14 Sep When Did It Become Socially Acceptable to Hate Children?
When did it become socially acceptable to hate children? That’s the question we at UFI seem to have asked ourselves regularly over the last few weeks. It used to be that lashing out at children was the domain of the occasional neighborhood curmudgeon. Now it appears that expressing disdain for children and the people who bear them has gone mainstream—in fact it in some circles, it is
positively “hip” and “cool.” Here’s a recap of the anti-children rhetoric that has come to our attention these last couple of weeks. We hope, then, to provide some insight on the bigger question of “Why?”
This Weekly Standard article chronicles the rise of the “childfree movement.” It begins by referring to an altercation in the Washington DC area between parents and dog owners who wanted to use the same park space. It seems that a miniature baby boom has been infringing upon public spaces and it isn’t being very well received by the “childfree” residents.
The “comment” section for this particular Washington Post article was overwhelmed with passionate voices, so much that the paper eventually had to close it. The “comments” ran 60 to 40 percent against children. Here are a couple of examples:
CAC2: keep your nasty little snotty kid away from me, PLEASE!!!! Do not let your stickly offspring rush up to me in Whole Foods and grab my $250 Ralph Lauren silk skirt with it’s grubby, crusty hands. One of the benefits of not having children is not having to wear the Mommy Wardrobe. Do not make those of us who are not forced into wash and wear to pay extra for the dry cleaner to remove child goo. Do not allow your offspring to lean over the seat of a restaurant and try to initiate “conversation” with me when I am enjoying a meal with friends
graylandgal: I won’t make any apologies: I hate kids, especially babies. If parents can’t afford or locate a sitter, then stay home. I am bloody sick of having my feet and Achilles tendon rammed by knobby-tired strollers the size of Smart Cars; I am bitter about extortion for baby showers, christening gift, etc., for droolers who won’t thank me now any more than they will when graduation extortions start; I am nauseated by the stench of dirty diapers changed in public areas because a lazy-ass parent won’t adjourn to a restroom I am tired of “friends” dragging their hyper-active germ-spreaders to my antiques- and breakable-filled home for events clearly meant for grown-ups because, gee, everybody thinks they’re SO cute…
There are a plethora of articles and links to websites that contribute to the case for the superiority of being “ChildFree.” Here’s a small sampling:
- Join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
- Say it Aloud: I’m Childfree and I’m Proud
- Babies r’nt us: Grist editor talks childfree living and population on MSNBC
- No Kidding: Social club for childfree individuals
- Did you know that a “Moo” stands for “Mother Obsessed with Offspring” and that a “moovan” is—yes you guessed it—a slang term for a minivan. A “Thinker” stands for “two healthy incomes, no kids, early retirement.” It is healthy to laugh at ourselves occasionally, but the “Happily Childfree” website is dedicated to putting “breeders” (those of us with children) in our place.
The cover article for the July New York Magazine caught our attention. It featured a picture of a haggard-looking, dour-faced young mother holding her baby while staring out from the confines of her cluttered kitchen. The headline: “Why Parents Hate Parenting.” The article muses on the “mystery” of why people would ever choose to become parents—way too much stress and work.
The research showing that parents, particularly mothers, are unhappy with their role of raising children is carefully listed. Yet with all the research, moms and dads are reluctant to believe it; wanting desperately to believe that their children are the source of their joy and happiness. The article does take a different turn in the end, however, pointing out that “joy” is often different than “happiness” and that there is something “transcendent” about parenthood that continues to sustain those engaged in it.
On September 1, radical environmentalist James Lee, stormed the Discovery Channel offices, taking hostages. After a four-hour siege, Lee was shot and killed by police. On his website savetheplanetprotest.com, James Lee had posted a manifesto aimed at Discovery Channel where he stated in part:
“focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions…are pollution.” “stop encouraging the birth of more parasitic human infants…” “encourage human sterilization and infertility…” “stop the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies!”
We acknowledge that this is the work of a seriously deranged individual, but as our friends at Population Research Institute have pointed out, Lee is a byproduct of an increasingly jarring and aggressive agenda of population control and the incessant message that humans are “global spoilers” who have to be stopped.
4. The United Nations
More of the anti-child agenda has been on display the last few weeks at the UN where UFI has had representatives present for negotiations on the draft declaration for the 10-year review of the Millennial Development Goals. There we saw promotion of the principles of Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—the treaty whose compliance committee has identified “motherhood” as a negative stereotype and encourages women to enter the workplace so they can have full empowerment and equality with men. The message: “skip the child bearing and rearing part and women will be better off.”
We listened to the repeated arguments that the best way to solve Millennial Development Goal #5: “Reducing Worldwide Maternal Mortality by three-quarters by 2015” is to simply make sure that no woman delivers a baby. Yes, providing “emergency obstetric care and skilled birth attendants” were mentioned in the negotiated document, but oddly, nothing was included about the need for “pre-natal care” or skilled physicians.” Yet extreme focus was placed on the need for “family planning” services (mentioned at least five times in the negotiated document) and the phrase “reproductive health services” (abortion) was debated ad nauseam. Listening to the debate you would have concluded that pregnancy was a disease to be eradicated and the only way to help women and to see their countries develop is to ensure that fewer children are born.
United Families International acknowledges that there are many reasons why individuals may choose to remain childless and that not all people who are part of the broader environmental movement “hate” children. But it is important to note that there has definitely been a sea change in attitudes and people’s comfort level in speaking out against children, parents and families. We again ask the rhetorical question: “When did it become socially acceptable to hate children?”
While there have always been individuals who have disliked—and even hated—children, societal norms and appreciation of children forced them to “keep their attitudes to themselves.” But radical environmentalism has emboldened these individuals. Where it was once socially and morally unacceptable to voice an opinion against children, these individuals now believe they have the moral high ground. It is not only “OK” to speak out against children, but it is a morally superior position to do so. The belief that too many human beings are damaging the planet has morphed into a license to denigrate and diminish children and the parents who dare to bring them into this world. Bigotry against children has become a “moral” choice. With the help of environmentalism, individuals are now able to frame a narrative that takes their desire to be childless beyond their simply being selfish adults and places them into a new narrative that allows them to play the role of participants in a “greater good”—that of saving a “ravaged planet.”
Environmentalism is a cornerstone of anti-family efforts at the UN as well—justifying population control, abortion, forced sterilization, along with a general disregard for methods and practices that would actually help the people of developing nations. Even radical feminism and the mainstreaming of sexual orientation issues benefit from the “moral platform” created by environmentalism.
We are witnessing a phenomenon that is so chillingly inhuman in its application yet so typically human in its recurrence. Once again it seems we are doomed to witness the systematic dehumanization of some, this time our children, as a means to satisfy a need to find morality and fulfillment where none exists. In a world of secular humanistic ideologies, the natural yearning of the human soul for something to worship and revere seeks to find fulfillment in worshipping the earth/planet.
At United Families International we promote those ideologies, existing laws, political structures, religions and cultural norms that preserve the family and protect children. We invite all to relish the privileges and responsibilities of family life; you are the example that the citizens of the world need to see! While families are hard they provide life’s most lasting compensations.