much mothering!

  21. Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    But to say “I don’t like children” is not funny.
    Seriously, why can’t I say “I don’t like children”? The reason why I don’t want children is because I don’t like kids and I don’t like the idea of parenthood; there’s no other reason. Of course, nobody decides to be a kid, obviously.
    Dictionary.com defines “like” as:
    1. to take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial;
    2. to regard with favor; have a kindly or friendly feeling for; find attractive;
    3. to wish or prefer.
    None of these I feel for children. I do tolerate them, respect them, their perspectives and place, and I don’t take out anything on them, or their parents (that would be ridiculous). Of course I support and demand policies that would great support and improve the lives of children, here and abroad, in all facets and institutions of society.
    But to actually deal with them, face to face, not my cup of tea. And people will know by the look on my face that indeed it is not my cup of tea, no matter how many times they attempt to make me spend time with a kid. I don’t do well with them; they don’t do well with me most of the time. Have there been times where things have gone smoothly? Sure, although it has been rare. But still, within the proper definition of the word, I don’t like kids.

  22. GopherII
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    To further explain my views : you dont become US President by working part-time. Whenever a mother drops out, or only works part-time she significantly limits herself, both because of the sexism in society, and because she isnt putting in the investment which ends up promoting her to more powerful positions. The kids see that, and may always grow up feeling that its the woman who should sacrifice her career aspirations to focus solely on the kids, even if thats not the mothers intentions because thats how society shapes kids perspectives on it. For example, many of the sexist assholes I’ve argued with have had the view that a woman should stay home or work only part-time once they have kids because thats what THEIR mothers did. It generates a very self-indulgent spoiled response in children that shapes the way they view women when theyre older. When a mother stays too long at home with the kids, it interrupts that ‘take for granted’ feeling that kids develope torwards a SAHM. The 4 year old mis-interprets it (because theyre so young) as a form of abandonment. That distorted point of view by a 4 year old becomes the basis for the view that a womans place is in the home.Kids need to see their mother kicking ass outside the workplace. She is not HER kids butler.

  23. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, why can’t I say “I don’t like children”?
    Obviously, you CAN. You did. I am also free to suggest that blanket statements maligning an entire class of people is offensive.

  24. Wildberry
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “The attitude that bringing a child up in poverty necessarily means that you’re a terrible person and that your child’s life will be horrible is insulting and offensive. Poverty is a big problem, but, you know what? It doesn’t automatically make your life total shit, nor does it automatically make you unfit to raise children.”
    Oh? Their lives aren’t that bad just cuz they’re poor? They’re doing just fine, huh? Then why oh why do they need our support? If their lives are good enough and their children are getting their necessities, then obviously they can afford to have kids. But you think they need help anyone, even though you claim that their lives aren’t horrible?
    I believe I was arguing that people who can’t provide for the basic needs of their children should not have any. I didn’t say that they have to take their kids on shopping trips once a month, buy them a bunch of Christmas presents, or go on vacations every year, or else they’re bad parents. It’s just if the conditions are so bad that the child isn’t going to get what it needs.
    And if someone is at that point, where they wouldn’t be able to support the child? If I can help it, my tax dollars will NOT pay for them to have children. They will go towards efforts to lift them out of poverty rather than sustain them enough that they can have children while living in poverty. Why is that so hard to understand?
    You people sound like everything will be peachy keen if only we helped pay for poor people to have kids. It doesn’t matter that they’re poor, they have kids! Doesn’t that make them happy? Kids are so fulfilling! That will solve everyone’s woes, give them a kid and say “here, now be happy.”

