Enough of the Haterade Over the Royal Baby

Wow, here I am, defending a BABY and his two responsible, loving, married parents, who’s job it was to have a baby and they did.

Ridiculous, isn’t? Why should that even need to be defended?

I’m sure you never expected to hear this from me, as a childfree person, but guess what. Common sense still rules the day and just because I’m more-or-less anti-baby-having, does not mean that nobody is allowed to have a kid ever and we shouldn’t be happy for them if they do it on purpose and can clearly afford it. All this hate-on for the royal baby is ridiculous if you ask me. It’s not *just another baby* as they keep claiming. This is royalty. And whether you agree with having a monarchy or not, you can’t argue that this is history we’re witnessing here. It’s neat, to say the least. And his parents seem to be genuinely good people, not spoiled dictators screaming “let them eat cake!” at the lowly peasants. This is what royal families do. They have kids. And when the parents are putting forth an effort to support charities and causes and all this other stuff, those are people who SHOULD be parents. I think they’re going to raise this kid right.

I’ve heard it being questioned what would happen if the kid was gay, or trans, or childfree. Or just didn’t feel like ruling. You know what? I wouldn’t worry about it. The younger members of the royal family at least don’t strike me as the bigoted type. They’re not Texas republicans after all. In fact they just passed through a change that gives women equal rights to men when it comes to inheriting the throne. This is a MAJOR change for a family so firmly based on tradition in absolutely every detail, and I applaud them for that. Besides, this has actually happened before. Elizabeth I had no husband and no kids. Her cousin just took over for her instead. Then we have Edward VIII who just plum took off, and OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO D- Oh, he has a brother. That’s right, it’s a big family. No need to panic now. Here they are now still going strong. As they will continue to do, even if only symbolically one day.

What’s even more absurd is people commenting on what surely now must be Kate Middleton’s “huge gaping maw” of a vagina. Aside from the fact that that is a disgusting choice of words, I have two major problems with this. Mainly that a woman’s private parts should not be up for discussion. Neither should a man’s. That is their own personal business. The same people laughing on about this are the same ones telling politicians to keep their policies off their bodies, so what makes them any better? What’s with the glaring hypocrisy? And again as I said above, I think she and her husband are going to be great parents. This is a happy time for them and you must be a pretty miserable person to turn this into something negative. 99% of the news out there is negative and one happy story comes along and people have to crap all over it. It does not affect you. If you’re sick of hearing about it on the news I can totally appreciate that, but maybe that just means it’s time to turn off the TV and go for a walk. You’re not going to get accosted by the royal family out there forcing you to click “like” on all their baby photos. And I promise they will be a lot more discreet than your friends who post pictures of the kid on the toilet. Give them a break and just let them be happy.

Non-White Wedding Gowns

There’s a common misconception out there that wedding dresses are white to represent virginity or purity. This belief is so firmly held that I have even gotten into arguments about it. This is actually a big load of crap. Historically, many colors were worn at weddings, with each color meaning something different. Until the early 20th century, more often than not brides just wore their best dress. There are tons of pictures documenting this. White actually became popular when Queen Victoria wore it for her own wedding. This was a status symbol, because white can get dirty so easily it showed that she had enough money to buy a dress she would only wear once. Well obviously, I mean she was the queen after all. Royalty being the rock stars of their day, this set what is probably the biggest and longest running fashion fad in history, to the point that we don’t even know why we do it anymore and the idea of doing anything else is confusing to everyone.

If you’ve ever had to shop for a wedding dress, you may be familiar with something they call “white blindness.” So many white dresses after a while tend to all blend together until nothing seems to be working out and you just want to be done with the whole business. But not all of us like white. Not all of us look good in white. Some of us wear white just because we buy into this odd superstition that not wearing it will make people think we’re whores. This is kind of screwed up, isn’t it? White in the sense that people think we wear white for virginity doesn’t even work in today’s world. Almost ever.

When I was shopping for my wedding dress I originally wanted a blue one. Because there seemed to be no such thing as a blue wedding dress, I did what many Offbeat Brides do and looked for a bridesmaid’s dress or prom dress instead. I guess it made sense, they all thought I was looking for a prom dress anyway because I married young and looked even younger. This was only the beginning of my big wedding dress fiasco in that all of these dresses were silly and disgusting and cost more than my rent. Just no.

