You should have a right to not have babies


Amanda Marcotte does not ever want to have any children, and she has said so quite strongly. She doesn’t even like children. And that’s perfectly reasonable. Around 20% of American women are child-free for life. Are you going to force them to have babies?

Well, maybe. Cassy Fiano was outraged that Marcotte rejects the idea of having children. While ranting about how horrible it was that she has no affection for infants, let alone fetuses, she effectively discloses what it’s all really about.

What’s interesting is how she acts as if floating the idea of adoption for those facing unplanned pregnancies is somehow forcing them into it. No, Amanda. It’s called having sex. You choose to have sex, you choose to open the door to having a baby, no matter what kind of birth control you’re on. Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant, barring a full hysterectomy. She compares it to forcing men to donate sperm, surely what she feels is a no-fail argument against “the patriarchy.” The problem with that is that no one made it to where women are the ones who carry babies. It wasn’t something that men engineered. It’s called science, Amanda. It’s just the way it is, fair or unfair. Acknowledge reality and move on.

There’s the simple-minded solution to the whole abortion problem! You’re only allowed to have sex if you’re willing to get pregnant. Thirty million American women should just be abstinent forever, and she invokes science and reality as her justification.

Here’s some different science and reality for you: sex is a normal, healthy behavior for human beings, and almost all the sex acts performed are not procreative: no intent or desire for pregnancy, and often with no ability for impregnation. We do it for fun, because it makes us happy, because it brings us closer to another human being. Yet Fiano blithely declares that reproduction must be a component of human sexuality.

Why? I was happy to have my children, but I have no interest in having any more (and it would be irresponsible to do so). I am not quite ready to give up sex. I have even less interest in trying to dictate to others under what conditions they are allowed to have sex.

It seems Cassy Fiano is more about controlling others’ sexuality with a soupçon of slut-shaming.

Of course, if you want even more fun, read the comments.

Suppose Amanda would have said “I hate Asians. Their slanty eyes and smooched in faces make me want to puke”…or “I hate Blacks. All of them are shiftless, lazy dopers, and we all would be better off if they blew each other away”, we’d recognize the ugliness of her hatred and prejudice. But since it’s against babies and children, that’s another matter. That’s cool, at least for pro-aborts.

This person is a little too happy to indulge in racist stereotyping while equating fetuses with Asians and blacks, I think.

Comments

  1. A. Noyd says

    It’s called having sex. You choose to have sex, you choose to open the door to having a baby, no matter what kind of birth control you’re on.

    Except that abortions are a thing, so sex does not open the door to having a baby anymore. Except in places where assholes keep women from getting abortions.

    It wasn’t something that men engineered. It’s called science, Amanda. It’s just the way it is, fair or unfair.

    Uh, no. Science is what lets us correct nature’s unfairness. At this point, forbidding abortions is something men engineer. And does this dumbass say the same thing about men having shorter lifespans?

  2. Randomfactor says

    You get in a car, you open the door to being trapped in fiery wreckage. Ban the Jaws of Life and trauma centers.

    You eat solid food, you open the door to choking on a bite. Ban the Heimlich Maneuver.

    Oh, wait. Both of those are also used to help men, too. Better keep them around, then.

  3. Randall M. says

    So every time a lesbian or a gay man has sex, they run the risk of pregnancy? I don’t think Fiano thought this through.

  4. anteprepro says

    The first quote is basically the naturalistic fallacy and calling it Science.

    The second quote is conflating lack of enthusiasm and desire for freedom with bigotry.

    The Fetus Rights Movement, everyone!

    *roaring crescendo of slow claps*

  5. anteprepro says

    Everytime you get in a car, you risk a car accident. Best not have people ready to rescue people from car wreckage, or else those car driving harlots won’t learn their lesson!

  6. Rey Fox says

    Ugh. I hate procreation worshipers. Look, I know that having little dependents around sucking away all your money and free time sucks sometimes, but that’s no reason to take it out on everyone else.

  7. Steve LaBonne says

    Yet another data point to show that controlling others’ sexual behavior is the real motivation behind forced-birtherism. And anyone who genuinely loves children knows that people who don’t want children not having children is a Very Good Thing.

  8. ButchKitties says

    When I consent to sex, I am accepting the risk of a pregnancy, but I am not committing myself to any particular course of action should that risk become reality.

  9. karmacat says

    Hmmm… The envy is strong in this one.. I do wonder what is missing in these people’s lives that they are so focused on what other people are doing.
    Ms. Fiano also is clueless about medicine. Women can get a tubal ligation rather than a hysterectomy

  10. ChasCPeterson says

    Cassy Fiano was outraged that Marcotte rejects the idea of having children.

    No she wasn’t. That, the post title, and the first paragraph of the OP are bullshit strawmanning. Why? There’s enough straightforward pro-life/anti-choice crap in that piece to criticize without making crap up.

  11. says

    Suppose Amanda would have said “I hate Asians. Their slanty eyes and smooched in faces make me want to puke”…or “I hate Blacks. All of them are shiftless, lazy dopers, and we all would be better off if they blew each other away”, we’d recognize the ugliness of her hatred and prejudice. But since it’s against babies and children, that’s another matter. That’s cool, at least for pro-aborts.

    Ms. Fiano, I cheerfully invite you to go fuck yourself in any manner you like. I have never wanted children. I was quite firm on that score when I was one. I do not like babies, in any way, and avoid them. I don’t think they are cute. I don’t think they smell wonderful. They do not make want to squee. I can’t stand the screaming. I don’t much care for children, either. I avoid them, also. If people are happy to have them, I’m happy for them, however, I prefer to not be around their happiness.

    I don’t like the fact that women are expected to have an autocoo response to babies and children. I don’t like the fact that I’m supposed to be willing to have my ear bent over every little thing about baby/toddler/child did or said or didn’t do or say. I don’t like the fact that people like you, Ms. Fiano, are mortally offended that I’m not falling all over about the sproggen. It’s a good thing if parents like their children, that’s how it should be. It’s damned nasty and arrogant of you to expect everyone else to feel the same way.

    I don’t go on screeds about how babies or toddlers or children are lazy or shiftless. I don’t go on screeds delineating specific features of babies or toddlers or children as terrible, bad, or ugly. One great thing about children is that they grow up – that’s a nice feature. Why on earth anyone would expect me, or anyone else who doesn’t care for children to “like them! love them! be around them!” is beyond me. They are better off around people who delight in them, no?

    I have dogs. I wouldn’t dream of insisting that someone who disliked dogs all of a sudden fall in love with them because I happen to have a couple. If someone I know dislikes dogs, I make sure the dogs are kept away from them. Different strokes and all that. And no, I’m not a horrible person to people with children in public, no, I’m not horrible to the children. I do try to avoid them. What puzzles me is why in the fuckety fuck it would matter to you. Seems to me you’re one of those people who equates the worth of a woman with ‘maternal instinct’. You’re free to take that idea and shove it.

  12. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Why the ever-loving fuck would someone want to force a person who isn’t interested in children, who in fact actively dislikes them, to have a fucking child?

    Oh, oh! I know! The world is short on people who’ve had shitty childhoods because their parents resented them, that must be it. Or maybe the net suffering in the world must be sliding to the good so they feel the need to correct it… er, wait…

    The lack of compassion that these people possess never fails to astound me.

    And before someone comes defending the comparison to racism: babies and children do not remain in that state forever, exactly unlike POC.

  13. anteprepro says

    Steve Labonne:

    And anyone who genuinely loves children knows that people who don’t want children not having children is a Very Good Thing.

    Which fits into the Pro-Fetus crowds sudden lack of giving a fuck about children once they are actually breathing and walking around. Their concern, sympathy, and desire for government support ends at birth. After that, fuck yo Big Gubmint handouts and educational system and lunch programs and child abuse laws and all that money-wasting shit.

    “We want a politician inspecting every womb for Fetus Crime, but mark my words, if you spend one of MY fucking dollars on feeding a hungry child, then I will go apeshit!”

  14. anteprepro says

    Chas is just going to continue trying to sneak a post into every abortion thread still, isn’t he? How much lenience from PZ are you banking on? How much plausible deniability do you think you have left now that this is at LEAST the third time you’ve done this?

  15. says

    You choose to have sex, you choose to open the door to having a baby, no matter what kind of birth control you’re on.

    Hence my vasectomy. I’m also very very unfond of babies thanks to some childhood trauma (being stuck in a VW beetle for a day with a 2 year-old, when I was 12) and I guess I stepped out of the human species bus. And – good fucking riddance to humanity anyway.

  16. says

    we’d recognize the ugliness of her hatred and prejudice. But since it’s against babies and children, that’s another matter.

    My despising babies and not wanting one has nothing to do with whether or not you can have one. Knock yourself out!! Just please clean up after it, don’t bring it to a movie theater or restaurant where other paying customers are expecting peace, quiet, and a diaper-free experience – and definitely do not trap me in the back of a VW beetle with it for 12 hours because I’ll abort you both.

  17. says

    Anteprepro:

    Chas is just going to continue trying to sneak a post into every abortion thread still, isn’t he?

    Apparently. It’s past time for him to keep shitting in abortion threads.

  18. Rey Fox says

    And while she sneers about how much she hates babies, most people want and love children. Probably has something to do with not being narcissistic, self-absorbed pro-abortion extremists. You know, or something like that.

  19. says

    Is this one of Silverman’s/Hemant’s secular pro-life arguments? Because it sucks as big a bag of boiled arseholes as the religious ones.

  20. AMM says

    Will no one think of the children (the “issue” from these forced pregnancies and births)?

    There are enough unwanted children in the world already, do we have to add to their numbers by forcing women who already know they don’t want children to have them anyway? I think Ms. Marcotte is doing the world — and her hypothetical never-to-be-born children — a favor by not having children. I call it a righteous act.

    It’s also pretty disgusting to act like the point of fetuses (feti?) and babies is to punish their mothers for the sin of having sex. Talk about disrespecting life (born and unborn)!

  21. says

    Marcus:

    Hence my vasectomy.

    And my happy sterilisation via IUD some 38 years ago. Yay sterility! It’s a wonderful thing for some of us.

  22. says

    #11, ChasCPeterson:

    What? Calling Amanda a pro-abortion femisogynist extremist and a narcissistic, self-absorbed pro-abortion extremist, telling us she has a rabid fanaticism for abortion, and telling her readers it’s easy to get outraged and angry about the vile she spews, don’t be, isn’t a hint that Cassy Fiano is outraged and angry?

    Are you really telliing me that my first paragraph, about Marcotte’s quite overt decision to never have children is strawmanning…who? Amanda wasn’t clear enough for you? Or are you suggesting that the Pew surveys on the frequency of child-free women in the US is wrong?

    Weird. I think it’s very clear that Amanda Marcotte doesn’t want children. That Cassy Fiano despises pro-choice activists. And that quoted paragraph comes right out and says women shouldn’t have sex unless they’re willing to accept the possibility of pregnancy.

