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tired of women who ignore economic violence against women and children

Just read it.
The greatest risk factor to being in poverty in the united states, besides being an immigrant, is being a mother. This is a very, very sick part of our society.
And so many feminists think this is a minor issue!!!!! How close to home can inequality get, when it is pinpointed at something so natural and necessary as raising children?!?!?!
The first act of war (besides media control) is economic abuse........so, if this is going on within our own homes, IN THE WAY THAT WE RAISE OUR CHILDREN, then isn't it pretty "important?" What is more important than raising kids, can anyone tell me? Feminists, what do you have to say? Still stuck on Glorian Steinem and her put downs of mothers?!?!?!?!
I don't know. What gives? Why don't people get this? What is wrong with everyone? Do we all just want to die because we didn't respect that mothers give life and protect it? And feminists-----I'm sorry, but too many of them are too stuck in this "get your self-esteem by copying men" kick, that Rosie the (war machine) Riviter BS that they cannot get off that downward spiral to save themselves. Yeah, it was supposed to be the women who we could rely on to stand for children, but feminists are too busy trying to lose themselves in losing job situations that they don't have any time for their rights, childrens rights, and the rights of the human race...

Go, Tired. 15.Nov.2007 09:30

Cat

I completely agree with you. Regarding the "overpopulation" comment, I am so sick of comments like that I can't even tell you. Yes, yes, yes, using up resources is a HUGE issue. But people (without children, usually) never even question the underlying oppression in that line of reasoning. The Malthus claims about overpopulation have historically been promoted by both racist and mysogynist forces. Why? Because they fear women's power to procreate, and they fear a perceived take-over by "the brown masses."

Yes, sadly, it is true. These epithets are aimed at immigrant communities and at women in the same way the "welfare queen" myth was always aimed at women of color. It's gross, and I would sincerely like it if more "radicals" would take the time to think this through for themselves before just accepting the premise that women giving birth are the proper place to put the blame for the evils of human society. (And no, it's not enough to just remind me, stupidly, that men contribute semen. No shit. But women are the mothers, and the mothers get the blame. Think about it. When was the last time you saw a man get rude glares at the supermarket for having more than one child in tow? Never? Men get smiles of approval for "taking responsibility" when they wander around with kids. Women, on the other hand, get the glares.)

This obsession with overpopulation is a way for privileged white people in the United States, who use up more resources in one fucking day than an entire village of people in the third world might use in a YEAR, to shirk off the responsibility for taking more than they need. NO. It is not appropriate for a privileged white person to tell brown women in the rest of the world that the destruction of the world's resources is on their heads, because they won't stop having children. The fact is, birth rates tend to be much higher in very poor parts of the world, for lots of cultural and economic reasons. So when you attribute the destruction of resources to overpopulation, you are essentially laying that problem at their feet. That's just fucking wrong. Not only morally wrong, but factually wrong. Despite having a relatively low birth rate, privileged white suburbanites in the US use MORE RESOURCES THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER CULTURE ON THE PLANET. So deal with that problem before you get all self righteous about other peoples' children.

feminist without kids 15.Nov.2007 09:51

............

I am a feminist without kids and I totally agree with you. Motherhood might be the biggest feminist issue to me, but it took until I was in my thirties to understand this.

Cat, the issue is not history - 15.Nov.2007 17:54

get your blinders off before it's too late

the issue is that all people, whether white, black, yellow, or green, are having too many kids.

I align with the earth and her nonhuman animal nations. It's time for ALL humans to stop the unmoderated procreation.

I'm sorry that this hits a nerve (probably because you have children, I know you) - but I won't stop speaking truth because you incorrectly label it un-PC. In fact, it's the breeding masses who are un-PC. Humans are not the supreme beings who have the supreme right to this planet. Just ask the animals who are being pushed off the planet so your kids (and their kids, and their kids' kids) have space to run around.

to the person who knows cat 15.Nov.2007 18:32

catherine

i think you should identify yourself, if you are going to address her so personally. Also, I think you should identify yourself because i would like to know who thinks Cat needs to take her "blinders off." please, please... identify yourself.

Over-Consumption 15.Nov.2007 19:34

not overpopulation.

I think if anything is "hitting a nerve" here, it is quite possibly people who can't or haven't or are too selfish to procreate. Because blaming the earth's problems on fertility, rather than the unwise use of resources and the selfish shit-dumping we have laid on the earth, well that's just short-sighted and crazy.

