Liberal Nonsense: Voluntary Childlessness

Going to college in liberal Ann Arbor, I am barraged on all sides by leftist propaganda on a daily basis. From women wanting more than just the vote, to the gays wanting to buy a wedding cake, to having it be okay for illegal aliens to take over our country one job at a time, I’ve been the victim of ideological indoctrination since I first stepped on campus. (My only release was Econ 101. Keynes calms me.) I expected to be weathered down by all this nonsense, however I was truly blindsided with one particular idea: the notion that a couple could choose not to have children, to choose to be childfree. This blasphemous bastardization of God’s plan incited within me a righteous rage, and I am taking it upon myself to beat down this idea once and for all and take you down the road most travelled by to reach happiness.

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To begin, I’d like to outline how and why we have children. Not the mechanics, save that for the honeymoon suite. No, I want to talk about what makes our society pronatalist, which means that we favor those with children over those without. It starts off with biology: even though our world and society is overpopulated and we’re quickly stripping the Earth of Her natural resources at an untenable rate and we’ve medically advanced beyond the need to mate to ensure species survival, as mammals we are biologically inclined to mate anyways. Even more important, though, is that God has said so. Starting with Genesis 1-2, the only reason Adam needed Eve (and thus man woman) is to not be “lonely,” and thus to make more humans by procreating; otherwise, what real purpose does Woman hold? We see more evidence in Genesis 1:28 (Be fruitful and multiply) and Matthew 10:14 (He [Jesus] said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”). Pope Francis himself said that’s couples without children are selfish, which as we all know means it must be true due to the concept of papal infallibility explained and doctrinally established at Vatican I. The Church has made clear that marriage is for child-rearing, so it’s time to put down that martini and buy some oysters and chocolate.

Just for the sake of argument, I will continue to dispel this myth for those who have strayed from the Faith by asking a simple question: if you don’t have children, what will your life be like when you grow old? Your bloodline will end with you so you’ll be lonely (remember Adam!), unsupported physically, financially, and emotionally, and you’ll end up regretting your decision, I just know you will. Our elders have for years said how much of a blessing it is to have a child, we must take their wisdom and guidance with faith and trust that they know what’s best for you and your individual circumstances with this simple, overarching platitude. And forget the research that says that childfree people are not lonely and that they build support systems throughout their lives (not excluding financial support in the form of Social Security). The people imparting this piece of wisdom all have children and are of every race, religion, and class, so clearly they are representative of the whole elderly population including the (growing) childfree minority. Their opinion applies to the vast majority of people who do want kids, so it definitely applies to you, too.

And if their opinion doesn’t convince you, let’s consider something totally unbiased and in whose eyes everyone is equal: The Law. We engineered our laws to give tax credits to parents with children. So what if you’re caring for sick loved ones? Having children is more important, as seen by the stigma behind birth control but the simultaneous push away from state-sponsored neonatal care or childcare. I said having children, not raising them to succeed. And it’s not like financial support to working class parents in the form of nutrition education or daycare would automatically make people better parents, it would just allow people to leech off the system, to smear our family values (again, not extending to support once the baby is born; the tax credit takes care of that) in our face. I like to use the words of the great George Orwell to describe the Law’s impartiality, “[a]ll animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” (It’s the American babies that are more equal.)

The unprejudiced Law also extends to the workplace in that America doesn’t intrude on citizens’ personal time, including by refusing to enshrine family leave. In this way, childfree and parenting couples are treated the same! If a mother really needs some time off, she can follow the lead of the middle-class professionals and bargain with her employer. This keeps the government out of personal affairs, even if one or two parents must unfortunately make tough decisions, and so childfree people can’t complain that their peers get time off when they simply have to go against social protocol and ask for it even if they don’t have parental duties to fulfill while on their parental leave. Also, as a Fortune article points out, at work childfree couples do nothing but complain that (a) they are treated worse than their parenting peers because personal time is treated as parenting time, and (b) they are perceived as having more free time and therefore can be asked to work less desirable hours, devaluing their time out of work under that of parents. However, which is more important: raising a child or making it to your book club? To me, the answer is clear. These are just common-sense examples; after all, why do they need the tax credits if not to support kids? And what would they do with the extra vacation time and money?

