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Fury!

So, one of the people I happen to like and respect has decided that childfree is full of sick people. To the view of them and their buddies, all CF people are the same, and most of them are psychologically deviant in some way.

I've seen more stereotyping of the childfree (and childfree) in the last two hours than I usually encounter in two years. "Born at 21, never a child", "frozen at 14", "bigotry and self-involvement", "like the pro-ana communities: a support group for sick people who wish to stay sick", "people who hate children hate themselves", ad nauseum. By people who are supposedly tolerant of different lifestyles! Well, I can see that tolerance only happens when it's their little deviation from the "american dream" life script, not mine.

I don't dislike parents, or their kids. However, I can't stand brats, screamers, and kids who trash or foul their surroundings. I didn't even like most kids when I was one! But I guess that makes me some sort of twisted fuck who is "sick and wants to stay sick". Oh, gee, thanks for the enlightening idea. I guess I'll go get knocked up so I can be considered "normal" and "healthy".

I guess criticising poor parenting by the stupid is now "making fun of the disabled", and not offering some twit who spouts nothing but screwed up rationalizations "help" means I lack "empathy, mercy, and basic human decency". It's a bad thing to point out when other people are damaging their kids, and criticize it publically. I guess it might hurt their widdle self esteem. But it's ok to slam and denigrate people who've chosen not to have children, huh? They're just sick people who wish to remain sick, so it's OK to insult and offend them!

Thanks a lot - I guess when the rubber meets the road, tolerance for others and their choices is really a pipe dream, huh?

Fuck that.

Edit: and now the bingo starts "you're not a parent, you don't know".

Double fuck that.

Edit: And now the person has unfriended me, and I can't read the entry in question, or respond to the slams and smears. Nevermind that I was trying my best to be polite - after all, it was someone elses journal. That's why I pulled my rant into my journal, trying to get the heat out of theirs.

I guess I'm not part of the right oppressed minority, so I don't have to be tolerated. The lesson: it's OK to criticize someone, make fun of someone, call them "sick" and "bigoted" and every other form of insult, deride their lifestyle as selfish and self-centered and wrong, as long as their "difference" is chosing not to have children. Gay, fine; bi, fine; tranny, fine; disabled, fine; autistic, fine; pagan, fine; asexual, fine; christian, fine; atheist, fine; but never, never, never, NEVER admit to being childFREE, as opposed to childLESS, and daring to have an opinion on another random person's sacred and inviolate excuse for parenting - since if you aren't a parent, you can't possibly know *anything* about kids.

Well, fuck you - you know who you are.

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
ex_ciannait
Apr. 20th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
Sing it, sistah! Fuck that!
ebonypearl
Apr. 20th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
Eh, have you watched Nanny 911? Those are the kind of child I dread meeting in public. When I encounter children like that, I am so tempted to hand them the contact info for Nanny 911 because they seriously need lessons in parenting.

I like watching it with teens and people considering having kids. It either turns off having children, or it teaches them how to be better parents. Either outcome suits me fine.

I consider myself childfree since my children are now adults and I don't have to care for or deal with children anymore, and fully in sympathy with those who want to be childfree without having gone through the childed phase. I completely fail to understand this unholy veneration of children and parenthood. It's highly overrated.
judith
Apr. 20th, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
I stand beside you proudly. I am not "childfree" because i did have children and I love them and they are the most important people in my life. But I know more than one person who rightly chose to not have children, and I know others who should have made that choice. We are not all cut out to be parents any more than we are all cut out to be businesspeople. Or realtors. Or crooks.

What strikes me as odd about attacks on those who choose not to have children is that this country actually does *not* venerate children. While there are many accommodations for children, especially popping up in recent years (like grocery carts with little cars on them), these are more to make the experience easier for the parents and the other shoppers than they are for the children themselves. I found, when my children were young, that there were many places where they were not welcome. I personally had a low tolerance for children screaming in public and would take them away from any place where they chose to scream. I don't condone bad behavior, either by children or by adults, and I have honestly been more bothered by screaming parents than by screaming children.

But I was left out of parties, events, all kinds of things, because I was a single mom. My relatives did not live nearby so I did not have any kind of built-in support, and our communities do NOT step in to help, as a rule. I felt overwhelmed much of the time. I never took advantage of childless persons, either, but I admit to feeling a little jealous now and then when I saw that the childless were often able to pursue a life that was much saner than mine and certainly more financially rewarding.

