You don’t ever want to have kids = okay
You don’t ever want to be in a caregiver role with children (including babysitting) = okay
You don’t think other people should have children = NOT okay
You don’t think other people should have “too many” children = NOT okay
You don’t ever want to see children in public = NOT okay
You don’t ever want to see pictures of children on Facebook or other parts of the internet (and like mocking people who post those pictures) = NOT okay
You think children should always be quiet and/or perfectly behaved in public = NOT okay
You talk about how awful, terrible, or otherwise bad kids are, call them names, are otherwise venomous in your language about kids = NOT okay
(By children I mean anyone from newborn until puberty. Teens fall into a different category and face different attitudes, as a general rule.)
If anyone has more things to add to this list, please do!
I really don’t like this list. You say “think”. I don’t think people should have children, both specifically and otherwise. I genuinely cannot imagine wanting children. Pregnancy disgusts me. am I telling people not to have kids? no. am I stopping people from having kids? no. Why are my thoughts hurting you? Yes children should be well behaved in public. If a child steals my bag or starts pulling on my hair/jewelry/etc, I have a right to be upset.
And in my own personal life, with people I know, I am allowed to talk about how terrible kids are, both specifically referring to children I know, and in general. I don’t *like* children. that is okay.
What I can’t do? go up to people and berate them for having children/too many children/etc, or tell children how awful they are personally. I can’t go up to random people and start talking about how all children are awful, just like how you can’t go up to people and tell them that x religion is awful, or x politician is awful. It isn’t polite.
But you cannot say that my thoughts, opinions, and my language (with people who understand my feelings xor agree with them) are not okay. I cannot change my thoughts. I cannot change my disgust at pregnancy. If I could be okay with pregnancy, I would be. It isn’t a choice that I can’t understand children or change my language to talk to them or be tolerant of behaviors like stealing or breaking objects “because they’re young”.
You can’t say that things I don’t have control over are “not okay”.
But you see, children aren’t a religion or politics (and I think it’s telling you used that comparison). They’re *people*. And sure, in your mind you can think whatever you want, but the thing is, that doesn’t mean those thoughts aren’t prejudiced and/or oppressive. You can think awful things about any oppressed group you want: women, queer people, etc. but that doesn’t make those thoughts okay, and I’m not going to say fine, go ahead and be oppressive. If you feel such strong disgust towards children, I am very sure that comes across in your behaviour around children and parents, and that saddens me. I wish you’d realize that, no matter which oppressed group you’re hating on, children included, it isn’t okay, and work to identify where your prejudice is coming from and work to lessen it. You most certainly CAN change your thoughts, and acting as if any prejudice you have is perfectly fine because, hey, you can’t change your thoughts! Is a lazy way of refusing to address real oppressions in our society.
As for the “stealing purses” nonsense, really? I said it’s unfair to expect children to be *perfectly behaved* in public. Basic respect can be expected, but there’s a very common attitude that children in public should be seen and not heard (if they’re even seen… Some people don’t even like that part) and behave like miniature adults, which is unfair to both children and parents. They have different needs because of age, but they are no less worthy individuals. Children are *people* and deserve respect and compassion, same as everyone else.