Since watching the 30 Rock finale, I’ve acquired a few new insults for people:
“Why don’t you get educated, Double Hitler?”
“Goodbye forever, you factory reject dildos!”
“You’re just an alcoholic with a great voice.”
I haven’t yet figured out a way to tell someone to go to Tan Penis Island without laughing, but I’ll keep working on it. I’m glad the finale was so great, because not only did I love and will miss that show terribly, but also it segues nicely into a different insult I’ve been thinking about for the past few days, one that I would never use because it’s fucking dumb and should disappear forever.
I was reminded of this insult the other day, when it was said by a woman in my office. She wasn’t saying it about me, but it has been said about me before by others, who, I should point out, are laughably unqualified to make the distinction considering their own life choices. And now that I think about it, the woman in my office was just as unqualified to say this about someone else considering her own life choices. Hm. Funny how there’s that trend.
It seems like whenever a person of this type who happens to have kids wishes to insult someone who doesn’t, they default to “well, they should never have children.” Like they’re cursing their enemy with infertility, which, by the way, would be awesome for me, and I’ve got my hopes set on that and getting a pubic hair-only version of alopecia someday. Fingers crossed, everyone!
But they’re not really cursing their enemy with infertility. What they’re really saying is that their enemy (or just a person they’re bitching about, same thing) isn’t good enough to have children, and shouldn’t be blessed with the miracle that is childbirth. Because, I don’t know, they’d get their kids hooked on cigarettes in kindergarten or maybe just teach them to be independent thought havers and that kind of thing is bad.
The thing about this insult is that it’s always used against women who don’t even want to have kids in the first place, and have made that abundantly clear. I’m not kidding. Every single time I’ve ever heard this deployed – either against me or someone else – it’s always meant to target someone who doesn’t even give a shit. Which isn’t surprising, actually, because the type of person who insults people like this probably isn’t bright enough to come up with something appropriate. “Well, they should never have children” is such an asinine thing to say, especially by someone who’s already had them and is fucking up the job.
Okay, fine, I shouldn’t have kids. Yes thank you, I realized that when I was an adolescent. And when I say “shouldn’t,” it’s not because I am deficient in the caring or compassion areas of my brain, but because I DON’T WANT ANY FUCKING KIDS.
And you know how I took care of that? I didn’t fucking have any. I didn’t get knocked up by “accident” (because how is it really an accident anymore?), I didn’t follow my ticking biological time bomb clock into a shitty relationship, I didn’t tell other people how to conduct their reproductive lives when I clearly wasn’t capable of controlling my own. Having kids doesn’t make a person automatically better. Kids don’t wipe your slate clean. You have to continue growing and striving to me a more benevolent version of yourself no matter what you do with your womb. Many childless-by-choice women manage to live their lives with this understanding, and most of us roll our eyes at anyone who wants to point their witch fingers at us and undermine our decisions by confusing them with abilities.
Because we do have the power to make decisions, you know. And attacking ours when you’re shit at making your own isn’t wise or powerful of you. It’s fucking stupid. It’s an ignorant, self-serving way to behave. It’s a perpetual “what, you think you’re better than me?”
Well, yeah. I do think I’m better than you. I think I’m better than you for having the guts to own my life, and I think the people who are terrific parents – the ones I know whose children are lucky to have them and who not only remain wonderful people outside of their families, but who are made even better by the virtue of having them – are better than you, too.
And we’re all probably better than your kids, too, because I can’t wait to see how they turn out with you as their parent.
I don’t like the term “childless by choice.” Some of us non-moms didn’t even put that much thought into it beyond practicing responsible birth control. There was no great moment where I announced: “Attention, World: I do not want to contribute to the population on Planet Earth.” It turns out I just didn’t breed. Just like I didn’t become an accountant or a firefighter.
I once saw it called “child-free”… because we’re not “less” or somehow missing something, by not having children. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I agree with your sentiments — many of the people who have children out there, shouldn’t.
Child-free, birth control-capable, disposable income-having…same thing, ALL AWESOME.
I loved this post because I couldn’t agree more. I DO want children, but because I’ve waited until my 30’s to do so some people like to act like I don’t want a family as much as they did, or that I’m too selfish to have kids. Hell yeah I’m selfish. I spent my 20’s being selfish on purpose. I chose not to have kids early and I’m still happy with my decision.
I think the key word is CHOICE. You know damned well that Society hates non-breeders simply because we’re perceived as an economic threat.