I never had a moment when I wished I had not had children, but it was a choice that brings with it the unchoosing of many other options. We do each have to make those decisions ourselves.
ravan
Apr. 20th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
We do each have to make those decisions ourselves.

Exactly. And you don't have to be either childed or childfree to criticize bad parenting, or bad behavior in general.

I don't condone bad behavior, either by children or by adults, and I have honestly been more bothered by screaming parents than by screaming children.

Heh. Usually screaming adults get the cops called on them... ;-) But I agree, I don't like howling jerks regardless of age.
furzecat
Apr. 20th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Bingo card at the ready!!!
The thing about childfree and other CF lists and communities is that they are used for venting about a) bad parenting b) breeder fuckwits and their bingoisms c) entitlemoos and d) any combination of the above.

Hey, how's the Michael Jackson trial going? Him being a _parent_ he must know everything about kids...

(apologies for the sick humour but it does illustrate the point)

Wassail

Karen






anarchys_savior
Apr. 20th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
Tell them to lick you clitoris and get the fuck over it. A bunch of people don't want kids, and there's nothing wrong with not wanting kids. The world is overpopulated as it is.
(Deleted comment)
ravan
Apr. 20th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
*shrug* I don't enjoy some random jerk who doesn't even know me using a supposed friend's journal to insult me, or the friend complimenting him on his insults. Especially when the jerk distorts whatever I say, and is an insulting prick to begin with. When the supposed friend gives the jerk attaboys for his insults, what should that tell me?

When the friend starts out by deriding a community that I happen to enjoy, and the whole mess goes downhill from there? When the friend talks about "no snarking" at other people in his journal, but allows and encourages people to take potshots at my lifestyle, my maturity, and my basic ethics and humanity?

At least I've had the balls to make, and keep, my posting on the subject public.
(no subject) - lysana - Apr. 21st, 2005 12:01 am (UTC) - Expand
hagazusa
Apr. 20th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Although I'm CF myself, I unsubbed from childfree because it seemed filled with actual bratty children itself: ie teens still living with their mom and complaining that their younger siblings got preferential treatment. Uh, sorry . . .

If that person unfriended you because you were CF, they need to get over themselves. Gosh, considering the population bomb, we're doing people a favor.
maida_mac
Apr. 20th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that often wince at the terminology and attitude displayed by some childfree people and groups. I even do it occasionally at posts by you or ciannait. However, I do respect your right to live the life you want, not the life others think you should.

The funny thing is that I'm a minority in the group of people I know in Seattle. Vehemently childfree is much more common and I sometimes feel really uncomfortable. :-/
ravan
Apr. 20th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
The irony is that I enjoy posts by you about your kids antics, and their growing up. I like to see parents who actually give a damn about their kids as more than just extensions of themselves.

I also love my neice and nephews, but I'm glad they live in another state... ;-)
(no subject) - spaghettisquash - Apr. 20th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ravan - Apr. 20th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_ciannait - Apr. 20th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
beandelphiki
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC)
I really don't think people on his friend's list care if you're childfree or not. I think they were complaining about the nasty elements of the CF community, and the OP specifically objected to the bigoted "breeder" language.

Since you're upset that you now can't reply there, I direct you to my publicly accessible post, where I've copied my main complaint from the OP's journal. Feel free to offer a rebuttal.

'Bye.
ravan
Apr. 21st, 2005 12:04 am (UTC)
It's easy to call "bigoted" the terms used by a minority that you don't approve of, don't understand, and want to force political correctness on.

"Breeder" is an asshole with kids, whose kids are (being) fucked up by said breeder.
weofodthignen
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
Sad, but yet another case of someone proving unworthy of one's friendship/admiration.

I think you know where I stand. I respect the childfree choice--I was in that camp for most of my life. I regard stereotyping as the basis of many, many problems; stereotyping women as designed by Nature to nurture kids and hence innately inclined to love that lifestyle, and stereotyping kids as little angel sweeties are among the stereotypes operating on this issue. I find kids hard to take even now that I regret not having had any; for me, they start to be easier to take when they reach about 8, and in cultures that do not subjugate adults' tastes and needs to kids' (I am afraid the US struck me from the start, and still struck me, as absurdly and sickeningly focused on protecting children from reality, and the protracted irresponsible and lazy adolescence is a result of that societal ideal), but I try to remember that kids are individuals and to note the babies and toddlers that don't trip my switches--and the strategies their parents use, since maybe I will have a kid anyway, you never know in this crazy world. One bizarre result of that is that kids seem to like and trust me to a creepy extent.

