Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Childless women are bad", the Mail says.

Yet another category to add to the multitudes despised by the Daily Mail. If you don't feel ready to have a child you're a crap human being, apparently.

Cheer up gays and lesbians, leftists and Muslims, immigrants and single mothers, benefit claimants and environmentalists, council estate dwellers and pacifists, Irish catholics and SNP-voters. You're not alone. The list of people despised by the Daily Mail can today celebrate a brand new addition to the already overcrowded club: childless women.

Carol Sarler, officially on course for the Most Ridiculous Piece of the Month Award, writes that childless women should be "distrusted". They are the ones "who run the office bitch-feast", "they turn up late and hungover after a night on the razz" and "[they are] regarded as cold and odd". Essentially, Sarler pontificates, they "lack essential humanity". And that's allegedly according to "a research conducted over six years".

But the most amazing thing is that, if they carry on at this rate, soon the Mail's own pseudo-journos won't have anyone else left to snipe at. They may even start insulting each other or their own readers. In a couple of years' time you may as well expect a piece that goes "You! Yes, you, reading this piece right now. You're a useless bag of shit. A study from University of Colorado just recently confirmed it. Fuck off. Now".

Or don't be surprised if you spot one that scoffs at fellow Mail colleagues. "This week researchers from the Bogroll Research Institute confirmed that the Mail's TV & Showbiz department is full of oddballs. Keep away from them, they smell very bad".


Anita said...

It really does make you wonder how it happens. Does Paul Dacre call his subjects up to his office saying 'Today I want you to rip apart this specidic category of people?'... BTW The article in question is indeed laughable.

ehartsay said...

"Much as I like to trumpet the importance of a woman's right to choose all things at all times, there's one choice I simply cannot understand: the choice of an otherwise sane and healthy woman not to have children."Notice the ‘poisoning the well’ tactic here – your ‘otherwise sane and healthy’ comment clearly states that the choice NOT to have children must be insane and unhealthy as a foregone conclusion. Without actually having PROVED it at all, you present it as a given. Why? If YOU want or like something, assuming that you are sane (and judging from this article that is a BIG assumption), all other sane people must think the same as you? Quite a large logical fallacy here, and were are only on the first paragraph. Not very promising.

Yet if she says she hasn't a shred of maternal feeling in her, moreover, if she says she would prefer to concentrate on her career and that a child would only get in the way of it, then my head might acknowledge her right to do so. But my heart whispers: 'Lady, you're weird.'So anyone who doesn’t like the same things as you is ‘weird’ by your book? And of course if she is ‘weird’ by YOUR book, she must be objectively really weird and damaged? And you are the one saying that OTHER people are the ones with the problems? Seriously? Archaeology is my life – that doesn’t mean that I need to expect that other people must want to be archaeologists too – and it doesn’t mean that I think that there is anything wrong with them if they don’t. I am confident and happy enough in my own self and path not to need to validate myself by negatively judging those who do not want to follow that path. It is a well known trope that those who are truly happy in what they do, do not feel the need to judge those who do not want the same thing.

ehartsay said...

It was welcome news, therefore, to discover this week that I am not alone.
Because if other people share the same delusion or bigoted idea, that makes it all OK? Would you say the same to those who are racist or homophobic? It is OK, because there are others who feel the same?
A stereotype being makes it no less bigoted.

As a result, it is these single-track careerists who are increasingly likely to be vilified, refused jobs and denied promotion because many employers believe them to lack what the study calls 'an essential humanity'. And I know exactly what they mean.I’m sure you do – it is already pretty clear that you can’t look beyond your own choices and lifestyle to allow that others may also be valid.

And if that touch of 'essential humanity' - or its absence - colours such notably tough professions, it's hardly surprising that employers are starting to notice that the same applies across the spectrum of workplaces.
*Blinks* wait a minute – where exactly have you proven anything about lack of ‘essential humanity’? Did you drop a whole paragraph? The only mention you made was an idea held by some employers, and now you are trying to pretend that it is an established fact. You are trying to sneak in an unproven claim (a lack of humanity in those who don’t want kids) as a given fact. If you suggest that people who don’t have (or want) kids are less human you had better have something to support such an outrageous and offensive statement. How dare you.

ehartsay said...

Of course, we need not be silly about it.
Nobody wishes to see a female soldier in combat with a six-week-old infant in one arm and a rifle in the other.
Assuming that she even WANTS the kid.

....But most jobs aren't like that - and most children don't stay babies for long. So what? Those who REALLY want to have kids will find a way to make it work, except for those hardest jobs. Therefore, those who don’t may NOT really want kids at all. Why is this such a shocking concept? Aside from the fact that YOU really like being a mother, and wanted to do it and were attracted to kids! Not everyone is the same as you. That does not make them wrong, damaged or faulty in some way. You are not the default for all women, and your personality is not the be all and end all for all women..

ehartsay said...