Have to agree with Catherine, and of course, Cat 15.Nov.2007 20:52

Living History

Just look around, o anonymous person. Your sparsely (by comparison) populated neck of this planet is sucking down the world's resources faster by far than Gaea can regenerate. Poluting more, eating more, wasting more, and fucking less than any other population. Cat can be accused of many things, my friend, but anyone who does not have his vision hampered by anal hair, and has been here for any length of time would be more aware than to accuse this author of having the blinders on.

When you have read something a little more in depth than My Pet Goat, come back, and apologize.

Correction 15.Nov.2007 21:33

Cat

(Side note: Thanks, Catherine. Yeh!)

Regarding the "overpopulation" issue. Yeh. Clearly, it must be my own hysterical, womanly "blinders" causing me to point out the hole in the Malthus party line. It must be my silly urge to procreate that forces me to make up stories about how the "overpopulation" mantra is damaging and insulting to women, and particularly to women in the so-called "third world." I mean, it could not possibly be a reasonable, rational, logical position based on facts that just happen to turn your unquestioned assumptions askew.

As it happens, most of that "overpopulation" hype that you have internalized so vociferously has come from the corporate media. Don't forget that. You may want to conveniently dismiss the misogynist and racist overtones that have wound through the history of concern about population control, but you really should do some reading first. Yes, in fact, it is a matter of history. And you know what they say about those who ignore history....

As a matter of fact, racists, eugenicists, misogynists, and social Darwinists of all stripes have used the "overpopulation" banner to make their cases for nearly 200 years. But it's not just the overtly racist/sexist who buy into this. It's some really well-meaning people who have simply failed to examine either the facts or their own assumptions. For example, you said, "It's time for ALL humans to stop the unmoderated procreation."

"Unmoderated" procreation? Who is going to moderate it? You??? See, that's the unstated eugenicist's argument. You've accidentally stated it.

I don't know, before you reach over to take *my* blinders off, perhaps you might want to wade through a few statistics. Here's one: If wikipedia is to be believed, the per capita consumption of oil in the United States is somewhere around 69 barrels per year. In India, a country often excoriated for its high birth rate, the per capita consumption of oil is just over 2 barrels per person per year. In Ethiopia, a country often held up as an example of why population control is "necessary," the per capita consumption of oil is less than one barrel per person per year. So who is causing the greater threat here? The rich white folks in the US, whose birth rate is about 14 babies born per 1000 people per year? The people of India whose birth rate is 23 babies per 1000 people per year? Um, the Ethiopians, whose birth rate is 38.2 babies per 1000 people per year? Or how about the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo? Their birth rate tops the list at 49.6 babies per 1000 people, while their oil consumption is almost literally at the "bottom of the barrel," at 0.13 barrels per person per year? Whose impact on the environment would you say is higher? Is that my blinders? ...or yours.

Or let's take another resource. Water. It's the stuff of life. The next wars will likely be fought over this one. And it's getting harder for much of the world's population to get fresh, clean, drinking water. Is that the fault of women giving birth? Or the fault of privileged, white westerners with low birth rates? Well, according to the US Dept of Energy (I know, yuk), the per capita consumption of water in the US is roughly 5000 liters per *day*. Per DAY. Shit! 5000 liters! This takes into account all the bottles of Dasani, all the running taps, all the flushing toilets, all the loads of laundry, all the car washes, all the bath tubs, all the unseasonably green lawns, all the swimming pools, all the pressure washes, and all the agricultural irrigation foolishly watering American deserts. How much water do you think an average person in the Democratic Republic of Congo uses in a day? I could not find the statistics for this, but I bet it's nowhere near 5000 liters per day. In India? The per capita consumption of water is 30 liters, according to Water and Population Dynamics. In Ethiopia, the average consumption of water per day is 20 liters.

See, so there is a much bigger issue here than your desire to control other people's fertility. This is not to suggest that there aren't a lot of people, nor even to say that lots of people are not stressful to the planet. It is merely to ask you to examine your own assumptions, take off your *own* blinders, if you will, and stop accepting easy, ready-made answers from people with their own agendas. More than that, I ask you to examine the racism and misogyny that is hopelessly intertwined into the hype over population control. I ask that you place the burden for the world's problems where it belongs: Upon the shoulders of greedy, over-consuming, privileged first-worlders who keep on taking more than they need. Look at your own consumption habits before you dare to demand that other people give up their own fertility to pay for your sins.

