Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The pristine anti-child town

I can't really recommend reading this article. I read it last night, slogging through all three pages of nausea-inducing brattiness--and that was the adults.

Still, reading something like this can be illuminating, in that it's possible to see exactly why our nation is falling apart. Here's an example from the article:

The assault has been waged in large part through books, of which there are quite a few—people without children apparently have a lot of time to write. There’s Terri Casey’s earnest Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passion of Women without Children and Nicki Defago’s out-and-proud Childfree and Loving It! (Defago explains that “Choosing to be childfree brings with it a fantastic sense of freedom for which I feel grateful every day.”) There’s childfree self-help (Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice) as well as chin-tugging, childfree introspection (Bill McKibben’s Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families).

In 2007, Corinne Maier’s saucy No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children became a sensation in Europe. It was translated for American audiences two years later, and Maier’s quips—“Breastfeeding is slavery,” “Motherhood or success: Pick one”—were just as welcome here. Maier’s book is meant to amuse, but her conclusion is serious: “No kids, thanks. It’s better that way.” She would know. Unlike most people in the childfree movement, Maier has two children of her own.

There is more, so much more. In 2006 David Benatar, a philosophy professor at the University of Cape Town wrote Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence—a book which argues that all births are harmful. “[T]he quality of even the best lives is very bad,” Benatar explained, “and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.”

Just as an aside to Mr. Benetar, and some of the others listed above: if you've decided that your bloodline is deserving of nothing more than to die out completely, and that your genetic material is too utterly worthless and trivial to share with future generations, shouldn't you really keep such a depressing conclusion to yourselves?

There's more:

It’s a credit to America’s childfree that they believe population control should begin at home. Though sometimes they are willing to go the extra mile. The environmentalist group Optimum Population Trust (OPT) has as its motto “fewer emitters, lower emissions.” OPT runs a program whereby environmentally conscious Westerners can purchase carbon-offsetting family-planning credits. In other words, concerned citizens give the OPT money to be used for funding birth control in developing countries. In case you’re curious, the OPT estimates that it takes $144.20 per year to keep enough of the great unwashed from reproducing to offset a typical American’s existence.

Or, as Margaret Sanger would have put the above:

"Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying ... demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism ... [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant ... We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all."

Isn't anti-human liberalism ugly in its racist and Eurocentric biases against the children of the world? Yes, it is--diabolically so. Only Satan can hate like that.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go ahead and give the childless--oh, excuse me, the childfree (a word that always reminds me of "cluefree") what they want. We could create a perfect, pristine town for them, a town where children are not allowed. They will have parks where a child's foot has never been set (though dogs and cats, the preferred "children" of these types of people, will of course be welcome), and restaurants where they will never be disturbed by infant prattle, and adult entertainment centers catering to the bored and fretful grown-up who wishes to have his amusement hours completely devoid of any childish laughter or joy. There will be an airport located within or near the town that serves only the town's citizens, so that they will never have to endure the horror of flying in the company of breeders; they will be flown to exotic vacation destinations which will also be perfect, pristine anti-child havens, and will, in fact, be exactly like their own towns, save for such accidents as climate and scenery. Unless they choose otherwise, they will never have to endure even a moment's torture in the presence of a human child again, or compete with anyone's children for the right to be spoiled, pampered, and coddled in the way that they believe is their birthright.

But we won't put up signs in front of these towns that say "Adults-Only Nursery." We won't have to.


Anonymous said...

As a child, I remember the chilling horror of the film version (not the children's story by Ian Fleming) of 'Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang'. I was probably 10 at the time, as if a conspiracy against children (and the sane parents) could exist.

Red Cardigan said...

Anonymous, I *always* think of the villans of that story when I read the "childfree" rants out there! It was so far-fetched that there would ever be a society like that, let alone that our nation would try to become one, wasn't it?

L. said... I think you just described my parents' retirement community!

kkollwitz said...

I do wonder if any society can survive the consequences of artificial contraception.

Baroness said...

If these people object to children so much, they should voluntarily renounce their claim to Social Security benefits when they retire, seeing as they will be provided by those same people.

Nârwen said...

Some years ago, I read about a town in Vermont which boasted that boasted that it was 'adults only'.
I don't think they have an airport, or connections to other 'childfree' places, but otherwise your description is spot-on.

That's the problem with reductio ad absurdum these days : you describe the absurd extreme, only to find it actually exists and there are people plugging it....

Liz said...

I live in Vermont and I'm totally unaware of any town here that is adults only. I'm not even aware of adults only subdivisions. There have been seniors only complexes that didn't allow people under 55, but the one of those that's in our town had to give up on that because they were running low on occupancy. I still think they don't allow kids, but the units are so small that it would be difficult to have children in them anyway (all one bedroom units).

I guess that some older people don't feel about children the way that the Chestertons did. As far as the way some of these child bearing age people feel... Well the one person I know who was promoting childfree didn't turn out all that happy to actually be childfree once she got into her late forties and it was too late. I suspect that there are going to be a lot of bitter, lonely, old people in a few years. I do like the idea of them foregoing social security benefits, though. Why should they get money from other people's kids when they chose not to have their own?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

kkollwitz, my mother used artificial contraception, and all of her children lived to adulthood. My sister's two kids are doing fine. The reason I haven't had any children is I haven't married.

But this "kids are a drag" psychosis is exactly what warped the social impact of Roe v. Wade. Justice Harry Blackmun observed when he wrote the opinion that he expected it to be a very minor decision. It might have been, if it had truly been left up to individual, private decisions, between individual women and their primary care physicians.

The social explosion of "kids are a drag, have an abortion anytime" wrapped a whole new dimension around it. I thought that was fading away, but apparently there are rarified milieus where it is still bandied about. Upper class women used to at least "pay their passage" with a few heirs, before barring husbands from their bedrooms, and turning the kids over to wet nurses.

I must note that those who choose not to have children themselves cannot be accused of racial bias against others. They are declining to have children with their own genetic characteristics.

Still, its a very sad line of speculative reasoning.

karby26 said...

I don't understand why people here keep talking about childfree people not taking social security benefits? What about all the taxes and donations we continue to pay to cover schools, roads, school buses, before and after school care, hot lunch programs, school supply drives, give a kid a coat programs, all the cookies and popcorn we buy from our friends and neighbor's children? What about all the places that routinely ask me to donate money to feed hungry children both in the US and around the world. What about the welfare mentality that I'm expected to work daily to pay for?? Part of the reason that I don't want any kids is because I feel very strongly like I'm already taking care of everyone else's kids out of my paycheck, there's hardly enough money left to take care of myself, much less my own child!