They're not there to compete for the attentions of the male executives;And women who don’t have kids are? Going after men is connected to whether or not you are in a committed sexual relationship, not whether you have children. You are conflating SINGLE and childless – these are not the same.

...and they're there because they have mouths to feed other than their own and shoes to buy for someone else's feet. So, I am not going to work hard because I am only paying my own rent, buying my own food and clothes and medications? If I don’t have kids, I can just live on air? Or does it just matter less if *I* eat and have a place to live?

Two-thirds of working mothers, a recent survey found, could not provide for the children they love in the manner they would wish if they lost their jobs. So there's incentive for you. And if I lost my job, I couldn’t eat either – is that somehow less important? And I would have LESS access to public help, so I would be in WORSE shape. There is much less of a safety net for people without kids.

The prioritising that may baffle other people is a cinch for a woman who has spent years juggling a household. Negotiating skills? A request for 10 per cent off an overdue invoice is nothing to a woman who has had to broker a deal on Britain's Got Talent versus bedtime.

Because if you don’t have children, you don’t have a household? Are you seriously suggesting that a deal that could affect people's job security is LESS important than one kid's bedtime?????

When it comes to emergencies, if you have run all the way to a clinic with a terrified toddler vomiting down your neck then, trust me, a package delayed in transit is a piece of cake.
And again, emergencies only count (or exist) if they are baby related?

And if those are the tangibles, the intangibles - the 'essential humanity' - are more important still.
So? Are you saying that those without children don’t have ‘essential humanity’? Are you only allowed to get to be human after having kids? And does this mean that you don’t think your kids are really fully human yet?

ehartsay said...

You cannot be a mother without knowing something about selflessness, compassion, generosity, commitment, fierce loyalty and plain hard work. Actually, you CAN very well be a mother and learn none of those things. Not a GOOD mother, but not all mothers ARE.
Note the unspoken implication that the women who don’t have kids do NOT have those things. This implies that the ONLY way to knowing something about “selflessness, compassion, generosity, commitment, fierce loyalty and plain hard work” is to have kids. I would love to see you back this up! Why do you have to have kids for any of the above? Yes, you can develop in those areas through kids, but there are countless other ways, not any less important or valid. People are either originally essentially decent in those areas, or they are not. If they are, they do not need to have kids to develop as a person.

You cannot - surely - be a boss and not value assets such as those in your staff.But apparently only in those members of your staff who have a similar personal life to yourself? Or does the ‘good’ boss assume that only the people who have a similar personal life to her could have those good qualities? Funny, that sounds more like a BIGOTED boss to me. Do you have the same views of people who don’t have the same sexual orientation or religion as you?

ehartsay said...

...But, more than all the things we want, we actually need our children; they complete us as women, they are our light and our love and our legacy.
And so all other women need to feel the same? Who made YOU the judge of the entire gender? There is something wrong with me because I am complete as a person myself? Do you tell the lesbians that they are wrong because they don’t need a man to complete them? I have different lights, different lives and different legacies than you. You are not the basis for measuring the lives and interests of other people – you are not the default woman, and you have no basis for telling me what should complete me.

We feel desperately sorry for those who yearn for children they cannot have; the unwilling barren, if you will. But when we meet a woman who chooses her childlessness in the belief that there is something out there worth more, we smile politely even while - once again - our guts whisper: 'Lady, you're weird.' Why? What have you proved here? Every single argument you make is flawed and based on unspoken assumptions and leaps in logic. First you say that you feel that someone who does not want the same as you is weird, just because they are not like you and you can’t understand it. Now here you present it as some sort of objective observation. You feel that they are weird because they are not you, and because of that they are weird.

So three cheers for the employers who are catching on, the ones who don't want to people their workforces with the cold, the calculating, the sad and the mad. The only question is: what took you so long? And here you take it even further – now you feel free to insult me openly. How dare you impose your life on mine?
Each of the things you say here has not been even remotely openly or honestly addressed, yet alone proven. You have not once clearly discussed women who don’t want kids –instead you talk about mothers and their supposed characteristics. Apparently, that was supposed to imply that women who don’t want kids don’t have any of those characteristics. I guess by implying in a sneaky way you didn’t think that you have to support what you say. Mothers are ‘caring’ and ‘hard working’? Well apparently that is supposed to mean that non-mothers are not? Why? How did you make this point, let alone support it?
Cold? Where did you get this from? Why is not wanting what you want cold? You have never supported this in anyway. The same for calculating. Again no proof. Sad? According to whom? So now I have to be sad if I don’t have what you do, regardless if I want it or not? And MAD???? Here we really see your bigotry, and crazed narcissism straight out. You honestly think that if someone is not like you and doesn’t want to be like and live your life they must be crazy. If you ask me, THAT is the truly insane point of view.