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I know exactly what you mean, Lucizoe. I'm approaching my 32nd birthday, and still have absolutely no feelings towards children. They're either dull or extremely annoying, depending on my mood (and also on how obnoxious they are!) I'm not aware of any sort of biological clock; in fact, I think it probably IS a myth. Are these women really feeling physical longing? Or are they, as I suspect, simply having a psychological reaction to the societal pressure women are under to breed?
Hooray for us for not living by some mythical repro clock (or maybe it should be repo clock, since having kids steals your pre-child lifestyle away)!! But really, sometimes I do wonder what it is that makes me different, whilst everyone around us is happily sprogging, or thinking about it. I'm glad for my difference, though!

Just yesterday, a co-worker asked me slyly "what's new?" As this is not someone I ever really talk to, I just said "not much." And then she said (as she touches my stomach) - what about the "bun in your oven?" WTF??? I backed away and said that there is "no bun in the oven, nor would there be, nor is there any plan to be." And then she went on and on about how sad her life would be if she didn't have her kids. I said that I did not feel that way at all, and I quite enjoy my life. Rude, rude rude!!

This is made worse by the fact that I work in an adoption agency, so reproductive issues are very sensitive around here, and you *do not* ask things like that. Touching my stomach was what really made me enraged, though. I don't care if you *are* 9 months pregnant, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that a pregnant woman's belly is public property. I will never touch a woman's pregnant stomach without specific, unasked for invitation. Its just not cool, in my book.
Ha, pointybird, frankly, I know this woman quite well. I've known her for over ten years and she is looking for someone to love her unconditionally. Not to go all armchair shrink or anything wink.gif, but she spent most of late adolescence into her early 20s (we're 24) being irresponsibly promiscuous (no birth control or condoms) with partners who didn't respect her at all, didn't care if she had fun too, were incapable of giving her the love she needed, but she would build up these casual sexual relationships in her head as though they were all The One, then come crashing down. I would be seriously concerned for any children she might have.

Totally random, but had what was quite possibly the best sex evah last night. Oh, Mr.Luci and his amazing vasectomy, how much I love thee...

eta- ick, turbo!! ick ick ick a thousand times over! I hate that "pregnant woman as public property" thing! It is no one's damn business what a woman does while she is pregnant and being pregnant does not give the public access. WTF? Sometimes I want to strap on a fake pregnancy pad and toddle around, beating the shit out of anyone who tries to touch me. Public service, right? Plus it would deal with my rage...
okay moxie, you may be the one person who did not have children for selfish reasons. I feel that you need a lot of validation in this thread for having children which further feeds on my suspicions that people with kids are truly unhappy. this is a childfree by choice thread and YES I DO feel that people have children w/out thinking about it AND for completely selfish reasons.
bwhahahah luci, you just gave me an idea for a gag....thanks!!!! i would sooo be that woman to strap on a fake belly, complete with little dress and an umbrella..and i would use the umbrella as a smacking tool!!!

(goes and smacks random people with glee)

my little sister, the one i helped raise, just called and said she has a rash. i said, call the doc. and she WHINED. dude,'re like 22 years old and you've had sex. um...get over yourself and grow up. if this is any example of my parenting skills, i should be sterilized NOW. laugh.gif
sorry, i just try to add a varying perspective, which is informed by my experiences. i'll go back to lurking.
no moxie. we all appreciate your experiences and your ideas. I just happen to have a very ascerbic idea of parenting and children, that's all.
That was kind of harsh though CB, I know it is frustrating, my neighbor and I were discussing how after you turn 30, your ovaries become the topic of convos, but I think mg was just trying to put another view in.

I love you all.
I sincerely apologize for my outburst and any outbursts in the future. I love you all as well. good day.
Please don't go, moxie! I think your viewpoint brings something interesting to this thread!

turbo, that's awful that your co-worker did that to you! I don't think anyone should touch anyone else without their permission, unless they are injured and in need of aid. (It probably took me awhile to learn this lesson myself, but once you've felt an abused woman flinch, you learn fast.) And to approach the that way! I mean, if it were someone you were closer to, I could see them saying, "Hey, can you clear up a rumour for me?" But to go ahead like that and then blithly keep on going....argh! ARGH!

Four of my favourite words in the entire world are: "I beg your pardon?"

Often expressed in icy tones....'s the Canadian way!
Turbo, I would flip out if somebody rubbed my belly.

Reason number 5876 never to have children: Avoiding having strangers feel your belly.

My sister has three children and I remember how uncomfortable she always was when people in public felt like they were entitled to touch her. I have never had the urge to walk up to some pregnant lady and cop a feel.

