February 11, 2017

"The child is a sort of vicious, innately cruel dwarf."

Wrote the French novelist Michel Houellebecq, quoted on page one of "No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not To Be A Mother,"* by Corinne Maier, which I found out about reading a Guardian article titled "'It's the breaking of a taboo': the parents who regret having children/It’s tiring, often boring – and can mean a return to more traditional roles. Why some mothers (and fathers) feel they made a mistake."

The Guardian article lists some chapter titles: "Kids Are The Death Knell Of The Couple"; "Your Kid Will Always Disappoint You"; "Wanting To Reproduce Yourself At Any Cost Is The Pinnacle Of Banality."

Lots more at the link. The article isn't mostly about Maier. It's more about women talking to each other on social media about regretting motherhood.

By the way, Houellebecq's quote felt wrong to me not for what it said about children, but for using the term "dwarf."
_________________________

* That must be the title in the U.K. The book as I'm seeing it on Amazon, is "No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children." Is it that we in the United States are more upset by attacks on motherhood or is it that they're hoping to sell the book to men as well?

76 comments:

Achilles said...

A better title would be 40 reasons not to let self centered shithead progressives be in control of anything.

Seeing Red said...

As long as they breed themselves out of existence.

AprilApple said...

If children were born as fully formed teen-agers, the human race would have died out a long time ago.

-Dr. Joy Browne

Michael K said...

Interesting to see how selfishness has become a default for the left.

Seeing Red said...

I thought individuality or going solo was bad?

I can't keep up.

cubanbob said...

Funny how their sense of aggrievement doesn't extend to getting taxpayer funded benefits paid for by other people's children. And no, they aren't paying for other people's children now, they are paying back for the money spent by other people's children on their parents without whom they would not have even existed to begin with. These people should put their money where there mouth is and forgo all taxpayer retirement benefits since when they are that old the pay-as-you-go will be paid by other people's children.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I can't be too upset about progressives refusing to have children. On the other hand, the demographic slack is Europe is being filled by Muslims. Somehow, I don't think those childless Brits will be having their butts wiped by nurses in head scarves 30 years down the road.

buwaya said...

Insanity can spread.
People are very suggestible and such things from a reputable source are likely to be effective on some.
It is a Satanic act to pass on such ideas.

Jack Wayne said...

"Is it that we in the United States are more upset by attacks on motherhood or is it that they're hoping to sell the book to men as well?"

No, they're hoping to sell them to feminist SJW's.

n.n said...

Girls just want to have fun, and boys came tumbling after.

I wonder what happened to the Dodo Dynasty. Did the Planning gene become dominant in the population? Maybe it's not a heritable dysfunction, but rather a "Peter Pan" syndrome, that is closely correlated with first-world conditions.

Sebastian said...

No, nain ain't wrong.

Drago said...

Filed under: Books Muslims Avoid

Mark Steyn: "The future belongs to those who show up."

Sebastian said...

Funny to see Michel H cited positively. He wouldn't be surprised. The refusal to have children is the first step toward demographic submission.

n.n said...

It is a Satanic act to pass on such ideas

The very model of evolutionary dysfunction, normalized, promoted.

Normalization is a dual-use process. Not unlike the double-edged scalpel.

mockturtle said...

Agreeing with exiled, as is usually the case, it is far better for our nation and its culture if Progs don't reproduce. But we Cons need to pick up the slack. Steyn's America Alone showed the demographic inevitability if we don't. The Muslim birth rate is considerably higher than that of non-Muslims. Which is fine, of course, if we think it's OK to live in a sharia-ruled world.

Martha said...

But it is a fact that becoming a mother is a seismic event —I still have not recovered.

Do I regret having children? No, never. But then I do not regret growing up either.

jaydub said...

It's a Guardian article, for heaven's sake. You're not suppose to take it seriously. It's just feminist claptrap.

John said...


Blogger Michael K said...

Interesting to see how selfishness has become a default for the left.

Maybe someone could write a book about it. How about "The Virtue of Selfishness" for a title?

Oh, wait...

John Henry

Bob Ellison said...

My offspring are my reason for living. It's just that way. I'll love them 'til death.

Jay Elink said...


For many men, based on direct experience, the idea of "vagina dentata" has made a yuge comeback.

Not as an actual physical condition, but as a twisted emotional attitude against motherhood and its products, by so-called feminists and SJWs.

What normal man would want to hazard sticking his dick into any of them?

