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Behind the baby gap lies a culture of contempt for parenthood (From the "Guardian", on top of it)
Guardian Unlimited ^ | 3/7/2006 | Madeline Bunting

Posted on 03/09/2006 12:51:28 PM PST by Rutles4Ever

A seven-month pregnant woman - her belly vast - was at a supper with a friend. He, being of the family type, told her she was very lucky to be expecting a baby. He was the first person who had said such a thing, she told him. [snip]

How is it that in cultures all over the world pregnancies prompt congratulations rather than anxious questions about childcare? How is it that in a culture equipped, materially and medically, to ease child-rearing, we are so reluctant to enjoy new life? [snip]

The answer, I would argue, is that a bias against having babies has permeated our culture. This phenomenon needs a new word - anti-natalism - and it is this that prompts a good part of that pregnancy trepidation. The only consolation to my mind is the spectacular everyday acts of rebellion by which thousands of babies still manage to get born in this country. [snip]

The point is that parenthood is against the grain of all the aspirations of our culture. Go back to the point where I started - the pregnancy anxiety around care. That anxiety is provoked by more than just the logistics of childcare availability, despite what the nursery campaigners argue. It's there because pregnancy sabotages three characteristics highly valued by our culture.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; antifamily; antinatalism; birthrate; cultureofdeath; culturewars; demographics; genx; hedonism; immatureadults; parenthood; populationcontrol; selfcentered; selfishgeneration; zpg
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I'm astonished this got published by the Guardian.
1 posted on 03/09/2006 12:51:33 PM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever

Recommend the book "The Empty Cradle" for a fascinating analysis of low (or less that replacement) birth rates worldwide. Finished it last night and found that I had many misconceptions.


2 posted on 03/09/2006 12:58:42 PM PST by JmyBryan
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To: Rutles4Ever

Americans face a similar problem. It's mostly the Left that's killing their own young - they're aborting themselves out of existence.

I've done my best to keep my wife pregnant for the last five years, almost uninterrupted. We're expecting another in August.


3 posted on 03/09/2006 1:03:10 PM PST by Jaysun (The plain truth is that I am not a fair man, and don't want to hear both sides.)
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To: Rutles4Ever
He, being of the family type, told her she was very lucky to be expecting a baby. He was the first person who had said such a thing, she told him.

Rule #254 for men: Never, ever, ever comment to a woman with a big belly about her pregnancy. She might just be fat. Comments to fat male friends about their pregnancies might be appropriate and funny, though.

4 posted on 03/09/2006 1:04:38 PM PST by KarlInOhio (The tree of liberty is getting awfully parched.)
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To: Rutles4Ever
In other words, the self we are encouraged to develop through much of our education system and early adulthood is of no use whatsoever to a new parent. What use is that sassy, independent, self-assertive, knowing-what-youwant- and-how-to-get-it type when you fast forward five years to the emotional labour of helping a child develop selfconfidence? Once there's a baby in the cot, you need steadiness, loyalty, endurance, patience, sensitivity and even self-denial - all the characteristics that you've spent the previous decade trashing as dull or, even worse, for losers. Forget trying to work out your own feelings - you'll be too busy trying to work out those of your children; ditto self-confidence and self-expression.

This is a good article, thanks. It's true that in our Western societies, woman are judged much like men; what is their annual income? Kids can be a real career problem, unless you're in the financial bracket that can afford a reliable live-in nanny.

I have kids, but my two sister-in-laws declined maternity. One said (no kidding) that she could have more material things without children, and the other mentioned the long, long term commitment and it's effects on her beloved overseas traveling. They seem happy with their choices, although it seems such a sterile existance to me.

5 posted on 03/09/2006 1:08:44 PM PST by xJones (Stå sammen med danskerne !)
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To: Jaysun

Wow, my hat is off to your wife. Little kids are wonderful, but they have SO much energy compared to adults.

Maybe that is why god gave us COFFEE.


6 posted on 03/09/2006 1:13:49 PM PST by bordergal (1)
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To: Rutles4Ever
The Population Bomb (made me feel it was selfish to have too many children, hogging resources), women having careers outside the home, abortion, birth control, and the economy have caused this in the west.

We've been bamboozled. There is a religion that allows multiple wives and children, and demographics are not in favor of western culture.

