Saturday, July 5, 2014

Child-Free 101

A few of my closest friends have accused me of being "hostile against parenthood" or that I must "hate children" because of my previous statements about choosing NOT to have kids. That's not the least bit true, actually: I like kids plenty, I have neices & nephews that I love to bits. But don't mistake me openly expressing my personal sentiments on parenthood itself for being the same thing as saying all parents are just mindless breeders who will never know the taste of a truly free life. I don't want to have kids, I realized a long time a go that I am just NOT "Mommy-Material" and this doesn't upset me one bit. I have taken medical precautions to ensure this for myself and I have no regrets about it AT ALL, and I never believed in that "Biological Clock" bullshit, either. 

Your Grandmother very likely made up the "Biological Clock" myth to guilt your Mother into having YOU, probably for no other reason than that's what was expected of her.

And PLEASE don't think that I'm trying to be a complete asshole here, as I have friends & relatives who very recently had their frist kids becuase it's something that they really honestly wanted more than anything else in the world: They are intelligent, kind-hearted people and they'll be awesome parents because of it. I wish MORE people that had kids were like that, but I know that at least half of them could give a shit. I also wish that more people were brave enough to really think about certain social & cultural norms and honestly say NO if they find something undesirable being pressured upon them: No one in the United States ABSOLUTELY HAS TO get married, there's no law that required anyone to marry if they don't honestly want to, but I still support the rights of any consenting adult couple (or even a group of consenting adults, for all I give a shit) to marry if that's what they really want.

If anything, I think that people who engage in certain activities & institutions (marriage, parenthood, enlistment, celibacy, etc...) because on some level they feel like they HAVE TO and not because they really WANT TO, those people sap more meaning and fulfillment out of it than anything else. I'm far more offended by women who relegate themselves to the life of the eternal haus-frau and become 100% reliant on their husbands because "well what else am I supposed to do?" than I'll ever be of two grown men that love each other and want to publicly express their love and comittment in the face of that last-bastion of shitty argmunets that most people call "tradition." When I was begining my military career, I met A LOT of young Soldiers that really honestly DID NOT WANT to join the Army, but did so because family and friends pressured them into it: Many of these young men and women came from military families themselves, so they basically relegated themselves to upholding a family legacy in a day/age/society/country where for the most part, no sane human being would sign away their entire young lives during a time of war for that reason alone. Many of this misguided young'uns didn't make it through Basic Training, the rest were drummed out during A.I.T.

"Tradition" is the fall-back of those who have NOTHING LEFT of real value or substance to contribute to the conversation. And just like religious and military contexts, this is especially true in a familial one.

"Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, hey Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, hey Mommy, Mommy..."

There's no shortage of "lists" on the Internet, these days EVERYBODY has something they'd like the public to know about and the cybersphere often seems like the perfect place to brain-dump: I've done this myself many times, usually by way of this very blog that YOU, good reader, have managed to find and continue reading (and for that, you have my sincere thanks.) So I'm going to be a total cliche of myself and make another goddamn list of things often uttered by the unknowing or willfully ignorant about choosing not to have kids. 

