The Child Free Taboo

I sometimes think that a major part of the religious bigotry aimed at gays and lesbians as well as transsexuals who come out young, is about our not making the having of children a priority in our lives.

One and all religions have this fantasy of out-breeding all others so that theirs becomes the dominant  religion.  Racists of all colors have the same fantasies.

It is behind the Mormon injunctions, the Catholic as well as the quiver-full movement.  Aryan Nation touts having blue-eyed blond children so that it will preserve the white race, the Palestinians want to out-breed the Israelis and so it goes.

The corporations with their philosophy of constant growth always need more consumers.  Every Napoleon or Genghis Khan needs huge armies of people to die and murder in order to fulfill his wet dreams of conquest.

As for me….

I never wanted children…  I wanted other things like cameras and guitars but never children.

I mean they are cute and all and it might have been neat if they would have let me become a teacher. But I was too queer and too commie to have that one be a part of my life.

Maybe it was because I had my fill of the parenting fantasy in my early teens taking care of my baby brother while my mother was seriously ill. That one totally disillusioned me regarding the joys of mommyhood.

Somehow parenthood always seemed like a trap.  A way of locking people into slavery by limiting their choices and mobility.

Even though I was never able to backpack around Europe, traipse off to Kathmandu or Tangier to smoke hash, being child free left me with the fantasy that I could do that if the opportunity arose.

I wasn’t trapped in that cycle of mandatory consumption that feeds the system from corporations to the schools and churches simply by having a child that requires all those things and services.

I used to use the phrase, “Fertile mind, sterile body.”  Being sterile allowed me the freedom to love freely, sleep with who I wanted without worry of pregnancy.

I never saw it as a handicap.

I loved the philosophy I found in Ellen Peck’s long out of print book “The Baby Trap” which can be found in PDF format at:

In some ways the desire to be child free is more taboo than homosexuality even though the two are often linked.  They shouldn’t be linked as straight people are often child free by choice and sometime in the gay and lesbian neighborhoods around the world one can hardly turn around with out bumping into a high tech stroller carrying a gayby of lezby.  Pushed by the proud same sex couple exhibiting how they too can add to the over population crisis.

One of the most absurd propositions I ever heard was the one that would have mandated young people starting transition to harvest and store eggs or sperm at great cost so that if they wished at a later date to pump out a product reflecting their genetic material they could.  Never mind that having strange genetic material might well be why they were trans in the first place and that some of us would have probably not had viable sperm or eggs in the first place.

Mandatory parenting as punishment for having sex is a biggie among the superstitious followers of religious mythology.  I mean it doesn’t take a whole lot of subtextual reading of the symbology of the Judeo-Christian creation myth to come up with the conclusion that the snake was a penis and the forbidden knowledge of “original sin” was sex.

The real sin of queer folk is sex for pleasure and not for reproduction.  The real sin of transsexuals is the voluntary sterilization aspect.  This is also the real sin of abortion.  The real sin of contraception.

Loving freely without the risk of entrapment in the process of mandatory consumption.  Voluntary non-reproduction assails the value of the individual as producer of more consumption units or universal soldiers.

It gives women the real freedom to say no.  The ability to say, “I want out of a relationship that is either un-loving or abusive without the mandatory chains to the other that come with sharing genetic material.”

People who are voluntarily child free have their conscious decision constantly questioned. They are called selfish and yet not having children is the biggest contribution one could possibly make towards saving the planet.  Bigger than going vegan, buying a Prius or plastering solar panels on your house.

If you are poor and forgo having children it will be easier for you to survive in something other than the worst conditions that same poverty will cause if you are having to support another mouth, that not only needs food but clothing, shelter and an education.

Indeed next to the 200,000 dollar cost of raising a child (See estimates). SRS is a real bargain, even with FFS and all the other cosmetic procedures.

The truth is that the total costs fall most heavily on women, both economically and in terms of responsibility.  Children are the handicap, the burden that helps maintain women as disadvantaged over a life time of personal achievement.

Yet women are castigated for pointing these facts out.  One is viewed as subversive and perhaps one is by the simple act of opting out of reproduction.

But it goes further.  One of the main reasons I was never an enthusiastic embracer of HBS is that in his own way Dr. Harry Benjamin was a bit of a sexist pig, a misogynist of the old school.  He believed we should transition in to fembot embracers of the 1950s feminine mystique.  The same thing for Meyers and his infamous study that was used by Paul McHugh to justify the ending of SRS.

The lame lament about how WBTs could adopt children is rather detached from reality.  Many of us live hand to mouth lives.  But even nice heterosexual non-transsexual couples with spotless life records often have a hard time adopting.  It costs a breath taking amount of money and often requires travel to economically devastated areas to “purchase” a child.  I use “purchase” not out of irony but because that term strips the euphemistic language from what are called adoption fees.

Today’s Alternet has the following piece:

Words of Caution for Elena Kagan, There’s a Far Touchier Reproductive Issue Than Abortion

By Keli Goff, AlterNet
Posted on May 11, 2010, Printed on May 12, 2010

For some reason the idea that not all people, including plenty of women, have the desire to become parents, and more specifically, the idea that not all people who can have children, should, remain two of the most taboo things any person, particularly any woman, can say out loud. While endless media coverage has been devoted to the so-called “mommy wars” between working moms and stay at home moms and those who are pro-choice and those who are not, the real gulf, is one so controversial that the media hardly covers it at all: the gulf between those who do not wish to become parents and everyone else who thinks that by shear of virtue of being on this planet and not being a serial killer, you should.

For some reason the idea of not having children remains one of the most taboo subjects, especially for women.

Question for you. Today what is the most controversial thing a female candidate can say?

A) I had an extramarital affair.
B) I am gay.
C) I do not want to have children.

Or forget a female candidate. What about the female spouse of a candidate, or a female vying for a major appointment, such as to the Supreme Court? Fifty years after the pill was created to empower women to take their reproductive choice into their own hands, I would argue that the answer is still C.

Before you ask, no I am not basing this theory on any groundbreaking new study on the subject. This is based strictly on anecdotal evidence, including my recent conversations with a variety of women. Not to mention some not so anecdotal evidence, namely the number of children who continue to be born into unloving, unstable and unsupportive homes. But it’s also based on the fact that within minutes of Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court being confirmed, a blog post titled, “Elena Kagan sends us on the Way to a Motherless Supreme Court” popped up online, as if her parental status has a single thing to do with her qualifications for the High Court.

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