Friday, August 11, 2006

Because She's the Mommy, That's Why

Feministe's Lauren presents an arresting broadside against those of her ideological compatriots who make cheap shots against parents:

I admit that I find a lot of the discussions of parenting in the feminist blogosphere — which only seem to pop up when a prominent woman has, oh, anything to say about her kids in print — sexist and condescending. Mythago has this bit covered well in the comments at Pandagon, language about how women “pop out” or “sh-t out” kids, people who think children are more of an economic dearth than a possible pleasure, and the refusal to recognize that “kid-friendly” isn’t the opposite of “adults-only.”
All right, she loses me on that last point. But she adds:
And, fellow feminists, I f-cking hate the term “breeders.”
She ends the post with a forceful request:
I call a truce. No more mommy drive-bys. In the absence of real danger inflicted on our children, we’re doing what we can to make our sometimes-charming, sometimes-irritating little people into productive and engaged big people and don’t deserve the extra shame and misogyny heaped on us by others who don’t have any interest in our lifestyles anyway. To each their own. How we raise our children — and how we feel about it — is always ripe for discussion, but I won’t pretend this mommy knows best. [Read the whole post for full context, including links omitted here.]
At the heart of the post is Lauren's "theory of parenting":
Children: Little people making bad decisions.

Adults: Helping little people make less bad decisions.

Parents: Obligated to help, to the best of their ability, their little people make good decisions the best they can.
One missing piece to such a theory, in my opinion, is that parents are obliged to not only help their children make good decisions, but, when necessary, prevent them from making bad decisions. And I do find it interesting, given the relativism that permeates the writings of Lauren and her fellow Feministe bloggers, that she admits there is such a thing as a "bad decision."

What do you think of Lauren's theory? I'd be especially interested in hearing from parents.

[Note: Please do not take this as an invitation to insult Lauren, who will no doubt be reading these comments. I had worried that commenters who have reason to disagree with Lauren on other topics might insult her — my apologies for voicing such a fear, as so far it looks like I was mistaken. Regardless of disagreements on when motherhood begins, I sincerely appreciate her taking a stand against those who slander parents.]