  25. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    You acted as arbiter of feminsim when you stated feminism is about choice. I’m all for choice, but not stupid ones. If you can summarize feminism in one simple statement, then why cant I?
    Well, the problem with defending people’s right to choice is that you don’t get to say “except when I think that choice is stupid.” Part of defending people’s right to make choices is defending people’s rights to make choices that you might think are stupid.
    There is no evidence to back up one parent staying home, and the other working. Cavepeoples didnt do that.
    No evidence of what, exactly?
    Also: Cavepeople didn’t have paying jobs, schools, bills, or…well… most of the things we have today. anyway, so it’s hardly a good comparison to make. Also, cavepeople most likely had large and strong community networks to help them with things like child rearing- while some men and women went off to find food and supplies, others would be caring for the children. Unless you’re suggesting that a person who doesn’t hold a paying job must not actually be working? That one or the other partner makes a choice not to enter the workforce doesn’t mean that s/he isn’t actually working. Ignoring the work involved in keeping house and raising children, people might choose not to enter the workforce for a variety of reason. It could be that the person is pursuing education. Taking care of older relatives. Pursuing other creative endeavors like writing, painting, etc.
    I think it would be selfish for one parent to claim that they want to spend all the time with the kids, and make the other (who would probably love to do that too) the one who earns the bread.
    I should think that we should probably work on empowering people to engage in frank discussions about what they actually want, rather than assuming that we know what is best for them.
    Situations like this cant help but fall back on patriarchal sexsim. I mean, do you get an allowance from your husband?
    That’s a little heteronormative, isn’t it? What if it’s a lesbian couple who are raising a child and one decides to stay home? What if the couple have a shared account and don’t see either of their spending as “allowance” since both are working, just in different capacities?
    What if your kids asked you to work, would you? If not, then its really about yourself and not whats best for the kid.
    How does that follow, at all? I’m sorry, but if I had a child and my 10-year-old child asked me for a shotgun, I wouldn’t give her one. The fact that someone’s child might wish the parent would work doesn’t mean that working is the best thing for the family, the child, or the parent.
    This whole “well, both parents ought to work! That’s the feminist thing to do!” really calls to mind some of the history of ugly racial problems within the movement. You know how people have mentioned that the feminist movement alienates women of color by focusing on white issues? What you’re doing is exactly replicating that- the fight to get women working outside of the home that was so important in the past? It ignored the reality that many women of color were forced to work outside of the home, and denied the choice to work at home and raise their children.
    Seriously, why can’t I say “I don’t like children”?
    For the same reason that it would be inappropriate to say “I don’t like women” or “I don’t like the elderly” or “I don’t like racial/ethnic group X”.

  26. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    What’s wrong with not liking kids? Under a certain age they are illogical, incapable of clear communication, incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis, prone to random acts of destruction (often because they don’t realize they are destroying anything), loud and just sort of generally annoying much of the time.
    Does this mean I think children are troll creatures who shouldn’t be allowed to exist or to be in public? No. But it means I don’t enjoy being around them. Point me out a few adults who act the same way and I wouldn’t want to be around them either.
    I’m not even holding it against the kids. Kids are kids, they are how they are, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. It’s not their fault. Even with the real brats (who destroy things and are loud and annoying on purpose) I blame the parents. Hopefully they’ll grow out of it. And when they do, I’ll be glad to be around them. But until they do, I don’t see anything wrong with saying I don’t like them. I also don’t like assholes, smelly people, drivers who think they own the road, and people who think that “20 items or less” is really just a suggestion and it’s fine to use that lane for their two baskets of groceries.
    I mean, I suppose it would be more PC to list out the things about kids I don’t like and just say, “I don’t like any being which exhibits behavior A, B, C, D, E, G, F…” But saying, “I don’t like kids” is still fairly accurate and much quicker.

  27. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh? Their lives aren’t that bad just cuz they’re poor? They’re doing just fine, huh? Then why oh why do they need our support?
    You know what, you’re not going to convince me of jack shit that way. The pure condescension that you and some of the other posters on here are levying at the poor is sickening. You talk like their lives are nothing but constant suffering and that they’re therefore unfit to be parents. You’re talking about being a parent like it’s a bloody privilege that only the financially secure should indulge in. Fuck that. When I was a kid, we lost our fucking house- it didn’t make my parents bad parents, and it didn’t mean that my life was nothing but suffering. We were lucky to get both government assistence and to have a strong family network to help us through the hard times- but, no, my life wasn’t endless suffering as a result. Yes, we needed FINANCIAL support. Oddly enough, even when you’re having financial hardships, you can still be good parents, and can still have pleasures in your life.
    I believe I was arguing that people who can’t provide for the basic needs of their children should not have any.
    And I believe that I’ve made it clear that I think that’s classist. Also, offensive. And ignorant. If not, I have now.
    And if someone is at that point, where they wouldn’t be able to support the child? If I can help it, my tax dollars will NOT pay for them to have children.
    I consider it fortunate that no individual, alone, can tell the government how his or her taxes will be spent. I lament that when I think about how much of my money goes to the war or to corporate welfare, but, alas, I have to take the bad with the good.
    They will go towards efforts to lift them out of poverty rather than sustain them enough that they can have children while living in poverty. Why is that so hard to understand?
    Well, for one, you’re acting like the tax money can only do one or the other- as though you can’t have programs that will offer assistence to families in need, while other programs will work towards fighting systemic poverty.
    You people sound like everything will be peachy keen if only we helped pay for poor people to have kids.
    Nobody has suggested any such thing. Nobody.
    But I do think that we, as a society, are a lot worse off when we don’t provide assistence to families in need. As much as you may think they’re “wrong” for doing so, poor families are going to have children sometimes. Your attitude “Well, fuck them, they’re not getting my money if I can help it” isn’t going to change that. It’s just going to make the situation worse by not aiding the least well-off people in our society.
    It doesn’t matter that they’re poor, they have kids! Doesn’t that make them happy? Kids are so fulfilling! That will solve everyone’s woes, give them a kid and say “here, now be happy.”
    I’m not sure you could more offensively misrepresent what’s being said here if you tried. Well done.