  23. Rey Fox says

    Also, I’m sure quoting all three paragraphs of Marcotte’s telling of her True Detective-watching, sex-anywhere-in-the-house-having had nothing to do with horrifying the babby-addled crowd at that web site.

  24. says

    I’m supposed to be willing to have my ear bent over every little thing about baby/toddler/child did or said or didn’t do or say

    I have adopted a policy of telling breeders, “your child bores me. nothing personal. all children bore me.”

  25. AtheistPowerlifter says

    * …clicks on link to Cassy Fiano article…*

    *…realizes should NOT read comments. Reads comments on said article…*

    *…pours triple whiskey on the rocks to try and forget reading of aforementioned comments…*

  26. Pierce R. Butler says

    Pharyngula is truly losing its collective touch.

    More than two dozen comments about babies already – and not a single recipe!?!

  27. says

    Rey:

    Also, I’m sure quoting all three paragraphs of Marcotte’s telling of her True Detective-watching, sex-anywhere-in-the-house-having had nothing to do with horrifying the babby-addled crowd at that web site.

    Well you see, that makes us childfree wimmin nothing but slutty mcslut sluts! Really, free time and being able to stop, drop and sex whenever and wherever you want? Tsk.

  28. anteprepro says

    Ingdigo Jump:

    Chas your knee jerk contrarian streak has reached self parodying levels

    Nuh uh! #Svas

  29. says

    Marcus:

    I have adopted a policy of telling breeders, “your child bores me. nothing personal. all children bore me.”

    On more than one occasion, I’ve headed that off by saying “I know this will, at some point involve shit. If that happens, I’ll vomit. Please don’t do that.” Got more than a few shocked faces.

    ***

    @AmandaMarcotte don’t have sex if you don’t want a baby! There’s the real choice!

    Nope, there are more than two choices now! Haven’t you heard? This is the 21st century. I’m sterile – I can sex all I like with no worries. Been doing that for decades.

  30. says

    You know, I’m not Amanda Marcotte. My wife and I both wanted our kids, were happy to have them, and to be honest, I kind of miss them even now. Someday I’m going to die, and if it’s at all leisurely and I’m not too busy screaming and clawing, my last thoughts are going to be of my family, the most important thing in my life.

    But I don’t expect others to feel the same way. If someone wants nothing to do with children, they should have the right to avoid them altogether…and no one gets to punish them for being unmaternal or unpaternal by depriving them of love and sex.

  31. says

    PZ:

    my last thoughts are going to be of my family

    So will mine, PZ. In my case, it will the family I married and the family I made, given that I didn’t have a decent one as a child. That’s the thing – we all have family, and that may or may not include children of your own, or those related to you.

  32. says

    Oh, and Chas, this is the last word. Look at the top of the article. Right under the title is a list of categories. If you see “abortion” there, stay out of it. You clearly can’t handle the subject, for some irrational reason.

  33. Rey Fox says

    As far as “narcissistic and self-absorbed” is concerned, pretty much every reason I’ve ever heard for having children is rooted in some form of self-aggrandizement.

  34. says

    #37, Rey Fox:

    Let’s not go that far in the other direction. Some people really, really love children. They can even do so selflessly. Your problem may be that you’re asking for a reason, which is often heard as a request for a justification.

    Sometimes there isn’t one. We don’t necessarily love because we want something.

  35. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    …most people want and love children.

    I love my child. Most other children I can tolerate for short periods of time. Having a child doesn’t mean you have full child-tolerance or Disney princess levels of happy from being around children. All it means is you have a child.

    ================
    23
    Inaji

    Hence my vasectomy.

    And my happy sterilisation via IUD some 38 years ago. Yay sterility! It’s a wonderful thing for some of us.

    *crosses fingers* I hope mine causes sterility too.

    I wonder if forced birthers would be okay with that for me since I’ve done my breeding, want to force more on me since I’m needed in the “War against Brown People” or want me put down for making a “mut”. I’ve had all three of those lobbed at me, often simultaneously. Fuck them all.

  36. says

    Oh, blarghl, this again?

    I’m a woman who has always wanted children. I was fortunate enough to meet a man who wanted the same. We had two. I love them dearly, and they were adorable babies then and awesome adults now. But still, there were times when I wanted to give the little wretches away and times when I resented being stuck at home, not able to drop everything and go on a spontaneous adventure.

    So I can empathize with anyone who doesn’t want kids, and I fully support your right to live your own life on your own terms.

    I hope that makes sense.

  37. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    #38 PZ

    Let’s not go that far in the other direction.

    Thank you PZ. I tread very lightly on this issue because I realise I’m in the privileged majority. Well, that and because I once having had my ass handed to me for my thoughtlessness about it. But I also don’t want to be demonised for enjoying the company of children. /derail

  38. says

    FossilFishy:

    But I also don’t want to be demonised for enjoying the company of children.

    As I said in #12, If people are happy to have them, I’m happy for them, however, I prefer to not be around their happiness. :D

  39. Onamission5 says

    I’d love to see where she got her stats for the claim that most people love children. It’s been my experience that most people barely tolerate children– even their own– don’t understand them in the least, prefer not to try to understand them, and treat them like they are not real people with valid reasoning, perspective, or emotions, but like show/trick ponies or like future (or current) delinquents. It’s my experience that most people hate children, or at least, treat them like they hate them, considering how common spanking, invalidation, and other abuse is under the guise of discipline.

    But the forced birthers would gloss all of that over because babies R cute so we need more of them born unwanted and un cherished. Every child a wanted child? Pshaw. Character building, that’s what kids need, what doesn’t kill ‘em makes ‘em stronger and all that happy horseshit.

  40. says

    Onamission5:

    I’d love to see where she got her stats for the claim that most people love children.

    She’s doing what a lot of people do – conflating the fact that most people have children with most people love children.

  41. anuran says

    If you don’t want kids, don’t have kids. It’s not like we’re running out.
    If you do want kids, I hope you have healthy, happy ones.
    Don’t be surprised if the decision you make (either way) at 18 is not the same one you would at 28.

    What else is there to say?

  42. anteprepro says

    Onamission:

    I’d love to see where she got her stats for the claim that most people love children. It’s been my experience that most people barely tolerate children– even their own– don’t understand them in the least, prefer not to try to understand them, and treat them like they are not real people with valid reasoning, perspective, or emotions, but like show/trick ponies or like future (or current) delinquents. It’s my experience that most people hate children, or at least, treat them like they hate them, considering how common spanking, invalidation, and other abuse is under the guise of discipline.

    Exactly. And the thing is, the people who hate kids but still have them do it because they feel socially obligated, exactly because of people like those that PZ quotes. What would be nice is if we let the people who don’t like kids be honest with themselves and others. It’s best for the parents and especially for the kids . But that coming to that conclusion and actually doing things to obtain the goals they claim to have would require them to love their fellow humans as much or more than they love claiming to be socially superior due to having The Correct Lifestyle and Attitudes. And that is not going to happen.

  43. Seth says

    From now on, whenever I meet a pro-lifer, I’m going to ask them why they haven’t donated a kidney and/or a lung and/or half of their liver and/or an eye and/or their bone marrow and/or major portions of their skin. After all, if human life is so precious, isn’t it their duty to save a fully-developed human’s life, even at their own inconvenience and suffering?

    And if they’re not willing to do that, they shouldn’t be willing to volunteer a woman to do so against her will, either.

  44. Onamission5 says

    @Inaji #44: Indeed.

    Adding to my above, you know, my sister is child free and I am um, with child, no that’s definitely not right… I am a parent, and neither of us can seem to escape incessant judgment, condemnation, and just sheer fucking nosiness for our reproductive choices. She’s somehow supposedly selfish for not bearing offspring and I am guess what! Also selfish. She’s missing out on life, and I am, oh lookie there, also missing out on life. She’s put her career and self sufficiency ahead of family and I am putting family ahead of being successful or self sufficient, and neither of those are apparently acceptable options. She got an abortion so she’s a monster but I was a teenaged mom so, yay, also a monster. I get men leering while they comment on whether I have “figured out what causes that yet,” and she gets men who treat her like her only function is for sex, since she’s not marriage material. Why, it’s almost like this is a game women can’t win or something, the whole deciding for ourselves if we’re going to procreate or not.

  45. says

    I like kids. I love my two nephews so much and couldn’t imagine not having them in my life. I still don’t want kids and I’m incredibly happy that science has given me my IUD so I can still have a sex life without becoming pregnant.

    On top of the fact I just have no desire for a child or maternal instincts I know very well that having a child would be disastrous for me and the kid. I have Aspergers and a big part of that for me is issues with sensory overload, a crying baby doesn’t make me want to sooth it. Instead I end up with my hands over my ears rocking trying not to completely meltdown. I couldn’t cope with my nephews for 20 minutes when they were infants, the oldest is 4 now and I can handle spending a few hours with him (and we have fun together) but that’s my limit before my brother or sister-in-law really need to take him back before I end up a complete wreck. Now I’m not saying no one with Aspergers should have kids, plenty do and are good parents, but the way it is for me makes kids a bad idea.

  46. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    No worries Inaji, I respect that. Honesty: who woulda thunk it would make everyone’s lives better?

    Hell, Ms Fishy and I even pay attention when we’re out sprog-free. If our talk drifts to cute kid stories and folks aren’t digging it we shut the fuck up, shut each other up even. Just like we would about any subject that doesn’t hold a common enough interest.

  47. seranvali says

    I was under the impression that science made it possible for us not to have children unless we so desired. Contraceptives are usually pretty effective and if they fail us we have the option of Plan B or abortion, another wonder of medical science. What science does Tell us is that we don’t have to be pregnant if we don’t want to be, that we can have have or not have children as we choose.

    Also…there are a very significant number of women who’s health can be seriously compromised or can die if they try to bear and birth children (myself for example). To me it seems a tad harsh to tell us that we can never have a sexual relationship because Ms Fiano’s warped view of “science” proclaims that having sex means that you accept the possibility/probability of dying (yes, this is a highly personal issue for me and I don’t appreciate other people telling me what I should do on such an occasion).

    Amanda’s preferences are Amanda’s preferences and if she doesn’t like or want kids of her own that’s her business and nobody else’s and Ms Fiano really needs to stfu about it.

  48. seranvali says

    Just re-read, typos everywhere. This is what happens when I post angry. I apologize.

  49. gog says

    @seranvali:

    That’s because at its core, the “pro-life” set cares more about imposing their sexual morality than they do about the individual circumstances because Jesus. Why secular pro-life groups have sanctified the act of sexual intercourse, and have declared that engaging in it is acknowledgement and consent to the risk of (and attendant risks of) pregnancy… well, I don’t know. The religion can be taken out of the argument, but the woefully mistaken view of sexuality can’t be, I guess.