Yes, we all want something to blame for the state of the planet other than ourselves, our own decadent lifestyles. How much more convenient to blame other peoples' fertility than to have to (inconveniently) actually change the way we live to a more sustainable path. How much easier to point fingers at other peoples' babies, to smugly click our tongues at other womens' pregnant bellies, than to give up the luxuries we've grown accustomed to. But turning birth, fertility, procreation into something dirty, turning the miracle of a pregnant belly into an epithet, there's something deeply, deeply wrong with that.

hey 15.Nov.2007 23:43

ho

Just because there is a worldwide population problem (which is just one symptom of our imbalance in the world), does not in any way justify the condemnation that many self righteous people have towards motherhood and children. Seems to me that many people just look for something to blame and women and children are ready at hand. There also seems to be a dislike of children from some people. Children interrupt the casual indulgence that is modern urban life. Nothing should get in the way of my ability to party anytime I want.

I think some people latch onto the 'overpopulation thing' simply because it is a ready excuse to defend their own selfish, self absorbed lifestyle. Children require one to be responsible, to be more in touch with natural rhythms, to give of oneself. Not cool in this decadent narcissistic society.

oh, and Go Cat! You Rock!!!

"overpopulation"=blame it all on mother 16.Nov.2007 06:59

Freud

"You're not giving of yourself when you have kids. You're bringing them into the world because YOU want them, and only you. They're not asking to be born, you're not doing a service for them, or helping them out by giving birth to them. You're spending your time on your own nuclear family. That seems self-aborbed [sic] to me, if you must use the term."

Go tell it to Mother Nature. This is her way. Who the fuck are YOU? Do you know better than mother nature? I think not.

Also, you are very misogynist. Do you also blame all of your idiosyncratic foibles on your cold, or distant, or smothering mother? Was she too harsh when she toilet-trained you? Mothers ALWAYS get the blame in this culture, and "overpopulation" is no exception.

hey 16.Nov.2007 07:54

ho

"You're not giving of yourself when you have kids. You're bringing them into the world because YOU want them, and only you. They're not asking to be born, you're not doing a service for them, or helping them out by giving birth to them. You're spending your time on your own nuclear family. That seems self-aborbed to me, if you must use the term."


This viewpoint is part of the harsh mechanistic attitude of the modern mind. Souls want to be birthed. Many times those souls want to be birthed with YOU, because you have history and karma together. These matters are much more subtle and interwoven than just a decision not to buy dish soap... The lack of spiritual foundation and understanding in society leads to imbalance and the negative attitude towards children and parenthood is one example of that.




"It's odd to call those without children "selfish." I think it's a much more selfless position actually, to choose not to have them due to the overpopulation problem. The world doesn't need another mouth to feed."


You have misunderstood my point. I said that there is a selfishness that leads some people to condemn those who have children, or condemn the idea of having children, which is a cover for the fear they feel about the experience and its impact on their own indulgent lifestyle. If you or someone else chooses not to have a child, that is fine. I think it is often a wise choice. I respect that choice if it is for ethical reasons.

Raising a child is an uplifting experience. And that child uses next to nothing in resources,or can if the parents are conscious. And if you love them, listen to them, give them good nutrition, nurture and guidance, that child will grow up healthy and will do positive things in the world.

The anti-children position is often driven by the same sort of nihilism, self loathing and deep down despair that there is not any real goodness in humanity that drives such ideas as the voluntary extinction idea.

Bullshit, not ho boy 16.Nov.2007 15:23

feminsit

"I also fail to see where anyone pushing population control has blamed mothers. That's a red herring people are using, to be able to call population control "woman hating."

No, this entire "overpopulation" discussion is the red herring. It was dropped onto a piece about a woman's demand for some respect and acceptance for her role in society as a mother. The very first fucking comment that went up on this thread read, "Q What is more important than birthing and raising kids? A NOT birthing and raising kids." So, if this isn't about misogyny, why on earth did that moron feel entitled to throw that bucket of crap onto this person's article? Why would someone's very first response to a woman's critique of the failure of radical (and all US) culture to respect her role as a mother be to shut her up with the same sick, sad, old tirade about how she doesn't matter, screw her, because she shouldn't be "breeding" anyway, because the whole world's problems are her fault. What on earth makes you believe this is not misogynist? Do you ever see comments like this dropped onto the words of fathers? No? Me neither.