I don't respect some of the reasons people are childfree as represented in that community: in particular the "It involves bodily fluids" and "It makes people fat and ugly" lines of thought. And I wince at the occasional post where someone doesn't recognize that a really young child isn't responsible in the same way an adult is. Yeah, they spit up, and yeah, they have to be changed. Those aren't their fault, and I have no problem with changing tables in public restrooms or with public breast-feeding--those in themselves shouldn't be reasons for revulsion, let alone hate. But I do respect people who don't like kids or don't see themselves as temperamentally or financially able to be good parents sparing the rest of us a child begotten and born out of duty. The same attitude makes me a vehement pro-abortionist. If a woman doesn't want that child, then by definition she isn't going to care for it adequately either before or after birth, terminate it as soon as possible. All the self-important "pro-lifers" should go adopt all the trash children currently festering in group homes. Starting with the handicapped, the less than cute, and the insane. Or pay the bills for the poor benighted women who obey their strictures and saddle themselves with kids they can't afford. Gah. The idea that not having a kid you don't want is selfish is just--twisted. It's having one just to perpetuate your genes or name that is deeply and foully selfish.

Haven't seen the comments you are referring to, obviously. But I trust your judgment on most such things--I'd say chalk it up to having misjudged the person in question and forget about him/her.

M
botia
Apr. 21st, 2005 12:27 am (UTC)
Err, just kind of came over here from a link, but I wanted to say that I've never heard anyone complain about changing tables in restrooms, because that's where they belong.

You do see a lot of complaints about people changing their babies on restaurant tables, airplane tray tables, in the middle of the floor of retail stores (bookstores). I very much hope that more people would view these locations as unsuitable. I don't want to see/smell that when I'm trying to eat, and I don't want to think about whether it's happened before on the very table I'm at.
(no subject) - ravan - Apr. 21st, 2005 03:39 am (UTC) - Expand
jemyl
Apr. 24th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
Why the Childfree journal gets people's dander up ~ an obsevation
Well, my Ravan beauty, I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly on this one. Childfree, as you use it, is a viable option and certainly not worthy of such heated criticism as you describe.

Having read some of the entries in the Childfree journal community over the past year or so, I can, however, completely understand the anger of some people toward that group. I do not include you in that group. For instance, I don't see you calling ALL MOTHERS names like Brood mares, cows, and some I have forgotten but which were even more nasty. Neither do I see you naming ALL children as puke monsters or bratpack mambers. You have the decency and common sense to differentiate between well-behaving children and brats who misbehave as well as the parents who birth them.

Msny who blog in Childfree seem to expect that all children will be kept from their sight. They do not seem to make the distinction between well-behaved younsters and brats. They also seem to expect all children to behave as little adults, which we know they will not, at all times in all places, if they are seen at all.

I find those expectations to be totally unreasonable and those who espouse them on Childfree to be fanatical. I would go so far as to class them as Childphobes, kind of like homophobes but for children. They do not begin to understand childen and do not think it is necessary for them to try aince they never plan on being a parent. I find that view unrealistic.

Children should be seen in certain places. They should also be reasonably well behaved in those places or removed from them by their parents. A child who is never taken to a restaurant, grocery store or department store or mall, will not likely learn how to behave in such places. Even the best behaved children will sometimes pull a real bonehead move, innocently, in those circumstances. I seem to remember a cute little 18 month old girl who sat contentedly in her high chair in a fancy restaurant one Sunday, out with her parents and grandparents to celebrate an anniversary. She was an angel, gurgling happily and not even sweeping food from her tray or banging her spoon. All was quiet and nice except for the normal babble of voices in the place. It was rather crowded and busy. Then a busboy in a hurry got hit with the swinging kitchen door and dropped a whole tray of silverware with a loud crash. All talk in the whole place ceased immediately. You could hear a pin drop. At that moment that sweet, beautiful, well-behaved little girl said quite loudly, "Uh-OH!" It generated an even redder face on the busboy scurrying to clean up the spilled silverware. It generated lots of laughter from the restaurant patrons with one exception. Your mother was embsrrassed and told you to "shhhhh". See, even at an early age, you were good with the pointed social comment!