  50. screechymonkey says

    For the religious right, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are features, not bugs.

    They think sex is inherently bad, but they know that this argument doesn’t work outside their tribe any more — hence the way they get all indignant if you dare to call them prudes — so they focus on the risks involved. You know, the kind of secular argument that Silverman and the Friendly Douchebag approve of. Of course, if anyone proposes anything that would reduce those risks, like comprehensive sex education or HPV vaccine, they’re opposed because such things might encourage people to have sex. Which is bad because of those risks. Which we can’t mitigate because it would encourage sex. Which is bad because….

  51. says

    Y’know, there’s another thing about Ms. Fiano’s screed – it’s ‘the woman’ this, the ‘woman that’, as if women get pregnant simply by consenting to sex without actually having it, as far as men figuring into things. There’s never one of these screeds aimed at men, running about being Slutty McSlut Sluts, who are, of course, automagically consenting to raising a child because they dared to have sex, and it’s only natural they suffer the consequence!

  52. Snoof says

    For the religious right, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are features, not bugs.

    What really pisses me off is when people who aren’t raging authoritarians end up mouthing the religious right’s talking points.

    It’s often because they haven’t thought very hard about the issue and they’re looking for justifications for their own emotional revulsion at the thought of abortion (which is often caused or reinforced by the right’s “KILLING BABIES” propaganda) but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to deal with.

  53. Greta Christina says

    Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

    Here’s a scenario. Everyone on the planet is required to sign up for an organ donor registry. If someone is in need of an organ donation, and you fit the bill, you are considered both legally and morally required to donate — at considerable risk to your own healthy, safety, and even life.

    Now here’s another scenario: Everyone on the planet is required to sign up for an organ donor registry — but only if they have sex. Having sex puts you on that registry. (Actually, what puts you on that organ donor registry is having penis-in-vagina intercourse: gay men and lesbians, kinksters who indulge in all kinds of sexual playtime but never have PIV intercourse, people who just prefer oral sex… none of them get on the registry.)

    Seriously?

  54. scarr says

    Nothing wrong with not wanting kids, or abortion, or sex. Of course. But please, let’s stop with the lecturing from the child-less….you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Remember, we’ve all been there…childless. Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually. We’ve all been in that point in life where we ‘don’t ever want kids'; ‘hate babies’ blah blah blah. Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before. This has happened billions of times over in history…there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.
    So go ahead, have a happy life without kids (and watch True Detective whenever you want!) but you convince NOBODY who has kids about your choice (assuming you have one).

  55. MadHatter says

    Odd scarr, the screed being referenced was aimed at women who are choosing to be child-less. We get lectured at quite a bit especially by forced-birthers, and as another poster already mentioned, we get lectured on our choice whether we have children or not.

    In fact what that screed and others like it are aiming for, is to force us to birth kids we may not want and shame us while doing it. It is aiming to force women who already have kids to birth more even. So now that you’ve also lectured us on our choice perhaps you could note that our choice is the one under attack?

    And for the record, I know plenty of people who regretted birthing a child. Generally it was because they felt (or actually were) forced to carry a pregnancy they did not want or plan. But society frowns on any (women esp) admission to that effect so they will say so only quietly.

  56. seranvali says

    @ gog:

    I think you’re right. I find fundamentalist sexual mores to be really weird, especially since their founder was rather (by the standards of the time and place) soft on a particular sexual miscreant, who would have been stoned to death without his intercession.

    My feeling is that it’s about controlling women, not just the women of their own persuasion but all women. What better way to do that than control her sexuality? Without access to contraception and abortion we’d be spending our entire reproductive life bearing and raising children. That’s fine if that’s what individual women want to do but most of us want to do other things in addition to or instead of child rearing. It would also make us financially dependent, with makes us even easier to control.

    If they see sex as a ‘sin’ (but apparently only if you’re a women) then pregnancy and child raising can be seen as punishment and this seems to extend itself even to ‘respectable’ married women (such as myself). If something goes wrong with a pregnancy…well, she made the choice to have sex and so she has to accept all possible results of that activity.

    In my case we had a rather odd congregation. The older members were extremely politically and spiritually liberal and constantly arguing with the younger and teenage members because they were extremely conservative and evangelical (they were also their own children, so their differences caused endless family rows). When my problem showed up the older members were very supportive. Both my death and the death of the fetus were a foregone conclusion if I attempted to continue with the pregnancy and they made their position very clear: why the hell did I feel the need to ask for permission? And would I like someone to come with me and hold my hand? Was my husband able to take time off from work to do any necessary nursing? And would I like a few casseroles?

    The younger members thought I should “pray for a miracle”, “Leave the matter with God” and some came out with “well, I’d made a choice” and would have to live (or in this case, die) with it. Oh, and let’s not forget: “If God wanted me to die then I should just be like Mary and submit to his will”.

    Things got very nasty in the ensuing row and The congregation split over it, my husband and I left and never returned, although I still have some close friendships with the older members.

    I’m sorry if this is a bit TLDR but as I said, even decades later, I’m still very angry and don’t often talk about it.

  57. MadHatter says

    Erf…I meant to say it’s “choice” that’s under attack. Not just the choice to not have children.

  58. Greta Christina says

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually. We’ve all been in that point in life where we ‘don’t ever want kids’; ‘hate babies’ blah blah blah. Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before. This has happened billions of times over in history…there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.

    MadHatter @ #59: Let’s be honest here. There is ENORMOUS pressure on parents to not admit to having any regrets about having had children. I can understand why: it would suck a whole lot to grow up knowing that either or both of your parents regretted having you. But that pressure exists, and it is huge, and it takes a toll. It’s extremely hard to admit even to yourself. The narrative that “of course you’ll change your mind when the kids actually appear” is a powerful one, and very few people are willing to openly admit that it didn’t work out that way for them.

    Try this instead: Next thing you know, you have kids, and it’s one of the few decisions you will make in your life that you can never take back, and you feel like you can’t say a damn thing about how your life has changed for the worse. I have no idea how many times this has happened in history. There’s a reason we hardly ever hear of of regrets about having kids. If you even hint at it, you will be shamed and shunned.

  59. mjgoold says

    I’m asexual and I’m also a staunch conservative.

    As an asexual, I think sex is disgusting and unpleasant, and I certainly can’t stand babies.

    As a conservative, I believe that my personal preferences are human universals and/or moral imperatives.

    Therefore, no one should have sex at ALL, for any reason, and thus no one should ever have babies.

    So there.

  60. mjgoold says

    Amanda Marcotte:

    I don’t want a baby. I’ve heard your pro-baby arguments. Glad those work for you, but they are unconvincing to me. Nothing will make me want a baby.

    PZ Myers:

    My wife and I both wanted our kids, were happy to have them, and to be honest, I kind of miss them even now.

    Wait a minute. One pro-choicer hates kids and another pro-choicer is happy to have had them? But that’s hypocritical! The pro-choice movement is fractured and inconsistent! Their beliefs are incoherent!

    …OOOOHHHHH, wait, THAT’S what they mean by “pro-choice.” Hm. I never realized that before.

    I’ll have to think about this for a little while. The concepts of personal autonomy and individual freedom are foreign and scary.

  61. says

    I love kids.
    THAT is the reason I decided decades ago that I would never have one. I love kids enough that my standard for who should be their parent excludes me. They deserve better.

    Not that it turns out that I needed to have made that choice.
    These people don’t sound like they love kids. If they did they’d care where the kids ended up.

    They sound like they have a pregnancy fetish.

  62. screechymonkey says

    scarr@58:

    there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them

    Oooohhh, oooohhh, Mr. Kotter, I know!!!!

    It’s because assholes like scarr will guilt and shame any parent who dares to admit to any regrets.

    Even women who got pregnant at the age of 13 feel obligated to say that no, they don’t “regret” giving birth that young because of course they wouldn’t trade their darling daughter for anything, but no, now that you mention it, they really really hope that she doesn’t also have a child that young. But no, they don’t regret it.

    Ditto for people who were in awful, horrible, abusive marriages that produced children. “Yes, I endured ten years of abuse and misery with him that I wouldn’t wish on my own worst enemy, but our marriage did produce a child I love, so I can’t say I regret it, or else you’ll call me a horrible mother”

    We’re really awkward about admitting any regrets that carry the implication that someone we care about wouldn’t have been born.

    I don’t think that those kinds of regrets are common — I tend to take people at their word when they say they’re happy they had children. But I don’t expect them to admit it if it were otherwise.

  63. jefrir says

    Scarr, no. 58

    Nothing wrong with not wanting kids, or abortion, or sex. Of course. But please, let’s stop with the lecturing from the child-less….you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Remember, we’ve all been there…childless. Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually. We’ve all been in that point in life where we ‘don’t ever want kids’; ‘hate babies’ blah blah blah. Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before. This has happened billions of times over in history…there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.

    1. Plenty of people regret having children.
    2. Plenty of people never “hate babies” – I certainly never have.
    It sounds like you are projecting your own feelings onto everyone else.

    So go ahead, have a happy life without kids (and watch True Detective whenever you want!) but you convince NOBODY who has kids about your choice (assuming you have one).

    What do you mean by “convince”? No-one is trying to convince people with children that that was a bad choice. Instead, we are saying that the choice to have children or not is the business of that person only, and that either choice is a valid one.

  64. barnestormer says

    @43:

    I’d love to see where she got her stats for the claim that most people love children. It’s been my experience that most people barely tolerate children– even their own– don’t understand them in the least, prefer not to try to understand them, and treat them like they are not real people with valid reasoning, perspective, or emotions, but like show/trick ponies or like future (or current) delinquents.

    This is unfortunate, but true. Maybe not most, but certainly a lot of people. I’m a childfree person who likes babies and children, and the number of people who casually belittle their kids to me in front of them, for example, is staggering, and depressing.

    @58
    Unfortunately, that isn’t true. As other people have said, there’s huge cultural pressure against admitting that you regret having children. But many, many people do, just as many people regret any major life decision. Childbirth isn’t a magical transformation that replaces one self with a new, regret-proof self, and love isn’t always uncomplicated. And regretting your children is easy enough to deny, but not so easy to hide. Children know things about their parents it takes a lifetime to name. Being sentimental about children and parenthood is a kind of cruelty.

  65. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually.

    Great. That means it’s perfectly possible to abuse/neglect/mistreat/straight up murder a child while not regretting having it. I’m sure the victims find it a great consolation.
    …the other option is that you stuff all of the inconvenient outliers into “virtually NOBODY”, as well as ignore the people who admit their regrets sotto voce, to make your case.

    Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before. This has happened billions of times over in history

    Does being a parent also automatically turn you into one of those “not wanting children is selfish” assholes?

    …there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.

    Here’s a suggestion: declare openly that you regret having children and see what happens. If the only reason for not saying so is that it isn’t true, you shouldn’t have a problem doing so for the sake of an experiment, right?

