Posted on | January 15, 2016 | 84 Comments
I’ve believed for a long time that purposely choosing to have biological children is one of the most selfish things a person could ever do. It IS selfish to create another human because you want it. It’s also foolish when parents convince themselves that they’re doing good for the world by procreating. Maybe your kid will cure cancer, but in all likelihood they won’t change the world in all that big of a way. I just hate when people pretend that having a baby isn’t selfish, that it’s for the good of humanity. Own up to it! You want a human for you. It’s selfish, and it’s also fine. I say this as someone who is seriously considering trying to have kids someday, too. I wish people were more reflective and honest.
Where to begin analyzing this? If I were a psychiatrist, I’d start by getting the patient to narrate the basic facts of her own life: How many brothers and sisters do you have? Are your parents married? How old were you when you realized you were bisexual? How many sexual partners have you had? What’s the longest romantic relationship you have been in? Whenever you encounter a person with strange beliefs, you see, there must be an explanation somewhere in her past. Crazy people — and that’s most feminists are, really — don’t become crazy for no reason. Even if you subscribe to the “neurochemical imbalance” theory of mental illness, not every woman with a personality disorder is a radical feminist bisexual spewing irrational nonsense on the Internet. No, there must be an etiology of this particular case of Feminist Tumblr Syndrome:
Growing up “gifted”, exceeding in academically, and originally getting into Ivy League schools honestly f–ked me up. Now as a person with multiple disabilities who is a family disappointment for going to an average small liberal arts college, I spend every minute feeling intense shame. My adult life has been a gradual descent into a less and less able person, and I don’t know how to cope with it. Even though I (unknowingly) had PTSD, dyslexia, and epilepsy my whole life, it didn’t hold me back academically. I never learned how to study, how to cope with grades below an A, how to manage my time well, how to fail even if I worked hard.
Seriously, never build the core of your identity around being “gifted” or smart or academically capable or whatever. It could all be taken away from you and you’ll feel so f–king lost. Same goes for kids. Don’t hold them to such impossibly high standards that you leave them no room for anything but perfect performance.
Oh, that explains a lot, doesn’t it? I was “gifted” as a child, but I was always an underachiever and a troublemaker who just barely graduated high school and only went to college because my father insisted on it. My personal war against the public education system began in fifth grade, really, and a lifelong antipathy toward bureaucracy probably explains my libertarian tendencies, whereas my conservatism could perhaps be seen as reflecting a belated appreciation for my father’s better qualities. Dad was a New Deal Democrat and proud member of the Machinists union who used to argue politics with me after I turned Republican in my mid-30s, although he was nonetheless gratified by his underachiever son’s success as a journalist. But I digress . . .
We may surmise that the bisexual radical feminist’s animosity toward parenthood in general (“one of the most selfish things a person could ever do”) reflects her resentment of her own parents whose “impossibly high standards” she blames for her feelings of “intense shame” as being the “family disappointment.” And who am I, an underachiever journalist playing amateur psychiatrist on my blog, to argue with her criticism of her parents? Honestly, I agree with her point about parents who push, push, push their “gifted” child onto the academic fast-track where acceptance to an Ivy League school is the expected outcome.
The obvious problem with pushing a child toward success is that they may fail to develop an inner drive for excellence. This wasn’t my problem as an underachiever. I had plenty of drive, but the public-school bureaucracy did not recognize or reward my idiosyncratic aptitudes. In fact, I was a target for frequent punishment for failing to conform to the “one-size-fits-all” structure of public education.
Schools are run by teachers, all of whom liked school when they were kids, and schools are organized for the kind of kids who also like school and will probably grow up to become teachers themselves. The quiet, obedient, do-exactly-what-the-teacher-says type of child — which is to say, a natural-born bureaucrat — is always the Teacher’s Pet, while the creative, energetic rebel is the Problem Child. Thus it was that I learned by heart the Three Rules of Public School:
- Sit down;
- Shut up;
- Do your work.
“Excuse me, Ms. Flood, but isn’t this ‘work’ supposed to be teaching me something? If I’m already reading at a college level, why is it necessary that I do these tedious worksheets about matching subjects with verbs and pronouns with antecedents?”
Asking such questions is “disruptive,” and punishment was by paddling in those days. Up to the chalkboard, bend over to grab the rail, and — no flinching — whap! whap! whap! whap! whap!
Trust me, no feminist ever wanted to “smash patriarchy” as much as I want to smash the public school system, which I consider a greater menace to American liberty than ISIS. If you ever want to hear me rant for 45 minutes, just ask my opinion of what’s wrong with public education — everything, basically, but I can give a detailed accounting of the system’s errors which are numerous, pervasive, and beyond hope of reform. The only way to “fix” the problem is to ABOLISH THE ENTIRE GODDAMNED SYSTEM! But I digress . . .
“The personal is political,” as radical feminist Carol Hanisch famously said, but why do women’s pet peeves qualify as a progressive political movement, whereas progressives don’t care about my pet peeves with public schools or your pet peeves with whatever pisses you off? People have been grumbling and complaining about their problems since the dawn of time, but for some reason the grumbling and complaining of women is a special case. And this bisexual radical feminist Tumblr blogger is a very special case, indeed. Take a look at some of the problems she describes under her “personal” tag. Playing amateur psychiatrist again, I’m tempted to conclude either:
A. Her medical issues are largely psychosomatic in origin;
B. Both her medical issues and her psychological problems are symptomatic of overall poor health.
Is she getting enough sleep? What is she eating? Does she get enough sunshine and vigorous exercise? Has she consulted an endocrinologist? You have to suspect she has some serious underlying problem to explain all the things wrong with her. (Seriously, she has a lot of problems.) The only alternative is that she is cursed or possessed by demons, supernatural possibilities that Educated 21st-Century Americans are supposed to rule out as absurd, but after you read enough Feminist Tumblr blogs, it’s tempting to wonder if Beelzebub is ultimately to blame. A girl starts messing around with a Ouija board or tarot cards when she’s a kid and then — boom! — Satan grabs her, body and soul.
“I was with my first serious boyfriend for two years, age 14-16, and during that time we made a lot of art together and wrote notes that we passed off at school. I had hundreds of these notes from him. He was manipulative and abusive. He raped me. He was (is) a sociopath. When I was 18, confronting my PTSD, and put on antidepressants that were making me really unstable, I tossed out all of his notes and the art we made together. I regret this. I wanted to simplify the relationship. I didn’t want the good memories around; I didn’t want to fool myself. He was a huge part of my life and those years are still a part of who I am. Even though he is a piece of s–t and I have no interest in ever reconnecting, I really wish I didn’t try to erase him entirely. It just seemed easier to paint the relationship as all bad and try to forget it. I want to get over this regret I feel for throwing all those things away. So many years have passed and I’m still sad about it.”
And there’s this:
This proves she is a Minion of Evil. And also crazy as hell.
Excuse my long silence, Twitter, but I stumbled onto a particularly crazy case of radical feminism on Tumblr, and am staring into the abyss.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 16, 2016
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 16, 2016