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Dec 26 2008

Always leave’em wanting more

Or

Spirulina Nation

A blamer recently reminded me of the Voluntary Human Extinctionist Movement, and boy am I glad she did. Since discovering it a few years ago, it’s been one of my very favorite human extinctionist movements! Because I suffer from chemo-brain, my obstreperal lobe had temporarily misplaced it, but its impact on the Twisty Weltanschauung is undeniable; I crib ideas from it constantly, without even blinking. I am, in fact, a Voluntary Human Extinctionist myself. Maybe you are, too! The Voluntary Human Extinctionist Movement (VHEMT) isn’t even an organization, which is a great part of its appeal to us non-joiners. It’s a “state of mind.” All you have to do to get in on the action is not procreate.

In light of a remark I made in a recent post (in a smallish diatribe exhorting women to examine the patriarchal origins of motherhood, I blurted, almost as an afterthought, that women should just quit having babies), which remark sparked a bit of a culturally-conditioned flare-up, I thought it might be fun to revisit the Voluntary Human Extinctionist Movement (see an earlier post on this topic here).

The VHEMT manifesto is contained in a delightful website maintained since the late 90′s by an Oregon high school teacher named Les Knight. The gist of Les Knight’s argument is this: that the biosphere, for reasons of which we are all only too painfully aware but usually prefer not to dwell on too much, simply cannot sustain human beings in any way, shape or form; the only responsible action is to gracefully admit this and bail out now, through attrition, before we’ve completely obliterated what was once a pretty nice planet. As long as there remains a single breeding pair of humans, Knight avers, the danger of a destructo-human flare-up exists, so the only acceptable number of human inhabitants is zero.

The VHEMT site is chock full of A material. Among voluntary human extinctionist critiques of religion, culture, and politics, Knight lists every possible excuse a person might give for breeding, briefly exposes the flaws in their reasoning, and genially offers eco-friendly alternatives (adoption, therapy to address host of unresolved issues, environmental activism, hanging with existing kids, critical thinking, “be nice so that people will come to visit you in the home,” etc). Check this out:

Think there’s a biological imperative to reproduce? Think again! The biological imperative is actually to boink. Take a swig of your latte and reflect a moment. “If sex,” says Knight, “is an urge to procreate, then hunger’s an urge to defecate.” He then invokes bonobos, the dear man. And coyly points out that “institutions await those who cannot control their biological urges.”

Some of the other common breeding excuses Knight adroitly addresses:

Want to give our parents grandchildren.
I just love children.
I just love babies.
Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences.
We want to create a life which embodies our love for each other.
I just want to.
Being a mother is a woman’s highest calling.

In response to that last one, Knight delightfully suggests that holding such a view means you’ve been “beguiled into believing compliance is noble free choice.” The exposure of which exact bogosity is pretty much the thrust of this entire blog. He actually gets it that reproductive freedom means the freedom not to reproduce (as opposed to the “freedom” to “choose” to reproduce, or, as it is more accurately described, state-sponsored coercion to reproduce). I just love this guy.

The most sobering aspect of Knight’s views is this: we’re going extinct, all righty, by hook or by crook. By not volunteering to “live long and die out,” the inevitable result will be our involuntary extinction.* The unthinkable suffering and despair that will obtain via the latter contingency makes the former much more appealing, unless you are a bloodless sociopath.

Knight’s position centers on the notion that there is inherent value — to, say, the millions of species that will not be destroyed by us, not to mention the 40,000 children under the age of 5 who won’t die every day from starvation and disease — in preserving the earth in a human-free state.** Certainly this is an idea we can all (except the bloodless sociopaths) get behind. We’re all romantics. We all dig nature. We appreciate rain forests and bonobos and sunsets on the beach. Does our “right” to reproduce trump all of nature’s right to exist? I mean, come on. We’ve had our shot, and we blew it. Next!

Of course, there are no guarantees that, once we’ve graciously stepped aside, some other, even more scourgeous, monomaniacal species won’t spring up in the vacuum and plunge the planet into a nuclear winter. Or that a comet won’t smash down on New Jersey and initiate a whole nother die-off. Or that a bunch of aliens won’t show up proffering deadly-pathogen-infected sexbots.

But at least then it wouldn’t be our fault.