  28. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Kimmy!
    For the same reason that it would be inappropriate to say “I don’t like women” or “I don’t like the elderly” or “I don’t like racial/ethnic group X”.
    Here’s the thing. The “women,” “elderly,” “racial/ethnic group X,” even though all hypothetical examples, have all been kids. It’s a process of a human development!
    Obviously, you CAN. You did. I am also free to suggest that blanket statements maligning an entire class of people is offensive.
    Jeebus, how about “I don’t deal well at all with kids?” Or is it still malign because no matter who’s kid it is, it will be pretty accurate to state that I’m not gonna deal well with him/her?

  29. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    What’s wrong with not liking kids?
    It’s bigoted.
    Under a certain age they are illogical, incapable of clear communication, incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis, prone to random acts of destruction (often because they don’t realize they are destroying anything), loud and just sort of generally annoying much of the time.
    So are some developmentally disabled adults. Do you dislike them for it?

  30. Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    (Repost for proper HTMLing)
    Thank you Kimmy!
    For the same reason that it would be inappropriate to say “I don’t like women” or “I don’t like the elderly” or “I don’t like racial/ethnic group X”.
    Here’s the thing. The “women,” “elderly,” “racial/ethnic group X,” even though all hypothetical examples, have all been kids. It’s a process of a human development!
    Obviously, you CAN. You did. I am also free to suggest that blanket statements maligning an entire class of people is offensive.
    Jeebus, how about “I don’t deal well at all with kids?” Or is it still malign because no matter who’s kid it is, it will be pretty accurate to state that I’m not gonna deal well with him/her?

  31. lyndorr
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes! There are parents who work and would like to stay at home and parents who stay at home who would like to work. I mean of course finances limit choice here but sometimes they don’t. And one spouse still gets what they want a lot more than the other. I always thought the ideal, if the hourly wage is enough, would be for both parents to work part-time and split the housework and child raising evenly. But there’s not a great amount of good part-time work out there.

  32. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Dislike? No. Choose to work with them? Also no. I don’t have the temperment for it. Same reason I knew early on I couldn’t even teach college. I don’t have the patience for it. It’s a flaw in me, I admit it. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
    And you’re a little confused about what bigotry is. I have an honest conception of what children act like most of the time. I do not like to be around that. Therefore I do not like children. That’s not bigotry, that’s honest assessment of other people, myself, and the relationship between the two. Unless you’re going to argue that I’m wrong in my assessment of any of the above three things, you can’t say that there’s anything inherently prejudiced about my view.
    Or is it bigotry to tell the truth now?

  33. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh, SingOut, I think I see how I could make you happy. What if I said, “I think children are wonderful perfect little darlings, I just don’t want to be anywhere in the same room with them.”
    Would that make you happier? Does dressing it up like that change any of the basic facts?
    On an only vaguely related note, are people who don’t like dogs bigoted against dogs?

  34. Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, SingOut, I think I see how I could make you happy. What if I said, “I think children are wonderful perfect little darlings, I just don’t want to be anywhere in the same room with them.”
    So you haven’t read anything I’ve written, then.
    No, I don’t think children are ‘wonderful perfect little darlings’. Some of them may be, some of the time. The problem is in treating them like a monolithic group, rather than as INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS.
    *sigh*
    I give up. Enjoy your hating.

  35. Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I think you’re confused about the nature of bigotry.
    Bigot: one who regards or treats the members of a group (e.g. a racial or ethnic group) with hatred or intolerance.
    That you openly admit to your intolerance does not make it less bigoted.
    Under a certain age they are illogical, incapable of clear communication, incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis, prone to random acts of destruction (often because they don’t realize they are destroying anything), loud and just sort of generally annoying much of the time.
    And that’s why you’re being accused of bigotry. You’ve taken a list of behaviors associated with misbehaving children and are treating them like the sum-total of a child’s experience. As though most or all children act like that most or all of the time, and most adults do not.

