Saturday, February 11, 2006
Intro: I seem to know so many professional couples with a husband who badly wants to have a child, while the wife does not, but I've never fully figured out why. Did men always have a strong latent desire to procreate that was unspoken because having offspring was the societal norm? Can the eternal urge to have progeny really have just evaporated with modern women? Has the desire to mother earth become a common sublimation of the maternal desire? Did the desire to become one of the boys overwhelm the maternal instinct?
Random associated thoughts: My all-time favourite idea from Sci-Fi was kid-cicles from Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars. Newborns could be frozen at birth, so Podkayne's mother has her 4 allowed children while she's still young, and tosses them in the cryogenic factory, and then she thaws them out when it's convenient for her to have children. In an acceptable plot contrivance, the cryogenic factory has a power blackout, forcing the parents to stay behind to tend the "new borns" while Podkayne & her brother go off for their adventure. Science hasn't reached that point, but I have enjoyed sharing such a clever idea with others including a (now) single mom.
Back in high school (oil embargo & Watergate & Vietnam War era), I mentioned "who would want a child in a time like this": one of my brother's friends quickly dissuaded me that these times are no more farked up than any other. He was right. Are times really worse now than during WWII when tens of millions of souls were being murdered? Than during WWI & its Spanish Avian flu progeny? Than when one-third of Europe was dying from bubonic plague? If you're going to wait for Utopia before giving birth, you'll be waiting a frightfully long time. Besides, Utopia was a very dull place.
What's missing in the dialogue: What about sharing the joy of existence with another? Passing on our best and (hopefully) leaving our dross behind. The desire to escape death by passing on part of yourself to the future? The vicarious satisfactions and accomplishments? Are those desires really so wrong?
By contrast, something about a childless society seems so barren, so sterile, so........pointless.
i would never promote the idea of a childless society. a large number of my decisions are made based on what is appropriate for my life. i am not enough of a hero to consider society's benefit at this point. i choose not to have children for myself. not to maliciously withhold anything from the world, or my partner, or even myself. i choose not to have children because i believe it is the best, most mature decision based on my experiences. other people can have as many children as they want--it is a personal thing. i don't think it's the biggest debate in the world, really, to have or not to have. different strokes for different folks. =)Post a Comment