Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Butt Out: Advice Columnist and Readers Weigh In.

Zip your mouth about their decision
I'm printing this as a public service announcement, so that the people who do apply this kind of pressure will have a chance to see the error of their ways. For those who do like to weigh in on someone's fertility choices, a suggestion: Next time you feel the urge to comment, bite down on something instead.
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5 comments:

Nursedude said...

It is true that there is NO shortage of ignorant people who say stupid things about people electing to be child-free.

That said,militant elements in the child-free movement referring to people who decide to have children as "Breeders" (My wife actually had somebody call her that to her face) does not help the child-free movement when you decide to use that level of insulting, hurtful language. Resorting to that level of name-calling by members of the child free community is no better than the people who use such hateful language as "Nigger", "Cracker", "Bitch","Faggot" or "Dyke". Respect is a two-way street.

Feh23 said...

Huh? What's your point? So what if a tiny minority of people are rude enough to call someone else a "breeder" to their face? That doesn't negate the fact that the majority of people have no problems expressing their ideas that people who chose to NOT have children are some how of less worth, or that they are evil, wrong or selfish people. Or that these people feel completely valid in critiquing someone to their face simply because they've chosen to not have children.

I also do not think the term "breeder" rises to the same level as the other insults you raise. Simply put, parents have not had to fight and die for their rights to exist as humans. Parents have never been oppressed, thrown in jail, been raided, lynched, beaten or killed simply because they had chosen to have children. Parents were never legally considered less than human because they had procreated.

Vinny C said...

Nursedude,

You leave out an important factor though. None of the other groups that are represented by the slurs you use actually chose their group affiliation. White, Black, gay, woman... all there from birth. People choose to parent.

That said, I'm no fan of name-calling of parents. I don't think it does any good, and it makes childfree people look bad, collectively. It also takes people who might otherwise agree with us on certain points, and makes them oppose us in reaction. Why make neutral people our enemies?

s in Ohio said...

I am a childfree sociologist, and I teach in both a liberal arts and public university. When I discuss marriage and family, and talk about childfree choices, I invariably have at least one student (usually a public university student--it's an agricultural college) who has a fundamentalist xtian background that calls me "selfish" or some such thing. Others, however, particularly women, tell me that me coming out with my "choice" has helped them be more assertive and feel validated in their choices--whether that choice includes children or not. Information is the best way that we can let people know that being childfree is not selfish. I hope that I have helped at least one person realize that they are not just a reproduction machine. If I have, I feel that I have been a success.

s in Ohio said...

Oh, and BREEDERS and PARENTS are two completely different things. My brother and his wife have lives outside of their children, rich lives filled with art, music, scholarship, friends. They are PARENTS. A friend from high school who lives in the suburbs and whose only joy comes from endlessly talking about her sprogs (who happen to be spoiled brats), is a BREEDER. There is a difference. It's obvious, nursedude, that you are probably a breeder if this upsets you that much.