Moxie, definately come back and comment. You bring interesting points to our conversations, from a perspective that few of us get a glimpse of.

But understand those of us that have decided to remain child-free for life are constantly bombarded w/ people trying to persuade us we will one day give up our foolishness and breed like we were meant to. So occasionally we lash out on an innocent, well meaning by stander such as yourself.
Interesting discussions.

I was driven to read this thread nearly top-to-bottom the other day because one of my dear friends, with whom I just survived grad school, is talking about putting her dissertation on hold because her husband wants to have kids, like, yesterday. (They just got married this spring.) I am very very very opposed to this, and have been making my opinion known loud and clear, but lately I've been worried that my "my god girl put YOURSELF and your WORK first" entreaties have been sounding, I don't know, I guess, selfish. Like, how on earth could I tell a nice young fertile woman to put her dissertation ahead of a BABY? Clearly I am a monster. A heartless, kidless monster.

(It doesn't help that a half dozen of our grad school friends have already put everything on hold to have kids - and we just finished school this year for maude's sake!)

Oof. Now I'm dwelling. I'm in a lovely, stable, loving relationship with a wonderful fellow. We've talked about maybe eventually getting around to the official-legal-marriage thing (I'll admit our thinking here is less about the piece of paper and more about throwing a kickass party full of friends and family). But as someone said earlier, I seem to be missing the cogs or sprockets required for the biological clock. I. Don't. Like. Babies. If you have one and it's well-behaved and cute, awesome, good for you. I could maybe hang out with it for an hour or so if you wanted to watch a movie in peace. But I cannot hang out with it for twenty-four hours, seven days. I also cannot sacrifice the energy I need for my work (which is demanding), nor the finances I need to pay back my student loans (which are terrifying).

It is good to know I'm not the only one without the bio-clock. Goddamn. I don't even have a biological wristwatch.

And, of course, Mr. Frog is an only child from a traditional family. I cannot even begin to fathom the fallout if we did get hitched and decide not to continue the line. My folks would be okay with it, I'm sure (granted, I have a sibling), but his parents... would be genuinely saddened.

Argh. Argh. Argh.

Relatedly, I totally heart the Nuvaring. Clear! skin! forever!

oh.. ps. newbie? hmph. no, I just got dingoed, like, four times.
welcome back ff!!! *hands ff a footloose and childfree cocktail*

oooohhh....dissertation post-ponement for babies - that's a tough economic decision to make....but to each their own choices, eh? I personally wouldn't put a hold on those student loans any longer than I needed to, but then I'm not being bossed around by my uterus either, thank maude.

And I've certainly said this here before, but I don't buy the "carry on the family line" business. Being a person who believes that our spirits make many journeys into human form, do I believe that my spirit is bound by one biological line? NO. So, that said, why do I care what happens to one particular DNA strand? I will say...that laying that one on my very conservative christian momma got me one helluva strange look and uncomfortable tread carefully there. blink.gif

On the topic of when are you going to have kids?!

I come from a rabidly German Catholic family. I can't go visit them in the Dakotas anymore because whenever I do they ask if I have a boy friend and if it's serious. I'm twenty five and a rare animal becase I 'm not "married" (between us ladies I have a life partner but if they knew that they die) When my mom visits she fields questions about my marital status and my plans to reproduce. My mom is a doll because she knows it's none of her buisness. Oh, and the whole biological clock thing, I don't have one either. the older I get the less I want kids. The last time I thought I wanted kids was when I was thirteen.
Hey everyone. I need to hang out here more often. I'm sick of people asking me when I'm going to have children -- I'm not entirely convinced (meaning, I could very well change my mind in the next few years), but most of the time I think I don't want to have children. When I was a child, I never had dreams of growing up to be a mommy. I had dreams of growing up to be someone who wrote books. The only dolls I played with were Strawberry Shortcake and Blueberry Muffin, and that's because they smelled good (like my scratch-n-sniff sticker collection).

And yeah, I'm sick of the party line that I'm the one who's selfish because I don't want to have kids right now. I'm focused on my career now and I don't have enough energy to devote to raising a child and I am certainly not well off enough financially to do it. I know right now I wouldn't be able to give a baby a home that it deserves, and really, isn't that one of the least selfish things I can do? I hate that I feel like I sometimes have to justify my choices. My mother thinks it's still 1950 and that women don't have choices.

