There was an article on Elimination Communication in the NY Times today. Whether Elimination Communication (the practice of encouraging infants to use the toilet in lieu of using diapers) is good or bad or wise or unhygienic is neither here nor there.
What really struck me about this article was a selection of the comments. If you didn't believe me before about the disdain some people have for women who take care of their own children, this will convince you.
Take this one, for example, from a reader named Vanessa:
Again, a trend for the yuppie SAHM's. Those of us in the real world who work and rely on daycare have to use diapers.
First of all, the writer assumes that Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs) are at home with their children because they are rich. Well, that's just laughable. (If The Husband and I were rich, we would have a house with a much bigger yard, for starters.) Then Vanessa asserts that "Self-Employed" women are not concerned with actual issues because they are not "living in the real world," because the only way to be in "the real world" and be involved in the community is to work outside the home for a paycheck. I guess in her worldview service on the PTA or a Homeowners Association board would still be dismissed as "not real work."
And this one:
I view this particular fad as the frivolity of the upper middle class who can afford to raise their own children.
Frivolity of the upper-middle class? Here's a little secret that I'll reveal to you about how I can "afford" to stay home: It's called budgeting. I discovered not too long ago that we actually qualify for public assistance, but we don't even need it because we avoid frivolities. Funny how so many people can't "afford" to stay home with their kids, but they didn't have much trouble getting themselves a smart phone or an iPad...Just saying.
And of course this one raised my dander just a little:
...[I]f we REALLY care about the environmental burden of humanity, we shouldn't have so many children to start with. I know parents have children because they want to love them and nurture them, not to mention because biology and instinct propel them to procreate. But how about having just one rather than two? It's not just diapers. It's the lifetime burden that each of us, even the "enlightened" defenders of the environment, puts on limited and sometimes fragile resources.
This is an argument I hear over and over again in some form or another - that there are too many people on the Earth, that China has the right idea by brutally enforcing their One Child Policy, that having children at all - to say nothing of having two or three! - is the height of selfishness because of the strain it's putting on the planet. I don't feel like searching the internet for data to back this up, so you'll just have to do your own research or just take my word for it. Poverty is not the result of a lack of resources; it's the result of inequitable allocation of resources. Pollution and desertification and all those other things don't exist because there are too many people; they exist because our "fragile resources" are not being used wisely. And the selfishness issue? Yes, I am a selfish hag for raising (I hope...) productive members of society. Be sure to remind me to apologize when my offspring are paying for your social security in a couple of decades.
Granted, three comments on one news article is hardly a valid sample size, but these are hardly isolated incidents.