As you can see, America is set up to be proudly family-oriented, and I intend to keep it that way. It’s not that I don’t care about your reasons to not have children (not wanting to pass on defective genes, believing you can make a greater benefit to the world through your work, simply not wanting to, etc.), it’s just normal to come home to your white picket fence, your two kids and dog begging for your attention, and your wife doting on your every need. The most common argument is that you want freedom to not be tied down by children, but consider how children bless the rest of your life: you adjust your whole daily schedule to center around your child, allot time and give up sleep to care for him or her when they’re still an infant, and are legally obligated to spend your hard-earned money on that little angel for the next 18+ years. You develop this incredible bond through necessity, and this inevitably transforms to love.

And it’s even a boon in the workplace! As Charlie Chapin correctly points out in a Buzzfeed article entitled How Dads Balance Work and Family, “When men have children, it’s looked at as a stabilizing influence in the workplace. When women have kids, lots of employers act threatened as if the very same process can unmake women in the workforce. This double standard pretends that men don’t care about kids, and women have no career goals.”

Dads benefit at work, so in the long run this stabilization will in turn set him up to move up the corporate ladder and advance his career, and his wife’s job of being a mother will advance with him! Men’s work is also put on the forefront because paternity leave is “[n]ot really an option for [us] as guys.” Work is prioritized, helping him support his family, and our current social norms make it simultaneously difficult for women to work more and men to work less, so the structure of the nuclear family is safe and sound. Finally, fatherhood is just part of any legitimate vision of adulthood. Shawn Bean’s Parenting.com article “Why Men Don’t Want to be Dads” notes that while mothers look at childrearing with anticipation and joy, fathers tend to see it as just another part of adulthood because we’ve socially conditioned them out of parenting with the aforementioned forces keeping them at work, “[y]ou can’t aspire to something you know nothing about. Which is why young guys view fatherhood as just another grown-up duty like changing the oil or building a patio.” So it’s time to step up to the plate and begin your bildungsroman by bringing an irreversible and life-altering decision to fruition, or should I say fertilization, and start that family. Because God says so.

However, it takes two to tango, so it’s not fair to totally exclude women from the conversation. To recap what I’ve already intimated about women, having children pushes you out of the workplace and assumes you want a two-decade hold on your career goals. And this makes sense. You have to have kids early because once you hit thirty you’re a ticking time bomb ready to implode at any minute, and if you do wait too long, you become an esteemed—for lack of a better term—“old maid.” Condoleezza Rice and Helen Mirren are examples of such women tragically aging out of the opportunity for motherhood. Besides, what would you be without kids? You’d be (a) the crazy cat lady down the road, or, even worse, (b) the career-driven feminazi neglecting her maternal duty. You’d be stepping into men’s roles, and by doing that you’re either too womanly and not a strong enough leader, or you overshoot and become a pushy bitch. Just look at the current fad of a female “leader,” Hillary Clinton. Do you want to be the next Hillary Clinton?

Besides, it’s not fair if you don’t have kids. Other women want them, but are unable and sometimes unwilling to adopt. If you’re a woman, you should support other women. Gloria Steinem has said as much. And in this case supporting other women means not gloating in the face of their agony and having a child in their honor. Do it for them, and for your mother who wants grandchildren, and for your husband who wants to be a Little League coach. You don’t have to do it for yourself, your motherly instincts will kick in and you’ll love him as soon as he’s born regardless of whether you can realistically afford children. And then you’ll realize that your elders’ truisms were correct all along and you can become the wise, happy sage questioning others’ personal choices and instilling the truth upon your own child’s fresh, thirsty mind. The cycle will continue, and God-willing he will never face the same obstacle in his path toward happiness that you did, either through correct parenting when facing the option or by the crazy idea never occurring to him in the first place. All your elders and I want is for you to be happy and not regret your life when you get old. And after all, mother knows best.

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