And there’s always the possibility, remote though it may seem, that there might evolve some species whose constituents just sit around all day, contentedly pulsating, absorbing sunshine, not killing or raping or oppressing anybody at all.

Wait a second! That species already exists!

______________________
* This is more or less indisputable [1].

** Clearly, this whole preserve-the-earth thing is a justifiable and rewarding pursuit only if you assume there is some inherent value in life, period. But I think I’m not dangling too far out on a limb when I proceed on that assumption, since love of life is the implied penultimate interest of those who procreate.

I make no claims for the attitude of the cosmos generally toward life, but, based on personal experience, am inclined to believe that it is one of cool indifference.

177 comments

4 pings

  1. another voice

    My philosophy has a name. Thank you Twisty, for showing me the way home. Maybe people will stop calling me nihilist now.

  2. bascule

    I cannot believe i never knew this collective existed. I have been an unwitting member ever since i was old enough to consider it. People can’t understand it when i tell them my no children, give the planet back to the planet for pete’s sake philosophy – and now i discover there’s a whole bunch of nutters out there just like me! Halle-freaking-lujah.

  3. Twisty

    “Maybe people will stop calling me nihilist now.”

    Not bloody likely. People get awfully sentimental about The Human Race and its cute little babies. And by “sentimental” I mean “violent.”

  4. PhysioProf

    I make no claims for the attitude of the cosmos generally toward life, but, based on personal experience, am inclined to believe that it is one of cool indifference.

    There is absolutely no question that the cosmos does not give one single flying fuck about anything. One of the reasons–among many–that we are so completely fucked up as a species is that we simply cannot get over the idea that the strength of our desire that something be the case has absofuckinglutely no influence whatsoever on whether it is, in fact, the case. The entire megatheocorporatocracy preys on this fatal weakness of human nature, and stands or falls to the extent that we fail or succeed, respectively, to stamp it out once and for all.

  5. Twisty

    The Twistolution fucking blesses you, PP.

  6. Alderson Warm-Fork

    I would certainly agree with the idea of not breeding so as to reduce human population. But I’m not convinced that this should be done with the aim of human extinction.

    It’s certainly clear that there’s no way we can possibly keep living in these numbers in a way that resembles the way we live now.

    But I think there are ways of living that could allow a large human population to continue, and simultaneously allow the biosphere to recover. I’m not going to commit myself to whether they could work with 6 billion , but it would certainly be easier with fewer.

    In terms of agricultural land-use, I think that 1) with a socialist society we could straight-off reduce land-use because we already make enough food to feed everyone adequately, 2) with a vegan diet we could cut land-use in half because we use more than half of it for factor-of-ten inefficient animal slaughter, 3) with the acceptance of substantial austerities we could make a further big reduction in land-use by not growing things like coffee, tea, opiates, spices, cocoa, and other crops with little nutritional value. Some of that could then be got back by convertin urban spaces into small-scale agricultural spaces – every room, every rooftop, every garden, growing vegetables, spices, whatever can help meet food needs.

    In terms of energy, I think humanity could potentially survive on a far smaller amount of energy than it currently uses. Getting rid of private powered transport, making public transport available but infrequent, increasing the use of human muscle to power appliances, just having less factories to produce less stuff, and spending more time to have more fun making it better, designing things to last rather than to be replaced, etc. A lot of the best aspects of technological progress are relatively light on energy use (medicines, knowledge, information technology).

    And, while I think it’s right to be sceptical of technological fixes, technology could allow us to consume fewer resources if pushed in that direction. Factory-grown food, nuclear fusion, efficient solar panels, or the conversion of desert areas into production areas by either solar panels of algae-growing (http://www.global-eco.co.uk/slide.php) are all possibilities. They may not work but they show some of the possibilities.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment. I think a smaller population will make everything easier so like I said I do agree about breeding, and I certainly don’t think we can just ‘coast along’ and hope that these issues will sort themselves out. But I think human existence alongside other species is a good thing and I think that a human civilisation based on anarcho-communo-femino-veganism could exist while the earth recuperated.

  7. Twisty

    “But I think human existence alongside other species is a good thing and I think that a human civilisation based on anarcho-communo-femino-veganism could exist while the earth recuperated.”

    Of course this would be the ideal, Alderson Warm-Fork, but given the success thus far of anarcho-communo-femino-veganism, I’m thinkin’ it’s kind of a long shot.

