Childfree is anti-natalism and anti-natalism is bigotry

In this thread, Ethical Implications of Remaining Childless By Choice we discussed whether or not it’s acceptable to remain childless by choice. The overwhelming answer, unanimous it seems to me is that yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to remain childless by choice. I don’t see anyone taking an anti-choice position in that thread.

However…what I do see is straight up derogatory bigotry from the childfree set, who think that terms like, ‘cult of the child’, or ‘breeders’ are acceptable terms. Now, this only applies to people who use the term, ‘childfree’, which is in and of itself an ideological assertion in the way the mere choice not to have children isn’t. Some people just don’t have kids. Other people turn a negative choice, a decision NOT to do something, into a primary feature of their identity. As such they must then show fealty to the ideology by expressing mockery and derision for those who did not adhere to that choice.

I constantly hear of childfree people complaining about the lack of validation for their choices, and how annoying it is that people find the decision bemusing. I have known people who dismiss the value of remaining childless by choice. So I won’t pretend they don’t exist, but I have not had any interaction with them in relative proportion to the vitriole I see expressed so casually by the childfree set.

It doesn’t matter to me whether or not a ‘childfree’ sort values my decision to have children. But why the hostility? Why are we subjected to a well developed lexicon of derogatory slang developed to describe the people doing the work of continuing the species? Why is it that people assume that the default amongst parents are shitty parents? Referring to the majority of parents as being the ones that let their kids run free and play with toys off the shelf, who let their kids scream their heads off in restaurants are the norm, is the same as saying that the average black person is lazy and shiftless. It’s the same sort of bigotry, making everyone responsible for the worst of behaviors.

Now, my daughter has been the kid screaming on the plane, she has been the one screaming in the restaurant, and I wasn’t always handling it the best. But the reality is that parenthood like any profession has a learning curve. And whenever kids are at their youngest and brattiest is when the parents are still noobs. 1 and 2 year olds have screaming fits when and where they want to. They are not in control over their emotions. And guess what? Neither is the parent. But most parents do care about your enjoyment of your dinner. You don’t notice the parents who take the kid out BEFORE the screaming fit, precisely because they took them out. So you judge them only by the parent who was either apathetic to the screaming, or who just didn’t get the problem handled in time.

Also, at one point YOU were the screaming brat. At some point YOU were a child. Some ‘Breeder’ raised YOU. Just like my daughter, who is a real person, you were a real person.

Now, I don’t expect a medal for being a parent. Being a parent is it’s own reward, and it comes with very, very heavy costs, which whether you like it or not you are expected by society to bear. And that makes sense. But it speaks to me of a very crass culture, a culture that is anti-life in general, when you see people who are openly derogatory of the profession of parenting in general.

There is no profession on Earth that is more essenital to the advancement of society than the parent. Parents train the next generation, they teach them how not to shit on the sidewalk. They teach them how to play baseball and help them with their chemistry homework. Without parents, the human race ends. So while, you shouldn’t respect someone just for being a parent, I do believe the ethical position is to have a healthy respect for the job of parenting because parenting is the ONLY thing that keeps humanity alive. We breed sexually, and as of right now, we all die.

Anti-Natalist bigotry should not be considered to be something that is simply, OK. It’s highly rude. I do fear a culture where anti-natalism is considered ok, and normal. Nothing good can come of it.

The VHEMT is an extremist organization unworthy of respect. Ok, so you’re a nihilist who has no respect for human life and likes to anthopomorphize the biosphere to such an insane degree that it is more valuable than the entire human race. I get it, go ahead put a bullet in your own head, remove yourself from suffering, but taking the entire race with you is not a respectable position. While we can tolerate it in society so long as it is powerless, it should be held up as an example of anti-social misanthropy and not as an equally valid point of view.

As I said in the other thread, there is always another side. For every person who hates children for being children, there is someone who hates childfree people for not having children. The type of bigotry I’ve faced from parents includes: being told that when I’m ready to grow up, I’ll have children; being called selfish for not having kids, being told that all “Real” women want children; being told I don’t deserve family heirlooms. That’s just a little bit of the rude things that have been said to me.

