Monday, November 20, 2006

Oh, babies.

So now that Jewcy has launched, I basically read it all the time. Some of the articles are awesome, but many are awful.

However, there is an article by Laurel Snyder on the topic of haredi women who have many, many children. (Apparently I love talking about the haredim lately) She is basically freaked out by their reasoning, and also worries about the lack of social services both for women who cannot concieve, and those who have 18 or so kids.

In contrast Newsweek has an article about the "quiverfull" movement. Probably the most creepy name ever for something involving children. The gist of the movement is that some Christians have stopped using birth control a) because it is sort of a pre-abortion, b) because only G-d gets to choose who has kids, and c) because there should be many Christian babies.

Like this, but with babies.

What really gets me is the creepy rhetoric: the quiverfull people are "opening their wombs to G-d" while the haredim are having lots of kids so that the messiah can come. And for the record, both of those are severely reduced versions of the arguments.

And how does this relate to my personal life? (Because you know that you care) CJ decided to tell me his list of baby names for his own personal male offspring. He had 3-4. And that is only for the boys.


Anonymous said...

Products of patriarchal systems which view women as little more than baby-making factories.
Speaking as one of ten siblings, breeding like rabbits is a bad fucking idea. The parents just end up fucking up their children's psyche.
I never asked to be born.

Anonymous said...

What really freaks me out is that there is an inverse correlation between education level and number of babies. That is, the more educated a person is, the fewer children they have, on average. Conversely, the more religious a person is, the more likely they are to have children.

I cannot help but feel that part of this is the question of "individual" vs. "community". The more individual-minded you are, the more concerned you are with your own personal journey through the world. The question of whether or not to have children is framed as a question of how it will impact YOUR life and affect YOUR goals. There *can* be a selfishness, then, behind the decision to not have children. In contrast, community-minded individuals are more likely to make their own wants subservient to the "good of the whole" - and thus, more likely to have children as it assures the continuity of the community.

But the most disturbing implication of the above statistics is: I can't escape the feeling that we are, in effect, breeding "love of education" out of the human race. =/

AnnieGetYour said...

Da'boys: I think that as Sholom pointed out, the decision TO have children can also be a selfish one.

Anonymous said...

Da'boys: I think that as Sholom pointed out, the decision TO have children can also be a selfish one.

No argument here.

That said, I wouldn't necessarily agree with Sholom's generalization that large families are always a bad idea. There are plenty of large families in which each child is loved and raised well. Conversely, there are a whole lot of reasons it can be unhealthy for a person to be an only child.

And just as a personal disclaimer I have absolutely no desire to have a massive family myself. ;-)

I guess I was just voicing a more general concern that if educated, intelligent people keep having far fewer children than uneducated, zealously religious people... what impact will that have for society in the long run?