In the end I opted for a white dress not so much because it was white but because I saw it on ebay and loved it. I would have loved it just as much if it had been green. But I was reassured by the fact that it was white only because my wedding was turning out to be such a failure that at least something could go “right.” At least something about it would be normal, and I needed a comfort like that. Well, the dress sucked anyway. Damn you eBay.

Slowly, finally, things seem to be changing now. There’s a bit of a growing niche market now for pink wedding dresses, and I’m so excited about this you have no idea. Finally a group of girls who are probably more pressured to conform than anyone else in western society are starting to think outside the box. Yes! Pink is lovely! It makes for a fantastic wedding dress color! In fact I plan on wearing pink to my vow renewal next year.

I hope this is only the beginning. Let’s see some red, blue, green, yellow, even black. I once saw pictures of a girl who wore black on her wedding day and livened up her look by carrying a rainbow of balloons instead of a flower bouquet. How cool is that? It was so beautiful.

Women are not all the same. We’re beyond the point of all following the lead of a lady who died over a hundred years ago just because magazines seem to think we should. We have a lot more personality than this. Weddings are about the couple, not how well they can copy and paste a bunch of tired ideas. And seriously, most of us aren’t virgins. And we’re not fooling anyone. Well, maybe I did.

They still thought we were going to prom.

For real though

For real though

Why aren’t adults trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies?

“What sort of woman was likely to take advantage of Roe vs Wade? Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three. What sort of future might her child have had? One study has shown the typical child who went unborn in the earliest years of legalized abortion would have been 50 percent more likely to grow up with just one parent. These two factors – childhood poverty and a single-parent household – are among the strongest predictors that a child will have a criminal future.” –Freakonomics

I just wanted to share that because I find it incredibly interesting, not least of which because most people are not aware of this. What it’s saying in this chapter is that the legalization of abortion was behind the crime drop of the 1990s, and it’s a great argument for those who are pro-choice. But really it doesn’t matter to my argument here, I just thought it was interesting. The truth about abortion, which I wish most people knew, is that just because a person is pro-choice does not mean they are pro-abortion. It doesn’t mean they’re the least bit comfortable with it. It’s a horrible and devastating decision to have to make. But people are pro-choice not because they believe it is a good choice, but the better choice between two terrible outcomes in a terrible situation. And the above quote is just one example of why it might be seen that way.

So we can ALL agree that abortion sucks, whether or not we can all agree it’s necessary. What’s the best way to avoid abortion? Birth control! Yet for many adults, especially women, the option of permanent birth control is out of reach. They’re old enough to drive, drink, vote, buy a gun, and everything else, but are consistently denied permanent birth control because they are “too young” and not trusted to make their own choices in this matter. Funny how teenagers are not told they are too young to go ahead and have their babies if they choose to do so. How exactly does this make sense? Sure people might frown upon them for having babies, but nobody is taking the option away from them, even if it means the child will grow up in poverty, in a single-parent household, or even abused. For childfree people however, the option of permanent birth control is often outright denied. This is absurd and seriously needs to change. It’s insulting, and potentially harmful.

The biggest thing that I wish people knew is that a person does not just jump into the decision not to have kids. It’s something that’s thought through very seriously for many years. It is therefor the height of insult for a person to say “you’ll change your mind,” as if you chose it like you chose the paint color for your walls. No, most people have known they didn’t want kids since they were kids themselves, and have continued to explore this decision into adulthood. It’s this thought process that makes us so confused when it comes to parents and the decisions they make, because they’re the ones who often suddenly find themselves pregnant, or have kids just because it’s expected of them and it’s in the life script. It’s incredibly backwards then when people who want to be responsible and put a TON of thought into their decision are denied permanent birth control, while it’s acceptable enough for almost anyone to have a baby even if it will surely prove harmful to both parent and child.

Look, we’re grownups. We’re not likely to go through ANY surgery or life-altering procedure without putting a lot of thought into it, unless we’re total idiots, in which case we shouldn’t be parents anyway. Besides it’s our right to do anything legal that we choose to do to our bodies, and sterilization, though frowned upon by some, is legal. It also happens to be a very intelligent decision for many of us. This is our call. I think we deserve a little respect.