Angel-Dyne said...

It's not "the breaking of a taboo". I'm pretty sure I've read the same article many times over many decades.

It's tiring. It's boring. It kills romance. It interferes with fun. No guarantee that you'll even like your kids. And they really drain the old bank account.

Real shockaroonie there, how brave of you to 'fess up.

Yawn

Hey, you know what? It's also heartbreaking, sometimes.

Then you die.

Life is just so hard, isn't it?

Virgil Hilts said...

Steve Young - NFL MVP, Super Bowl winner, law school grad and childless while all this happened (he married at 38). When he finally had kids, he said the best thing about having children was for the first time in his life he actually cared more about someone else than he did about yourself.
When parents fail to have this experience, I suspect something inside is broken.

Bay Area Guy said...

For 50+ years now, there's been a full court press to reorient the female mind and practice away from mothering. It started with detaching sex from procreation. Then, it promoted the idea that aborting a baby was normal. Then, it promoted the idea that divorce should be easy. Then, it promoted the idea that a woman's value should be determined in the work place, not the home. Now, it's promoting the idea that a woman marrying another woman is perfectly normal.

No wonder, "Tinder" and "Grindr" are thriving - women have been whipsawed into too many pretzel-like directions by a shadowy LeftWing propaganda beast.

mockturtle said...

My brother and his cohorts believe in negative population growth and believe that humans are destroying the earth, so the fewer the better. So many articles with titles like, "Should we bring children into the world to further damage the environment?" and crap like that. I suspect a rogue virus or two will wipe out much of the population at some point. As with all species, populations rise and fall, are nearly wiped out and then revive. Not to worry.

mockturtle said...

Seriously, hating children is a sign of a very sick society--one on the verge of collapse.

madAsHell said...

Literally, your only fucking job.
Get off the planet.

n.n said...

Isn't it bigoted to characterize Dwarfs as viciously, innately cruel? At the very least it's politically incorrect. The little people will rise and conquer their oppressive Gulliverette.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Mark Steyn has also made the point that large social welfare states end up killing the traditional values that make large social welfare states possible in the first place. If you want the government to supply you with all sorts of cradle-to-grave benefits, you have to have enough children to sustain the tax base. Now the Western world's demographics look like an inverted pyramid and letting in millions of low-skilled refugees and illegals is not going to solve the problem.

Angel-Dyne said...

mockturtle: My brother and his cohorts believe in negative population growth and believe that humans are destroying the earth, so the fewer the better. So many articles with titles like, "Should we bring children into the world to further damage the environment?" and crap like that.

That's so weird, and sad. They do realize that they're just being out-competed by people who are not so solicitous of "the environment", don't they?

So people lacking their stewardship impulses (and stewardship impulses, within sane limits, are a good thing) will inherit the earth. Smart move, swampy.

Renee said...

I genuinely like my kids as people. They're people, too. Raise to be human, not objects to satisfy you.

Paddy O said...

Anyone who has driven in LA or Bay Area traffic can say there's too many people in this world.

Some people want to have kids, some people don't want to have kids. Some very selfish people have kids, some very unselfish people don't have kids.

Why do we need to justify ourselves to others and why do we find that people who make different decisions are somehow worth judging?

People who aren't drawn to kids are fine not having them. It can make for a very nice life. Having kids can make for a nice life too, just very different.

Either way, having a sizable group of people in this world deciding not to have kids seems to be a helpful way to bring population balance. Much better than the wars or diseases of previous generations.

Rob McLean said...

If your child is vicious and innately cruel, you're doing it wrong.

Angel-Dyne said...

Renee: I genuinely like my kids as people. They're people, too. Raise to be human, not objects to satisfy you.

Me, too, and I am very grateful for that, because sometimes it's the luck of the draw. We are born with our temperaments, and parents do not have god-like control over personality. I know good people, good parents, who will confess privately, and with great sorrow, that they do not like their child. (Understandably, because I know the children in question, and I don't like them, either.) Love? Yes. These parents obviously love these children, judged by their actions.

I have great sympathy for these people. Having an unlikable child is a hard sorrow. It's probably impossible not to berate oneself for this, and feel wrong and guilty, regardless of how much one knows, intellectually, that the kid really was just "born that way".

jaydub said...

"Anyone who has driven in LA or Bay Area traffic can say there's too many people in this world."

