The casual rudeness of the pronatalist

It’s bad enough that people systematically drown you in stupid remarks when you happen to mention not wanting children (“You’ll change your mind”, “What if your parents hadn’t wanted kids?”, “It’s different when it’s your own”, “Who’ll look after you when you’re old?”, “I used to say that and look at me now”, “You were once a child too!”, “Aww, look at his little face, don’t you want one of those?”, “You’re depriving your parents of grandchildren” or simply “But… but… why not?!”), but sometimes it just goes too far.

An interview with Chris Packham is in this week’s Radio Times. It turns out Chris Packham is an enthusiastic anti-world overpopulation campaigner (good man) but the journalist is clearly struggling with the concept of not being into reproduction. Here’s an extract:

“Packham has had no children himself, though his 16-year-old stepdaughter, Megan, who lives with his ex-partner […] is clearly every bit as important. “I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to play a part in her upbringing, and would happily throw myself in front of a train to protect her. It doesn’t bother me one bit that she doesn’t share my genes. In fact, I do not now – and never have had – any desire whatsoever to reproduce myself”… just a hint of the self-loathing that’s been observed in him before.”

“Self-loathing”. I’m speechless. Of course, this is typical of the kind of passive-aggressive comments the Kool-Aid drinkers aim at you when they realise you had the nerve to go for the pineapple juice instead, thus giving yourself a lucky escape. Misery loves company. Besides, why would anyone waste time loathing themselves when the planet is full of morons who would make a much more appropriate target?

Three pages later in the same magazine, I came across an interview of Claire Balding (not by the same journalist, although you’d be forgiven for doing a double take – this is by Stuart Hall, apparently a TV presenter himself). Extract:

“Hall: Have you got any plans for children?
Balding: No. Never have done. Always wanted dogs.
Hall: Have you got a dog?
Balding: We have got a dog, yes.
Hall: But it would be a shame to waste all your talent, your brains…

Just fucking let it go already! Apart from the sheer idiocy of the remark (as if children automatically inherited their parents’ intelligence or talent – let’s bring up Chloe Madeley again, a perfect example of the law of diminishing returns), why couldn’t he just take no for an answer? What business is it of his whether she has kids or not? Is he seeking validation for his own life choices or something? (according to Wikipedia he has two children)

Also, how is not having children “wasting” her talent and brains? How’s that for an insult? Isn’t she using her talent and brains on a daily basis? People just don’t think before they open their gob, it’s so tiresome.

At least he didn’t accuse her of self-loathing, I suppose.

05/11/2013 – interesting update: this Stuart Hall guy is now in prison for paedophilia. Hmmmm…

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