I love children and it saddens me to know that there are so many out there who are in need of parents to love them. I have thought of adoption because I know I could provide a good home (not just materially) to a child in need, but it's not the right time for me right now.
a little late in the thread, but that breeders bingo was terrific! love it. gonna play it at my next cocktail party.

so, i've come to the conclusion that i AM selfish, and lazy for not wanting kids. i love my personal space, time, and weekends of just laying around reading in bed. oh, and frivolously spending money on crap is another reason i wouldn't make a good parent.

please keep us posted on yr IUD, oceandessa. i am thinking of getting one in the not-so-distant future.
QUOTE(raisingirl @ Jul 30 2006, 05:21 PM) *

When I was a child, I never had dreams of growing up to be a mommy. I had dreams of growing up to be someone who wrote books.

Oh, word.

I hate when people hint at baby-makin' by playing the kinda-complimentary-but-really-more-annoying "you/you and Mr. Frog are so smart/funny/creative/thoughtful/etc., it'd be a shame not to transmit your intelligence/humor/worldview/etc. down for future generations" card. Hey! You bet I want to transmit whatever intelligence I've got to future generations! I'd like to do it via hardcover.
So I was cooking dinner tonite (as if I have time for this) and as I was slaving over the microwave (ha ha) I was thinking to myself " how in the HELL do people cook for themselves AND their children?" especially if their kids have some special dietary needs or something. or if they are just picky. who has time for this?
last nite i went to a fireside(which is a mormon gathering of sorts) to welcome home my neighbors from a 3 year mission for the church. So everyone who knew them was there to say hi--meaning--everyone who has seen me from age 6 would be i braced myself for the worst and hoped for the best.

mr. gb also went along very supportively.

i did not get one baby question except from my old friend D who was soooo excited that we were DINK's...dual income, no kids. cuz thats what she wants too...and you have to stick together especially with breeder families like we exchanged email and hope to hang out soon.

once i got home, mom got on the topic of D and who she was dating, marital status, etc. cuz she hadn't seen her. i told her she wants to be a dink. mom was disappointed slightly...and then re-iterated her grandchild thoughts to me. i said, 'you already have 8 from my siblings. and possibly more from the two others. you don't need any from me.'

so much for trying to get it to sink in.

and yesterday while looking at houses online, she pointed out a 4 bedroom house...i said 'whats the point of the extra space? its just me and brian..all we need is a 3 bedroom, max. our bedroom, a guest bedroom and an office for us.' i could see i had irked her a bit and just walked away.

I love cooking, but I can't imagine adjusting our cooking to the tastes of children. I love trying new foods and eating really spicy stuff. Kids can be so picky.

I loooove being a dink. I too am lazy and selfish and at least I know that. I despise people who don't know that until after they have kids. Then they leave thier kids at home with an eight year old babysitter while they go out until three in the morning to get drunk or (grumble) do drugs around the kids.
here to vent about my stupid cousin.

my cousin is 39 and the oldest out of about 35 of us. she got pregnant at 19 while she was in college with her boyfriend bc her mother is a crazy catholic and didnt talk to her about BC. they got married, had the kid, had another one whose now 15 (the older one is 20) and now she just found out shes pregnant again by accident AGAIN. shes probably about 500 pounds so shes not in ANY shape to be having a kid, esp at 39. she has heart problems and everything else. i cant think of anything more selfish then to keep that child. her husband is a very goodlooking guy whose young for 39 and i feel horrible for him cause she has completely let herself go and he was kind of roped into marrying her when she got pregnant the first time. i cant imagine this is the life he envisioned for himself

they are both successful, shes an engineer and hes an architect, so they have that going for them, but still, it just seems so irresponsible to the kid (who i would be shocked if it made it all 9 months bc she is so unhealthy) and to themselves since now they cant even retire early. morons morons moronic breeders.

end rant.

sorry. i cant really say any of that to the rest of my baby worshipping family (or most of them anyway)
katie, I'm sorry for your frustration with your family...that's a hard situation. My hope would be that she uses this new life coming into her life as an opportunity to create some positive change in her life, and become a more active, healthy, happy person. 9 months will tell the tale, I suppose...

Yup, I do enjoy the DINK lifestyle! Its too hot to do pretty much anything today, so I'm not gonna. It'll be throwing a couple chicken sausages on the grill, make a 'rita, and call that dinner! I think I would have a very hard time with the feeding of children....I have a lot of food allergies, and I would hate to have a kid with my problems, and then have to cater to child tastes on top of it...I know lots of people do it, and do it well, but it really feels beyond my motivations.