Uh, no, there are just too many people driving in LA or the Bay Area. The world's a big place, Scooter, and lots of it is empty. Drive 30 or 40 miles to the East and look around. You'd be surprised.

Bay Area Guy said...

I really enjoy my kids. I don't mind working my tail off to earn money to support and provide for them. My wife feels the same way.

I'd rather spend Friday night at my kid's football game, then schmoozing at a bar with work colleagues.

Unknown said...

It's Shakers all the way down.

Birches said...

I can't believe that comment came from Paddy O. Is there two?

I read an article about the fb group a few months ago. I visited it and was shocked by how many women were obviously suffering from post partum depression. But no one told them to get professional help, they just indulged the depression. Just awful.

rhhardin said...

Obligations seem more attractive as you get older.

Unknown said...

"Wanting To Reproduce Yourself At Any Cost Is The Pinnacle Of Banality"

How sad. Having children isn't reproducing, it's reproducing yourself. Linguistic gymnastics to pervert the selfless, sacrificial endeavor of raising a family into a selfish exercise.

Unknown said...

"Wanting To Reproduce Yourself At Any Cost Is The Pinnacle Of Banality"

How sad. Having children isn't reproducing, it's reproducing yourself. Linguistic gymnastics to pervert the selfless, sacrificial endeavor of raising a family into a selfish exercise.

Ambrose said...

Ah Europe, we hardly knew ye.

Trumpit said...

You basically cannot (anymore) refer to a small person's stature, or so it seems. I personally agree that dwarf, midget, small person all sound offensive to my ear. Dwarf comes from dwarfism, a medical condition, so that is out. Midget sounds insulting because it is used in expressions like "mental midget," although I've heard "mighty midget," too. Referring to someone as "small," sounds like your talking about their lack of generosity or their pettiness. Even "short" may offend people depending on context and how you come across. Tall people aren't necessarily off the hook. Referring to an extremely tall person as a giant, might offend.

I was in Mcdonald's restaurant today and a latino man standing in line next to me had a little curly-haired child with him whose hair was parted in an attractive way. I told him that he had a pretty daughter, only to be told that she was a boy. I felt embarrassed and made matters worse by saying it was hard to tell, but soon you'd be able to tell.

Trumpit said...

Probably, the most embarrassing or comical mistake of that kind was when I referred to my neighbor's husband as her mother. My neighbor was flabbergasted. Her husband was sitting in the passenger's seat of her car. I guess my eyesight is poor, or that will be my excuse.

mockturtle said...

I, for one, am glad that people like the writer don't have children. I hope they are in the minority but I fear there is less willingness nowadays to make any personal sacrifices. One reason so many marriages fail, too. I'm not being fulfilled. I need my space.

rcocean said...

Yeah, native Americans shouldn't have kids and we should import annually 1.5 million people from all over the Globe.

Sounds like insanity to me.

traditionalguy said...

Having loved children and spending your age 20 to 45 years or raising and educating them is the penultimate hopeful act. And they then return the favor 20 years later sharing perfect grandchildren ( all of whom are perfect).

It is a Christian thing. Atheists like these writers need not apply.

JPS said...

Paddy O, 5:27:

Beautifully put, couldn't agree more.*

I don't think people are selfish for having kids or for not having kids. Someone prefers not to? Not my business; they may well be happier for it. Someone else wishes they could, and can't? I'm truly sorry for them.

I will say, having kids was selfish in that we did it entirely because we wanted to. I really couldn't have cared less whether someone thought it was our duty to replace ourselves, for the good of the species, or someone else thought we were straining an already overpopulated earth.

*: (Except for the Nixon-esque overpopulation fallacy in your first line.)

MadisonMan said...

Why do we need to justify ourselves to others and why do we find that people who make different decisions are somehow worth judging?

People who aren't drawn to kids are fine not having them. It can make for a very nice life. Having kids can make for a nice life too, just very different.

Either way, having a sizable group of people in this world deciding not to have kids seems to be a helpful way to bring population balance. Much better than the wars or diseases of previous generations.

What Paddy O said at 527 bears repeating.

Having kids will change your life forever. If you like you life, it's hard to change it into something similarly wonderful, maybe.

I enjoy interacting with my kids, making them laugh, helping them out. All sorts of things that make my life much richer. (I also like interacting with non-my-kids, making them laugh, helping them out)

Rob McLean said...

The world's a big place, Scooter, and lots of it is empty.