  66. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    But please, let’s stop with the lecturing from the child-less….you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Remember, we’ve all been there…childless. Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually. We’ve all been in that point in life where we ‘don’t ever want kids’; ‘hate babies’ blah blah blah. Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before. This has happened billions of times over in history…there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.
    So go ahead, have a happy life without kids (and watch True Detective whenever you want!) but you convince NOBODY who has kids about your choice (assuming you have one).

    I had a child at 19 because a partner I trusted went off birth control and lied about it. She curled up inside her myriad diagnoses and traumas, and then the bottle, and wouldn’t come out. Our daughter was born with a serious disability that we weren’t remotely equipped to care for, and the result was that I’d had to depend for my entire adult life on assistance from my mother whose refusal to treat her anxiety or her general learned bitterness makes our relationship fairly toxic most of the time. I lost basically any semblance of a life or even an identity taking care of my daughter and her mother for nearly seven years of “sorry, I can’t help, I have a meeting to go to” and “I’m todully shober I promish” and “MOMMA ALL DONE BOTTLES” and straight-up meltdowns before we caught her mother driving drunk with her in the car and I took over all the parenting, for the four months it took for her to move out with another man and withdraw the entire balance of our daughter’s college savings account for her own use, and yet, bolstered by fuzzy-minded shit-for-brains like yourself, she takes great pleasure in pretending that the fact that I originally suggested an abortion somehow means I love our daughter less than she does (her drunken rants about how she should have had one in front of four year old daughter because her disabilities are SO HARD TO DEAL WITH notwithstanding).

    I love my daughter, but I absolutely fucking do regret having a kid when and how I did. And yes, I’ve repeatedly assured people otherwise, because the reasons people cited. So fuck you, you shallow, simpering, waste of skin. How dare you presume to speak for me.

    How.

    Fucking.

    Dare.

    YOU.

  67. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Yes, I endured ten years of abuse and misery with him that I wouldn’t wish on my own worst enemy, but our marriage did produce a child I love, so I can’t say I regret it, or else you’ll call me a horrible mother

    Must this ALWAYS be the narrative?

  68. jasmyn says

    @Scarr:
    Just in the small selection of people I’ve met some moving across the country, four people have admitted to me that they regret having children. They only revealed this to me after finding out that I’m child free. Of the four, three were significantly older, and their children has already moved out. Two of them said since their children had left, they realized how much freedom and money they didn’t have years. Yes, they loved their kids, but were honest enough to say that if they could do it all again, they wouldn’t make that same decision.
    Not everyone regrets it, but it’s more people than you would think. They just don’t open up about it because of the judgement that it can bring.

  69. kittehserf says

    Onamission @43:

    I’d love to see where she got her stats for the claim that most people love children. It’s been my experience that most people barely tolerate children– even their own– don’t understand them in the least, prefer not to try to understand them, and treat them like they are not real people with valid reasoning, perspective, or emotions, but like show/trick ponies or like future (or current) delinquents.

    Very well said. I’m almost in that category; I neither like nor understand children, and don’t want to be in their company at all. Babies leave me unmoved, except for the bit about moving out of the way in case they vomit. The difference is that I know I feel that way and have been lucky enough not to cop the pressure to have one (though as a single woman I don’t think I’d have had that anyway). I’ve known since childhood that I didn’t ever want children and nothing’s changed in forty-odd years.

    Inanji @ 12 – ::cheers:: ::applause::

    You speak for me there, every word. Just substitute “cats” for “dogs”.

    My response to the occasional idiots I encountered in my fertile days who did the “but don’t you want a baybeeee” thing was always “The child I have will be the next king of France or I won’t have it.” It confused them completely and they’d shut up. :)

    Generally: imagine how the forced-birther dudes would react if women did stop having sex if we didn’t want to breed. There’d be exploding boners all over the place.

  70. carlie says

    Onamission5 @48:

    She got an abortion so she’s a monster but I was a teenaged mom so, yay, also a monster. I get men leering while they comment on whether I have “figured out what causes that yet,” and she gets men who treat her like her only function is for sex, since she’s not marriage material. Why, it’s almost like this is a game women can’t win or something, the whole deciding for ourselves if we’re going to procreate or not.

    Quoted for the most truth of all the motherfucking truths.

  71. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m a childfree person who likes babies and children, and the number of people who casually belittle their kids to me in front of them, for example, is staggering, and depressing.

    Try interviewing them about their child’s difficulties at school. Fortunately our procedure was always to separate the family for the actual testing, and we were able to reassure some poor put upon kids that they really were normal, they weren’t lazy or stupid, and they could learn the stuff they’d missed out on so far without too much trouble and with a fair amount of fun.

    Trying to get the parent/s to shut up or even to change their tone, let alone their tune, was an uphill struggle.

  72. Louis says

    My fellow Pharyngulanians, I have composed a letter explaining this issue for all of you. As I am a Man ™ with Testicles ™ you can rest assured that my opinion is Authoritative ™ and above all True And Binding For All Eternity.

    “Dear Sluts,

    If you dare to have the dirty, dirty Secks with Pure Unadulterated Men by using your Feminine Wiles ™ to seduce them away from their proper activities, then you must be punished by Baybeez ™ To not be punished by Baybeez ™ is Unnatural and Wrong ™ and would cause the Downfall of Civilisation As We Know It and the Shrivelling of Willies Everywhere. This would result in Lamentation and Hurt Man FeeFees (IMPORTANT!).

    You have been told.

    From this point forward, please cross your legs at all times and make sure to titter prettily at men and not have the dirty, dirty Secks.

    Also, if you don’t want Baybeez ™ you are weird, possibly Of Teh Ghey (Which Makes The Baby Jesus Cry) and/or a Feminismisterisator. This is also Bad because it means you do not Know Your Place ™. NORTY SLUTS! No using your Pink Fluffy Lady Brainz or Thinking Uterusessess in an Inappropriate Manner.

    Now go back to doing What You Are Told and make sure not to have the dirty, dirty Secks until a man tells you to. Whereupon your views don’t matter anyway. You can then Has Baybeez as is Right and Proper because a Man Says So. Oh and by the way, should said Man abandon you and Teh Baybeez, that is his right and you have no claim on his Holy Wallet ™ because that is His and Hands Off The Precious, Nasssty Bitcheses*.

    Love from Men with Real Authority.”

    There now. Doesn’t everyone feel better knowing their role, their place and just what they have to do? No, no. There’s no need to rush and thank me, it’s a public service I provide. I do it ‘cos I am like well noble and shit. No really. I have a certificate.

    It’s nothing at all to do with the incoherent, bigoted, retrograde views of the anti-woman brigade being mockable bollocks. That’s right out. Obviously. Goes without saying.

    Louis

    * The more I encounter misogynists and MRAs and sundry fulminating, effectively anti-woman folk, the more I hear their “voice” as being that of Gollum from LotR. I realise that’s probably a bad thing, but it keeps happening.

  73. azhael says

    @75 mildlymagnificent

    Try interviewing them about their child’s difficulties at school. Fortunately our procedure was always to separate the family for the actual testing, and we were able to reassure some poor put upon kids that they really were normal, they weren’t lazy or stupid, and they could learn the stuff they’d missed out on so far without too much trouble and with a fair amount of fun.

    Trying to get the parent/s to shut up or even to change their tone, let alone their tune, was an uphill struggle.

    Both my parents were teachers in my school and aside from all the stories i heard, i remember this one time when i had to wait in my mother´s office until she finished and i quietly sat on a corner, painting while she attended families for exactly what you described. It was horrible…they were of course there to discuss the fact that the children were having trouble wether with interpersonal relationships with other children, or with reaching academic goals and words like “brute” and “stupid” were flung around with no reservations. The worst was the family of a girl in my own year (different class). She was a good student but was shy and hand´t really made any friends in the few months she had been at the school. Her parents humilliated her for it, there is no other way to put it, while my mother struggled to prevent the scene. After that i could really see that humilliation in her when we crossed paths.

    One of my friends became a teacher a year ago and he already has plenty of horror stories of his own about dealing with those scenarios…that shit happens in every school, in every year, in every class.

  74. borax says

    When I was 23 I got the old snippy snip because I knew that I didn’t want children. The responses I’ve gotten from this were almost always positive. I was told that decision was very responsible. The other thing I often heard, always from women, was “how did you get the doctor to perform the procedure?” That’s when I learned that many OB-GYNs will not give a woman a tubal unless the have had kids. I know several women who didn’t want children and were still denied a legal medical procedure because (according to the Dr) they would regret the decision. What a sexist double standard that is. All my urologist said was that he thought I may be making a mistake, but that there were already enough people in this world and I should come in next week for the vasectomy.

  75. carlie says

    I love being a mother. I always wanted to be one, and I’ve always loved being around kids. I did nursery duty at church, and elementary Sunday school, and summer programs, and group babysitting, all through my teen and young adulthood. When I did have my kids, it was after a couple of years of my body and brain being in overdrive, every cell screaming “baby now baby now baby now”. My children are the light of my life. I adore being their mom more than anything else I’ve done in the world. I have loved every age and every stage more than the last, I am so proud when I look at them, and I can’t wait for every new opportunity to be involved in their lives as they learn and grow.

    And having them ripped my world apart. I was worried and anxious all the time when they were little. I developed a clinical depression for a couple of years. I gained 90 pounds that I still have. I didn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time for over 4 years. I spent a few years then and after being bitter and upset, feeling like nothing was mine, no time was mine, that I could never have anything I wanted, every morning being completely worn out by the time I got to work and barely able to force myself out of the car, feeling trapped by my life and my responsibilities. My husband took the brunt of my discontent, and it would have ruined us if he hadn’t been such a dependable rock of stability through it all. It took me well over a decade to get to the point where I feel like life in general is ok again. And that was as a person who wanted and loved and adored my children every minute of the way. That was as a person whose identity is wrapped up in how much I love being not just a mom, but their mom.

    I can’t imagine going through parenting without that base of desire. I think about what I went through and I can’t even stomach the thought of what that would have been like if I had wanted to be a parent even a tiny bit less than I did. Parenting is fucking hard. It’s fucking hard when it’s exactly what you want to do. It’s fucking hard when your children are perfect little angels of brilliance and good temper, never even mind all the curveballs that can be thrown at you regarding your children’s various needs. It’s not something anyone should have to do if they don’t want to, and there is zero reason to think that everyone should want to.

  76. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Late to the party, but I have so many issues with what this moron said that I really need to get this off my chest:

    @scarr #58

    Nothing wrong with not wanting kids, or abortion, or sex.

    The rest of your post proves that this is not actually your opinion at all.

    Of course. But please, let’s stop with the lecturing from the child-less….you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    I leave this in there mainly so you can read it back to yourself and hopefully realise how fucking patronising you’re being. Who’s lecturing? Quotes, please. And why do they not know what they’re talking about?