I'm already starting to steel myself against the upcoming parental invasion of 2006, coming on August 11. I really *hate* when my parents visit, and I hate thinking that....what if I had a kid who loathed their parents visiting as much as I do? No, thanks. They look at my life, my neighborhood, city, etc with the most judgemental eye, it just makes me a little crazy, and I have to remember not to jump into the crazy pot with them. sigh.....
I just don't understand why more women don't have abortions. That IS an option unless you don't have access or can't afford it. oh, and I guess there is that moral issue that some people have about it but I would much rather live w/ a little regret than a kid for goodness sakes.
I hope it's not against any rules for me to be posting and reading in both Childfree and Childless! Heh. Yes, I have conflicted feelings.

Apparently I have the SINK lifestyle. tongue.gif

Ginger, I think many kids are picky eaters because it's their parents who are giving in to every possible whine and don't know how to say no to their children.

WORD on the hardcover comment, Frog!

I love laying around and reading in bed, too.

What pissed me off today: seeing a totally naked toddler walking from the city park to his nanny's/mother's car IN BARE FEET. I've got a strong immune system and I won't even walk around on the filthy city streets in bare feet, not even flip-flops. But a CHILD?! What about a foreign object getting lodged in his little toddler foot? Ouch. Where is the common sense, people?! (I know, preaching to the choir here...)
Not only are many of us "DINK"'s, we're DINKWAD's- Double Income No Kids With A Dog!

I know, the kids and food thing really gets to me- not just as someone who doesn't want kids, but as a foodie. I have some friends who make a whole separate meal for their daughter. And then they wonder why she'll only eat a half-dozen things (pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, french toast, french fries...maybe a couple of other things)....I don't remember ever being given the option of different food from what my parents were eating. If there was a part of the meal I didn't like that was fine, I had to at least try it, but then I had to eat a decent amount of the part I did like, b ut they weren't . That's the reason I'm a fairly adventureous eater now. I just think it's ridiculous to cater (literally!) to your kids this way.

((Katie and Turbo)) I wish you luck with your respective family issues.

ETA: Raisin, your comment about the barefoot kid reminded me of something that was on the news today- they had a story about the nationwide heatwave going on, and they were talking about this little kid, like 2 or 3 years old who got 2ND DEGREE BURNS on the soles of his feet because his mom let him walk barefoot on a playground blacktop. WTF? How is she that stupid? I don't let my dog walk across the black parking lot outside when it's this hot!! She was like, "oh, I feel bad for him because it hurts him so much." Duh, bitch!
Aaaah, yes, the stupid parent conversation. I've gotten thru many a boring night talking about the many stupid parents nowdays. it seems like there is a backlash from the days when parents were too strict. now it's the opposite. parents want to immediately be their childs' friend right from birth. How annoying. we are going to have the rudest society ever b/c these children will be so stupid and inconsiderate.
ugh i CANNOT STAND PICKY CHILDREN. its one thing if theyt have allergies, its another to just be a lazy parent and only make them things like chicken fingers, bologna, hotdog and mac and cheese. i do happen to know some cool parents who started giving their kids all different crazy ethnic kinds of food as soon ass they were old enough. the kids are like 3 and 5 and eat sushi its freaking awesome. the reason kids are picky is bc parents DO make them entirely separate dinners at a young age. i dont think people are born to be that picky. its not healthy either. i dont really care what these parents try to tell themselves, its just not. polly, i am adventurous (and love all kinds of food, maybe too much:)) for the same reasons you are. my father especially condoned eating all types and introduced me to alot. nowadays ill pretty much try anything once at least, and living in nyc and finding friends who were of other ethnicities and loved food as much as i do helped with that as well. (wow so off topic yikes).

thanks everyone for letting me vent about my cuz. its weird bc its not going to effect me ever, they live in kansas and i am in long island ny and i barely see them, its just annoying to have a family thats like oh this is so great blah blah when its so VERY clear that its just another stupid mistake done by stupid people.

i know i am being harsh but whatever seems so dumb and i knew you guys out of everyone would understand:)
clover, my mom has the same philosophy about modern parenting...that the problem is parents wanting to be the kids' friends. It might be a "backlash" against strict parenting, but it's an unfortunate choice, to go in the very opposite direction. My parents never, ever spanked me or hit me* or treated me like a second-class citizen, and they always listened to my "side" and respected my viewpoint...but there were rules and boundaries, which kids NEED, AND we were taught to respect other people. My parents were pretty liberal-minded people, too, not remotely right-leaning or engaged with right-wing ideology about parenting.

*Except this one time my mom slapped me across the upper arm, but I was 14 or 15 and had just called her a "fucking bitch." And we were both so shocked that we stood there staring and then we both apologized.