But I’m not going to label all parents as clueless bigots because of a few dunderheads. So I’d expect that any rational person would extend the same courtesy and not say that all childfree people are frothing-at-the-mouth babyhaters.

For every childless person giving you the fisheye about your screaming child in public, there’s a parent thinking “Now, if that were my child…” Some of the most judgmental people on parenting that I’ve seen are parents themselves. But when you’re concentrating on handling a chaotic situation, you’re not exactly quizzing frustrated onlookers about their parenting status, right?

What it comes down to is that there are jerks in this world, and they come in all sorts of lifestyles.

What I’ve found is that there is a strong streak of misanthropy in the blog writings of the “childfree”. In other words, they hate kids, but they don’t much like people of any age.

I’m CBC myself. I don’t get the hardcore folk, though. I like babies, and occasionally older, unusually grown-up kids, but have no desire to have one of my own and especially not to raise them in a society I consider dehumanizing to all but the most fortunate children.

Oooh, coming out against bigotry. Easy, tiger. The Man won’t like it.

So is this typical behavior, or isn’t it?

A question occurs to me: Am I misanthropic to hate society, or only the people living in it?

I think people are generally pretty okay until they are influenced by things like groups, trends, and mass psychology.

My impression of the angry childfree stereotype is that those folk are often just pissed off at human nature itself.

This ego right here is why there is a backlash against parents.

My wife can’t have children. We have been accused of being selfish for not having children.

Also, I do help raise your children. I pay taxes.

But, one thing that has changed is I dont have any input on hwo you raise your kids. People can no longer correct children in public do to worries about being sued.

Cant elaborate. On Saurfang.

It’s a bit OT, but do you actually hate society? If so, why the heck are you on the Internet? Why aren’t you living in the woods?

Getting squirrely is definitely typical of a child’s behavior yes.

Any other elementary questions you need answers for?

StoutHearted I am making a distinction between people who don’t want children and people who are ‘childfree’. IE, I have friends who simply don’t have kids and don’t really want them, and go about their lives normally. Then there are the fanatics, and almost everyone I know who likes the term ‘childfree’ falls into this category. They are the ones most likely to use the negative anti-natalist terms. And I don’t think it’s a minority of ‘childfree’ who behave like this. Childfree as far as I can tell is a code-word for anti-natalist bigot. Just because they seem to really like the derogatory jokes and give each other a wink and a nod in debates whenever someone makes some kind of anti-natalist zinger.

I’m very sorry that people are mean to you because of your choices. I know people that don’t want kids. I have older friends who do not have kids, and I think it’s the height of rudeness and conceit to question those choices, because you never know why someone made such a choice. It’s not so much the desire to remain childless that bothers me. It’s condescending and insulting tone spoken as if it is some sort of lifestyle choice I should accept. I accept your choice to remain without children, but I don’t think it justifies a rude misanthropy.

What ego? It’s simply a fact. Without people breeding the human race goes extinct. Simple fact, not a value judgment.

That’s unfortunate. I am sorry you have faced bigotry.

I appreciate your support in raising my children. tips hat

That’s not true. You can’t correct the child physically, but you can SAY something. I’ve calmed kids down with the disapproving ‘Daddy Stare’. No one has ever been sued for telling kids in a restaurant to quit horsing around. In my experience, the parents who will jump to their kids defense when it is obviously the kids who are being obnoxious brats, are the exception not the rule, the dozens of pit threads to the contrary not withstanding. If you HIT my kid we’d probably both be in serious trouble, because I’d likely put you in the hospital for it, but on a regular basis other parents help with kids on the playground, keep them from running out into the street and whatnot.

I self-identify as childfree. For me to self-identify as childless would be inaccurate, because childless indicates that I’m lacking something I actually want. I have zero interest in children, and zero interest in having children of my own - does that sound like someone who is childless (i.e. less a child)? If you wouldn’t mind taking the time to read that sentence carefully, you’ll note that I am making NO judgements on anyone else and their choices - I’m just talking about me.