    Remember, we’ve all been there…childless.

    Which is obviously not the same thing as not wanting children. I am currently childless, I probably want kids one day, but I sure as fuck don’t want them now. That’s nothing like not wanting them ever, and it’s nothing like wanting them now. The fact that everyone has at one point been childless has no bearing on their opinion regarding children, and the fact you were once childless but wanted kids gives you absolutely no insight whatsoever into the mind of those who don’t want children ever.

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually.

    Then explain adoptions, smartarse.

    We’ve all been in that point in life where we ‘don’t ever want kids’; ‘hate babies’ blah blah blah.

    I have never been at that point. I just don’t want them now. That’s really a very common position.

    Next thing you know you have kids and you can’t imagine how you ever had such small selfish thoughts before.

    Not wanting kids is “small and selfish”? Oh, fuck you.

    This [the above quote] has happened billions of times over in history

    Well duh, but what exactly do you think that proves? The fact it’s happened billions of times in no way means that it happens to everyone; or even, given the number of people that have existed since humanity came into existence, that it happens to a majority of people.

    …there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.

    That reason being that our culture teaches people that women ought to want to be mothers, producing a situation where women who don’t want to be mothers are shamed by pointless little wankstains like you, so most women in that situation choose to keep quiet about it. Men too, since though they are not shamed in the same way women are they still get funny looks if they admit they don’t ever want kids.

    So go ahead, have a happy life without kids (and watch True Detective whenever you want!) but you convince NOBODY who has kids about your choice (assuming you have one).

    You appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that the people here who do not want children are attempting to persuade those who do want children not to have them… where the fuck did you get that idea? I’d be really interested to see some quotes which gave you this impression, because I’m genuinely confused about how you arrived there.

    Of course that’s the more charitable reading of that sentence. The alternative reading is that you believe their choice to be immoral, and see their words as an attempt to convince those with children that the childless are not immoral. In which case there’s nothing left to say other than a gigantic “Fuck you”, really.

  77. opposablethumbs says

    Parenting is fucking hard. It’s fucking hard when it’s exactly what you want to do. It’s fucking hard when your children are perfect little angels of brilliance and good temper, never even mind all the curveballs that can be thrown at you regarding your children’s various needs. It’s not something anyone should have to do if they don’t want to, and there is zero reason to think that everyone should want to.

    QFFT.

    And this is why there are so very, very many unhappy/misparented/neglected/belittled/bullied/abused/misunderstood kids in the world; parenting is bloody difficult even when you want to do it, and it would be a fucking nightmare if you didn’t really want to but had kids because it was expected of you or you were bullied into it by idiots like Fiano and scarr. There is no let-up. It’s 24/7, literally, and especially at first. And it is perfectly possible even to have kids and love them and think they’re pretty great and do your best for them AND be fully aware that overall it would have been better if you hadn’t.

    People who want everyone to have kids have a callous disregard for the welfare of actual kids

  78. says

    I really like children in general.
    I do. That’s why I have two children, that’s why I chose to become a teacher.
    And here’s the thing: I like children for reasons. While they are no more a uniform group than “men” or “women”, they still share some characteristics which I find appealing. They have their own ways of thinking, of exploring the world, of challenging everything. And they grow and change and understand and I truely like helping them with that process.
    This is why I enjoy spending time with them. It’s not because I have some weird genes that make sure my body produces some brain addling drugs whenever I see kids.
    I would think that it’s totally possible to dislike children for the very same reasons.
    And I always applaud and am grateful for every person who makes the ethical and moral choice not to have children because they don’t think they would make good parents.
    Because, did I mention that I like children?
    I hate it when their parents fuck them up because they’re not actually qualified for that job.

    scarr
    Well, I know quite a lot of people who wish that their parents had never had them. That shoudl tell you something about the suitability of people to parent.

    +++

    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? last time I looked the risk of pregnancy only happened to a rather limited group of people

  79. carlie says

    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? last time I looked the risk of pregnancy only happened to a rather limited group of people

    Heh. Nice catch.

  80. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Giliell


    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? last time I looked the risk of pregnancy only happened to a rather limited group of people

    I too noticed that she conflated “people” and “women” for the purposes of her argument. Pregnancy does not happen to “people”, it happens to “people who are also women”.

  81. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Giliell #81

    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? last time I looked the risk of pregnancy only happened to a rather limited group of people

    I read it more like “Every time a manperson has sex, there is the possibility that the femalethey will get pregnant.

    *koff*

  82. Louis says

    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    [Sings]Not the way I’m doing it![/Sings]

    Louis

  83. doublereed says

    While it is clearly controlling women’s sexuality, it’s just a insulting sex in general. Why do people hate sex? Why does this kind of argument appeal to people?

    Why bother arguing when the saying “well actually I kind of like sex” is a perfectly valid counterargument?

  84. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    #58 scarr

    So go ahead, have a happy life without kids (and watch True Detective whenever you want!) but you convince NOBODY who has kids about your choice (assuming you have one).

    Really? Hmmmmm, let me think about that…. Nope. You’d be wrong. **

    A little personal history:

    I loathed children as a young man, more than once I used the phrases: “Get that thing away from me.” and “They’re all the same at that age, call me when it starts being a real human being.” I broke up with the first big love of my life in part over the issue of having a child. Why the hell I didn’t get a vasectomy is a question that I’ve only recently answered*, but that’s another issue.

    I now have a six year old daughter, she is the very bedrock of my life. I love her in a way that changed me profoundly, and she transformed my attitudes towards kids. I really enjoy their company now, I find them endlessly fascinating. Hell, I’ve been known take my daughter and some of her friends out to dinner sans any kind of distracting props. The first time I did it Ms. Fishy and another mother were dumbfounded. “What did you do?” They asked. They seemed skeptical when I said that I just talked to them, like that couldn’t have been enough to keep them from running amok.

    Are you getting this? I’m exactly the kind of person you are refering to. And do you know what? Despite that I’m completely convinced by people who’ve chosen to be child-free. I don’t for a second think that my choices are the only right ones. Nor do I think my experience, profoundly altering though it was, is some kind of universal truth.

    In short: I am NOBODY.

    And considering the alternative you present, I’m proud to be such.

    *privilege of course.

    **Working very hard to adhere to the three post rule. I’ve now typed and deleted the words “ignorance” and ” arrogance” a bunch of times at various points in writing this.

  85. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    scarr @ 58

    This has happened billions of times over in history…there’s a reason you hardly ever hear of regrets about having them.

    Here. I’ll give you my daily quota from my mother:

    “I shouldn’t have had children.”

    “It was wrong of me to bring new people into the world.”

    “If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have had children.”

    “I love my grandchildren, but I wish none of my children had reproduced. It’s just going to cause more suffering.”

    “Please don’t have children. Don’t ruin your life. Don’t make new people to suffer.”

    “I love you and love being able to know you, but I wish I hadn’t made this life for you.”

    Every day, as far back as I can remember. I imagine there are many more parents who feel similarly and fear judgment enough to not say such things. My mother would have been a vastly happier person if she had never had children.

    If someone doesn’t want children: Don’t have them. It’s OK. Don’t make a person you don’t want because you figure, hell, I hardly ever hear regrets over this!

  86. Louis says

    Why bother arguing when the saying “well actually I kind of like sex” is a perfectly valid counterargument?

    Oh I agree. I’m a big fan of the sex. Oh yes. Big fan. Now if I could only remember…

    ;-)

    Louis

  87. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fucking hell MM, what a shitty thing to do to ones kids. Hugs if you want them.

    Oh look, my nym change backdated, who knew?

    [twirls]

  88. vaiyt says

    No she wasn’t.

    You think anyone is strawmanning, PRESENT AN ARGUMENT FOR IT, Mr. Intelligent Rational Vulcan. Don’t just drop assertions.

  89. vaiyt says

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…

    Haaaaaand waaaaaaave!

  90. thalwen says

    @47 – This is what I ask every anti-choicer – and every time they weasel out of a response. Even if I can get some of them to admit that, yes, giving blood is much less invasive than pregnancy and that morally, one should give blood – they will still argue that it should be a voluntary choice and not government mandated – but pregnancy should be.

  91. gog says

    @seranvali #60

    It’s good that you had some people there with a shred of humanity. It’s sickening that there were others that think you should disregard the advice of your doctors and attempt a high-risk pregnancy. Such people should be beneath contempt, but I can’t help that rising sense of “they’re monsters” I got from reading the words they said to you.

  92. thalwen says

    I’ve never wanted children. I don’t hate children or despise them or think that people who have children are bad people – I just don’t want them. I had no maternal instinct whatsoever until I got a cat who I am very maternal for, and still, I have no desire for children.
    What I do, is respect children because one day they’re going to be adults and they deserve the best chance possible. That’s why I support high educational standards, better screening for abuse and neglect, better handling of children in foster care, better oversight of parenting. I worked as a public defender and I routinely saw clients with 4+ children who are growing up in hellish homes and nothing is being done – because once the foetus becomes a baby, no one gives a damn any more.
    Is it good that more kids will be brought into the world to live like that because PIV sex can lead to pregnancy and potentially a baby? Is it good that people who don’t want kids should have kids because we supposedly don’t have enough (white) people? Is it better for families who want kids, have kids and can’t afford another kid to compromise the care of their existing kids because there’s a possibility of having another? Or is it better that we have less children overall, are careful about the kids we bring into the world and make sure they are wanted, loved and provided for?

  93. Kevin Kehres says

    I’ll admit, I squee over babies. Little toddlers in that just-barely-walking stage are freaking adorable.

    The problem is that 95% of them (or thereabouts) become teen-agers. Those I can definitely do without.

  94. steffp says

    I’m an old man. I have a middle-aged son (one). When I was born, global population was at 2,500,848,458. At my son’s birth, human population was 4,345,311,542. Today it’s 7,183,640,599. When I’ll die somewhen in the next 10 years, population will have tripled in my lifetime.
    Cultivable land is pretty much a constant. Harvests do not double every 30 years.
    Do these moronic pro-lifers ever do the math?
    Great 18th century composer JS Bach, a relatively rich man, married twice and begat 20 children, of which ten made it through childhood, and only six survived him. That’s just 2 and a half century ago.
    We’ve battled child mortality, pests, and made war an (at least mildly) frowned-upon activity – all those god.given means of population growth control.
    Now it’s time to control ourselves.

  95. says

    Thank you, Inaji, for expressing my own thoughts so well. (I still can’t remember how to block quote, and probably never will!)

    I have been married 28 years. I knew I didn’t want children when I was 14, and never changed my mind. I don’t particularly like them, find babies cute in passing … and I do mean “in passing” … and have very little use for most children, unless they are particularly mature. I hate hearing about other people’s kids, which is one of the reasons I stopped going home to my family at Christmas–the conversations and every activity revolved around my sister’s kids, and though I love my sisters dearly, I hardly know their kids, and they have no interest in me.