We just need to spread out better. There's about 7.37 billion people on about 52 million square miles of land (and that's not even counting Antarctica!). So, everyone should have about 4.5 acres to themselves. (The best part: this would reduce the population of Manahattan to 3,234 people! Just think of how easy it would be to get dinner reservations!)

mockturtle said...

Sounds like insanity to me.

Not just insane but positively suicidal.

Mark said...

We just need to spread out better.

Progressive ideology would call that evil - and stupid. Smart growth means having everyone living on the same spot, piled one on top of another, in high-density, mixed use, walkable community, urban villages where all transit is government run, in order to save the planet.

whitney said...

Having children is not rational. It's just something that happened to most for all of human history and prehistory. Choice has not been an option until very recently and as more and more people opt out, parenthood will become more and more difficult and then less and less appealing. It seems like this could be an exponential change coming.
Interesting times.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The British ideal of motherhood is to pack the children off to boarding as soon as they are able to board a train on their own. If it's a school like Hogwarts where they might get killled, so much the better.

n.n said...

Choice before conception is preferable to Choice after conception that has been the cause of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis necessitating the denial (e.g. rationalization) of religion/morality and progressive corruption of science (e.g. twilight faith).

The issue, however, as with all behaviors, especially something which is the prototype of dysfunction, is normalization, tolerance, and rejection.

We just need to spread out better.

But where would we put all the windmill and photovoltaic farms?

The Chinese displaced and corralled millions, not including flora and fauna, in order to go Green. The artificial green blight is a needy dwarf.

n.n said...

If people ever wondered how abortion rites (e.g. denying life unworthy) could ever be normalized/promoted, now they know. They walk among us.

Jane the Actuary said...

As soon as having a child is perceived of as a lifestyle choice to be made only after deep reflection, rather than the default, then, yes, of course, there's plenty of room for regret. And the more women around you are childless, the more you're able to form an idea that your live would have been soooo much better without kids: without kids you would be travelling, without kids you would have gotten that promotion, without kids you would have taken that alternate career path, without kids you would have been able to pursue that hobby, etc.

Paddy O said...

"Drive 30 or 40 miles to the East and look around. You'd be surprised."

Okay... let's see, bumper to bumper traffic on the 57/210 interchange, the traffic not really clearing for another long while or so, sometimes easing up after Claremont but popping up and down through at least San Bernardino.

So 30-40 miles East, it'd take 2 hrs from LA in usual afternoon traffic but even if I do there are still too many people in San Dimas and Pomona.

What do I see? Lots of strip malls and car lots and housing complexes as far as the eye can see. Though admittedly eyes can't see through mountains, and the mountains are a lot less populated.

Drive out 90 miles east of LA and there's less people, but also no jobs and not much of anything else.

People who live in crowded places have a perception of too many people and the costs etc. that come with that. They like jobs and eating what they want and contributing to the lives of others in different ways.

Paddy O said...

I'm all for spreading out!

Peter Irons said...

God, do I love the looniness of the far left. Reading The Guardian is such a goof.

So, I think we should encourage them in their every thought and impulse. Most of these will just lead to their being further rejected by the electorate. But some of their ideas, like this one, will actually lead to their disappearance.

Between stuff like this and their penchant for abortion (see Lena Dunham, if you can stand it), they are self-liquidating!

Peter Irons said...

Usually the left hires poor women to be their nannies and raise their children ("some housework required" say their job descriptions). But if the left doesn't have children, then the nannies can just raise their own children! Eliminate the middleman!

I think this means that the left is actually under a moral obligation not to have children so that they can stop exploiting their nannies!

Michael K said...

Having loved children and spending your age 20 to 45 years or raising and educating them is the penultimate hopeful act.

I thought so and have five children. Two of them are perpetually mad at me and they are the two I did the most for.

Three are great and one in particular is turning out to be s a star. She is interviewing with Apple to join their design team and has spent a lot of time talking to them.

Nobody can predict how children will turn out. I don't care. I am just glad they are all in the world, even the ones who are mad at me,.

Fabi said...

"He said the best thing about having children was for the first time in his life he actually cared more about someone else than he did about yourself."

One of the many benefits of progeny. I would never completely trust nor conduct business with someone who is childless -- they're not mature.

Swede said...

I have 4 kids. To include twins.

Being a parent isn't for pussies.

And pussies should know that. But it sounds like some don't.

wwww said...


Children are a blessing. Feel thankful every day.

Peter Irons said...

