Jesurgislac’s Journal

December 9, 2008

Persephone embraces Hades: Demographic Winter

Pomegranate Apple whines: …it still persists. this argument that if someone is pro-traditional family it means you are also a bigot, a homophobe, a religious-crazy, a racist etc.

Yes, it does, for fairly obvious reasons. “Pro-traditional family” is the name used for themselves by those who oppose equal rights for same-sex couples and their children: although these people talk a lot about being “pro” this and “promoting” that, they identify themselves primarily as against some couples, some parents, and some children.

this argument also says that if you promote traditional family you also promote the oppression of women, senseless breeding

If you are against the oppression of women, it’s fairly basic that you support the right of women to decide how many children to have, and when to have them. The post to which I am responding is all about promoting a video, Demographic Winter, which regards the ability of white women in developed countries to make use of effective and safe family planning as a threat. While some people linking to this video may be doing so stupidly, without thinking about what they’re promoting, the movement behind this video is very explicitly for the oppression of women and the denial of family planning because not enough white babies are being born.

Proposition 8 is pretty much over

No. Not by half. On 19th November, the California Supreme Court agreed to review the validity of Proposition 8 in response to a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The lawsuit argues that Proposition 8 is invalid because it “improperly attempts to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality and deprives the courts of their essential role of protecting the rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such a radical change in the way the courts and state government work cannot be decided by a simple ballot measure.”

Proposition 8 will not be “over” until it has been overturned by the Californian Supreme Court. As this is the same court that determined in May that the state constitution made a ban on same-sex marriages invalid, I think the bigots happily hugging to themselves the belief that they won are having a premature bigotgasm.

my blog continues because I think strengthening marriage is a pretty crucial conversation.

I note, however, that far from “strengthening marriage”, this blogger is firmly on the side that opposes the freedom to marry – and far from wanting to have a “crucial conversation”, this blogger bans all comments except from pre-approved commenters.

Children are not accessories.

True, but who said they were?

Children are not annoying.

Oh, come now. Whoever said that has never looked after a child in their life. Every child has an entirely human capacity for being thoroughly annoying, and children have a special capacity for being specially annoying. I speak as an experienced babysitter/childminder and aunt to several niblings. Children can be exceptionally damned annoying.

Children are not burdens.

Oh yes, they are. Whoever said that has never had full financial/emotional responsibility for a child in their life.

Children are blessings.

True. This does not prevent them from being exceptionally damned annoying and burdensome.

From Nature, from God, from the Universe. They should not be lightly or selfishly dismissed (to day-care) (to raise themselves) (to fend for themselves) (to grow up with out a father) (to grow up without a mother) (to abortion clinics).

Now here is the crux of it. A “traditional family” by this definition is a family in which one or both of the parents, who are in this paradigm if “traditional” always a mixed-sex couple, provide all the childcare for all the children. Anything else is “lightly or selfishly” dismissing the children.

This excludes most of the families in the US. Not by sexual orientation, but by income. This is a statement of class privilege, not just homophobia, sexism, and racism: the only really good parents, in this paradigm, are the parents who can afford to raise a family with just one regular income. Parents who can’t – where both must work – are being “light and selfish”, treating their children as “burdens”.

It is unacceptable for any society to shrug their shoulders and say, “they turn out fine.”

Because it’s unacceptable to be content with fine children?

I’m not okay with fine.

Again: see the class privilege? Rich parents produce children who aren’t just “fine children”.

Children deserve (perhaps have a fundamental and natural right?) to grow up with a mom and a dad interested in all the moments of their lives.

But as we’ve just established: working-class parents can’t provide that – “lightly and selfishly” they put the kids in daycare so that they can both work to pay the rent. Middle-class parents usually can’t provide this either: “lightly and selfishly” they too need to use daycare: the only kind of “mom and dad” who won’t ever need daycare and won’t ever need to leave the kids alone when they work are, in fact, the kind of couple who are so wealthy they can afford live-in staff. Without having even a part-time job.

Adults should do everything they can to help make this a reality.

For the privileged few who can afford it?

Strong families means sacrifice, but it means children grow up healthy, happy, and capable of contribution (without being weighed down by emotional scars).

I think, actually, the children of the very rich who never went to daycare but who had a mom and dad “interested in all the moments of their lives” are quite as likely to be weighed down by emotional scars as the ordinary children this blogger thinks have “light and selfish” parents who merely work hard all day to feed, clothe, and house their children, and then pick their kids up from daycare and take them home…

Strong families means a civilization that can focus on art, science, helping 3rd world countries, instead of being traumatized by its own issues (poverty, welfare, crime, psychological problems, the list goes on). (and on).

So a ciivlisation made up exclusively of the enormously wealthy? Can you say “Eloi”? How about “Morlock”?

This is, yes, way beyond this blogger’s determination to discriminate against and dismiss some parents and some children: to denigrate strong families and to deny marriage as a civil right. This is about an idea of privileged, wealthy couples somehow being the only kind of couple who really deserve to have children. Parents who work for a living are “light and selfish” parents.

So, tangled up in a complex knot at the root of the anti-marriage movement there is classism, sexism, racism, and homophobia. My my my my my my, what a mess.

4 Comments »

  1. You SO nailed this. Not that you need me to tell you that. But thank you. I was too horrified by the whole thing to even think coherently about pomegranate’s post (well, that and the fact that I’m eyebrow deep in trying to tutor Pearl in remedial stats over on her site, but whatever. It’s exhausting and mind-numbing.) If your post doesn’t highlight the slippery slope of allowing majority referenda to exclusively define social constructs, nothing will. (Sadly, I fear that the latter is, and will continue to be, the case.)
    I may be a straight married woman in the midwest, but I know better than to let the fight for marriage equality go on without me taking a stand. Obviously, they’re gunning for me next, seeing how I selfishly and lightly send my youngest to daycare while I go to grad school. I’m destroying the very fabric of society with all my self-actualizational ambition. Or some such tripe.

    Comment by waltzinexile — December 9, 2008 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  2. So a ciivlisation made up exclusively of the enormously wealthy? Can you say “Eloi”? How about “Morlock”?

    Does this mean we finally get to eat the rich?

    Comment by Randall — December 10, 2008 @ 2:17 am | Reply

  3. Waltz: Obviously, they’re gunning for me next, seeing how I selfishly and lightly send my youngest to daycare while I go to grad school.

    Yeah. I think that’s pretty much it. Once you define marriage as a privilege that only the right sort of people can attain, that brings in all sorts of crap here – and very swiftly too.

    Randall: Does this mean we finally get to eat the rich?

    Or dispose of those inferior babies in daycare: A Modest Proposal.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 10, 2008 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  4. It’s been said, but you nailed it. I finally came to the conclusion during this last election that the religious right/Republican party is the “let them eat cake” party, so divorced from the reality of everyday USians that we might as well be another species.

    I can’t even begin to follow the logic here. I can’t use birth control, because children are unannoying, unburdensome blessings. I can’t have sex outside of marriage (and certainly not with a member of my own gender, were I so inclined), and once I get married, it is incumbent upon me to breed as much as possible. (In my case, not at all, but that’s another story.) Once I have as many unannoying, unburdensome blessings as I can, I cannot work and must be extraordinarily interested in every moment of their lives (ever listen to an 8 year old tell a story?).

    If I am unable to stay home and listen with interest to every freakin’ word that falls out of my little blessings mouths, my only choice is to never get married and never have sex.

    Nunneries for everyone!

    Comment by Personal Failure — December 10, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply


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