Family

Everywhere I turn I’m being confronted with the idea that a family isn’t a family if it doesn’t have kids in it. Mostly people saying “I can’t wait to have a family” when what they really mean is having kids. A friend of mine from work once went to a “family party” with his own family, only to realize once he got there that what it really meant was it was a party for kids.

I find this insulting on two levels. First of all, are you saying your husband, wife, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins etc aren’t family when you say “I can’t wait to have a family”? What are they to you then? Oh, they’re not your “own” family? YES THEY ARE. What you mean to say is you don’t have kids. Don’t undermine your family because they are not your children.

I also find this insulting because these people are also implying that I don’t have a family. What exactly would you call Mike then? We’re married. Sounds like family to me. I also have pets that I love dearly, three parents, four grandparents, a brother, and a ton of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m very close to my cousin Jenna and I love her to death. And they want to say (imply, at least) that I don’t have a family because I don’t have kids? I have two words for them. FUCK YOU.

I have a family thank you very much. A big one. A great one. So does everybody, kids or not. You have a right to take your place at the family table. You’re just as good as anyone else. Your life isn’t about to begin, it already has. You are loved, and that’s good enough for me.

Mike, with his brother and sister.

Why I Don’t Want Kids

This is an unusual sort of post for this blog, but being childfree is a huge part of my life. I feel a responsibility to share this because way too many women continue to have kids for the sole reason that “that’s just what you do.” I want it to be known that this is a choice, an absolutely valid one, and for many people the best one. I often get asked why I don’t want kids, and it’s hard for me to answer besides saying “every reason there is.” What are those reasons? I’m going to be really blunt. But this is my decision. My opinions do not represent the childfree community as a whole. I also don’t disrespect parents. Just people who became parents for the wrong reasons, and parents who are bad at it.

On with it.

1. Tokophobia. The idea of pregnancy and childbirth is a huge turnoff, and it actually scares me. I’ve had nightmares. I won’t feel comfortable unless either Mike or I become sterilized. I would go through almost any means for this to happen.

2. The environment. The world is disgustingly overpopulated. Quite honestly I feel that having kids when there are over 7 billion people on this earth fighting for resources is just plain irresponsible .

3. I hate kids. It’s a negative stereotype of the childfree that they hate kids, but in my case it happens to be a true one. This does not mean I want to hurt them. It does mean I find them for the most part to be stupid, annoying, and boring, and I’d rather not be around them. I’ve met a small handful of kids I can think of whose company I enjoyed.

4. I can’t afford it. Kids are really insanely expensive. Having the attitude of “it’s ok, the government will give me money for them” is the same as saying “Why work? I’ll just go on welfare, sucka!” and one I find deeply disturbing. It’s a myth that childfree people have a ton of money. I think the majority of people cannot legitimately afford having kids. “Making it work” doesn’t count. If you are constantly in need of a sale and pinching pennies wherever you can, life sucks, and that also means it sucks for your kid. More so, because they didn’t choose this, they don’t understand this, and other kids are cruel. I don’t mean you need to be rich, but at least have enough money to avoid them going through junior high in an oversized “Just Say No” tshirt like I did. College alone is way too much. If I could afford that I would enroll myself. But I can’t, and neither could my parents. There goes a meaningful future.

5. I would be a shitty parent. I have a dog and if I didn’t believe that animal abuse is wrong I would have strangled her long ago, and that’s just a dog. Any kid of mine would suffer from neglect, resentment, and possibly emotional abuse. I’m not selfish enough to put a kid through that.

6. I’m not selfish. Go play in traffic if you call me that, unless you’ve adopted. I believe in adoption. Way too many kids out there need families while people who want to be parents are too busy replicating themselves instead of helping them. Newsflash: Your genetics are not superior. Who do you think you are?

7. Because I’m not selfish. By this entry I mean that I will not have a kid so that it can have a job to do to serve me. I will not have a kid just so I have someone who MIGHT take care of me when I’m old. I will not have a kid to “fix” my marriage. I will not have a kid to be fulfilled. If an adult cannot do these things on their own then they have a lot of growing to do still as people, and getting a baby to do it is pure stupidity.

8. kids are harmful to marriages. This is a proven fact. My marriage is great, and I’d like to keep it that way. I married Mike because I actually really enjoy spending time with him, not so I could treat him like a sperm donor.

