Parenting and the Problem of Identity Maintenance

Stacy McCain reads this crap so you don’t have to.

I think I would find many aspects of parenting enjoyable. I think it would change my opinions and worldview in interesting ways.
But I also have reasons for not wanting to have children, and there are more of those and they are more emotionally salient. I don’t think I could mentally handle such demands on my time and energy, on my very body itself. I don’t want to give up all that brainspace that was previously spent on friends, work, writing, and other stuff and instead spend it on feeding schedules, shopping lists, doctor visits, and all the many, many other forms of emotional labor mothers have to do. . . . I don’t want to slow or damage my career. I don’t want to stop having sex, or be forced to have it in secrecy and silence. . . .

That’s some weirdo 3rd Wave feminist informing her blog readership she won’t be spawning.  I think we all can be grateful for that.  But I’m also grateful that she’s confirmed a longstanding theory of mine: It’s utterly exhausting being a liberal.  RTWT.  This broad doesn’t have one spare joule for anything other than being xyr own “queer, gay, femme, homoflexible,” whatever, self.

As any parent will tell you, “feeding schedules, shopping lists, doctor visits” etc. pretty much IS parenting, at least for the first year or so.  Please hold your jokes about exactly how many KB of “brainspace” her (or my) “friends, work, writing, and other stuff” takes up, and focus on the word choice: “give up…friends, work, writing, and other stuff.”  Isn’t that odd?

In reality, of course, you don’t give up that stuff; it simply changes.  Instead of talking about, say, politics with your friends, you talk about kids.  If you have kids and your friends don’t, they tell you about politics, and you tell them about your kids.  And — this is the important part — they want to hear about your kids, because your kids are important to you, and therefore your kids are important to them, because they’re interested in things that are important to you, because they’re your friends.

Will so-and-so no longer be my friend because he can’t get as outraged about Obama as he used to, now that he’s up changing diapers every 3am?  Is that all our “friendship” is, reciprocal bitching?

Once again we see the leftist obsession with stasis.  It’s the Current Year, and nothing should ever be anything other than the way it is.

Or consider this:

I don’t want to stop having sex, or be forced to have it in secrecy and silence. . . .

As McCain points out, Our Heroine describes herself as “on the asexual spectrum somewhere” and does not “experience primary sexual attraction.”  How much sex could she be having in the first place?  But again, hold the jokes and focus on the word choice.  “Stop having sex.”  As if it’s a stark choice between letting the rugrat starve and getting it on.  Without TMI, I promise, here’s how new parents have sex:  you wait until the kids are asleep, and then you do it.  Or you don’t, because you’re flat exhausted from all those feedings and diaper changes, but whatever — the fact is, newborns sleep about 16 hours a day.  That’s a lot of sex if you’re so inclined.

And it’s not secret, or silent (if that’s how you roll), nor does it have to be that way when the kids are older, because kids sleep like the dead and doors close.  Ok, yeah, I suppose the ol’ bent-over-the-dining-room-table quickie on your lunch break is out, but again, you’re not stopping having sex; you’re just modifying it somewhat.  Aren’t you people into all that “transgressive” shit?  Well, I promise you that nobody in your circle of friends is doing it missionary in the marital bed with the lights out.  Be daring!  Blow some minds.

Finally, further in the article, Stacy quotes this:

Those are just a few of my personal issues with having children. And sure, I recognize that most of these are not inevitable, that in a different society with proper support for parents (especially mothers), none of this would have to be the case.

Stasis, stasis, stasis.  Talk to any parent.  Hell, just be in their general vicinity for a few minutes; you’ll quickly realize that there is NO level of “support”, none whatsoever, that will let you carry on exactly as you were when childless.  At some point you’re gonna get stuck alone with the little scamp, and it’s gonna need something, and you’re gonna have to give it.  (Yes, even in a “large polyamorous household”)*.  If Sweden, the alpha and omega of democratic socialism (says every American liberal at every opportunity) can’t do it, it can’t be done.

Ok, ok, you’ve borne with me long enough.  Give into your snark, young padawan:

I think I’d be a good parent, I like the idea of raising kids who will become the kind of people we need more of in the world. . . .

Stacy: “Is there a weirdo shortage?” Me: Need to do what, exactly?  Our Heroine’s “job” seems to be “Twitterati, bonehead feminist division.”  We already have the Postmodern Essay Generator; any first year comp sci major should be able to turn out a bot that perfectly mimics her output.

I think it [parenting] would change my opinions and worldview in interesting ways.

Show of hands: Who thinks Ms. Mogilevsky wants her opinions and worldview changed?  I imagine folks on the internet try to change her opinions and worldview all the time.  I further imagine the success rate of those endeavors is 0.0%, and that she’s worn out more than a few mouse buttons blocking people on Twitter and closing comment feeds.

I don’t want to slow or damage my career.

Lots of upward mobility at, is there?  The Guardian got some op-ed slots we haven’t heard about?  Is Jezebel paying by the word now?

I am wildly terrified of pregnancy and childbirth and literally any medical procedure

But it’s just a clump of cells!

I don’t get to have children inside my own hypothetical science fiction novel

I think this is the novel she means.

See where I’m coming from?  It’s gotta be hard fucking work to be so ideological, so tendentious, so completely lacking in self-awareness.  She puts more effort into avoiding the obvious in a single paragraph than I’ve put into anything, ever.

As I’ve already stolen half his column, let’s let Stacy have the last word:

Never mind. Another feminist heading toward the Darwinian Dead End — manifestly unfit for survival, she subtracts her defective DNA from the future — and all we can say is, “Bon voyage, Crazy Cat Lady!”



*n.b. “polyamorous” is one of my favorite Newspeak words.  Stacy: “That’s what we used to call ‘screwing around,’ but when intellectuals screw around, they need a fact word for it, to make it sound clever.”  But it’s even better than that, as I suspect that Our Betters’ polyamory, like PUAs’ polyamory, is strictly theoretical.  I was “polyamorous” when I was single, too.  Problem was, nobody wanted to be polyamorous with me, so I had to clean up, get some Game, and settle down with a nice girl who shared some of my interests and had similar life goals.  Weird, I know.  Transgressive, even!

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4 thoughts on “Parenting and the Problem of Identity Maintenance

  1. nightfly

    “Those are just a few of my personal issues with having children. And sure, I recognize that most of these are not inevitable, that in a different society with proper support for parents (especially mothers), none of this would have to be the case.”

    This is akin to a guy who helps blow up the only bridge across the river and then laments that it would be a hell of a lot easier to get to the other side if you didn’t have to swim.

    1. Severian

      Yep. Only someone who has never been in the same zip code as an infant could write a line like that. Turns out the “proper” level of support is, “I don’t have to do anything, and only see the kid when I want to, and hand him back to Nanny Government whenever he needs a diaper change or acts fussy, but I get to take credit for all his achievements while blaming all his failures on society and its lack of proper support.”

      I’m just not narcissistic enough to be a Progressive. That, and it’s too freakin’ exhausting.

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