Friday, August 3, 2012

“The Planet Doesn't Need Your Babies”

So says Caitlin Moran, a comedian, feminist, and mother of two, in her book How To Be a Woman. Lisa Hymas writing for Grist.org highlights some of Moran’s funniest entreaties for those who are thinking of having kids.
If you take a moment to consider the state of the world, the thing you notice is that there are plenty of babies being born; the planet really doesn’t need all of us to produce more babies. Particularly First World babies, with their ferocious consumption of oil and forest and water, and endless burping-out of carbon emissions and landfill. First World babies are eating this planet like termites. If we had any real perspective on fertile Western women, we’d be jumping on them in the streets, screaming, “JESUS! CORK UP YOUR NETHERS! IMMUNIZE YOURSELF AGAINST SPERM!” …
Moran presents a compelling cautionary tale in which she describes her scary transformation from do-gooder environmentalist to consumption junkie, a transformation she attributes to becoming a mother.
Before I had my kids I may have mooched about a lot but I was politically informed, signing petitions, and recycling everything down to watch batteries. It was compost heap here, dinner from scratch there, public transport everywhere. … I was smugly, bustingly, low-level good. Six weeks into being poleaxed by a newborn colicky baby, however, and I would have happily shot the world’s last panda in the face if it made the baby cry for 60 seconds less. The cloth diapers … were dumped for disposables; we lived on ready meals. Nothing got recycled … Union dues and widow’s mites were cancelled — we needed the money for the disposables and the ready meals. …
This lady is seriously funny. I can’t wait to buy this book and read her take on modern womanhood. Based on what I've read so far I'm sure she can be trusted to slay a few sacred cows… or pandas.

What sacred cows, or assumptions, around womanhood would you like to slay?

2 comments:

AutumnSylver said...

Assumptions that I'd like to slay are:
1. It's selfish not to have kids.
2. If you don't want kids, you're an evil baby hater.
3. You're not a real woman/adult unless you have kids.

Valerian said...

I agree with Autumn - The assumption I hate is that -
1. I'm female ergo I must want babies
2. I'm selfish for not wanting kids
3. I will never know pure or real love because I have no children
4. I leave nothing behind me if I cannot leave it to my own children.

I resent these assumptions and the confused looks when I say no I didnt have children and I guess its a bit late now but I'm okay with that. There are enough people having children madly willy-nilly with no regard for their financial capacities or anything other than blind genetic urgency - the world doesnt need mine too.