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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

 
[#] [2]
i am SO glad to read this article at feministe: why i hate "i hate children". i see a lot of sven's positions on youth liberation in it, but more importantly, the "i hate children" crowd frightens me. anyone who hates another group of people sees them as expendable and has the potential for violence.

i'm NOT saying that you have to luuurrrvvvvv children. oversentimentalizing children is also dangerous. but there are parallels to draw between the prejudices against children, the disabled & the elderly. i'd like a culture that's more tolerant of people in general, and i think that begins w/ children.

i probably won't ever have children myself, and i know i come off as a little standoffish when i meet children because i don't immediately throw myself at them. but i appreciate them and i want them to grow up well loved and with a love of others. that can't happen if it's okay to say "i hate children."

Comments:
Wow, gl. That was an interesting 500+ comments to skim, and it reminded me that I hate Internet discussions about parenting/children. People are bad enough on the topic in person. I'll never forget the service-station-attendant-jacket-wearing nose-ring who passed Ben and I on the sidewalk and said to her friend "This neighborhood sucks now ... it needs to get rid of all the kids."

Re: restaurants, since that came up a lot in one thread, and since it's where there's most likely going to be trouble:

My rule of thumb revolves around the presence of high chairs and booster seats. If the place has them, kids are expected and welcome. If it doesn't, probably not.

That rule of thumb is the foundation of the elevator speech I have prepared for anyone who ever comments about Ben's behavior anywhere we take him that has those amenities: Walking into a restaurant with high chairs and complaining about kid noise is dumb on the level of walking into a strip club and complaining about all the tits.

Sorry for dumping here. I don't know any of those people on the linked pages, but damn some of them were irritating.
 
now the comments are over 600, and i've actually read them all. the internet is really what made me aware of this huge anti-child/mommy war issue, and my first instinct is to duck & hide because it's very much a "damned if you do/damned if you don't" situation.

on a fairly high-profile feminist blog i expected more tolerance & compassion, but i'm surprised at the rush to defend "i hate children." even if you don't really mean it, even if you think they can't be oppressed, even if you're never going to have them, by saying you hate them you make it more acceptable for the people who really do dehumanize children and damage them in horrible ways. and i don't understand why people think that the adults these children will become will be better off for having grown up in an environment where people think it's okay to say they hate you.

that's a terrible story about ben. i wonder if young people under 30, especially, feel so virulently against children because they're trying to disassociate from a lifetime of childhood stigma.
 
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