Monday, May 27, 2019

By Far the Weirdest Progressive Solution I Have Ever Read

Christina Cauterucci at Slate proposes to get her generation's parents to turn progressive by refusing to have their grandkids.  She opens by admitting something that many feminists will not:
Those wins aside, sex strikes rest on some faulty premises: that women don’t have sexual needs of their own, that sex is a gift for women to bestow upon others, and that women only have sex with men. Plus, women and men in the U.S. have very similar views about abortion; women are even slightly more likely to call themselves “pro-life.” The Republican men working to pass abortion bans are far more likely to be sleeping with women who share their opinions than with those withholding sex for political reasons.
Odd.  Almost like hostility towards abortion isn't about oppressing women at all.
But at Slate, some of us wondered if she’d just happened upon a brilliant new weapon of progressivism. “Framing liberal policy platforms as The Only Way You’ll Get Grandkids … will make my dad Pokémon Go to the polls,” one of my colleagues mused. Another said a grandchild strike would be like “Handmaid’s Tale, but in a good way”—meaning, I assume, that it’s exactly the kind of radical response today’s radical threats to equity, justice, and humanity demand. It’s time to demand that baby boomers and Gen Xers decide which they’d rather have: their vague attachments to policies that have poisoned the earth and will soon make it difficult for anyone but the obscenely wealthy to live healthy, happy lives, or a pack of adorable munchkins in itty-bitty suspenders ready for unlimited tickle fights and cookie-baking sessions.
"Itty-bitty suspenders":  Huh?
The parent who will die if her adult child does not procreate with haste is one reductive stereotype that’s almost entirely based in truth. I have never met a parent who isn’t already dreaming about how much fun it’ll be to have a few roly-poly wee ones (who are ultimately someone else’s responsibility) around. I’ve already decided that I’m not having kids, and even desperately want some grandkids to spoil and squeeze and take to the zoo. I’m starting to think that whatever innate desire compels some people to have children is actually a sublimated thirst for grandchildren—a first step toward a goal that’s an entire generation away. ...
Your Republican parents are lukewarm on Donald Trump but will probably support his reelection, or maybe they’re Democrats who’ve sworn they’ll never elect a “socialist.” They’ve been bugging you and your partner to have kids for years; perhaps they’ve even kept your old sandbox and bedtime books in their basement in hopes of breaking them out again when you decide to breed. You sit them down and break the news: You’re not going to make any grandchildren anytime soon. It’s too expensive, what with your student loan debt, the schemes of predatory banks, and the disproportionate tax burden you’re forced to take on so billionaires can keep their tax breaks. It’s an impossible burden, what with our underfunded and shamefully segregated public education system, your own stagnant wages, and our nation’s failures on paid family leave and affordable child care. It’s a huge risk to have a child on purpose when you know you may be forced to bear another against your will, at any time, if the Supreme Court guts Roe v. Wade. It’s unethical, what with climate change and all. And it’s too dangerous—you’ve seen the news reports on school shootings and know how easy it is for violent men to get their hands on guns. ...
Maybe you’ll be satisfied if your parents prove to you, via voting booth selfie or supervised completion of an absentee ballot, that they voted for the sufficiently progressive candidate of your choice. Maybe you’ll insist they go a step further and CC you on the donations they make to the National Network of Abortion FundsZero Hour, or the National Women’s Law Center. Maybe you’ll give them a coupon for a weekend with your hypothetical child for every lobbying day they attend on Capitol Hill or the nearest statehouse. Maybe you’ll promise them one FaceTime session with your spawn for every call they make to a legislator. Maybe you’ll have an extra kid for every act of highly visible civil disobedience they perform, like chaining themselves to the Statue of Liberty or scaling a flagpole to remove a Confederate flag. 
So she admits that she wants kids, but will not have them to punish her parents for refusing to bend to her political wishes?  I am sure that once this movement gains members, there will be a lot of wills revised to recognize that old people can respond in kind.  Of course, many progressives are already deciding against kids for other reasons.


  1. I am delighted when leftists refuse to breed, for whatever reasons. Let them throw their tantrums and hold their sex strikes. And as a next step, let's take our kids out of the public schools that the leftists control so they can't poison *our* offspring.

  2. "our nation’s failures on paid family leave and affordable child care."

    What a genius move! And when you announce that to your parents, they can look at you with that "what kind of fool did Public School and seven years of University education turn you into" look you've grown so used to, and while you're looking at "Never-grandpa and Never-grandma, one of them asks one of those unanswerable questions they've been asking ever since they posed with you in your gown and mortar board at your alma mater. "That paid family leave and affordable child care: how's that working out in Europe? They having lots of kids?"

    Then the capper. "Concepcion, who keeps our house works hard, she and her husband have four children. I'm sure they could use a bigger house."