Speaking of kids and respect for others....this is one that really, really, really pisses me off....does any body remember the time when you were supposed to stand up for your elders on mass transit? And also for the disabled and for pregnant women (and anyone else who appeared to have difficulty standing)? I can remember my mother hissing at me to stand up, and/or poking me in the ribs with her elbow, if I didn't automatically give up my seat...not just for seniors, but for anyone who appeared older than a student. Now no young person would ever dream of giving up their precious seat, even if an elderly woman was practically falling down! I remember one time on the Skytrain in Vancouver, I got up to give my seat to an elderly woman, and when I turned around some teenager had slid into it! (I was only about 25, but because of that, I actually wrote a letter to the newspaper chastising the parents of modern teen transit riders...which they published.) Another time, I gave up my seat on a bus for a woman, and she said, a little surprised, "You must have had a mother who rode the buses." I would still feel ashamed to remain seated, and I'm almost 38.

I feel like whenever I say this or write it, I must come off like some old biddy. But honestly, to me, it's the most obvious sign that there's something wrong with the way many kids are being raised today. I want to scream, "Hello! Look outside of yourself for just a second, you little narcissist!" (It pisses my mother off, too.)
More parents need to see the movie thirteen and see where trying to be your kid's friend rather than their parent will get them. dry.gif
I am soooooo with you on the politeness issue doodle. I am constantly helping out old ladies w/ their groceries and such. we are becoming a rude society. my parents were strict when I was young. I don't think that it's okay to hit a child but they do need limits. parents today are just so stupid. you should see how they let their children act in the stores. my roommate works in retail and he could tell you some horrendous stories about people who let their kids run all over the store unsupervised and then their kids shit on the floor and grind up crackers into the carpet. and guess who has to clean up their messes? not the kids and certainly not the parents. god forbid.
QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Aug 1 2006, 03:05 AM) *

ugh i CANNOT STAND PICKY CHILDREN. its one thing if theyt have allergies, its another to just be a lazy parent and only make them things like chicken fingers, bologna, hotdog and mac and cheese. i

Let me preface this by saying, no one in the postion of rearing my step children, is dumb or lazy. So, let's stop with that generalization. I know you think people who have children are all mindless breeders, but that is like thinking all persons of color can dance, or that all Italian women are hairy. wink.gif

My stepson will not eat anything, but what you have mentioned. The only healthy things he will eat is salsa, different fruits (not many though), and raw tofu. He ate more vegies as a baby, but now things he ate then he will not touch. He won't even eat corn anymore. You may think it is easy to get kids to eat what you think they should, but it is not when they are picky. We have tried punishment, withholding treats for weeks, bribery, negotiating, etc. He won't do it. As he gets older (he has only been eating salsa for a year) he gets a little more adventurous, (he ate a mango and liked it), but not much. I made him eat a piece of broccoli and swallow it, then 5 minutes later he vomitted it up. He may be manipulating me, but I am not going to spend supper time cleaning up vomit of a five year old. Believe me, his friends' parents are all smart, liberal people, and we are not the only ones with a picky kid. His sister is a better eater than he is, and she has her limits, but she is better at trying new things.

Point is, it is easy to judge a situaiton from the outside, but until you go through it yourself, you don't really know what that experience is like.

"Speaking of kids and respect for others....this is one that really, really, really pisses me off"- WORD, doodle. We even will make moxette say "Mr." and "Mrs." so and so...or whatever the appropriate case may be. It irks me to death to hear kids just use adult's first names. Irg.
touche GGG-in my own experience it was just lazy parents who themselves had bad eating habits and passed them on without even a second thought really but i can see how that is most certainly not the case with everyone.

moxie- i am not sure if that has anything to do with politeness necessarily just bc i know SO many adults that asked to be called by their first name. in fact, in many parts of the country that is how children are raised and its just part of the culture-they even call their parents by their names. so, i am not sure you can necessarily attribute that to rudeness.

on the other hand, i here what doodle is saying about kids not giving up their seats or helping people across the street or even saying THANK YOU when you hold a door for them.
girly, I think that's the point we're trying to make. who the hell wants to go through that? and I'll be the first to admit that I'M the lazy one and that's one reason why I don't have kids. Now, granted, not every parent IS lazy. very true.
We tease my nephew that he tastes with his fingers, and if he doesn't like the feel of something, or the sight of it, he balks...somehow, my SIL works around it, and gets him to eat as much healthy stuff as possible, which isn't much right now, but he's not starving, and you do the best you can, just like GGG. He also just got diagnosed with wheat allergy, so that's added another wrench to an already complicated food situation. Thank maude, his little sister eats anything and everything.