I do not know if the tide can be turned or not; there are a minority of the western tradition doing very well with larger families; it would have been difficult for me personally, three was plenty for my situation, but it's almost like getting pregnant is unpatriotic unless it was preceeded by careful planning or conceived in a non-traditional way. That seems to be worthy of news stories.

People seem to be waking up, but who wants to step up to the plate now? Things are so screwed up, I don't know if we'll ever see a revitalization of once normal, two-parent, enduring-marriage type families or not. It used to seem to work pretty well. Kids seemed grounded and happier within their biological parent, traditional family units.

7 posted on 03/09/2006 1:14:17 PM PST by Aliska
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To: Grannyx4

It's not selfishness, it's "anti-natalism" ping.


8 posted on 03/09/2006 1:16:41 PM PST by LongElegantLegs (Going armed to the terror of the public.)
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To: Jaysun
I've done my best to keep my wife pregnant for the last five years, almost uninterrupted.

Pregnant, almost uninterrupted? or Done your best, almost interrupted?

9 posted on 03/09/2006 1:24:20 PM PST by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Rutles4Ever

I refuse to capitulate to Malthusian jackassery. I will be 50 this summer and my wife and I just had a new baby girl in December. Two other kids are 11 and 8. You must realize though that my wife is only 38. Babies are great!


10 posted on 03/09/2006 1:26:50 PM PST by Lowcountry (RIP: Peterdanbrokaw)
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To: Rutles4Ever

Germany is in big trouble because its fostered a culture where its not considered cool or hip to have children. Women now want to stay in college for their entire 20's. Enter the work force in their 30's, and not be burdened with with children while trying to move up the ladder.

Germany's birthrate amongst ethnic germans is now almost non-existant or having one child is considered a massive stretch.


11 posted on 03/09/2006 1:30:25 PM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: xJones

As you know, pregnancy isn't easy. And with the decline of religious feelings, the self-sacrificing person--like Dana Reeve--may still be held in high regard, but without celebrity as compensation she is less likely to be copied. There is also the zero-population crowd, who pretend that proverty is caused by overpopulation but who individually consume more of this world's good than the ordinary middle-class family of six.


12 posted on 03/09/2006 1:36:02 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

Let's not forget the vacations. What childless German couples don't spend on cars or big houses, they spend on vacations in Malta or the Canaries.


13 posted on 03/09/2006 1:38:06 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: LongElegantLegs

You nailed it.


14 posted on 03/09/2006 1:38:13 PM PST by Vor Lady (Mal, "Remember, we just want to scare him." Jayne, "Pain is scary!")
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To: Rutles4Ever

Madeleine Bunting understands.


15 posted on 03/09/2006 1:43:18 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than over here.)
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To: Jaysun; Rutles4Ever

It's mostly the Left that's killing their own young - they're aborting themselves out of existence.

Very true.  Lots of liberals in my neighborhood, in fact, I think I'm the only who had the Bush Cheney 04 poster up in the window (and I'm sure I was the only one with the Rice Ashcroft 08 poster after the election).  It's a nice neighborhood, but no, none, zero, kids for my kids to play with.

In a way though, probably just as well.  I really question what kind of citizens this next generation would be, raised by self-absorbed, narcissistic, self-worshipping parents.  Hopefully, that kind of disorder will breed itself out of our country.

Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

16 posted on 03/09/2006 1:43:29 PM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Jaysun

LOL!


17 posted on 03/09/2006 1:48:20 PM PST by Die_Hard Conservative Lady
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To: Jaysun
While the left may be killing their own, they have scumbags like Jay Bennish trying to indoctrinate our kids.
18 posted on 03/09/2006 1:52:17 PM PST by BW2221
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To: Rutles4Ever; qam1

good one.


19 posted on 03/09/2006 1:57:57 PM PST by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: LongElegantLegs
"It's not selfishness, it's "anti-natalism" ping."

Let's run down the Presidents.
this Bush - two [one pregnancy]
Clinton - one
last Bush - six
Reagan - five
Carter - one
Nixon - two
Eisenhower - 1??

20 posted on 03/09/2006 2:05:00 PM PST by ex-snook (God of the Universe, God of Creation, God of Love, thank you for life.)
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