First of all, the only blogs that turn up on a search are the ones dedicated to the subject. This immediately irritated me, because, really? There’s that much to say about being child free? I mean, there is a lot to say about it – but enough for an entire blog with regular posts?
I get that these blogs serve as support for those who are child free and feel alienated in a procreation-obsessed world. What I don’t like is the idea of being grouped under a label, as if being child free defines me as an individual. It is only one thing about me.
The discussion of whether labeling a minority group is harmful or enables that group to advocate for itself is not one I want to have today, if ever. Obviously there are good arguments on both sides and it tires me out when I see people arguing one side of an issue that is complex. What I’m trying to say is that I personally don’t like labels. I never have been a joiner, or a group person. That’s another thing about me.
Something surprised me about these blogs that in retrospect I suppose should not have. Many evidence a marked hostility toward those with children and the children themselves. Child-free restaurants, child-free flights, etc. are all discussed. The annoyance that noisy children present, with their unpredictable bad behavior.
I find this attitude unpleasant. I find all such judgmental, uncompassionate attitudes unpleasant. That’s not to say I don’t hate being stuck on a flight with a screaming kid. Everyone does, even their own parents. But I grit my teeth and deal with it. If I’m having a bad day, the best I can do is try to keep myself from thinking too many nasty thoughts about the kid and parents. If I’m having a particularly good day, I may attempt a smile at the poor parents of said kid. I do not think flights should be made child free so that I may be more comfortable. The world is not obligated to arrange itself to serve my needs, nor should it be.
I think too many people think the opposite.
And this is not a zero-sum issue of either my needs get served or the needs of parents with small kids get served. No one’s needs get served on an airplane, especially in this day an age (when I was a small kid myself, they used to give us packets with playing cards and wing pins…). We are all in the same hell on an plane, imprisoned in small seats and at the mercy of unpleasant odors, sounds, uncomfortable temperatures, and personal space offenses.
I hate flying. Not the in-flight kids. Even when they’re awful.