  36. Wildberry
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    “So are some developmentally disabled adults. Do you dislike them for it?”
    My younger sister has some pretty sever mental disabilities. She is VERY annoying. She will pull your hair, turn out the lights while you’re trying to read, turn off the TV that you’re watching simply because SHE isn’t watching it, and finds it incredibly amusing to make a mess whenever possible. My younger sister, her twin, works well with her. I don’t. I don’t like having to deal with herI can’t say that I don’t like her, because she is my sister and I have an emotional attachment to her, but if it were someone I didn’t have an attachment to, I wouldn’t like her very much. And I’m not offended if other people don’t like to deal with her either, as long they are understanding of her disabilities.
    I think it goes without saying that when someone says that they don’t like kids, they think they’re inferior half-humans that should be locked away so that no one has to deal with them. They’re just saying that they find them annoying. I don’t like yappy little dogs; I will tolerate them and treat them well, but at the end of the day I’m not going to get one because they bring me no pleasure.

  37. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Roymac, I didn’t say anything about misbehaving children until my second or third post. Here’s a list of facts about kids.
    1. Under a certain age, they don’t communicate very well. Is this not true?
    2. Under a certain age, they tend to be loud. This is because they still have trouble with volume control. Is this not true?
    3. Under a certain age, they are incapable of rational decision making as we understand it on a regular basis (meaning they use it more than they don’t). Is this not true?
    4. Under a certain age, children are more prone to destroying things, often because they don’t understand that a certain act on their part will result in the destruction of an object. Is this not true?
    5. The above behaviors are generally found to be annoying by me. Is this not true?
    If you can prove that my assertions are untrue, then you may have a case to argue for bigotry. If my assertions are true, then you have no case because I’m simply stating the facts and my reaction to those facts.
    Did I say that all children act like that all the time at all ages? No, I did not. But enough of them do enough of the time to make me want to stay away from the youngsters and to actively dislike time spent in their presence. Particularly the volume control and lack of clear communication. Drives me bonkers.
    And I specifically said that I don’t like adults who behave that way either, so you can leave that little bit out of your next rant.
    Tell me, am I next to be told I’m bigoted for observing that babies cry? Or that full diapers often stink? Or that small children who have been eating candy frequently have sticky hands? At what point does telling the truth become bigotry, I’m honestly curious.

  38. Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    My younger sister has some pretty sever mental disabilities. She is VERY annoying.
    And if you decided that you dislike all people with disabilities because one person with a disability annoyed you, that would be bigotry.

  39. EG
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    they are illogical, incapable of clear communication, incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis, prone to random acts of destruction (often because they don’t realize they are destroying anything), loud and just sort of generally annoying much of the time.
    Sounds like the vast majority of adults to me. It seems like what you’re saying is that children are…people. Imagine that.
    Now, my younger sister is a vegan, and has often been a big ol’ jerk about it. But if I generalized from that to say that all vegans are big jerks, that would be unsupported bigotry.

  40. spirina
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    It was a response to spirinas comment about feeling its her duty to be SAHM.
    GopherII, Where in the HELL did you find ANYTHING I said implying that I feel its my “duty” to be a SAHM? Did you even freaking READ my comments? Apparently not.
    I honestly completely disagree with you, but I feel that this arguing is completely unproductive, especially considering you’re not even responding to anything I’m saying. You’re basically reiterating your own points over and over.

  41. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    So, EG, are you claiming that children (as a group and in a statistical sense) aren’t illogical? Aren’t incapable of clear communication? Aren’t incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis? Aren’t prone to random acts of destruction? Aren’t loud? Or are you arguing that I’m not justified in being annoyed by that behavior?
    Because unless that’s the claim you’re making, then (I’ll say it again) all I’m doing is telling the truth. Telling the truth is not bigotry. Nor am I generalizing from a single example, as I think you all well know since no one has been able to try to tell me that I’m wrong. So y’all really ought to stop bringing that up as a counter-example as well. It doesn’t work.
    Want to prove me a bigot? Prove I’m wrong about the behavior of children as a group and in a statistical way. In other words, prove it isn’t common to find children behaving that way. Otherwise, y’all are just blowing smoke.
    And for the last bloody time: I dislike adults who act that way, too! As I’ve repeatedly said. The difference is that it’s a lot easier to find adults who don’t act that way (or at least don’t act that way in public).

