Friday, 18 January 2013

Slate thinks me and my ma are weird and creepy

"Remember how there was that one kid in your high school class whose parents were sooooo old that it was weird and creepy? That’s all of us now. Oops."
From "Older parenthood: Is Waiting To Have Kids a Feminist Triumph or a Big Mistake?"  on Slate.

1. My ma was 40 when she popped me out. I went through a phase of being omg soooo embarrassed that she had grey hair (which, actually, she'd had since she was 19, a genetic legacy I also enjoy) and was soooo ooooold. I think it lasted about a month. I then went on to being omg soooo embarrassed that my surname rhymed with 'nipple', that my dad wore his motorcycle leathers to parents' evenings, that I accidentally called my science teacher 'dad' once... I acknowledge that I was not exactly your typical child, in a few entertainingly silly ways, but you get the gist, right? I spent pretty much the entirety of the years 1997-2002 being embarrassed about something. (Actually, I think I've spent pretty much the entirety of the years 2002-2013 being embarrassed about something, too, which - for those of you who have spent time with my corporeal form, is why I make involuntary groaning noises a lot: I've just remembered that "omg I can't believe I called Mr Chipping 'dad' in year 7! I AM THE WORST".)

It's the same argument people use for why The Gays should not breed: "BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN! THEY WILL BE SO EMBARRASSED!"

The children will be embarrassed by their parents regardless of their age or sexuality or hair colour. That's what the children do. This fact is not much of a foundation to build a magazine article on.

2. Remember that article which claimed that "a man giving birth is freakish and beyond the pale"? The basic gist of which was, "I find the concept of a pregnant trans chap icky, ergo it will DESTROY CIVILISATION"?

Well: it was a shit argument then, and it's a shit argument now. The fact that you, personally, think something is disgusting (and can't be bothered to spend ten minutes wondering why that is) is not grounds for that thing to be universally pilloried as A Big Mistake.

Having been vegetarian for nearly twenty years, I find the idea of eating the flesh of another animal absolutely fucking gross, to be honest with you. And yet! I have not formed a pressure group called Ban Meat Because It's Icky, It's Got VEINS and TENDONS and It Used To Be A Cow's THIGH, SERIOUSLY, People. I have not even penned a hastily-written and poorly-researched article about how Stuff I Think Is Disgusting Shouldn't Be Allowed.

The fact that your knee-jerk disgust-response to pregnant dudes or parents over 40 taps into wider social norms doesn't make simple revulsion a sensible arbiter for what is or is not a good idea.

3. My mum is freaking awesome. I don't know anyone else who gets on with a parent as well as I do. This is predominantly because she is objectively The Best, but I can't help but think that the fact that she spent twenty years gadding about Europe, meeting interesting people and doing interesting things, and then decided to have kids when she was good and sodding well ready, was a big factor in the unimaginable brilliance of her parenting skillz.

4. Don't call us creepy. That's just rude.

No comments:

Post a Comment