These are just unhappy people blaming someone else (as the left always does). In this case, they are blaming their children for their own neuroticism.

Oso Negro said...

traditionalguy said...
Having loved children and spending your age 20 to 45 years or raising and educating them is the penultimate hopeful act. And they then return the favor 20 years later sharing perfect grandchildren ( all of whom are perfect).

It is a Christian thing. Atheists like these writers need not apply.


Objection, traditionalguy! I do not believe in any of the known gods, but still believe that having and raising children is the central good of life.

Michael K said...
Three are great and one in particular is turning out to be s a star. She is interviewing with Apple to join their design team and has spent a lot of time talking to them.

Nobody can predict how children will turn out. I don't care. I am just glad they are all in the world, even the ones who are mad at me.


Yes! It is remarkable how much each of one's children differ from another! And how they turn out is indeed unpredictable. Small comfort, but I am sure the ones who are mad at you will miss you when you are gone. I don't know who said it, but the quote "sometimes the ones who are hardest to love need love the most" comes to mind.

tim maguire said...

As Bill Whittle once said, there is no higher duty of the citizen then to raise the next generation of citizens.

"Height of banality"? Ignorant selfish jackasses in love with words they don't know the meaning of.

Mac McConnell said...

"No Postmodern French Intellectuals: 40 Good Reasons Not to Read Them"

mtrobertslaw said...

These pathetic and shallow women have earned the right to have this as their epitaph: "I only wish I could have spent more time at the office."

Yancey Ward said...

Sheesh, what taboo is being broken here? I have been reading these tiresome articles for decades now.

I write this as a 50 year old man who has no children. I have to admit that a good part of that decision was in fact selfishness of no special kind- I didn't want the additional responsibility of caring for them. I do often regret the decision, and that regret will almost surely deepen as I age.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fischer says she found herself forced to have endless baby conversations with other mothers. She watched friends drop their previous interests and careers for “baking bread or setting up mummy blogs or making jam”.

You don't have to have those conversations. Bring up something else. You don't have to take up those hobbies either, even if your friends do. I'm a stay at home parent, but I'm not particularly domestic, and that's okay. Most of my friends are, and that's okay. We talk about all kinds of things. You don't have to conform to some stereotype of a parent that you have.

Jonathan Graehl said...

monsters regret having children who are also monsters

Sean said...

The argument for permitting (as in, without a voiced rebuttal) this kind of progressive thinking is based on the assumption that only other progressives will listen to this drivel, experience the epiphany of self-centered thinking, and stop creating miniatures of themselves. But this thinking is as seductive as it is wrong -- as is most unexamined liberal/progressive thinking. And who is most seducable? *All* children, or rather young adults who are just beginning to consider seriously the life choices available to them: marriage, single life, career options, and yes, having children. For their sales, it's important not to respond only with, "Fewer progressive offspring is undeniable good." That, like much conservative thinking, is as seductive as it is true as it is not seeing the big picture.

haithabu said...

Sometimes I think that our society's final legacy will be to serve as a cautionary example for whatever replaces it.

Jamie said...

Before we had kids, I don't think my husband and I were particularly selfish; we did volunteer work, gave money to our church and charity, were kind to the vulnerable and friendly to strangers. But once we did have kids, we were suddenly and dramatically less self-centered. We started deliberately doing things that we ourselves would rather not, for the benefit of our children and often for the benefit of all children, because we had a radically shifted sense of priorities.

Having children is not for everybody, she says out of obligation. But it is a shortcut to a real, visceral, and profound understanding that our only defense against a sort of moral entropy arrow is to be forward-looking, to try to make something and to make things better. We don't always succeed in these endeavors whether we're talking children, inventions, or movements, but it is vitally important to humanity that we try.

Furthermore - as a conservative let me add that a significant benefit of having children as a way to "make something and to make things better" is that people have been doing it for many many thousands of years, and the pitfalls are well known. Creating a movement out of whole cloth, on the other hand, can have all sorts of unintended and unanticipated consequences. Hence "progressivism" is more evolutionary than directional - its "progress" is scattershot, often harmful (as with mutations, its purported beneficiaries often become its victims), and generates (or should generate) a multitude of dead ends for every one successful branch.

vanderleun said...

"Houellebecq's quote felt wrong to me not for what it said about children, but for using the term "dwarf.""

Get over it and give this oversensive crapola a rest for pity's sake. Getting tedious.