Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vows of Fertility

The rant continues...

At first it's difficult to be pro-active against intrusions and insults, particularly if you have been brought up to be courteous to strangers, your elders, etc. Oddly enough, those who confront parents and their children do not come from any particular age, sex or class of society. Unless you wish to designate "busy-body" as a class.
There may be something in that.
There are social "fads" that come and go regarding anything involving reproduction. Some psychologists may regard these fads as a form of social voyeurism, because they revolve, directly or indirectly, around sex. The act or the product thereof. These fads may be about breast-feeding, pro or anti abortion or whatever, but they invariable relate to what other people do in bed - or in the bushes. Or where ever. These fads inspire a collective devoted to Group Criticism. They set up booths in malls, at community events, they push pamphlets, they hold marches. Adherents are concerned with Social and Public GOOD, and a desire to excoriate anyone who deviates from the true faith.
Some time ago there was a Zero Pop group. The world would come to an end or western civilization would crumble, at least, unless the masses were restrained from their rampant breeding. Should a well-behaved family of, say, six, walk past one of their street booths, you could almost hear the subdued roar of carne, carne.
If you had more than the designated 1.8 children some inspired self-appointed proslytizer would approach and demand "Why do you have so many children. Don't you know..." [ Four is "many"???... Like, legion???...Well, sometimes...] Oh, the guilt. It was pointless to explain that you felt competent to raise your children to be contributors to society and not parasites. It only got you in deeper. A smile and "We took a vow of fertility" sometimes worked - provided you got out of there fast enough. Sometimes it didn't and you found yourself the embarrassed recipient of a public lecture on birth control. So you resorted to the rejoinder " So when they grow up they can work to pay for your welfare cheques." This proved most effective when undeserved. Gobble, gobble.
Another frequent attack was "Haven't you ever heard of Family Planning?" The same smile and "Why yes! Isn't it wonderful! Every time we planned for a child, we had one!" was usually enough to convince the evangelist that you were uneducable. And leave you thankfully alone.

Rant wraps tomorrow.


Anonymous said...
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Ric said...

Now this is interesting.
Did you see the recent study on German women saying they wanted more kids, bigger families, but can't afford it?
And the dire predictions that minorities (ethnic as well as religious) will soon overtake the native population in many countries in Europe?
The pendelum is about to swing the other way.
Good Post.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric.
Seems that social fads can swing from one extreme to the other without the slightest sense of inconsistency.