Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Brat bans"

A NEW TREND: banning children from public places. See the article, The no-kids-allowed movement is spreading. From the article:
When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spare. "Empty nesters continue to wield a huge swath of discretionary spending dollars, and population dips in first-world countries mean more childless couples than ever," writes AdWeek's Klara.
This is a trend that I first noticed in the past year: in Saint Louis there is a group which only allows childless adults, and my immediate reaction was that it was quite odd. As of yet I haven't noticed any businesses hereabouts banning small children, but since (as far as I know) I'm not a parent, perhaps I haven't noticed that this trend is already here.

But really, this is a trend long coming. Decades ago, I've visited synagogues and Christian denominations whose congregations were gray and childless. A deadly silence filled these worship facilities, since, for whatever reason, children were not valued or wanted. As culture ultimately derives from cult, or religion, we ought not be surprised at our culture's increasing hatred of children. If the hatred of children is a core idea in cult, then we ought to expect that this idea will spread to the wider culture. This hatred of children has varying motivations, since it is often rooted in the ideas of saving the planet as well as enjoying wealth.

I've heard many parents complain about how badly they are treated by those who think children are unnecessary or evil, but as these parents generally aren't sensitive (since parenthood tends to make one grow up quickly), their judgmental attackers go away without being charged with a hate crime.  As the article above explains:
Most parents with young children have self-imposed limits on spending and leisure. This new movement imposes limits set by the public. And the public isn't as child-friendly as it used to be. As businesses respond to their new breed of 'first-class' clientele, are parents in danger of becoming second-class citizens?
I'm sure that few would think that they hate children; they simply think that children ought not be seen, heard, or exist at all. If you do a little bit of research on the child-free movement, you quickly find out that the majority of these people simply do not like children, and especially don't like their noise, dirty appearance, and disorderly conduct. For most, it is not ideological, but rather practical. If there are screaming children in your church, how can you hear the priestess' sermon about how god is non-judgemental and does not want to impose her views on you? Now we ought to realize that there are ideologies and philosophies that state that children are ontologically evil, and these philosophies have become mainstream. That's why we call this the Culture of Death.

Now I must admit that I often wish for mandatory prison time with hard labor for teenage boys (in order to beat the obnoxiousness out of them) and an absolute ban on 12-year old girls in public (for the sake of my eardrums). However, I try to be tolerant, and I do not propose making these musings public policy, while child-haters are very quick to impose their views on others, by custom or by law. We see this mildly in the United States, with snarky remarks to parents of more than two children, or severely in China, where they kill if you do not obey.

Another objection is that couples ought to hold off on having children until they have the means to afford to raise one adequately. While this seems to be prudent, please consider that this advice often leads to a child that will be noisy, dirty, and disorderly, and likely will grow up to be a self-centered, intolerant, child-hating adult (who ironically also hates his parents). You reap what you sow. This perfectionism has led our culture to spend enormous sums of public and private treasure to produce children that adults hate, and tends to produce children who never quite achieve psychological adulthood. (Notice: I do not claim to have achieved psychological adulthood).

There are lots of children where I go to church, and most are very well-behaved, because they are taught good behavior by their parents. Babies will scream of course, because that is a part of their nature; and the parents of these line up in the far back of the church calming down these little ones. I hardly find it distracting, for these children show love and hope.


  1. I think some of this has to do with how children are parented as well as expectations. I went to a Catholic high school and had to take a public bus to and from school. One day my classmates and I were a little loud and boisterous. A lady on the bus told us we'd better be quiet and behave or she would call Sister Timothy at school. We all sat down and shut up. Would this happen today? I don't think so. I don't think that outsiders would tell us to behave and I don't think kids now would take to well to being told what to do by a complete stranger. I think the parenting theories of being your kids' friend and permissiveness have backfired.

  2. There seems to be two opposed theories of child raising: you either have to be your child's non-judgemental friend, or you have to viciously discipline them at all times. Both are wrong, but moderation seems to be a lost virtue. Ideology is rampant, and swings from one extreme to the other.