9. I am very easily grossed out.

10. I have shame. I’m not willing to spread my legs and shit on a bed in front of a room full of people.

11. I have much better things to do than changing diapers, buying obnoxious toys, and cutting nail polish out of the carpet. Mainly educating myself, sharing knowledge, reading, writing, traveling, having other experiences. Having a great career. Contributing to the world.

12. My kid, as any, would be much less likely to become a doctor than a garbage man, sandwich artist, or criminal.

13. Aside from all the resource hogging, each human being in a first world country produces over 24 tons of CO2 in their lifetime. Then there’s their kids, and their kids, and their kids. It’s amazing how much damage a person can do.

14. Shitmykidsruined.com

15. Because I don’t feel it’s some super special magical thing. Even bugs have babies. What’s really special is using your brain and your unique talents to better serve the world.

16. Five minutes of Treehouse makes me lose my goddamn mind. And according to modern parents, kids are the all mighty rulers of the remote control 24/7. Mommy and daddy aren’t even allowed to watch the news or the precious babies will cry for the Wiggles.

17. Other parents. Have you seen the episode of The Simpsons where Marge is trying to satisfy the other moms at play dates and they freak out and catch an ambulance when the kids drink out of a cup with a number 7? That. Kids are overprotected and worshiped instead of actively molded into intelligent, kind, productive members of society. Kids should not be the boss of their parents, and this is what’s happening in modern families. They’re coddled, given their way, and awarded trophies just for showing up.

18. Other kids. Kids who get trophies just for showing up. Self-involved selfish little brats. They all treat each other so shockingly badly. I don’t want anyone to go through that hell. It was bad enough when I was a kid and there was still some tiny sense of human decency left. I got teased and made fun of in a brutal way, but nobody ever texted my naked picture to the whole school or threw me into a dumpster.

19. Non-parents have a lot more time and a little more money to volunteer and donate to worthy causes. One day I would like to be a tutor (although even volunteer tutors these days seem to need teaching degrees, so the hunt is not going well) or big sister.

20. It doesn’t last 18 years. It lasts FOREVER. I think a lot of parents would be better at it if they went into it actually acknowledging this.

If you’ve made it this far without being offended, thanks for being awesome 🙂 I’d like to close with a quote from https://childfreefeminist.wordpress.com

“It means being free of the dogma of a historic, ancient patriarchal society that believes women are only as good as their wombs. It means being free to choose what you want in your own life–whether that is to be a farmer in Singapore or a doctor in London. Being childfree means being free to do what you want with your time, your money and your body. It means being free of the silly politics of parenting. It means being free of being mindless consumerists with children products being shoved down your throats. It means being free of worrying about pedophiles, drugs, teenage pregnancy, teen suicide, bullying and another person’s political and moral choices that are beyond your control. It means being free to think for yourself.”

What’s Wrong With Sexy Halloween Costumes?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself for a long time. Everyone knows I despise sexy halloween costumes almost more than anything else. I really really do. But when I was asked this question for a feminist podcast I was confronted with the opinion that my strong distaste for this might be decidedly unfeminist. Shouldn’t women be allowed to express themselves sexually however they want? Isn’t it part of the problem that this sort of thing is so stigmatized and negatively labelled “slutty”?

Well I was reading an article on the lingerie addict and it made a totally great point. If you’re wearing your sexuality as a costume, doesn’t that say something about us as a society? You’re not owning your sexuality, you’re using it as a one night a year disguise. If you truly own your sexuality, you should be free to express it every night of the year. Dressing up sexy only on halloween turns the whole thing into a joke, and I feel like this does the opposite of what many feminists think it does. You just don’t dress up as yourself for a halloween costume. Sexuality isn’t supposed to be put in such a ridiculous light. I’m not saying you need to take it super seriously all the time, but this is just giving the wrong impression. We shouldn’t need to use halloween as an excuse to express this part of ourselves. I think this is contributing to why “slutty” is seen as a bad thing. I hope I’m being eloquent enough to get my point across here, I’m not always so sure I am.