  42. Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    About your “facts about kids”:
    Sure, under a very young age, children tend to have trouble communicating. I think it’s intolerant to get upset about that, though. I disagree with your assertion that children tend to be loud. Most children do not, in reality, spend most of their time being loud. Most children, even babies, actually spend a lot of time not being loud. You might be able to argue that children are more likely than adults to be loud, but that’s not the same thing. Besides, adults spend a lot of time being loud, too- it’s just socially accepted loudness.
    As for: 5. The above behaviors are generally found to be annoying by me.
    That’s a fact about you, not children. You choose how you react to children, not them.
    Is this not true?
    If you can prove that my assertions are untrue, then you may have a case to argue for bigotry. If my assertions are true, then you have no case because I’m simply stating the facts and my reaction to those facts.
    Again: That you *admit* your intolerance does *not* prevent it from being bigoted.
    Further: What if someone came on and started going off about how they dislike some other group based on a list of arbitrary “facts” abou those people?
    “Facts about the wheelchair bound:
    1. They can get handicap parking spaces closer to the doors of buildings than the non-handicapped spaces.
    2. They take up more square feet of floor-area when they move around.
    3. They can’t climb stairs very well without help.
    4. They tend to have more trouble navigating tight spaces.”
    If someone says “5. The above traits are generally found to be annoying by me”, would the fact that the person was owning their dislike of the wheelchair bound exempt them from being accused of bigotry? Does the fact that 1-4 are probably true statements mean that it’s okay to dislike them?
    Did I say that all children act like that all the time at all ages? No, I did not.
    But you’re willing to generalize it about them all the same.
    And I specifically said that I don’t like adults who behave that way either, so you can leave that little bit out of your next rant.
    Well, except that you don’t say “I dislike adults” over it. Just children. Despite the fact that most children do not spend most of their time doing the things you describe.
    Tell me, am I next to be told I’m bigoted for observing that babies cry? Or that full diapers often stink? Or that small children who have been eating candy frequently have sticky hands? At what point does telling the truth become bigotry, I’m honestly curious.
    I don’t know. At what point does making generalizations about entire population groups, defining them by the charactoristics you happen to find annoying, and pronouncing that you dislike all members of that group over it become bigotry?
    Because I’m honestly curious.

  43. rileystclair
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    EG–i’m with kimmy on this one. i don’t really enjoy interacting with most adults, either!
    i’m just a misanthrope i guess. anyway, when i say (and i suspect when kimmy and others say) that i do not like children, i obviously mean every child everywhere. i have enjoyed the limited company of a few of them in my life and no doubt will in the future. but the fact is that through no fault of their own, kids are not yet adults and there are parts of that development process that are unpleasant. i don’t treat kids badly, just as kimmy said and i don’t hold anything against them, and when i am in a situation where i must interact with them, i treat them with respect and kindness. i do the same with the myriad of adults i am forced to interact with who exhibit behavior that i find unpleasant.
    i don’t see how admitting that is wrong.

  44. EG
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Admitting that isn’t wrong. What’s I find offensive is that when it comes to children, instead of saying “I don’t like most children,” people say “I don’t like children,” but the same misanthropes rarely say “I don’t like adults.” If the issue is that you don’t like people, then children are already included in that category, so there’s no need to single them out. Just like “black people” and “women” are already included in the category of “people.” If it’s their people-ness that bugs you–as seems to be the case, because plenty of adults are rude, loud, and unpleasant–then there’s no need to qualify by age.
    when i am in a situation where i must interact with them, i treat them with respect and kindness
    And that’s really what matters most. Not being sarcastic; it is.

  45. rileystclair
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    that should read “when i say…that i do not like children, i obviously do NOT mean every child everywhere.”
    rovmacIII–really, is it a bad trait to not like to hear young children and babies scream and cry? really? no one is saying that it’s their fault or that it’s not natural or expected or that children should never be taken out in public and if they are we should throw rocks at them or whatever, but we have to LIKE it now?
    i think some of you are really just taking an expression of annoyance at what are common behaviors displayed in children to a higher level than was intended. seriously.

  46. Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Want to prove me a bigot? Prove I’m wrong about the behavior of children as a group and in a statistical way. In other words, prove it isn’t common to find children behaving that way.
    I call bullshit.
    Prove that it isn’t common to find people of all ages acting this way, because all I have to do is go to the shopping mall/a restaurant/any public road/pretty much anyplace where there are people at all to see adults doing those things. The difference is that when we see two adults talking loudly about politics or the market, we don’t generalize “Adults are loud”, nor do we treat it like it’s necessarily an annoying behavior. But when a child is playing loudly, it’s used to denigrate children as a group, and is treated like a negative behavior.
    i don’t see how admitting that is wrong.
    Because there’s a difference between saying that you dislike a specific set of behaviors, and saying that you dislike an entire group of people.
    Particularly when the behaviors being described apply to most people, but only a specific subgroup are being targeted for dislike.

