One of the frequent invalidations that we childfree people are subject to by those who cannot wrap their mind about the idea of choosing not to have children is:
"If everyone thought the way you do, the human race would die out."
Got me there.
But, then, I have never advocated for a world where everyone thinks the way I do. I am advocating for a world where the choice to forego having children is given the same respect and acceptance as the choice to have them. A very simple concept, really.
I think most sensible people would agree that it would be a good thing if fewer people had children than are having them now. There are plenty of people having children who have no business having them, are terrible parents (ever notice that the worst parents are the ones having the largest numbers of them?), or cannot provide a proper life for them. Isn't the insistence that everyone have children a bit dumb-headed?
To those who scoff at childfreedom and insist that everyone should have kids, I offer this reply:
"If everyone thought the way you do, the earth would be destroyed."
Oh wait. This is already happening. Because of the insistence that every single person go forth and multiply, in the 200,000 short years mankind has populated (and at this point overpopulated) the earth, he has virtually stripped it of its natural resources, decimated its forests, extinguished much of its wildlife, polluted its oceans, land and air, and warmed its environment to a temperature that in a few years will be fit only for tropical house ferns. And let's not forget the horrors he has visited on his fellow man. Holocaust, anyone?
Yes, that's right, folks. The threats we face are not from too little breeding, or the expanding childfree population. They are from too much breeding and too many people fighting over dwindling resources. If anything, we childfree folks should be thanked for counteracting the environmental damage done by our childed peers - those with the massive and exploding carbon footprints. See that "Donate" Paypal button on the right of this screen? You can start there.
So to those who think that their "if everyone thought the way you do..." bingo is a great "gotcha!", I am sorry to disappoint you. It just doesn't impress me all that much. But it is an argument that is entertaining enough to inspire a blog post, so for that I am glad :)
I have heard this Bing several times. I've come back with "Clearly, most people do NOT think like I do, so we're in no danger of the human population dwindling at the rate our resources are."
What a stupid Bingo!
I always just ask back "What's wrong with that?" Usually, there is no good answer.
If human species died out, who exactly would be missing it?
"If everyone thought the way you do, the earth would be destroyed." Love it!
It's funny how they can't understand why we don't want kids when we can't understand why they DO. Sorry the payoff just isn't there. Like my fiance said, "too much bullshit." I don't want to do all that work for hugs, kisses, and crappy macaroni art.
As much as I would love to be a grandparent again, I believe that motherhood is a HUGE choice. A family is two or more people. I WANTED babies and had three who have made me intensely happy.
I don't believe that abortion should be common, yet if it is your choice, then after thought and meditation, do what you must do without interference from me.
Choice, whether to be vegan, have children or not is yours and yours alone.
The comments are priceless http://www.experienceproject.com/confessions.php?cid=28315
Amen to this post. My grandma had 6 kids, mostly because of lack of birth control back in her day. She was never really the "mom" type and of her 6 kids, 3 of them chose not to have kids. My own mom has told me she wishes she had thought about being a parent more before diving into it--she really wasn't a "mom" type of person, either. And I just don't really have any interest in being a parent. I don't think there's anything wrong with that; if anything, people should be grateful for the CF community because we are doing our part to keep overpopulation at bay.
Does anyone out there have children because they are trying to keep the human race from dying out? Anyone? Anyone at all? I don't think so. But, somehow I'm supposed to care about that when childed people don't care about that.
What's the point of that bingo? I'm supposed to run out and make a kid in the interest of the human race, even if I don't want to. Take one for the team or something. That's ridiculous.
The human race is going to go extinct at some point anyway, probably in a few million years. What the bingo-er is really saying is that if everyone thought like you then the human race would go extinct "earlier than it should."
I love your blog!! I too do not want to have any children. I am way too selfish and enjoy MY time. Why would I want to burden myself with so many responsibilities that are children? It is so refreshing to hear someone else that has the same outlook as I do. Coming from a very religious/judgmental/Mormon background I am only a disappointment, a free as a bird disappointment!! The most frustrating thing to hear are parents that BITCH about their kids, and how annoying they are, or to be on the phone with someone who stops the conversation to YELL at their “damned kids”. LOL
my hubby is indian.he is family-oriented and didn't even know that having children was a choice.his only debate was how many and when.up came childfree me,who told him he was being led astray by his culture,and to please be an individual and put some thought into it.well,i guess when one thinks about it,one realizes kids aren't worth it.when his family got wind of his decision to remain sans-kids,all hell broke loose,and it still continues to this day.his cousin pouted at me, "if everyone thought like you,the human race will die out." this comical bingo always cracks me up for a few reasons.1,how's that a bad thing if we go extinct? 2,its not possible for EVERYONE to think like me,so why prowl into that impossibility anyway? 3,at the rate of population explosion, someone panicking because a handful of persons refuse to procreate is beyond me.
Like Blond Heretic, my comeback to that one is: "so the human race dies out...so what?"
Everything else on the planet would be better off!
Another good answer, a little more upbeat, is to agree to a larger principle:
"You're right, if everyone in the world all had exactly the same thoughts, the world would be a terrible place. Thank goodness not everyone thinks like me, thank goodness not everyone thinks like you."
I just found you blog and I LOVE IT! Keep up the awesomeness, from one childfree person to another.
This response always gets me along with the "What if your mother felt the way you did, then you wouldn't be here." I like Blond Heretic's answer. I'm going to try that and see if it shuts people up.
In other news, here is a really good story I just read on NPR that takes a look at how psychologically and philosophically the decision to have or not to have children is complex and that neither side should be valued over the other.
I just realized something.
“If everyone thought like you, the human race would go extinct!” would also apply to anyone who has only one child.
The “replacement rate” is 2.0 per couple. If everyone has no more than one child, the human race would go extinct that way, too. By this logic, an only child is a crime against humanity.
Anyone who makes that argument to a childfree person should be willing to make that same argument to anyone with only one child. Does that ever happen? I doubt it.
In fact, you could make the same argument to many adoptive parents – if everyone adopted children without having their own, then the whole human race would go extinct!
(Damn self-centered people adopting all those kids. The nerve of those people!)
Anyone who has fewer than two biological children is “failing to sustain the human race.” So, childfree people are not the only ones to blame. You would have to blame millions of parents as well….
VERY true, Temujin! Just goes to show there is not a lot common sense or thought that goes into the thoughtless comments we are subject to.
I think that most childfree by choice people would raise the best children because we actively think about our actions and what it means to those around us. But seeing all the unfit parents out there kind of ruins it for the rest of us. Just imagine a world full of our theoretical children, we all think more progressively and don't except the status quo of things and I am sure would raise our childen in the same matter. Maybe the world would be better off with those type of people in it. But who knows.....
Nobody knows the answer if having kids or not will destroy the human population, only time will tell. What's more important now is granting individuals the right to choose whether they want kids or not. Eventually we all have to live with our choices and if something does happen it will be too late to blame anyone.
At least I know that I did my part in the way it felt right by me and not by society standards.
Those who point fingers at child free couples or singles should really learn to accept that their life style choice is not the ultimate one and only determined by a basic biological need.
This need doesn't always contribute in a positive way to society and the planet and often leaves those who did choose to be responsible with the burden of it.
What's that? Oh of course, not YOUR children, they are perfect. Right....
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