  • "You don't have kids?" Is there ever any logical reason why, in our developed society amass with internet connectivity and large scale communication enterprises, this should ever surprise ANYONE?
  • "Why not?" Because I don't fucking want to, what's it to you if I don't? Furthermore, would you be asking me this asinine question if I were a man?
  • "It's your duty to continue your genetic line." I'm still waiting for someone to say this to a chick with Down's Syndrome, THAT ALONE should say something about how shallow and ignorant this "argument" really is.
  • "Oh, but babies are so cute..." Google image search Harlequin Ichthyosis with the safe-search feature turned OFF. Go ahead, do it. I triple-dog-fucking DARE YOU, I hope you haven't eaten anything within the last half-hour or so. Even IF you can stomach the horrifying posibility of pushing such a monstrosity out of your own vagina, consider the possibility that even relatively normal "cute" babies don't stay cute forever. At right about 2 or 3 years, they tend to hit that phase of their young lives commonly known as "The Noisy Fucking Bastard That Never Stops POOPING" years.
  • "You'll change your mind someday..." People have been telling me this since I was 16, I would usually hear this from my elder relatives. I'm 33 now, I STILL don't have any kids, I STILL don't want any, and I STILL get this same tired-ass line from time to time: Some people never learn, especially if they're lapsed-Catholic alcoholics (you know who you are)
  • "You're gonna die old and alone!" Have you ever been to a nursing home? Go ask some of the residents and staff there how often their kids or grand-kids visit them. Maybe a few of them might get sporadic visits from family members from time to time, but if EVERY old-person's family ACTUALLY took care of them in their old age, I can't help but wonder if nursing homes would even exist at all. People live, they get old, then they die: I think the best thing that anyone can do is be smart about their finances & start saving for their retirement A.S.A.P. As soon as you first ask yourself "should I start saving for retirement?" START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT!
  • "You'll need someone to carry on your legacy." And what is that legacy, exactly? I'm not the C.E.O of a company or an award winning scientist, I'm just ME. I'm weird, rebellious, promiscuous, creatively disturbed, socially awkward, quick to anger, slightly paranoid and stubborn as fuck: If I spawned a smaller, louder, hormone-driven version of MYSELF, I'm pretty sure one of us would kill the other in a Dragonball-Z style show-down.
  • "Be fruitful and multiply" Riiiiight, because that's working out SO WELL in the Third World...
  • "You're just afraid!" You're right, I'm mind-numbingly terrified of permanently disfiguring my lady-bits to the point that I'll run the risk of never being able to enjoy using them quite the same way ever again, not to mention the possibility of internal bleeding or someday dying from something called a Fistula (Yep, time for another Google image search! And don't you dare put that safe-search back on, ya pussy...) OR, more likely, the person that actually said this to me was just dying for me to knock his fucking teeth out from his ignorant, ugly fucking head.
  • "Why do you hate children?" Why don't you ask the nieces & nephews that I hand-knit presents for last Christmas? I guarantee they'll just stare at you like the presumptious, jelly-headed moron that you probably are. Accusing me of "hating children" because I don't want to be a parent is like accusing me of "hating horses" because I don't own property large enough to have one: Between a kid and a horse, I'd rather have a horse. Horses are awesome.
  • "But... you're a woman." Very astute observation, dipshit.
  • "You'll change your mind when you hold one in your arms..." Someone at a family function (but not someone I'm actually related to) actually tried to hand me their baby once, they actually told me that BECAUSE I'm a woman I'll supposedly "figure it out very quickly." AW HELL NAW! I physically stepped back, tucked my hands into my back-pockets and proceeded to give this ignorant bitch the ass-chewing of her life in full view of EVERYONE IN THE FUCKING BUILDING. How I managed to survive a term in the United States military, at times, astounds me, because I don't handle people trying to force things on me very well. At all. I actually react VERY BADLY TO THIS, and though it wasn't my honest intent to make this woman feel bad for it's own sake, I wasn't exactly going to passively accept her sexist bullshit, either. My relatives were horrified, I was fucking infuriated, I never saw this woman again. I was later told that I scared her so badly she promptly pissed herself after leaving the room, the baby started crying, too: I feel bad for the baby, it didn't know any better. That, and the poor little fuck has an absolute moron for a Mom... The moral of the story: NO means NO, and if I have to repeat myself, you're going to regret it (and probably deserve it.)
  • "Parenting can be very rewarding." So can playing the lottery, they're about on the same level in terms of input-to-result ratio in a lot of ways: I don't play lottery tickets, either.
  • "You're missing out!" If I honestly WANT to treat myself to the experience of not sleeping for several consecutive days and having to constnatly keep an eye on someone who can't even take care of themselves or even speak a coherent sentence half the time..., I'll dig out my last good set of ACUs, steal the TARDIS, go to a place in Iraq called F.O.B. Warhorse in the year 2010 and basically step-by-step re-live the first half of my deployment there. Seriously, I would rather go back to war than be a parent: I REALLY don't want to go back to war, either.
  • "But it's only natural..." It's only natural for some species to occasionally eat their own young, do you really want to have THAT conversation?
  • "Well I LOVE MY CHILDREN!" So did John Wayne Gacy, NEXT...
  • "Your life must be so empty..." Of course, I'm getting straight-A's in college and loving the ever-living piss out of my totally amazing husband for no good reason at all, really. I guess I've just been spending all of my time and effort getting the biggest academic bang from those G.I. Bill tax-payer-funded bucks, working very hard on sustaining a far-from-perfect but completely awesome marriage, volunteering my time and effort in publicly combatting the seemingly neverending plague of sexual assault/harassment and rape culture, recycling, NOT voting Republican, and finally just doing my damnedest to be a decent human being... for no reason at all -_-

I wanted to save the best/worst one for last, are you ready for this one? 

I once heard someone say that becoming a Mom was her life defining experience and that she deserved praise for not only procreating, but for coming to that realization. Look, as I've already said, I know people who ARE parents who are awesome folks and have awesome kids, and I'm happy for them all. I would never want to diminish their happiness or invalidate their experience, but nobody gets a fucking cookie because their uterus happens to work a few times. 7 billion "miracles" later, this should be obvious! If you're happy with yourself about being a Mom, then that's all well and good in it's own right, but it doesn't make you BETTER THAN a woman who ISN'T. Because what if she WANTS TO but CAN'T? What if she HAD ONE and her kid DIED? What if her kid grew up to be a peice of shit, despite her best efforts to set her/him straight? Are you somehow better than her because you have a self-defecating humunculus permanently latched onto your tit? Are you somehow morally superior to ME because I have a different set of goals in life than you did? 

If procreating is your greatest achievement in life, then your standards must be pretty fucking low.

But hey, if it's praise you want for fulfilling an every-day occurrence of biology... 

... Enjoy your "legacy", but I think I'll pass.

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