So stop trying to avoid the issue, stop trying to deny that this conversation has taken a sickeningly sexist tone. Get lost. This woman was using her voice to talk about a serious and important issue to women, particularly to mothers. Take your mindless hawking of your stupid, eugenic, sexist theory and just get lost.

Dynamics 16.Nov.2007 17:25

fireweed

I agree that mothers are disproportionately blamed AND that overpopulation is an issue.

I don't think that vilifying people who lovingly raise kids is the answer.

I don't think that vilifying people who don't do the best at raising the kids they have is the answer either, since most of those folks come from backgrounds very impacted by racism and/or other forms of violence.

I don't think telling people who are worried about overpopulation AND the intertwined overconsumption to shut up is the answer.

I do think that stopping this vilification of people who have kids is part of the answer.

How many kids exist because of rape?
How many kids exist because their families must have kids to support them in their old age because no one else gives a shit about them?
How many kids exist because globalization has impoverished them, and cultural custom states that daughters must be dowried and therefore a family must have tons of kids to produce enough sons to break even?
How many third world kids is the consumption of one first world kid worth? (last I heard, it was 20:1)
How many people does it take to support a kid into healthy habits against the societal current? How many people actually try to do this? How many people don't do this because they're too busy being bitter at mothers and kids?

Last comment: I was at an action camp where a single mother, who had previously donated time and energy to the campaign, with 1 grown up activist kid and 1 infant born of a rape, was driven out of the camp in tears due to hostile comments directed at her.

What exactly was she supposed to do? Travel back in time? Murder both her children on the spot to be "cool"?

fireweek, 16.Nov.2007 17:57

popeye

about this:

"How many kids exist because their families must have kids to support them in their old age because no one else gives a shit about them?"

I don't think that would be right to have kids in order to have someone there to support you. First, the child might be born handicapped, or become handicapped. They might need you to support them! And next lots of people can't control what their kid grows up to be! - they might not be someone who wants to support you! It would be a selfish reason to have a kid, and might backfire.

popeye 16.Nov.2007 18:19

fireweed

You're right, it might backfire.

Poverty forces people who want to continue living into back-asswards gambles like that.

Continuing to blame people in poverty for this might backfire, too, since unless you're advocating slaughtering the poor, there's no way to heal the situation without engaging with what life is like in that situation.

this is not theoretical for me 16.Nov.2007 19:12

catherine

i spend a lot of time worrying about my best friend. she has changed. four years ago she had a son, and now she is trapped by poverty, isolation and a lack of options. she is so smart and charming, and previously so positive and happy. how could this have happened?

and then i really thought about my own decision to not have kids. i was raised by a poor single parent, and i got to see up close, the pressure cooker this was for her. i did not want to end up like her. i think our society chewed my mother up.

from there i noticed some really bad attitudes i was carrying about mothers. i realized that i had internalized, and was then complicit in, the economic (and institutonal and medical) violence. "it is there choice, isn't it....?" as if somehow strong women would know better to get involved in something that would dis-empower them. is that sane thinking? certainly not radical thinking...

what i can tell you now, is that i was not strong enough myself, to take a clear look at how these attitudes were all about my own internalized hatred of women, and about wanting to divorce myself from my mothers powerless station.

now i notice all the institutional forces, and ugly social attitudes working against mothers. i realize that it is one of the most important feminist issues. i appreciate the woman who posted this article, and really encourage other mothers to post about their experience.

This country hates women 17.Nov.2007 16:50

julia

If this country loved women:
1)We would pay for childcare
2)We would pay for home-making
3)We would all be insured
4)We would have the right to free daycare until age 5 - this is true of all Western countries except U.S.
5)Rape would be illegal
6)There would be many forms of birth control available.
Which reminds me, whatever happened to the male pill? In the lates 1990's, it was going to be manufactured in Brazil. People were very excited. And then, they scratched it. Because there were side effects. Hmmmm....goes back to my theory: if they loved women, they would not make us suffer the side effects!!!
How come we are not talking about male birth control?!?

Who de we think does the gestation, birthing, caring and raising of children in this country? Mothers. Almost all of them are women. Infact, I'll bet everyone reading this came from a woman's body! Instead of honored, we are pushed to the back of the line, kept poor, offered the least.