  47. Kimmy
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been around children who didn’t display those traits, in some combination, at least half the time. You’ve not disproved any of my facts, only that they aren’t in evidence 100% of the time. That’s not disproof.
    And there is a difference between intolerance and dislike. Again, I have not asked that anything be done to accomodate my dislike of beings who display those behaviors. I have not asked that they be corralled, or leashed, or muzzled, or stopped from entering the public sphere, or in any way curtailed from their normal run of every day activities. I have said that I dislike beings which behave that way. I believe I’m allowed the right to dislike things.
    A bigot, by the way, is defined as “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” I have exhibited no such thing. Intolerance is defined as “lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds.” Since I continue to respect the lives and well being of and accept the presence of beings which behave in a way I don’t like (I merely attempt myself to avoid them), I have not demonstrated intolerance.
    Y’all really need to stop tossing around such loaded words when they don’t apply. By the way, did you prefer my use of the phrase “beings who behave in a way I don’t like”? Is that less inflammatory to you? Even though you and I both know that any being acting in the way I don’t like as described above is more likely than not to be a child?
    One final thing. There are things that people dislike. Some of these things are traits displayed by some people. Some of these people are beloved of other people. That doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to dislike the traits or those who display them.
    To use an extreme example, let’s say I’d run into 1,000 wheel-chair bound people in my life. And every single one of them had happily run over my foot every time I saw them. Would I be justified, in your view, in disliking this behavior and those who showed it, even if they happen to be wheel-chair bound? Or would that make me a bigot?
    Disliking beings who behave in a certain way based on those traits doesn’t make me a bigot. It makes me a person with a rational response to behaviors which don’t sit well with me. I make no judgment claims on the value of those who display those behaviors. Nor do I make any claims of any sort as to where or how they should be able to display those behaviors. But I do not like those behaviors, and I do not like those who display them.
    If that makes me a bigot in your eyes, you have some seriously screwed up judgmental stuff to get over yourself. Because you’ve been far more insulting in this discussion than I ever have been towards a child or its parents.

  48. Posted February 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    i think some of you are really just taking an expression of annoyance at what are common behaviors displayed in children to a higher level than was intended.
    What I object to is the repeated blanket statement: I don’t like children.
    I don’t know anyone who LIKES the sound of screaming. I would never suggest that anyone SHOULD like the sound of screaming. Disliking behavior is different than disliking entire groups of people.

  49. EG
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    So, EG, are you claiming that children (as a group and in a statistical sense) aren’t illogical? Aren’t incapable of clear communication? Aren’t incapable of rational decision making on a regular basis? Aren’t prone to random acts of destruction? Aren’t loud? Or are you arguing that I’m not justified in being annoyed by that behavior?
    Actually, I’ve spent quite a bit of time with children, and I haven’t found that they’re any less logical than any other group of human beings.
    What I am arguing is that, in fact, absolutely none of those things are unique to children. What I am arguing is that adults are as often if not more often illogical (creationists, people who knock wood, adults who couldn’t put together a logical argument if their lives depended on it, incapable of clear communication (children over the age of 2 are capable of clear communication; adults slur their words, make assumptions about other people’s level of knowledge, have strong accents, etc.), incapable of rational decision-making (voting for Bush, getting back together with a boyfriend who repeatedly cheats, drinking even though they know they’re gonna have to drive home), prone to random acts of destruction (global warming, the wholesale ravaging of natural resources, pissing on buildings in public, mugging people, crashing cars), are loud (businessmen yammering into their cell phones on trains, women having screaming fights on the sidewalk, my next-door neighbor blasting his music).
    The main difference is that when children exhibit this behavior, it’s far less harmful to others than when adults do it.
    So, that if you want to generalize about a group from this sort of behavior, the correct group to generalize to is people. Because adults do this sort of thing just as much as children do.

  50. EG
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been around children who didn’t display those traits, in some combination, at least half the time.
    I have. So where does that leave us?
    And is it different from my grandfather, an admirable man in many ways, saying that he hates having to go to the movies because of all the black people yelling at the movie screen? Hey, every time he goes, that’s what he experiences, or so he says.

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