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  1. karak
    karak August 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm |

    It’s curious that people with children shouldn’t want money. Those little holders of the future of humanity should feast on air and wear sunlight.

    Seriously, as our culture has changed, children have shifted from a future investment to a luxury expense. Therefore, people who have children are choosing a luxury–like buying a BMW. And you can feel superior to people who choose luxuries and then have the audacity to complain about it.

    Nevermind that childrearing is necessary for the overall continuing existence of humanity. Or that many women are trained to view child-rearing as something you MUST do with your life. This man has a disgusting attitude and clearly doesn’t give a shit about real human beings–mothers or children. (And I can’t imagine his attitude towards any kind of nontraditional family that dares to have children).

  2. Alexandra Lynch
    Alexandra Lynch August 27, 2010 at 12:13 am |

    And this intersects with the fact that it’s way easier to decide when you have babies when you have access to money. It can buy you contraceptives. It can buy you an abortion. It can buy you the freedom not to have to trade access to your sexual favors for housing or transportation.

    It’s all related to everything else.

  3. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 27, 2010 at 3:39 am |

    I can’t believe that such a brilliant post, one so thought provoking, evidence based and relevant has received so few comments.

    There seems to have been a morass of navel gazing posts at Feministe lately, yet something truly important like this gets overlooked.

  4. Samantha b.
    Samantha b. August 27, 2010 at 5:21 am |

    Karak, are you really going to compare children to BMW’s? Do you not see how closely that attitude resembles the classic conservative schtick on welfare mothers who dare to have too many children. You’ve skipped over the underlying societal choices that make motherhood such an economic hardship and instead focused judgment on individual women. I’m not clear on when you envision this shift as happening, the shift from “future investment” to “luxury expense.” When where these glory days when our society did value women with children? I think the noteworthy shift that’s happened here is that putative liberals and feminists seem to now consider it appropriate to adopt classically conservative attitudes towards women with children, i.e. that they are like expensive purchases that smart people wouldn’t make if they couldn’t properly afford them.

  5. Jadey
    Jadey August 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: I can’t believe that such a brilliant post, one so thought provoking, evidence based and relevant has received so few comments.There seems to have been a morass of navel gazing posts at Feministe lately, yet something truly important like this gets overlooked.  

    Damn, but I’m really sick and tired of the suggestion that “not commenting” = “not caring”. It’s an inappropriate metric – the most important posts I’ve ever read are the ones that left me without words, the posts where it’s not my place to talk, but to LISTEN. I also curtail my commenting on posts that I want to link to friends and family, because it of the kinds of online identity risks I discussed in Joy’s The Digital Me and the Digital You – I make a nominal effort to keep these identities separate. If I commented on every single post that I appreciated with “Wow, this is awesome”, I’m pretty sure I would (rightly) get called out on not adding anything substantial to the conversation, and I can’t invent a thoughtful response that I haven’t been able to have or articulate.

    Sorry for continuing the derail on your post, Natasha, but I am just dead tired of the bullshit comment counting to show who’s being a good activist or not. I’m very much appreciating your posting series, and I hope your page views are clear on that.

  6. Miss S
    Miss S August 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm |

    Samantha I think you and Kayak agree. I do think that people see kids as a luxury expense, like a luxury car, in that only people who can afford them should have them. I think it’s worth examining why that is.

    Raising kids is expensive here in the U.S. Incredibly expensive. Women with children get almost no social/economic support, unlike many other developed nations. No federally mandated maternity leave, no subsidized daycare (unless you’re extremely poor in which case the waiting list is like 2 years OR you’re in the armed forces), very little professional part time jobs (law, engineering). We have made having kids a luxury.

    Also, families don’t always live near each other. I think this part may be cultural. I know in class when we were discussing how we would handle the work life balance, especially right after child birth, the women of color (myself included) said that we would likely have our mothers and mother in laws to help and likely move in temporarily. This also helps cut down on daycare costs. When I was a child, the only time I was in daycare is when my mom worked at one. The rest of the time I was with my grandmother.

    But not everyone has family close by, and not everyone speaks to their family. Raising children is alot easier when you have help, and many couples have none.

  7. Miss S
    Miss S August 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm |

    Also, the reason people aren’t responding is because many feministe readers made is painfully obvious that they don’t see motherhood issues as feminist issues. Somehow the fact that some women don’t want children and others can’t have them means that feminism should remain for the child free.

    1. Jill
      Jill August 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm | *

      Also, the reason people aren’t responding is because many feministe readers made is painfully obvious that they don’t see motherhood issues as feminist issues. Somehow the fact that some women don’t want children and others can’t have them means that feminism should remain for the child free.

      Well hello, strawman! I don’t think feministe regulars have said that at all, but ok.

  8. Miss S
    Miss S August 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm |

    Jadey, I realize that not commenting doesn’t always mean not caring, although it sometimes does. But given the comments on the last motherhood thread, I think it’s safe to say that many do not see motherhood or children as a feminist issue. In fact, many commenters said just that.

    The argument is always “well mothers get special treament.” But when you lay out the statistics that prove that the “special treatment” is “discrimination, alienation, and scorn” the argument turns to “well not all women can have them.” But not all commenters on here are of color and I have seen them discuss race issues. Not all commenters are trans, but they discuss those.

    No one wants to admit mothers are marginalized because no one wants to stop marginalizing them.

  9. Miss S
    Miss S August 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm |

    Really Jill? You didn’t notice any animosity to the idea that mothers and children are marginalized around here? I’m not referring to the bloggers and writers. I’m referring to the commenters and I was agreeing with another commenter that issues like this are overlooked.

    Back on topic: I also wanted to comment on “finding the right partner.” There is a racial implication here because it’s not an option for many women of color. Historically, black women don’t “marry up” as much as they “marry across” because most of the wealth is concentrated among white men.

  10. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 28, 2010 at 3:16 am |

    Jadey – Generally, whenver motherhood has been mentioned on Feministe, particularly in the guise of mothers talking about their lived experiences, the comment threads have stretched into the hundreds.

    Many of those comments will completely deny any disadvantages being visted upon mothers. Despite people pointing out otherwise, they will refuse to believe that many mothers are poorly treated in society and that children are an oppressed class (because being forced to live in poverty is pretty damn oppressive).

    So, in the face of all that, I think it is acceptable to wonder why a post which statistically explains the problems faced by motherhood, doesn’t get the same reaction. It’s not a personal attack on you.

    Jill – Feministe regulars may not have made those statements, but there definitely have been comments on here to that effect.

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