I see a lot of different perspectives in food battles...we weren't allowed to be picky, and had to eat everything we were served or sit at the table alone until bedtime...and the stuff I didn't want to eat were mostly any kind of beef and milk...and as an adult, I was diagnosed with allergy to both, and I think there was something deeper going on there too - I *knew* that stuff gave me a tummy ache, but I was never believed. So, if I had a picky eater kid, I'm not sure quite how I'd handle it.

So, mostly, I'm very content not to cross that bridge at all. tongue.gif
oh, katie, i know what you're saying. I just think the default position should be one of "titles", unless asked differently. And, you ever notice how people look surprised when you say "thank you" for door holding? I know its off the subject, but that makes me sad...that a simple "thank you" for a polite act is so unusual. Sigh...
Man, I am a STICKLER on manners. When I open the door for someone and they don't acknowledge it, I say, loudly, mind you, " YOU SAY THANK YOU, THEN I SAY YOUR WELCOME, THAT'S HOW THIS WORKS, FYI." mad.gif

But, this is the gateway to the south, so I really don't encounter that too much.

Yeah, I never wanted my own kids, at all. Just kind of fell into it. I like kids, but it has not been easy for me to adjust. But, I am getting there.

******pops six xanies*********** I am TOTALLY just kidding! laugh.gif
hahahahahaha i just say "YOUR WELCOME" very loudly when people dont say thank you. being in nyc, this is a tactic i do alot.

and moxie i agree titles should be default. in fact, i have a hard time doing any differently EVEN when the adult (and i am 24) tells me to call them by their first name. i find it so odd.

QUOTE(girlygirlgag @ Aug 1 2006, 08:20 PM) *

Man, I am a STICKLER on manners. When I open the door for someone and they don't acknowledge it, I say, loudly, mind you, " YOU SAY THANK YOU, THEN I SAY YOUR WELCOME, THAT'S HOW THIS WORKS, FYI." mad.gif

But, this is the gateway to the south, so I really don't encounter that too much.

Yeah, I never wanted my own kids, at all. Just kind of fell into it. I like kids, but it has not been easy for me to adjust. But, I am getting there.

******pops six xanies*********** I am TOTALLY just kidding! laugh.gif

Ranty McRants-A-Lot here

I am finding the levels of ignorance regarding women's issues, lives, health, etc., and the levels of outright super-misogyny in the supposedly progressive community appalling. I was reading an Internet argument regarding child support, abortion, the Roe v. Wade for men case that was dismissed or whatever...devolves almost immediately into "All men are beastly pigs" and "All women are wallet-leaching whores," with everyone using their narrow personal experience as evidence of the cruelty of the entire gender. Claiming that ending child support payments is the male equivalent of an abortion, etc. What the hell? Firstly, that money is to support your genetic material, not a monthly payment to the woman who ruined your life (you know, completely on her own. How talented). How is a check a month even approach equivalency with pregnancy, the possibility of death in childbirth, and then raising (in a society that will constantly evaluate and belittle your methods, as well as almost actively work to keep you poor and dependent) and worrying about that child until you fucking die???

I do think that the system could be different; that men should have an opt-out method in cases where the extreme fucked-up-edness of the situation could be proven (at which point child support would be a "village" issue), but since I can't really fathom that happening, I have to stick with their opt-out window being the point at which a condom should have been fitted or a vasectomy sought. Something else, too. These random internet folk seem to think that it's the easiest thing in the world for young women to get a doctor to sterilize them. Wish I lived in their world.

What do you DO with people like that? I know, I know - internet. What do I expect?

And see? This is where I tie my post into the discussion about rudeness; I hate that people use the anonymity of online as an excuse to be sadistically cruel to others. Why can't people just talk to each other using the same manners they would if addressing a stranger to them in some sort of public forum? Or are all the places in which I lurk and post (alternet, feministing, etc.) simply a repository for people who are honestly sociopaths?

I'm curious. And I'm angry. And I wish I wasn't so sensitive. And that is wasn't so hot outside. And that I had eaten something today.

Never mind - just ignore me dry.gif
girlygag, I've always wanted to say something like that but just don't have the nerve. maybe I'll start now that I know other people do it.
luci, that reminds me of something my bro once told me. he said that some women where he lives punch holes in the condoms to get pregnant on purpose. I can see in those situations that the man shouldn't have to pay for it. wow. I never really looked at it from their perspective, though.
Ha ha! katie, I do the "Oh, you're welcome!" too! Or else (if they bump into me or otherwise treat me like I'm invisible, and then don't apologize) I go into my Chip 'n' Dale chipmunk routine and say, "Oh no no no, excuse ME" or "Don't mind me!" I'm usually super-saccharine-polite (like Chip 'n' Dale). Rattles more cages that way, I think.

lucizoe, I totally hear what your saying, and I think it's got a lot to do with the political polarization we've been seeing over the last however-many years. Gender relations are an obvious place to focus one's political polarization, because we're all affected by our gender.

