So on Feministe, a blogger starts off her post with the line “you do not have a right to child free spaces.” That made me nearly click away, but I went on to read the full article in which the OP waxes lovingly on how awesome her kid is, and just how she’s “smarter, cuter and more honest than you”. Give me a fucking break, would you? Yeah, we get it your kid is full of awesome and win, and as her MOM you should think that. I however am not obliged to agree with your assessment of your kid, especially when you act as if the world must fall over in awe of your special tyke and allow you to do what you please because your a mom.
The whole “article” goes even further in invalidating any point the OP could have made by her tale of woe because a friend did not want her child along as they sat up, watched the sun rise as they knocked a couple drinks back. The part that really angered me was that she didn’t see the big deal, since she was already out at a bar with her toddler anyway. Yes, you read that correctly, SHE WAS AT A BAR with her toddler. She goes on to talk about who mothers and children are oppressed in US culture and even goes so far as to compare the oppression of children to slavery in the comment thread.
I’ve got nothing for contempt for those that want to play the oppression olympics game online. The next time someone is lynched for having a baby, or for breastfeeding or daring to be pregnant in public, let me know and I might give you a pass, a one time only use pass but still. Mothers and children are marginalized, but not oppressed. No one is keeping them from doing what they want to do, and no one is keeping them out of public spaces, there are no mother and child only drinking fountains, etc.
My main issue is the sense of entitlement the OP espouses in her piece. I’m sorry but I am entitled to some areas that are traditionally child free. Say a bar, and let’s be clear when I say bar I am talking about the must be of drinking age, usually doesn’t cater to families kind of place. Not the local restaurant with bar included because that would be fucking stupid to exclude the possibility of children being in such establishments. The OP makes it seem like she’s going to take her kid where she pleases, when she pleases everyone else be damned. That’s just not on.
It was pointed out in some comments just how not on it is to subject folks to your child in a venue that is traditionally child free. Such as bars, late night movies (why they allow folks at late showings with small children I still don’t understand, but that’s another story) or other places where it probably isn’t safe or just not the right environment for your precious wee one to be in.
Over at the Angry Black Woman, karnythia makes it very clear that the OP is off the mark and is not being a considerate parent. I’m not a parent, but I do know a few awesome folks with kidlets and they are awesome because they are considerate parents who parent and understand what a life changing event being a parent actually is. They don’t think the world owes them anything or that they are special because they have reproduced. They want some child free spaces themselves so they can have those moments of adult time, adult conversation and times that don’t consist solely of mom, mom, mom mom, mommy! all day long.
Long story short, I think the OP of that piece is an idiot, needs to realize that life changed when you became a parent and it’s just not ok to declare that everyone else must just bow down to your whims and be excited because you want your child attached at the hip, no matter then venue, no matter the event and well we just have to deal with it. Here’s a news flash, we don’t have to deal with it and a majority of people won’t because the world is not yours just because you are now a parent. Stop and step back away from the blinders of how awesome my kid is, look, look, look! and realize no one cares about that but you.
ETA: My comment on that piece was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand because I didn’t slaver all over the OP telling her how wonderful she is. So I’m posting it here for posterity and to see if it ever makes it out of the mod queue)
(Since my comment apparently was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand, I’m attempting to get it out there again. I would hope that a comment that isn’t full of swear words is actually let through even if it disagrees with the OP’s article)
I’ve read through most of the comments, and some are totally missing the point and some are on point. What I can’t understand is this lauding of the OP for standing up for the poor, oppressed children when she admits to taking her toddler to a bar, because she will take her child where she pleases?
When I go to adult only spaces, such as a BAR I don’t expect a toddler there. I think it’s a sign of privilege and entitlement that you would not consider that the child may not enjoy such a place, nor the fact that you could be putting the bar owner at a huge risk of a lawsuit or loss of their liquor license because you’ll take your child where ever you go.
Since I was not raised on a deserted island, I accept that children are part of our society, but what I will not accept is a sense of entitlement and poor parenting in places that I frequent. There’s a marked difference in kids enjoying themselves, screaming in delight and having fun and kids screaming their head off, running in the aisles and acting as if they have no sense while their parents do nothing about it.
If you are amongst those parents that actually, parent good on you. However I find it very arrogant to assume that I should have to bow down to the altar of motherhood wherever I go, because kids are people too darn it! Well, they are people, but they are not mini-adults.
Your assumption that kids are not welcome in the US is interesting but a false assumption. I don’t know where you are currently residing, but I’ve found the US to be incredibly child-friendly to the point where I’ve been grilled, ridiculed and told I’d get over my aversion and fears of being a parent, even after telling someone point blank that i have no desire for motherhood. It’s a fallacy to me to to point out that the US is so child hostile, when women here seem to be deemed useless and bizarre if they don’t want any kids.
I find this article to be full of privilege, ethnocentrism and a dash of condescension for added flavor. Next time you might not want to lead off with a tale of traipsing your toddler in to the bar before you try to make your point about kids and rights. I might actually take you seriously.