OP, you’re making a lot of assumptions, and I don’t think they’re especially accurate. You have an idea in your head what the label “childfree” means, but as a childfree person, I don’t think you understand it very well at all. You seem to be taking a stance similar to what Fundamentalist Christians often take - they consider themselves oppressed if they aren’t given the freedom to oppress others. You seem to be taking it as a personal insult if not everyone feels the same way about children as you do.

I saw this happening in the other thread, and I’d like to address it now - if someone self-identifies a certain way, it is rude to continue to refer to them with a different title than the one they choose for themselves.

The bolded is exactly why I see this as a form of ideology and not merely a choice. Childless implies no such thing. It’s simply the way English is constructed.

I am just going by the fact that every person I’ve met who likes the term ‘childfree’ is either an open anti-natalist bigot, or gives such bigotry a wink and a nudge as you did in the other thread when jackmanii was making bigotted jokes.

I think comparing you to a fundie Christian is more apt. No one is oppressing you and you’re the only one claiming oppression. I didn’t say I was a victim of oppression, only that a certain vulgar bigotry should be called out as vulgar bigotry. Oppression is being FORCED to have children by being raped. Being harangued by idiotic busy-bodies about your choice not to have children is not oppression.

Well childless is descriptive of the state of not having children. Childfree is an ideological stance. It’s important to make the distinction.

What ego? I find it to be quite evident that nothing on Earth is more important than raising the next generation.

Why on Earth not? I do that all the time. The last thing children need is for grown up to act in a manner that is always shying conflict. Although I have found it easier after I had my own children, since it does take some amount of hands on practise to learn how to handle children in a constructive way. So perhaps that is what is your problem.

I’m not a parent yet, but I’ve done this a time or two myself. Occasionally I’ll see a kid sitting in a shopping cart throwing a fit because mommy won’t buy them something. I just give them my stern 1000 yard stare and most of the time they just stop. I’ll never lay my hands on someone else’s child, but I see no reason not to shame them into better behavior.

Or perhaps we should bow down before farmers instead, without whom we’d starve. Or perhaps it should be plants we revere, since we’d suffocate without them. Or gravity, which keeps us from drifting into space and dying in vacuum.

The point? “Necessary for survival” isn’t the same as “worthy of respect and admiration”. You can be a parent and be a complete idiot and slimeball; there’s nothing impressive about doing what any mammalian species can pull off.

But the only people claiming some sort of ‘worship’ are the people who have a chip on their shoulder. No parents ask or require ‘worship’. That this accusation is consistently thrown out tells a lot about the ideological leanings of the speaker.

Says the person who calls not having children “bigotry”.

Parents in our society constantly demand exaggerated respect and deference. They demand that all of society follow their rules, that everyone give their opinions respect just because they have a child, talk about how they are superior beings, and sneer at those who don’t have children like they were vermin.

Except I never said that or even anything that can be reasonably misconstrued as saying that.

This is nonsense. But the perfect illustration of what I am talking. A completely and wholly irrational belief in persecution used to justify the hatred of a group.

I’m neither here nor there on children (they seem like a tremendous amount of work and I’d like parents to have all the resources they need to do the best job possible, but those who insist I have some of my own seem to be motivated more out of spite – misery loves company – than the kindness of their hearts), but I suppose ‘childless’ could be interpreted in the same way as ‘godless.’ You’re missing something that, by default, should be in your life.

All in all, I don’t really think there’s a winner in the smug parents vs. nihilist child-free debate (or, my favorite, the child-hater who, by some stroke of luck/torn condom, got stuck with a kid and had their eyes opened to the awesomeness of reproduction and their incomparably bright, unique offspring). There will always be parents who molest/beat/neglect the children they have because they were too stupid to figure out sex = babies, or who thought babies = attention. There will always be childless people who, uh, never learn how to love? Yell at your kids in the park? Don’t want to buy Girl Scout cookies?