I am starting to think about whether men who never wanted children and don't want to participate should be allowed to opt out, especially when it was not the man's choice to bring a particular accidental pregnancy into the world. I am leaning in that direction. However, the problem I keep coming back to is the question of what happens when a man changes his mind and wants to get involved...which could happen at any time over the child's life. Is he sidelined out of the kid's life forever, or does he get to waltz back in at any time with no acknowledgement of the missing financial contribution between the time he wasn't interested and the time he was?

I do agree that many people don't understand that child support is CHILD support, and that it very rarely covers even half the cost of raising the child in question...some folks think custodial parents should be spending it on things like special clothes, sporting equipment, extracurricular activities, etc., when in fact, the kids need shelter and food and electricity to survive, and that's what child support is meant to be applied to. My own father confessed to me (after I'd attained adulthood) that he would have paid more child support (this was in the days before it was regulated), but he was mad at my mother at the time. WTF? Well, thanks, dad. Because you were mad at mom, I ate hamburger, while my brother, whom you had custody of, ate steak.

Working with family law...the whole child support, custody and access system...was probably the last nail in the coffin of my decision around children. It's just too nasty, and women often can't fight on equal ground, for many reasons that I can't even go into, for fear of derailing the thread! But with 60% of marriages ending in divorce, I do wish more people would think about the ramifications of having kids and what will happen if their happily-ever-after ends in a not-so-happy way. I sometimes think pre-nups are only half the answer....people should have to sign parenting agreements before they have kids together! (At the very least, I think society needs to start normalizing pre-childbirth parenting agreements like we are starting to normalize pre-nups.)
I am starting to think about whether men who never wanted children and don't want to participate should be allowed to opt out

if he's that serious about not wanting kids, he needs to get a vasectomy.
I see your point, catlady, but what if he's twenty and wants to have kids way on down the road, when he's in a committed relationship and ready to parent? If there is an accidental pregnancy, which does happen to the best of us, and he doesn't want to be a parent or otherwise participate, what does he do? To tell a 20-year old guy he has to become a parent because he should have gotten a vasectomy is a bit similar, to me, as telling a 20-year old woman seeking an abortion that she now has to become a parent because she should have kept her legs closed. Just my 2 cents, anyway.
Experts: Spanking Harms Children, Especially Girls

QUOTE(cloverbee @ Aug 1 2006, 02:49 AM) *

Aaaah, yes, the stupid parent conversation. I've gotten thru many a boring night talking about the many stupid parents nowdays. it seems like there is a backlash from the days when parents were too strict. now it's the opposite. parents want to immediately be their childs' friend right from birth. How annoying. we are going to have the rudest society ever b/c these children will be so stupid and inconsiderate.

I know that this an oft promigated idea, that todays parents are so leanient and that it is causeing the moral breakdown of society, however the fact is that this idea is faulse.

A 1988 Harris Poll and a 1989 Gallup Poll report that 86 percent of adults agree that parents have the right to "hit, spank, or physically discipline children." Fewer than half (44 percent) think teachers have that right. Men more strongly supported the notion of hitting or spanking a child than did women.

Ironically, but not really surprisingly, women more often carried out spanking (because they are more frequently there and carry a larger share of the nurturing and disciplining load). Ninety percent of the parents in the 1975 National Family Violence Survey expressed at least some degree of approval of physical punishment (Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz, 1980). A 1986 NORC national survey found that 84 percent of parents agreed or strongly agreed that "It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good hard spanking." (Straus, 1989) When asked whether they agreed or disagreed that, "Spanking helps children to be better people when they grow up," over one-third (35 percent) of parents responding to a recent survey agreed, nearly half said it "doesn't matter," and 17 percent disagreed. (Moore and Straus, 1987)

Data from 2191 low-income parents of infants and young children in five states (California, Delaware, Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah) show that 41 percent agree that parents should use physical punishment to teach children right from wrong (Dickinson, 1990; Cudaback, 1992).

