Thursday, 4 August 2011

Childhood Is A Death Sentence

TW for rape, pedophilia, abortion discussion, women as chattel, etc.

A morose title, to be sure.

But then there's this. And then there's this. And it's getting to be that every day on the news there's a child-pornography bust, a ring dismantled, hundreds of thousands of images of torture, the silent screams of children from around the globe on the screens and hard drives of pedophiles. Criminals only because the abused aren't old enough to be properly abused yet, or they're not of the sex that is to be abused in the patriarchy. I'm not complaining about the cops busting these rings. These people deserve to be punished. But nobody seems to be learning anything. And nobody seems to notice that there are more and more pedophiles, that johns purchase children younger and younger, that entertainment media teaches girls five and younger how to be sassy or flirty. Those who do notice, those who see the connections are told to pipe down, that these things can't possibly be the same, that giving a nine year old a playboy bunny backpack isn't creating demand for underage girls.

But, it is.

Children aren't safe. Especially female children. If they're not being systematically killed at birth to make room for male babies, girls are thrust into a world that hates them, that is designed for all intents and purposes to exploit and dispose of them. Male children often fare no better. This is common knowledge. There is no such thing anymore as the idyllic period of life known as 'childhood'. Innocence, if such a thing there is, is taken from children at ages ever decreasing. If, however, you are a white woman in the western world, you have probably at one time or another been told in so many or not so many words that it is your duty to bear some dudes' children. Your duty to a god, to a country, to a race, to a belief, to nature even. Is it a duty to yourself? They'll try to make you believe that, too. And they'll take away your right to choose. Your right to choose if you want to have a baby, if you want to keep a baby, what you do with that baby, what you do with yourself just in case you might ever have a baby or another baby. But, do the babies matter?

In the long run, no. It's the idea of the babies that matter. Those that picket the clinics, that threaten and kill the abortion doctors, do they adopt the babies from women that can't care for them? When they make it so that women are forced to bear these children, do they visit these women, help them out, shoulder their share of the responsibility to a life that they had a hand, however small, in bringing to term? In short do the right-wing religious pro-lifers care for or about the children they "save"?

Of course not.  They care about the idea of children. And they care that the status quo of patriarchy and womens' subjugation via pregnancy be maintained. That children are being born into a world that wants nothing more than to abuse and exploit them, born to parents who either can't or won't care properly for them, born onto a planet that is already dangerously overcrowded, well, these are all moot points. A baby was saved, and from heaven, Jesus smiles.

So, what's the solution? Should we all stop having children? Well, would that really be such a bad idea? I mean, I know kids are a blessing, or a mitzvah or whatever, but the world is well overpopulated, and until we get shit under control, well maybe we shouldn't bring anymore kids into it. "Oh, but you probably just hate children anyways, you rotten feminist." Good one. No, actually, I don't mind kids, not that I want them. It's the world I don't much care for. There's a lot of bad things out there. I write about them, all the time. The bottom line is that children aren't safe in todays' world. But, children grow up and then what happens? Well, if they're male, then they usually take their place in the patriarchy. And if they're female, well, the abuse continues, but even less people care now. Because after a certain magic number, women are apparently worthy of no sympathy at all. Women can be abused and raped, killed and maimed, but no one will intervene. Governments and police will look away from the systematic worldwide slaughter of women, pointing to countries outside their own, quick to admonish other nations' treatment of women while drawing attention away from the injustices the women of their own homelands silently face. And, if a woman survives? If a woman keeps herself safe from the most horrible fates that could befall her? Well then, maybe she'll get married and have a baby. And the cycle continues.

The media paints this as the goal for women. Find Mr. Right amongst all the Mr. Wrongs and you'll have your fairy-tale wedding! The white dress, the house, the picket fence, the two-point-five children! Hollywood and T.V. Land say forget that life of hardship you faced! You've got your man now, everything'll be better! So why not have a few kids to round out the joy? Besides, Mr. Right needs an heir, or at least a daughter to abuse or ignore. Entertainment media does us all a great disservice by painting the nuclear family as the ultimate form of existence. True that for some women, the nuclear family may be marginally safer than other lifestyles, it still is inherently tied to the patriarchy and can never truly be a safe haven for women and children, as it exists to give the man something of his own to govern over.

The days of happy, carefree childhoods are distant memories, if indeed they ever truly existed. This world is hurtling towards its' own destruction, and the human race is in the drivers' seat. Unless we, as a human race can undo hundreds of thousands of years of patriarchal law and conditioning, we're all as good as doomed. And, it'll be, as the saying goes: "Women and children first.

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