Category Archives: Parenting Fails

What I Regret About Being Childfree (MOVED!)

Woops! This blog post has moved. You can find it at its new home HERE.

Having A Vagina Does Not Automatically Make Your Demand Feminist

There was a time once when you couldn’t criticize anything George W. Bush, or is criminal comrades did, for fear of being accused of being “unpatriotic.” See, the Republicans have been terrifyingly successful at branding themselves as “patriotic” even as they lied to the American public, started pointless wars, and stomped all over the Constitution. What they were doing was not at all patriotic, but they declared it so.

As a feminist, it bothers me quite a deal when people mischaracterize feminism. Anti-feminist do this quite a deal, blaming everything they can on feminism no matter how absurd. But what is worse, I think, is when people who call themselves feminist attempt to misappropriate feminism for their own agenda. Feminism means gender equality. It does NOT mean that women (or mothers, specifically) deserve special privilege. Some people who advocate for such a thing do so under the guise of feminism, apparently not knowing or caring about what that term actually means.

I could list off countless examples of this, but what is really getting to me lately is the way self-proclaimed feminists have reacted to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s support of work policies that do NOT treat mothers as special beings. Mayer herself does not call herself a feminist, even though she very likely actually is by definition. It’s just as well, since people who do call themselves feminists but actually are natalism-worshippers out for special treatment now accuse her of being un-feminist.

Here’s the thing, moms don’t deserve paid leave, flexible hours, or work-from-home privileges any more than anyone else. They just don’t. They may WANT those things and find it advantageous to have those things, but that doesn’t mean that they are owed such special treatment. I might find it advantageous to be given 1 million dollars for nothing, but that doesn’t mean that I actually deserve it or that anyone is un-feminist to anyone who does give it to me. Bring your kids to work? Unless it’s a daycare, NO! Be responsible and get a sitter!

Maternity leave? Save your vacation time and save your money, just like anyone else who takes time off. Nine months is plenty of time to prepare and plan. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be reproducing anyway.

Flexible hours? Work from home? Yeah, everyone (except the employers who would likely suffer from the decline in productivity,) would like that, but it’s not always practical and no one deserves it more than anyone else, not by virtue of being a woman or a mother.

“But it’s haaard to be a mom and work!” No kidding. It would also be hard to hold a regular job while also running a farm or doing anything else that consumes a lot of time. PLAN ACCORDINGLY AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES, LIKE REAL ADULTS!

Contrary to popular belief, employers are not babysitters for grown-ups. You have to be responsible for your own “work-life balance.” The business is paying you to WORK, not to have a personal life. Set your own goals and priorities and be aware that they are not always fully compatible and CHOOSE RESPONSIBLY!

Special treatment for moms just for being moms is NOT feminist. In fact, fear of lost money and productivity by catering to every absurd fake-feminist, natalism-worshipping demand HURTS WOMEN. Employers sometimes find themselves reluctant to hire women of reproductive age for fear they’ll turn entitle-mommy and completely screw them over. I seem to recall this very risk being one of the arguments against the feminist push to normalize women being allowed in the workplace. I really wish interviewers were allowed to ask about a female applicant’s reproductive plans, but they don’t seem to have that legal ability.

So thanks, fake-feminist natalism-worshippers. Your attempts to garner special treatment for certain women for their lifestyle choices is creating a huge step backwards for gender-equality, real feminism.

Letters To A Natalist World: What Every Parent Needs to Know in Terms of Social Child Behaviors (MOVED!)

Woops! This blog post has moved. You can find it at its new home HERE.

Letters To A Natalist World: Bathrooms

Ok, Natalist World? Sit down. We need to talk. Seriously. I’m worried about you. I know that we haven’t always been on the best of terms, but hear me out. You’re kind of gross and really need to get your shit together.

It seems that whenever I run across an article or online conversation about parenting (it’s harder to avoid than you might think) I always notice that there will, without fail, be mommies (but curiously, rarely daddies) complaining about how much they miss going to the bathroom in private.

I will leave that sentence in a paragraph all by itself so we can all just chew on that for a second. Basically, parents find that, ever since they had kids, they cannot go to the bathroom without an audience. Ok, well it’s disgusting enough to even allow that, for one thing. (Seriously, I’ve heard of moms going pee while holding children in their laps, even when those children are old enough to comment on how gross that is.)

But from the way most of these admissions are framed as a complaint, that implies that the parents are somewhat bothered by their lack of bathroom privacy. Now, hold up, Natalist World. Are you telling me that grown adults, who are responsible for the lives of dependant human beings and for the future of the next generation, don’t understand how to use doors? (Come on, even the raptors in Jurassic Park could figure those out.)

Yeah, moms? Most bathrooms have doors, which are on hinges and can be (sit down, because this will blow your minds) closed. Yes, it sounds amazing, but it’s true! Most doors having this handy feature that allows you to actually shut them. Heck, most bathroom doors can even be locked! Welcome to 2012 and our incredible, space-age technology.

“But then who will watch the kid?” Um, is there a second parent around? Or another family member, maybe? If not and the child is so young as to need constant supervision, how do you sleep? Surely sleeping takes a bit longer than a bathroom break. Presumably, you have a crib or a playpen (or a kennel?) Why not use it?