No, I don't think you should have to say Childless! Not having children should be a choice for anyone. I also don't think that not having children disqualifies anyone from commenting on childrearing. Certain things are just common sense. Also, you were once a child so know what should and shouldn't be acceptable behavior. OH, you may miss knowing what is developmentally possible for a certain age once in a while, but that, too, can be looked up online.

FWIW, I, too, have found myself unfriended from some people's journals when I attempted to be a moderate voice of reason in my comments. Some people want to cling to their neuroses and radical ideas and will brook no common sense challenges. I think that they unfriend because not to do so would mean that they might have to re-examine their sacred cows and they fear they might find that what they have been calling a cow might really be an ox or an elephant which would be even more scary for them than is the cow.

Love you! Gma wants to know if you are still coming for her birthday in July. Bill's NG tube was out yesterday and they are still planning to do the endoscopy and colonoscopy tomorrow. I am going over to see him in a little while.
ravan
Apr. 25th, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
Gma wants to know if you are still coming for her birthday in July.

Yes. I'm trying to figure the best dates and stuff.
(no subject) - jemyl - Apr. 25th, 2005 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ravan - Apr. 26th, 2005 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jemyl - Apr. 26th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ravan - Apr. 26th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jemyl - Apr. 27th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC) - Expand
jemyl
Apr. 24th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
After reading your comment on the "Public Place"
s far as the hypothetical ADD/ODD mother is concerned, well, I'm borderline ADD (as in they wanted to drug me with ritalin)

OH? When did anyone want to drug you with ritalin? Not when you were a child! ADD was never discussed regarding you. The problem was anger management and sibling rivalry/jealousy on your part. A child who can and does spend an hour or more focused on reading one book is not generally considered to be ADHT. The one teacher who tried to say you were hyperactive was informed by your parents that if she would allow you to have recess instead of keeping you cooped up in a study carousel or on the floor in one position and on only one task all day, you would be no problem. Indeed, the following year, in third grade, a teacher who used positive reinforcement, behavior modification and mild removal to aid you in learning self-control, showed the whole school that it was the teacher and not the student who was a problem in second grade. For some unknown reason you decided that your parents had a second child because they didn't want you. I happen to think it was because your sibling was quite ill and needed extra attention for the first year of her life. At the same time your father was required to work lots of overtime hours in order to complete an overload of work at his job. This left your mother to pretty much handle both a sick, often screaming baby and a sweet, but confused and often angry little three and four year old, all on her own. You had been the total focus of her attention for three years. It must have been very hard for you when she paid more attention to your sister's screams of pain than to your request for a story. I mean, how does one explain to a three-year-old that the landlord's wife has threatened to call the cops or put us on the street if we can't keep the children (translation screaming baby) more quiet, particularly at night? With that introduction to babies, I don't blame you for not wanting any.

Edit ---added here

It has taken me a long time to figure out what the catalyzing event could have been which made you such an agry child. When in the middle of trying to juggle all of the doctor's appointments for the new baby, plus my own and buying a house and moving, it never occurred to me that you might see what was happening as preferential treatment for your younger sister. Now it is crystal clear, especially after visiting her and your niece and nephews for a day recently. Three year olds want it NOW and you were denied much NOW at that age what with my pregancy, the measles, and Boo having both a prolapsed rectum and leg problems for the first year of her life. I can only say now, much too late I am sure, that I am so very sorry. I have always loved you dearly, equally as much as your sister, still do. Choosing to even have you was a very conscious choice. You were wanted and loved from the very first moment, by both your dad and me. When we paired up with you kids, you usually got paired with your dad because we thought you wanted it that way and wanted to be an engineer like him. >sigh< Just know that I love you and sometimes, as a parent, the choices one has to make are not easy and there is often no right one, i.e. choice where no one might get hurt.

ravan
Apr. 26th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: After reading your comment on the "Public Place"
OH? When did anyone want to drug you with ritalin? Not when you were a child! ADD was never discussed regarding you.

I believe it was in my medical records that I found the recommendation for Ritalin. I'd have to check again.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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