Quote:Babies Are Not Chihuahuas

‘Just because you CAN have a baby, and can afford to have a baby, and want to have a baby doesn’t mean that you SHOULD have a baby…Babies are not chihuahuas. They are not dresses or a pair of shoes. They are not trendy, they are humans. Forgive me for being so judgey wudgey, but I just do not see how having a baby is within the best interest of these young women, or their future children’s.’

From an open letter to anyone with a uterus – an outburst over at Dolly Mix caused by the news of Lilly Allen and Jamie Lynn Spears (16 year old sister of Britney) each announcing their respective pregnancies.

Feminism is in a state of flux place right now. What is ‘female empowerment’ achieving? Clearly the kind of feminism that people of my generation grew up with had not envisioned quite where we are right now. The right to be sexy? (the right to strive for physical perfection through cosmetic surgery?) The right not to be the one who takes sole responsibility for contraception? Are babies really being used as lifestyleTeenage feminist accessories? Or is that just the way things are because many are aping a shallow celebrity culture?

The Beeb also asks about empowerment and raises concerns as to how feminism is now being defined. If female sexual empowerment is the lynch pin of the new feminism then what will it achieve for the generation currently growing up? Will it widen their options or narrow them? Will it give women what they want or just deliver for some women whilst leaving many others worse off?

These are interesting, if slightly alienating times.
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2 thoughts on “Quote:Babies Are Not Chihuahuas

  1. I think when I was a teenager I felt that I could do anything that a boy/man could do if I chose to do it – I mean with regard to education, employment that sort of thing – I couldn’t pee into a urinal from 20 paces obviously! And actually I still feel that way today. I don’t feel I have to wear anything sexy, or compete with men per se, I just do it the same way that they do – so whoever indoctrinated me (my mother probably) got something right.

    And yet my mother was only a teenager when she had me and was probably just the sort of person who should not have been having a child.

    So I dunno. Babymaking does seem rather polarised these days – those who perhaps would be deemed to make “good” parents are having no babies or very few and those who are deemed to be too young or too chav, are having too many.

    Anyone who has ever spent more than an hour in the company of a baby or toddler, would quickly realise they make very poor accessories! As do chihuahuas I would have thought.

  2. Hi RB
    I don’t want to get picky about who has babies or not (other than crticising Britain’s lamentable teenage pregnancy record) as I would just like to be sure that the current world trend for affluent middle class couples refraining from or even delaying having children until their late 30’s whilst the poorer underclass do not is not because one demographic has more life options to pursue than the other (which is not to say that having a family is not a valid life option but what are the demographics telling us?). Feminism (which concerns me more than going all pseudo-eugenics about parent suitability etc) does seem to be a bad word amongst some in a younger generation maybe due to the previous generation’s (my generation?) definitions of feminism. My own concerns are whether some aspects of the new feminism are building on previous social gains or painting itself into a small corner. Maybe it would be better to retire the term feminism and just integrate its aims into class (gender roles are a kind of class division), equal opportunity and social mobility concerns.

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