    I have never felt the slightest twinge of guilt over this, and it boggles that anyone would actually call someone who doesn’t want kids “selfish.” Why do they care? My own theory is that anti-abortion women feel their only value is in producing children, so if you don’t want them, or choose to abort, you’re denigrating these women’s sole purpose in life as they see it.

    I’m fortunate in that I didn’t have any relatives or friends putting pressure on me–not that I would have paid attention to it–and I have friends who are either child-free or are long past the period where they have kids underfoot. I’m not interested in grandchildren stories, either.

    My blood just boiled when I read some of the comments over at that force-pregnancy woman’s site.

  96. says

    I should add that personally disliking children in general–or I should say, preferring not to be around them–has no bearing on my strong support of education and child welfare. It goes without saying that children are dependent, and need all the protection and help from society that they can get. I’m happy to give my tax dollars toward that end.

  97. Wylann says

    My wife is (presumably, to the best of our access to medical knowledge) incapable of having children due to a childhood illness that damaged her fallopian tubes. I had a vasectomy when I was about 30. She also had a procedure that we only recently found out about that involved cauterizing the inside of her uterus.

    In theory, it is about as impossible for her to get pregnant as we can make it. We don’t want, or really like, children. Back before we were sterilized, if she had gotten pregnant, we had already agreed that we wouldn’t keep it. What we didn’t know at the time was that if she had tried to get pregnant, it likely would have either had to be medically aborted, or it would have killed her.

    So every single one of those forced birthers of either gender can fuck right off with their holier than thou attitude about both wanting kids, and whether a woman has bodily autonomy. Dammit, that makes me rage so much….the fact that these privileged, selfish, self absorbed fucknuggets could potentially control politics enough to kill my wife for the simple ‘mistake’ of making a responsible decision.

    Point the second: I have yet to meet a parent with adult, or nearly adult, children who hasn’t said they at least once regretted the decision (yes, including my own). Not that there aren’t probably some out there. My wife and I, now in our mid-40s, have yet to feel any regrets about not having them.

  98. says

    Another p.s. … as a woman with bipolar disorder, I would have made a lousy, lousy parent. I would never have been able to handle kids even if I wanted them. Just getting through my own life is hard enough; being responsible for another would be impossible. And as I grew up isolated and often feeling unloved, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

  99. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @opposeablethumbs #84

    Ta very much :)

    @doublereed #87

    Word *fistbump*

    @fossilfishy

    Loving your new ‘nym :)

    @MM #89

    As much as your conclusion makes sense, that can’t have been nice to hear growing up :( I offer *supportive cyberhugs*, if they are needed.

    @steffp #98

    Cultivable land is pretty much a constant. Harvests do not double every 30 years.
    Do these moronic pro-lifers ever do the math?

    Book-lernin’ an’ faw-werd thinkin’s fer dem der fancy inter-lekshulls. We awnest Gawd-fearin’ folk jus’ need tuh preserve tha life, and Gawd can sort them out.

  100. says

    sueinnm and Inaji
    It’s amazing how people like you who are child-free by choice and who actually don’t even like children are very pro-children in the sense that you are in favour of good conditions for children while the forced birthers and fetus worshippers couldn’t care less.

  101. smhll says

    Both my death and the death of the fetus were a foregone conclusion if I attempted to continue with the pregnancy …

    The younger members thought I should “pray for a miracle”, “Leave the matter with God” and some came out with “well, I’d made a choice” and would have to live (or in this case, die) with it. Oh, and let’s not forget: “If God wanted me to die then I should just be like Mary and submit to his will”.

    People who still believe in a God who takes a personal interest, who intervenes and is fair, astonish me, and not in a good way. Most of the people who deserve miracles aren’t getting them.

  102. says

    Scarr:

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…quite the contrary actually.

    If you mean that, you’re a flaming piece of shit. I was an unwanted child, in every way. There was serious regret over being forced to birth me. When I was born, abortion was illegal, and back alley abortions often killed women, so…here I am.

    I went through untold abuse, and have had a lifetime of issues, and I get to deal with little things like PTSD and hypervigilance, all that. Plenty of people regret having children, you nasty fuckstick. You obviously don’t give a shit about what happens to them.

  103. geekgirlsrule says

    Wylan at #101
    You should know that the uterus cauterizing isn’t actually a guaranteed sterilization. I had that done, and then got the Essure procedure, which scars shut your fallopian tubes. The vasectomy is a good idea though.

    I have to say, getting spayed at 35 was the best Christmas present I ever got for myself (and my husband). I had not realized how much energy I spent on worrying about if my pill failed, or if we forgot to use condoms if I was on antibiotics, until I got the follow up MRI that said that the tubes were completely blocked. It’s really ridiculous how much of any fertile woman’s brainspace can be taken up with worrying about pregnancy.

  104. says

    Borax:

    That’s when I learned that many OB-GYNs will not give a woman a tubal unless the have had kids. I know several women who didn’t want children and were still denied a legal medical procedure because (according to the Dr) they would regret the decision.

    Yep. I went through one humiliating encounter after another when I started seeking sterlisation. I couldn’t find a doctor to agree to one, but I finally got a doctor at PP to insert a copper-7 IUD, which had a high incidence of causing sterilisation. Thankfully, it worked in my case.

  105. says

    Giliell:

    It’s amazing how people like you who are child-free by choice and who actually don’t even like children are very pro-children in the sense that you are in favour of good conditions for children while the forced birthers and fetus worshippers couldn’t care less.

    I like the idea of a healthy, happy, well educated society. On a more personal level, I know up close and personal what it does to a child, being unwanted and regretted. Even without the abuse factoring in, it ain’t pretty. Like MM, I often heard the regret expressed, and I was fully aware that my mother would have chose to abort if she hadn’t been afraid of dying – I heard that when I was 9 years old. I do wish for children to be wanted. I know what it’s like when you aren’t, and it’s fucking rotten.

    Idiots like ‘scarr’ don’t care about kids. The only point they ever want to make is that “oh, childfree* people are full of shit” and maunder on about how noble being a parent is – what happens to the child or children is of no account.
     
    *You can always tell a flaming doucheweasel asshat on this issue by their refusal to use the term childfree. They insist on childless, implying that we are not only lying to ourselves, but that it’s just a temporary condition.

  106. moarscienceplz says

    It’s called having sex. You choose to have sex, you choose to open the door to having a baby, no matter what kind of birth control you’re on.

    I wonder how dear, sweet humanity-loving Cassy feels about people who contract STDs. Would she deny someone treatment because they “opened the door” to infection?

  107. Wylann says

    Inaji, good point re: childfree vs. childless.

    geekgirlsrule@107: Yeah, the doc told my wife the cauterizing procedure had a high likelihood of making her sterile, but was 100%. I think she did the cauterizing of the tubes as well. In her case, though, it wasn’t explicitly for sterilization purposes. It was because of cysts/growths, and a high likelihood of other complications.

    The really frustrating thing about it was the docs (and she had a good, female OB/GYN, in Seattle, which isn’t exactly a conservative hotbed) never even brought it up as an option until my wife casually mentioned that I (the man!!) had already had a vasectomy. Fucking hell, this shit is pervasive…..

  108. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m definitely in the “not wanting children” camp.* I enjoy being with with my young niece and nephew and being the “Fun Uncle” who plays game and watches cartoons with them, but being with them or other children 24/7 would make crazy… OK, crazier. I don’t want to add any more neuroses onto the pile I currently possess, nor do I want to be responsible for passing them (along with my bad genes) on to the next generation.

    *Not that I could sire them if I wanted children. No woman with taste or sanity would want to go to bed with me, and I respect their decision. As I pointed out above, it’s probably for the best.

  109. says

    Wylann:

    Inaji, good point re: childfree vs. childless.

    Traditionally, childless has always been used to denote a loss, a missing out, “oh, poor people, they are childless, can’t have children.” It is not used to denote a choice. The way people like scarr use it, it implies an abnormality on our part, which of course, would be fixed right up by us ending up with sproggen, which naturally, we would love and adore.

  110. fork says

    @58

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do

    I’m old enough to remember when Ann Landers asked her readers, “If you had to do it over again, would you have children?” Even taking into account self-selection bias (pdf), the 70% or so out of over 10,000 who wrote in to say they wouldn’t do it over again is a hell of a lot more than NOBODY.

    What a shame that the followup Good Housekeeping survey basically silenced those who dared say they regretted having children. “You don’t REALLY think that, do you?”

  111. says

    It’s amazing how people like you who are child-free by choice and who actually don’t even like children are very pro-children in the sense that you are in favour of good conditions for children while the forced birthers and fetus worshippers couldn’t care less.

    Not to mention, there are a great many people who absolutely love children, but are happier not having any themselves. Like myself, and Jules, and plenty of other people I know.

  112. says

    I think one of the reasons parents don’t say that they regret having children is because they love and respect their own children. Words can hurt and saying something like that to your child is cruel.
    As for parents talking about their sprogs: I plead guilty. People talk about things central to their lives and well, if you’re a parent then your children are.

  113. Rey Fox says

    It’s amazing how people like you who are child-free by choice and who actually don’t even like children are very pro-children in the sense that you are in favour of good conditions for children while the forced birthers and fetus worshippers couldn’t care less.

    I think it’s because we see children as human beings, and are capable of remembering life as children and seeing our experiences and thoughts at the time as valid and human. The forced-birthers see them more as an obligation, as pre-adults to indoctrinate, or foot soldiers in the war against the brown invaders, or any number of other things.

    Meanwhile, scarr has been whupped from here to next Tuesday, so I’ll just add the phrase “Spread memes, not genes,” as my way of countering the notion that not wanting to raise children is “small and selfish”. I know at least person who has contributed far more to the world while not having children of her own (and directly to very young children, at that) than quite a few actual reproducers.

  114. chigau (違う) says

    I also note that scarr was a one turd wonder.
    No interest in defending their position.

  115. Rey Fox says

    I also wonder if people who would honestly answer that they do not regret having children have completed a sort of “fake it ’til you make it” process. I wouldn’t presume on any particular people or even speculate on the numbers, but I could see this happening, and I wouldn’t see it as any better or more noble than the reluctant parent simply never having children in the first place.

    (Or how about just having more children than the parent wanted or wants?)

  116. Feats of Cats says

    So much respect for all the women who are older than me and have gone through life childfree. It feels like being childfree is just recently starting to gain respect as a valid position, and the societal pressure in decades past must have been intense. Seriously, you are amazing and I thank you for your part in changing cultural attitudes.

    I decided that I didn’t want children when I was in my mid-teens, and am 29 now. I have heard more times than I can count that I will change my mind, because every woman obviously wants children, always said with a smug dismissiveness that makes me want to punch them in the face and scream “Guess what? I know exactly what I am thinking and you do not.”