According to Moore and Straus (1987), this approval does not apply only to small children. Their New Hampshire Child Abuse Survey found that less than half of the parents interviewed (47%) strongly disagreed with the statement, "Parents have a right to slap their teenage children who talk back to them." In another study by Dibble and Straus (1980), 82 percent of parents expressed at least some degree of approval of slapping or spanking a 12-year-old. There was virtually no difference in approval of spanking or slapping a 12-year-old between whites (81 percent) and blacks (83 percent). A somewhat higher proportion of whites than of blacks reported actually spanking or slapping their 12-year-old youngster during the past year (59 percent vs. 51 percent) (Cazenave and Straus, 1979).

There is reason to be concerned about parental attitudes about physical punishment, as there is evidence that, regarding this matter, attitudes direct behavior. Studies show, for example, that parents who approved of physical punishment actually did use physical force about four times more often than those who did not approve. In addition, those parents who approved physical punishment were much more likely than non-believing parents to go beyond ordinary physical punishment and assault children in ways more likely to injure them -- kicking, biting, punching, and hitting with objects more frequently (Straus, 1989). A recent study by Simons and Associates (1993) also found that parents who believed in "punitive strategies" were more likely to use harsh discipline and less likely to use supportive (nurturant) parenting.

and it goes on from their

aaaah, evidence for my lazy parenting theory. isn't it so much easier just to hit the kid than to sit down and have to explain why his/her behavior is wrong?
I'm also going to shamelessly promote Alfie Kohn’s book Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason

Which is a parenting specific sequel that builds on previous work

NO CONTEST: The Case Against Competition

THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE: Altruism and Empathy in Everyday Life

PUNISHED BY REWARDS: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

BEYOND DISCIPLINE: From Compliance to Community

THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards"

QUOTE(cloverbee @ Aug 2 2006, 03:16 AM) *

aaaah, evidence for my lazy parenting theory. isn't it so much easier just to hit the kid than to sit down and have to explain why his/her behavior is wrong?

Yeah I totally agree I think it is laziness. I think a lot of the strongest proponents of discipline as a means of child rearing really view children’s independence as a pain in the butt which interferes with their own happiness. Instead of seeing children for what they are, equals who need mentoring not controlling.

I feel terrible that any child should be forced to live under conditions most parents impose on them. The very institution of child hood as a form of second-class citizen is enough reason for me to oppose people having children.

But of course things like over population, the socialization of young people into tyrants and minions and my general view that to not be born is the better choice in a world in which death and pain and suffering are the basic stuff of life…

I mean I used to be one of those people who blamed the child for being so rude, but I now blame the parent not for not intervening… usually they are too busy yelling, screaming and hitting their child… but I do blame them for having a child before they were mature enough to raise one.

Which is also not an appropriate response because the fact is that in the US with abstinence education and fundamentalism on the rise, many people don’t have the tools available and the support to make logical reasonable decisions…

And after they saved the life with in them, there is no system of support to take the pressure off… and what do you do when you a nineteen and have a baby you didn’t want but felt you had to keep…

You do the best you can, which is you do what your parents did, you rely on failed parenting practices, because anything else is too new, to scary, too frond upon by your community…

So I basically just feel bad period for people with “children” and those people who are considered “children.” And I feel fortunate that I was raised to never think of myself as a child or to feel I had to beg kowtow to some authority figure for fear of what they might do “to me.”

The whole opting-out thing is confusing because even if the guy legally opts out of the child's life and the state takes over his financial contribution, what happens if the kid wants to meet him? Do they have to to wait till they're 18 or something?

I brought up birth control, unplanned pregnancy, HIV testing, other partners, etc right at the start of my relationship and it wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. And we also know how the other one feels about the kid situation even though we're only in our very early 20s. It was easy for us, I guess, because neither of us wants kids and we'd both pay for half the abortion if I got pregnant. I just can't imagine not being honest with your partner about this stuff and having so little respect for them that you would poke holes in condoms or otherwise trick them into becoming a parent.
Yeah, except there are tons of really manipulative women out there who do just that. And, there are plenty of naieve, or ego-driven men out in the world who think that screwing w/o a condom shouldn't be their responsibility, cause, you know, it don't feel as good.

That said, i'm a big believer in some form of early-opt-out. Especially if women have the sole power to determine if the pregnancy will produce a child or not- they can (and many, unfortunately, do) use pregnancy as a control mechanism. If say, third trimester abortions become illegal, but say 1st adn 2nd trimester abortions are completely legal and accessible (I know, i know...go with the theory...), perhaps men should have the right to opt out in that same timeframe. Granted, if they want parental "rights" back, some kind of restitution and/or proceeding should be established. Now, of course, what if another man adopts said child in the meantime? Its a murky situation, not black adn white at all.
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