The second thing I want to mention once again is what I’ve been saying forever. Halloween is supposed to be a scary time. If you fill it with strippers dressed like bumblebees, you’re taking all the fun out. Well, the kind of fun halloween is supposed to be anyway. Scary stuff is awesome. Fear is a very primal emotion, and it’s exciting. And if you really insist on the whole “sexy” part of it, it can even be a powerful aphrodisiac. If you take the scary out of halloween, what exactly are you left with? This holiday is going to die. Why would you want the most awesome day of the year to die??

What I propose is not my idea. I read it on another blog years ago. But it’s that we separate this whole business into two holidays. If women really feel the need to be all shy and demure 364 days of the year, let there be some kind of sexy holiday in the heat of august. Not Valentine’s day, but just a day where you can ho it up like nobody’s business. Sure, I’d take a bite of that. Let your inner slut shine. Then give halloween back to it’s spooky roots. This would be better for everyone.

But really, don’t be ashamed to express your sexuality in appropriate ways all year round. The ways to do this are so many I can’t even begin to get into it. But let me just say that you can ooze sexuality every minute of the day without looking trashy or inviting a sexual harassment lawsuit. You don’t have to show a lot of skin, you don’t have to bump and grind. It’s about your essence and how you feel about and carry yourself, and if you want to wear stilettos and a micro mini out to da club on the weekends do it up. Just don’t be stupid and freeze your ass off doing it outdoors in a Canadian late October.

Diversity in Marketing

Have you noticed that a lot of companies are claiming to be trying to broaden the definition of beauty lately by using girls about 2 sizes bigger than their normal girls? Have you seen all the debates about what does and does not accomplish this fact? I agree with most of what’s being said. Showing a beautiful size 6 girl and calling her “real” because she’s not a size 2 is a big load of hypocrisy. But you know what else? I know what I’m saying might be controversial here, but…

It’s not their job to promote beauty ideals. Should it be? Maybe. But my response to all of this hoopla is simply that while a size 10 woman with a B-cup and tattoos might be a mighty fine woman, it doesn’t sell products. In case anyone missed this part, companies of all kinds exist to make money. That’s it. Whether or not you agree with what is and is not beautiful about the women in their ads, the fact is that a majority of people would rather aspire to look like these “not-real” (barf) women, and therefore aspire to buy the product and spend their money. That’s the job of a business. Sell shit. Not make you feel better about yourself. Because if you feel better about yourself you don’t need them. No money is made, they have no jobs, and then they can feel bad about themselves while making for a pretty shit economy.

Now you could of course argue that it’s better marketing to be able to see yourself in the product. You should be able to relate to this model in some way in order to see it as being the right product for you. This is true, but only to an extent. Why? Because you will never look anything like 99.99% of the models you see. You’ll maybe find one or two ever, if any at all. This goes for whether you’re a porn-tastic blond or an average older lady sitting behind a desk all day. Everybody is different. A lot different. So sure a few women might see this model and say “wow, she looks like me, and with this product she looks fantastic,” but the majority of women will STILL think “I look nothing like that so what’s the point?” They can’t please everyone, but they have to do their best by appealing to as many people as possible, and so this means finding what is the most universally considered attractive. If you don’t agree with what they find attractive, well, I assure you they have years of college training and experience that will tell you it’s working despite your opinion. So they’re going to continue. They’re going to keep making money while you keep complaining and basing how you feel about yourself on some random touched-up shot.

I’m not saying you should feel bad about yourself for the sake of filling someone else’s pockets, quite the contrary. I’m just playing devil’s advocate here and reminding you all where these advertisers are coming from and why they continue to do this. Now if they start promoting anything besides the typical supermodel look, sure, you might think, “gee, that company has integrity. Good on them!” But will you buy their crap? Chances aren’t quite as good unless some part of your subconscious still wants what they have, because it thinks they’re better than you. It’s YOUR job, with the assistance of family and friends etc, to keep your self-esteem in check. Not Victoria’s Secret. If you let a few advertisements destroy your self image then a smaller butt isn’t going to fix it.

TL:DR: I fully agree with what you all have to say about the hypocrisy of all this etc. But the thing is, it’s not really the point. These companies exist to make money, and they can only do that by making you feel on some level that their models and the lifestyle they promote are better than yours. That’s how all of this works. If you think you’re just fine without their stuff then you won’t buy it. Sure it’s not sunshine and rainbows, but it’s the harsh, cold world we live in. Self-esteem is your own responsibility.