Ugh. Child-makers. Breeders. Call them what you want, their lobby cuts across the political aisle, every time.
What is “family planning” anyway? The dictionary says it is “[a] program to regulate the number and spacing of children in a family through the practice of contraception or other methods of birth control.” Interesting.
When a couple or a woman decides to “regulate the number and spacing” of the children that they plan to have, what are the factors that they consider? Is money one of them? Ever? Do they ever consider having no children at all??
If you think about it, not considering your financial situation before you decide to have a child is not only irresponsible in the abstract, it is also a big “fuck you” to the innocent child you are about to have.
And what about resources, for the world in general? It is estimated that there will be over 9 billion people on this earth in 2050 (there are 7 billion now). The Economist is one of the most respected publications there is, and yet in their special report on feeding the world that they put out in February, there was no mention of stopping this from happening amid the discussions of different innovations that could be employed to ensure that these people will be fed. Perhaps that’s not the job of The Economist, but I still found it quite shocking.
Let’s see what comedian expert Doug Stanhope has to say about the matter:
See, there are so many areas of our lives that this “baby-making” phenomenon touches, it’s incredible that we don’t talk more freely about it, as Dr. Stanhope (haha) just did. The times they are a-becoming quite different, people. We have the power to decide exactly how many children we want to have and, more or less, when we want to have them. (Specifically, we have the power to decide exactly when we don’t want to have them.) And the thing about that is, we’ve always had that power, because aside from cases of rape, we decide when we will and will not have sex, that good-time activity which, like it or not, is the leading cause of pregnancy. I have yet to find an expert to dispute that. So, if you are not planning to not have a baby, you are planning to have a baby. Got that?
It is quite likely the case that I will not create another human being during my life. This decision was made with the utmost respect given to all of the possible babies I could have. It is time we started thinking about having children differently. It is quite juvenile and ridiculous to think about babies as something that “just happens,” because, god damn it, it’s not the Middle Ages anymore and we know how it happens! And it is time to stop thinking about having children as “that thing you do” after you get married (don’t get me started on marriage) that gives you the ultimate amount of fulfillment that you have been seeking all your life. No. You can have a full life without having children at all. Really! And any of the other usual questions raised are pretty easy to knock down.
- Who will take care of you when you’re old? Probably a nursing home or a residential care-type place. Hopefully a really good one. That’s (partly) why I’m saving so much for retirement. Why? Who takes care of your parents? And am I really going to create a person just to take care of me when I am a sick and dying wretch? How selfish is that?
- How will you find happiness? I don’t know. Are you happy? I plan to use the extra money I have to travel the world and learn things – this is how I will “find happiness,” I suppose. How would making a person to take care of for 20 years be better than this? And, again, am I really so selfish as to create another human being just for my own enjoyment?
- So do you just hate children? No. Children are…what they are. They’re pretty great when they’re close to you and pretty awful otherwise, right?
Think about it.