    My boyfriend texted me the other day that he saw an ad which included the phrase “destination maternity” and it pissed him off because of how it implied that every woman wants children. I loved him so much in that moment that I cried a little.

  117. says

    Feats of Cats:

    I have heard more times than I can count that I will change my mind

    This has always stood me in good stead over the decades:

    Parent: What happens if you change your mind?

    *wait*

    Me: What happens if you change yours?

  118. Feats of Cats says

    @122 Inaji:

    That’s both hilarious and a great point, and I am totally going to steal that for all relevant scenarios.

  119. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    I’ve never wanted kids, apparently I told my mother when I was three or four that I was going to find a way to never have them (I didn’t know that was a possible thing at the time). So, unsurprisingly, I got my tubes tied six years ago, as I was lucky enough to have a good family doctor and a gynecologist who agreed thatI was a person who could decide what happened to my body. (PS: it’s covered in Canada, so mine was free. Most Canadians don’t know about this.)

    I like being around some kids, but definitely never would want any of my own. I’m 30 now. Besides, it ould be much better to regret not having kids if it ever came to that than to have them and regret it, which, as has been pointed out upthread, is a common thing.

    When I was being wheeled out of the hospital after my tubal ligation by my mother and partner, a woman came in the entrance, obviously in labour. “See, honey? You never have to worry about that.” my partner whispered to me. I had a big still-groggy grin all the way home.

  120. ericpaulsen says

    I’ve never been interested in children, even when I was a child. I don’t’ know why exactly and I understand that it sets me at odds with the majority of human beings but I have always felt that it’s better that I know and accept this about myself rather than visit my inadequacies on another living thing, especially one that depends on me for survival. The older I get the more apparent my dysfunctions become, not just to those around me but also to myself, would you force me to rear a child? I could do it I suppose, and I could probably even do a passable job of it if it weren’t for the emotional component. I could teach a child a set of rules and a set of skills but love it? After a fashion perhaps, but I suspect not in a way that would benefit it most. If it weren’t for my family I wouldn’t ever feel the need to struggle with the question of love, having given up on romantic relationships more than a decade ago.

    I realize that I am anomalous even if I can’t quite tell you why I am this way but I can tell you that for those of us who see our deficiencies and can ignore the constant urging of others to just live a “normal life” we can at least avoid making others miserable. People who do not want children, or even like them, all have their reasons. Just let them be, the alternative could be disastrous.

  121. Jackie, all dressed in black says

    Scarr,
    Who appointed you to speak for parents on this thread?
    I disagree with you completely and think you’re being a jerk.

  122. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Feats of Cats

    I decided that I didn’t want children when I was in my mid-teens, and am 29 now. I have heard more times than I can count that I will change my mind, because every woman obviously wants children, always said with a smug dismissiveness that makes me want to punch them in the face and scream “Guess what? I know exactly what I am thinking and you do not.”

    I have a friend of mine in her forties now who is childfree, and living with her boyfriend, who she has been with for decades. She has spent her entire life being told that she’ll change her mind about kids and marriage eventually… and they have now switched, on the children front, to telling her that she better hurry up because she’s “running out of time”.

    I have seen people say this to her, and it makes me so utterly furious I can’t even describe it.

  123. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @ericpaulson

    Your post seems a littel self-deprecating, mate. Not wanting children is neither a deficiency nor an inadequacy. Don’t let people tell you it is.

    @Feats of Cats

    That post came across a bit “Aha! Look what you’re in for!”. Sorry, it wasn’t supposed to :-/

  124. Feats of Cats says

    @ Thumper,

    It’s okay, it gives me time to come up with good comebacks.

    “You’re running out of time to have children!”
    “Yes, and you’re running out of time to be a professional football player!! What do you mean you don’t have any desire or skills to do so, and already have a life doing something else?”

  125. says

    Thumper:

    She has spent her entire life being told that she’ll change her mind about kids and marriage eventually… and they have now switched, on the children front, to telling her that she better hurry up because she’s “running out of time”.

    I was sterile by the time I was 18.5. Then I went through menopause at 36 (yay!), and in spite of those two facts, I still had people telling me it wasn’t too late – IVF, y’know! Then I’d get the sadface, with a murmured “you can always adopt.”

  126. says

    @60, seranvali:

    My feeling is that it’s about controlling women, not just the women of their own persuasion but all women. What better way to do that than control her sexuality?

    On an immediate level, absolutely true, but this is also a way to control men — it’s just that it’s a stick for the woman and a carrot for the man. To women: “do as we say or else”, to men “hey, if you keep us around as arbiters of morality, then you, as a penis-haver, get to have some extra privilege, and it’s all about sex — you like being in control of sex, don’t you?” If privilege were only about punishment, it would die out.

  127. ericpaulsen says

    @ Thumper
    I don’t consider my choice of not wanting children to be deficient or inadequate, I consider it a rational decision in light of my inadequacies and deficiencies. I have always struggled with what other people seem to understand naturally and I would never want to pass that on to someone else whether it’s a biological trait or learned response. It sucks being the eternal outsider who cant figure out what you’re doing wrong. Bad wiring I suspect, but I’d be a total failure as a human being if I made another one just like me.

  128. gog says

    @geekgirlsrule #107

    It’s really ridiculous how much of any fertile woman’s brainspace can be taken up with worrying about pregnancy.

    My girlfriend tells me as much. I worry about it a lot, too. Condoms are for shit over the course of years, and my girlfriend is currently has contraindications for long-term hormonal contraceptive use. We’ve discussed the matter, and if she does get pregnant she said she probably wouldn’t keep it. Now, we do want to have children at some point in the future.

    Even still, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t just be cheaper and more effective in the long run to just go get a vasectomy and have it reversed when we decide to have children.

  129. says

    its been my experience as a foster parent who does not children of her own, that CPS is full of children whose parents regret having them.

  130. says

    Let’s be honest here, virtually NOBODY regrets having them when they do…

    I find that very unlikely to be true, given the number of people who will privately admit that they shouldn’t have had kids, should have had them later, cannot handle the kids they have, etc. And that’s not even counting the vast numbers of abandoned, neglected, or even murdered children. AND not counting (because we can’t, obviously) the numbers of people who won’t ever admit that they regret having children.

    But either way, we actually don’t know how many people regret having kids, so it’s bullshit to claim that being honest means claiming “virtually nobody” regrets them.

    – – – – – –

    Every time a person has sex, there is a possibility that they will get pregnant

    Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? last time I looked the risk of pregnancy only happened to a rather limited group of people

    wut. For once a sentence about pregnancy is not cissexist, and we’re going to complain about that because it was not done with the intent of not being cissexist?

  131. ButchKitties says

    I’m also in the camp of people who’ve never wanted kids. I’ve never had the maternal instinct, at least not for human babies. I’m now at that age where my friends are starting to have children. I’ve found that I’m the first person to get stupidly excited when friends announce that they’re expecting, but I’m excited because they’re excited. If anything, seeing my friends have children has made me even more certain that parenthood isn’t for me. Throw in all of my medical problems, and there is just no perspective from which parenthood looks like a good idea for me.

    On the bright side, I just got the green light for Essure two weeks ago. I’m going to wait until the end of the year for insurance reasons, but a doctor has FINALLY agreed to sterilize me. It’s going to be my Christmas present to myself.

  132. says

    oh, and as a (somewhat hypothetical, given the social pressures) add on:
    “most people don’t regret having children” as an argument applied to a society where it’s largely possible to make that choice is about as sensible as “couples who don’t divorce are happier than couples who divorce” in a society in which divorce is an accessible option.

    Meaning: people who chose to have kids may well not tend to regret them; which is not the same as claiming everyone wouldn’t regret it, regardless of their choice.

  133. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    geekgirlsrule @ 107

    It’s really ridiculous how much of any fertile woman’s brainspace can be taken up with worrying about pregnancy.

    I can only imagine. Since I’ve never had a lover who could get me pregnant, it’s only been a worry for me after I was raped. I shudder to imagine having to worry and think about it for every fertile year of life.

    It’s a strange thing to consider that in this way us same gamete pairings are lucky.

  134. says

    Jensmith:

    its been my experience as a foster parent who does not children of her own, that CPS is full of children whose parents regret having them.

    And I thank you for caring for some of those unwanted, regretted kids. That’s a great thing you’re doing.

  135. says

    Jadehawk
    No, it’s not not cis-sexist, it’s bullshit.
    Of the very large amount of people who have sex only a minority, those with uteruses who also produce eggs and who engage in certain sex acts with people who produce viable sperm can get pregnant. Everybody else, especially the sperm-producing variety of people cannot get pregnant at fucking all.
    It’s not a risk everybody is running.

  136. noxiousnan says

    What a ridiculous website, calling itself liveaction to lend it some kind of unwarranted, objective legitimacy when It’s just a tool for the anti-woman, pro-life contingent.

  137. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    When I was sterilized, the things that surprised me most were the brainpower freed up from not having to worry about pregnancy. Holy shit, not having that looming was such a difference! And related to that, I suspect, was that I found myself a lot more comfortable around kids. Now that they were not a nightmare scenario, I could appreciate more of them being small very strange people. And I had a response for the frequently-occurring annoyance of “See! You DO like them, and they love you, you should have some!” when people who presume to know me more than I know myself see me interacting with kids.

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a problem to state that the obsession around pregnancy is grounded in misogyny. It is. And the other people who can get pregnant, do you actually think the forced-birthers recognize their identities? Because I so often see people using terms like “uterus-bearer” and “people with uteruses”, and that is skin-crawlingly reductive in ways that are really misogynist.

  138. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Of the very large amount of people who have sex only a minority, those with uteruses who also produce eggs and who engage in certain sex acts with people who produce viable sperm can get pregnant. Everybody else, especially the sperm-producing variety of people cannot get pregnant at fucking all.

    Though explicitly/exclusively equating “people with uteruses” with “women” as another poster did above is cissexist.

  139. csue says

    Ugh, made the mistake of starting to read the comments section… *retch*

    Amanda, you are one of my heroes!

  140. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    For a bit now, I’ve been toying with the idea of going in to labor and delivery after I graduate (I’m a nursing student), as the idea of that intrigues me. I’ll be rotating through a maternity ward next semester and I’ll see how I like it.

    Apparently, many OB staffers do not have children. It’s apparently quite common.

    That doesn’t mean I want kids – I concluded some time ago that if I ever have children, it will be because I got with someone who had children. I’d be fine with this (in theory, let’s consider the parent and the children in question). I’ve also toyed with the idea of being a foster parent (especially for sibling groups, as there’s a crying need there), but I’d want to make sure I’m in a good place if I were to do that.

  141. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    HappiestSadist @ 143

    Because I so often see people using terms like “uterus-bearer” and “people with uteruses”, and that is skin-crawlingly reductive in ways that are really misogynist.

