Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Okay, but I don't want to pay for the war, either...

So, apparently, I lost or never created a new login for the updated Feministing site. Which means no leaving comments there for me for the time being.

Anyway, in the comments of their shout-out to This Is What Women Want, cheezwizard responds:

Universal childcare

This is one area where feel like I can sympathize with those “childfree” folks. Raise your own children, please, and I will raise mine (assuming I decide to have any, that is).

I'm going to sort of vent for a minute. To put it bluntly, I think that's a shortsighted and selfish perspective to have on something like childcare. We're a society. The key point to society is that it's social in nature. There are major benefits to being social creatures, and we reap those benefits all the time. This attitude of "Well, I don't have children so I shouldn't be responsible for contributing to your children's welfare" is almost offensive to me.

First of all, we all contribute to things that we don't gain immediate or direct benefit from. For that matter, we contribute to things that we don't even want to. People who don't drive contribute to roads they'll never even see. People who don't enjoy nature contribute to maintaining parks and rec areas. People who aren't sick contribute to the healthcare of those who are. People who've never had a fire in their house or who've never been the victim of a crime contribute to the expense of keeping a functioning fire and police department. The list goes on and on.

Second of all, we all benefit from these things, whether we directly use the service or not. You may not have a child in school, but you benefit from other people's children being in school. An educated population is important for progress and growth. As people get older and retire or die, you want the younger generations to be able to fill in the empty positions, and it's important that they be properly educated to do so. Ideally, you also want to see social and technological advancements- new and better treatments for sickness, cleaner energy sources, etc. Those things take an educated population.

As far as childcare goes, it's, again, in all of our interests to have accessible childcare. In an age of single parent or two working parent homes, childcare is a big deal. As it stands, childcare can quickly eat up a family's budget, particular with more than one child. At which point the family is forced to chose between job or childcare. Neither one is good for society at large- pushing people down into poverty because they can't afford to pay for childcare puts a drain on society and removes potentially good workers from positions where they contributed. Having children being poorly cared for or free to roam around and get into trouble because their parents can't afford proper childcare contributes to youth crime rates.

Nothing about the "I don't have kids so I shouldn't have to help with yours" is convincing, to me, and I think that it absolutely reeks of selfish entitlement most of the time.


Anonymous said...

What a moron. This reminds me of a billboard I used to pass by that alwaus had completely ridiculous stuff on it (ex: a swastika and the words, "Earth Day 2008"). Once it was a giant rant about having to pay for public schools, because you know, having an educated populus does nothing to benefit our country. Nothing at all.

Ouyangdan said...

GREAT post Roy!

The selfishness some people display astounds me, though I don't think it should anymore.

When we have programs like universal childcare that help support women we all win, and you really articulated that.

Esra said...

I honestly don't understand those against universal childcare. I mean, these kids are going to be tomorrow's doctors, teachers, police officers etc etc. You know, the people who will be taking care of all of us in 20-40 years.

It's not even selfish so much as downright stupid.

Maria said...

AFAIK (or maybe it's just me) childfree people are all in favor children being taken care of properly and parented well, either by the biological parents or by caretakers. Putting a child in safe, affordable, accessible childcare is far preferable to neglecting them.

Dear cheezwizard: Please get off my side. You make the rest of us sane childfree folk look bad.