“But the kid will throw a fit!” Surely that’s the problem of the other person watching the kid (or the kennel?) And why would you want to teach your kid that it can get its way by throwing fits anyway? What is it with this generation of parents and their complete inability and unwillingness to stand up to their kids? Is the world, “no,” really that difficult to pronounce firmly?

“The kid will just open the door!” If the kid is old enough to open a door and especially if it’s old enough to pick a lock (because we lock bathroom doors, remember?), it’s plenty old enough to be taught rules and boundaries. Here’s a thought: how about you teach your kid to behave, you know, like a parent might do? (I hear spanking helps.)

No, really, you’re not doing your kids any favors letting them share the bathroom with you. They won’t learn rules or boundaries about bathrooms that way, and that will not only be a problem for you, but can possibly make your kid a nuisance to everyone else too . They’ll be that person that bothers other people in bathroom by doing obnoxious things like pounding on doors, trying to talk to people who are trying to go, or peeking under stalls (in which case I think a swift kick is perfectly justified.)

Additionally, the kid can create an unpleasant sight other people unwittingly walk in on. The kid will mimic your behavior, leaving the door wide open. And when your kid does get old enough to understand the value of bathroom privacy, he/she will be humiliated looking back at how often he/she left the door open, exposed to the view of the world. No, seriously, you may as well teach the kid to walk around naked all the time.

But there’s more to it than that, you might actually be putting your kid in danger. When I was little, my parents always left the bathroom door open. I don’t think it was because the kids really wanted in as much as it was my parents not really caring enough to close the door. So as a kid, I thought that was normal behavior and never closed the door either, no matter where I was.

One day, I was doing my business in the upstairs bathroom of my babysitter when a man who I had never met suddenly walked in. He didn’t mean to walk in on me but had simply rounded the corner in the hallway and walked in the open door without looking. When he saw me, he told me in a disgusted tone that I should close the door, and then he left. I was of course humiliated that this is the way that I had to learn that doors were supposed to be shut, and upset that my parents had never taught me this lesson (I’ve been wrong this whole time!) I felt sort of like Adam and Eve did (or would have were they not fictional characters) when they suddenly realized that they’d been naked all that time (only strangers didn’t yell at them for it.)

But that situation could have been dangerous. An unknown man alone in a room with a little girl with her pants down, the only adult in the house a babysitter who had obviously not been paying attention. I’m just saying that could have gone very badly. Yeah, is that a situation you want your kids to be in? Think on that.

TL;DR – Close the damned door, you slob.

Letters To A Natalist World: When Is It OK To Drag An Infant To A Movie Theater?

So, I do believe that everyone has heard about the tragic shooting in a Colorado movie theater at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. The question on everyone’s lips is, “what the fuck were those parents thinking bringing their infant to the show?” (Nothing at all, would be my guess.) It’s not that anyone blames the parents for the child being injured in the shooting. We’re just amazed that the baby was there to be injured in the first place as it clearly didn’t belong there. It’s like hearing of an infant being injured in a fire at a strip club.

I’ve had my share of movies ruined by inconsiderate “parents” who drag their infants and young children into movie theaters, those young ones which then proceed to shriek through the whole show. Amazingly, such inept parents even drag kids out to R-rated movies and late shows (not that I appreciated my afternoon showing of Pixar’s Brave being ruined either.)Even if the baby is quiet (and a parent is kidding themselves if they think it will be) it isn’t going to be watching the move so there’s really no reason to bring it. And yet the babies are at shows anyway. The explanation seems simple, lazy, entitlement-minded, selfish, inconsiderate parents.

Of course, parents in such a category are quick to come up with excuses for their unacceptable behavior, even going so far as to seriously suggest that a baby will sleep peacefully through a loud action movie, as if anyone who reads such a ridiculous thing is so unfamiliar with babies that they’d actually buy that bullshit. Then those parents will wail that it’s so haaard to get a babysitter, as if that should be everyone else’s problem. (By the way, I’m amazed that these same parents who seriously insist that their infant will sleep quietly through a loud movie are the same people who will complain about their babies keeping them up at night to gain sympathy.)

Well, as a childfree person, I feel I can give good advice on parenting (I know enough about parenting to know better than to breed.) So, to all the oblivious “parents” out there who really think their little pweshus simply MUST see the new SAW movie, I’ve created a handy list here to clear up some confusion. 

When is it OK to drag an infant to a movie theater?

  1. NEVER!

Ok, ok…

  1. When you’ve stuffed the baby’s gob so full of Ambien that it will be practically in a coma for the day

  2. When you’ve rented out the theater for that showing and are the only people there

  3. When you’ve bound and gagged the baby so it can’t bother anyone

  4. When it’s an infant who was born without hands or vocal cords

  5. When it’s not a baby, but one of those creepy Reborn dolls

  6. When the theater management completely loses their minds, and sets aside special showings specifically for the purpose of being ruined by babies

  7. When there’s a severe zombie outbreak and the theater happens to be the most convenient hide-out

  8. When it’s just a home theater in your living room

  9. When you’ve encased the baby in a sound-proof and smell-proof bubble

  10. When you’re prepared to personally refund every last person in the audience their full ticket price, should your baby make a peep

And don’t forget to pay a full-price ticket for the baby, spray the stench-sack down with Fabreze, and either carry it in your lap or shove it under the chair so it doesn’t take up seats.

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