    The reductive part has already taken place long before any attempts at trans-inclusive language are made. People are getting reduced down to their ability to get pregnant and harmed as a result. Yes, there’s misogyny present because cissexism has joined this trait with womanhood, but erasing everyone else harmed by it (or implying anyone not harmed by it isn’t a woman) doesn’t make the misogyny go away. The problem is in those who would single out people capable of pregnancy and take away their bodily autonomy, not in being inclusive of everyone harmed by this.

    If we discuss the need for prostate cancer screening for anyone who has a prostate, we’re not committing misandry by caring about the health of trans women.

  142. chigau (違う) says

    Sometimes I read too quickly and must come to screeching halt and go back to reread a sentence.
    I read this
    “I’ve been toying with the idea of going into labor … after I graduate…”
    and thought,
    wow Esteleth is even more superhuman than I thought!
    ;)

  143. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Well, Chigau, considering that graduation is in December, I could in theory go into labor after graduation if I were to get myself impregnated in the next few weeks.

  144. chigau (違う) says

    Esteleth
    My first interpretation did not included impregnation.
    Just an act of will on your part.

  145. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Correction:

    HappiestSadist, I’m sorry for not reading you right the first time. I’m in a lot of pain and clearly I’m not functioning at my best.

    No, you’re right. Talking about body parts is pretty reductive. I still prefer gender neutral language (“people who can get pregnant”, since plenty of cis women can’t) over just discussing it in binary gender terms, but if there are cis women who really need to discuss this and they aren’t yet at a place of trans-inclusion to be able to handle that kind of stuff, they still deserve a safe place to talk about something that affects them.

  146. Marc Abian says

    I don’t think I ever will want kids either. You know, in case they turn out to be black or Asian. Fiano is right on there. But suppose Fiano would have said “let’s kill all the puppies in the world.” Imagine that! Probably the article would get no support. But since that`s not what Fiano said, its another matter. That’s cool, at least for the people who don’t like strawmen.

  147. says

    Don’t have much to add. I love kids, mine, theirs, and a lot of other people’s kids. Somebody else doesn’t? Good on them; it has no effect on me, and I have enough common courtesy not to disturb them about it.

    What I do want to say, is avoid using the term pro-life. Most of us know the damners don’t give one about the baby once it’s breathing air. I much prefer the phrase PZ (I think, too lazy to look), and others, use: Forced Birthers. It’s an accurate title, unlike the other one, and puts a sharper focus on the what the forcers really want. Likewise, I avoid using the term pro-abortion. Actually, I’m not pro-abortion, but I am rabidly pro letting the actually pregnant woman decide for herself.

    Let’s take back a little of the framing on this issue, an be consistent about it.

  148. says

    eoraptor:

    Actually, I’m not pro-abortion

    I am. And until abortion is viewed as a simple medical decision, which is no one else’s business, I’ll continue to be. I’m not giving an inch to the pro-death crowd, and I’m at a point where I do not godsdamned care about people’s personal ickometers. I refuse to back down, because it’s people backing down a little here, and a little there, which has rendered abortion illegal in all but name in one state after another. Don’t want one? Don’t have one. Leave everyone else alone.

  149. says

    Though explicitly/exclusively equating “people with uteruses” with “women” as another poster did above is cissexist.

    yeah, that’s what bugged me most, but I forgot to do a triple-quote.

  150. mildlymagnificent says

    The other thing I often heard, always from women, was “how did you get the doctor to perform the procedure?” That’s when I learned that many OB-GYNs will not give a woman a tubal unless the have had kids.

    That brings back memories. I remember one woman who came into hospital a couple of days before the delivery of her expected twins who wanted sterilisation as part of the procedure. It took near super-human effort to finally get the staff to – reluctantly – agree to this. Because she was so young, mid-twenties, she might change her mind later. The reason she wanted the procedure was that when the twins were born she would be dealing with 4 kids under 4. 3 of them in nappies.

    She was nearly out of her mind at the prospect of going out of her mind dealing with the kids she already had. And still they were trying to persuade her that contraception was the better way to go. Considering the position she was in, that was possibly the maddest thing anyone had ever said in that hospital.

    Giliell

    I think one of the reasons parents don’t say that they regret having children is because they love and respect their own children. Words can hurt and saying something like that to your child is cruel.

    Yep. One woman I knew had a tubal ligation when her third child was born. Then again when the fourth child was born. When the fifth child was born she made damn sure that those tubes were out of action forever. Some people suggested that she should sue for medical incompetence/malpractice, but she wouldn’t do it. What would that be telling the young ones?

  151. says

    Likewise, I avoid using the term pro-abortion.

    if there was any danger of being thought a supporter of forced abortions, maybe. That’s not usually the case tho, and I’ve no problem saying I’m pro-abortion the same way I’m pro-appendectomy: I hope people won’t need one, but when a person does need one, they’re FUCKING AWESOME.

  152. says

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a problem to state that the obsession around pregnancy is grounded in misogyny. It is. And the other people who can get pregnant, do you actually think the forced-birthers recognize their identities? Because I so often see people using terms like “uterus-bearer” and “people with uteruses”, and that is skin-crawlingly reductive in ways that are really misogynist.

    well I’m not going to say “women” just because forced-birthers don’t recognize trans identities (I’ve been trying to stick to “people who can get pregnant” or “people who are pregnant”). And I’m also not going to insist that they say “women” because they’re saying “people” with the wrong intent.

  153. AMM says

    Kevin Kehres @97:

    “The problem is that 95% of them (or thereabouts) become teen-agers. Those I can definitely do without.”


    Yeah, no problem dumping on “teenagers” as a group. It’s not like people who are in that age range are actually human or anything, or are in the least bit deserving of being treated with any respect.
    (Oh yeah: sarcasm alert.)

    If I sound a little grumpy about this, it’s because I’m tired of hearing the never-ending stream of cheap shots and mostly undeserved criticism against teen-agers. It’s bigotry and stereotyping, plain and simple. But, unlike racism and anti-semitism, which (finally!) will earn you dirty looks, treating teen-agers as if simply being in that age range is a crime gets widespread social support.

    I’ve actually spent a fair amount of time with teenagers (and not just my two sons, who are now 20 & 23), and the ones I’ve been around are mostly a lot more decent and pleasant to be around than many of their elders.

  154. kittehserf says

    Going back to the “but you’ll change your mind one day!” nonsense … I presume they never stop to think of what happens if someone who didn’t like kids had a child, and nothing changed. How dare they expect other people to gamble their own lives and those of any children they have on the chance that giving birth will suddenly make them all lovey-dovey about baybeeeees?

    I haven’t the temperament for raising children. I haven’t the patience, the interest, or the competence to guide a small human for twenty-odd years and hope they turn out a decent person at the end of it. Even if I had, I’ve never had the financial resources to do it. At my best-paid I couldn’t afford to rent a place to live, let alone buy; my mother and I have always had to live together just to keep a roof over our heads (luckily we get on well). How the fuck do these morons think I could raise a child without condemning all of us to poverty, and the child to a bloody awful future, deprived of any chance of a decent education (and never mind tertiary education)? Hell, I’m aching for a third cat right now and doubt I’ll be able to afford it on the dole. Oh, but then I suppose I should have married a man, any man, just to be available as a fuckthing and breeder. Yeah, sorry, my affections are spoken for, forced-birthers.

    Gragh. Sorry, should have put all this in my first comment, it’s what I was thinking about, but got sidetracked.

  155. raven says

    Cassy Fiano:

    It’s called having sex. You choose to have sex, you choose to open the door to having a baby, no matter what kind of birth control you’re on.

    This woman is pretty stupid.

    What happens if you have sex with another woman? Just in case Cassy Fiano is reading, the risk of pregnancy here is very low.

    And forced birther/pro female slaver people like Cassy make that alternative look better and better.

    There are also nonprocreative alternative sex types that have no risk of pregnancy. Someone else can explain that to Cassy. I’m not interested in watching her head explode.

  156. Azuma Hazuki says

    I did want children, having had over a decade of recurring dreams of a daughter from 1999 to 2010. These dreams did not stop or change upon figuring out I was exclusively into other women in the early 2000s. Having helped raise my younger sister and brother (I’m the eldest of three) probably had a lot to do with this, and even today I’m a puddle of goo around my coworkers Megan and Christina’s kids, or anytime a customer brings in a baby in a carrier or stroller.

    What is it that causes this? It seems independent of one’s sexual orientation. I think I’ve actually got a slight kink for pregnancy and nursing, which is weird. Is it a hormonal thing, or something social?

  157. loopyj says

    Everyone is entitled to choose their own descriptors for themselves. I choose to describe myself as child-less, rather than ‘child-free’, because my life isn’t free of (or from) children. I adore children, mostly the ones who are members of my biological and logical families who currently range in age from 18 months to 21 years old. Up until I was thirty I thought that I would someday be a parent, and I was rather surprised to discover that I had no desire to be. I’ve had one abortion and a hysterectomy, and neither resulted in a feeling of loss.

    There is nothing quite so offensive to me as the belief that pregnancy should be enforced. Pregnancy and childbirth is not a punishment or ‘consequence to pay’ for having sex.

  158. says

    The take-away message is:
    People on the pro-choice side, whether they actually want or have or even like kids want children to be born to willing parents who can care for them, give them love and help them grow into wonderful persons
    People on the forced birther side want there to be more children.

  159. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    The Mellow Monkey @ #152: Thanks, that’s what I meant. I mean, I am not cis, but I have a uterus myself, and while talking about issues surrounding this does benefit (as I do directly, obviously) from “people who can get pregnant” as language, I think that it’s also worth talking about the fact that it’s an issue because of misogyny. Antis don’t see me as non-binary, or non-binary as a thing, and they’re angry that I am tampering with the destiny their deity decreed for women. I guess what I’m saying is people who are pro-choice but who reduce people to their uteruses are doing the exact same thing the antis are and it’s dehumanizing and creepy.

  160. says

    I followed a Twitter convo between Amanda and some fool who was insisting that by having consensual sex with her partner, Amanda was some kind of decadent whore who is losing out on REAL LOVE (and also a baby murderer), unlike the her (the Twitter fool) who was saving it for a ring and TWUE LOVE. They put sex, especially women having it, on this unnecessary pedestal and expect everyone else to do the same.

    (Disclaimer: I’m not calling her a fool because she chooses to abstain until marriage. She’s a fool for judging others who choose differently)

    When I’m on the sidewalk as a clinic escort, I could bet money on the times when I’ve actually engaged with a pro-birther whose argument pretty much boils down to “I want to punish icky sluts who have the icky sex without my permission”. They’re not even shy about it – “Well, she shouldn’t have had sex!” I’ve had someone tell me outright some months ago. To them, women having teh sex = babies. Each time. Every time.

    It’s like they want to deny how people work so badly.

  161. methuseus says

    I’d just like to say, if anyone is interested to read, that I love my children, but I don’t necessarily love other children. I can be quite disgusted with some people, as well as some children, so yeah.