  8. PhysioProf

    But I think human existence alongside other species is a good thing and I think that a human civilisation based on anarcho-communo-femino-veganism could exist while the earth recuperated.

    Could we have anarcho-communo-femino-veganism, but still keep the coffee?

  9. Alderson Warm-Fork

    Fair point. But then, to someone alive in the mid-19th century, feminism, given its success so far, would have seemed like kind of a long shot. Unexpected things can happen.

  10. Hedgepig

    As someone who has come to the same conclusions as the VHEM, I find it a bit of a daily anguish believing that nothing but revolution can rid us of patriarchy, but that revolutions don’t seem to work the way they’re intended (see Bolshevik Revolution, Sexual Revolution, oh, actually, every revolution ever). So if the only hope is revolution, but revolution is innately hopeless, how are we to get through life without feeling constantly…hopeless? Or is that our fate? I suppose it is. Anyone for an anaesthetizing margarita?

  11. gerda

    i notice the article in your link [1] (thanks, its added to my ‘sustainability’ file) gives a shout out to ‘limits to growth’. i knew about this since kidhood and read the 30 year update, which is what convinced me we really are sinking under our own shite. but a ray of hope, for those not completely ready to write off humanity altogether, can be found in the further works of the lead author, Donella Meadows (r.i.p.) available here;
    http://www.sustainer.org/dhm_archive/

  12. Alderson Warm-Fork

    Hedgepig: “revolutions don’t seem to work the way they’re intended”

    I appreciate the despiriting vista that the history of revolutions offers. But I think there are grounds for some optimism, firstly because there are good things in that revolutionary history, and secondly because I think there are analyses that illuminate much of its failure.

    On the first point, I think it would be wrong to ignore the improvements that have at times been made. For example, the literacy rate in post-revolutionary countries has often improved dramatically, and Cuba is (rather relevantly to the current topic) the only country in the world which the WWF ranks as ‘sustainably developed’ – it has high human development index (because high literacy and life expectancy) with a low ecological footprint (largely the result of an economic embargo that’s forced it to do without, to be fair). That’s only a relative thing, compared to the atrocities of other countries, but yeah, revolutions do acheive some things.

    I also think there have been non-corrupted revolutions – the Paris Commune, the Zapatistas, the Anarchist-controlled areas in republican Spain. Of course, my argument doesn’t exactly gain much strength from the fact that they two of them were brutally crushed…

    Anyway, as for the analysis thing, I think they have typically suffered from replicating the tools of their opponents. The Bolshevik ‘revolution’ and it kind (I use scare quotes because the Bolsheviks didn’t ‘make’ the revolution, the people made it, the Bolsheviks set up a government and strangled it) have sought to use centralised states, armies, the coercion of labour, and so forth to enforce their goals. I’m more cautious about analysing causes for the ‘failure’ of the sexual revolution, because it’s much more recent, much less well defined, and has acheived a lot, but I would venture to suggest that it may involve a tendency to leave intact the structures of oppression in the more conventionally ‘political sphere – capitalism, the state, etc. These work by hierarchy and domination, and in doing so they provide the conditions where hierarchy and domination can survie and strengthen in all areas.

    Also, the sexual revolution has hardly had a chance. Patriarchy is millenia old – getting full legal equality in many countries and an almost global lip-service in a mere century isn’t doing too badly.

    Aaaaaanyway, short answer: I believe a mass revolution that confronts hierarchy in all areas and which uses non-hierarchical methods might be able to keep its integrity. So chin up.

  13. aqua

    Oh, come on now. I am generally behind you Twisty, but not this time. Why don’t we all commit suicide then? Forget not having children — that’s just too easy; any old schmuck could decide not to have children. We should all kill ourselves rather than continue to fuck this planet (by buying houses, by driving our stupid cars, by purchasing horses for god’s sake). Of course there is nothing special about human beings — but there is nothing special about bacteria either. Should we get rid of cats because they hunt birds? Gah, I have no patience for these idiotic arguments.

    As for:
    “Think there’s a biological imperative to reproduce? Think again! The biological imperative is actually to boink. Take a swig of your latte and reflect a moment. “If sex,” says Knight, “is an urge to procreate, then hunger’s an urge to defecate.””

    oh, dear, oh dear. Of course there is a biological imperative to reproduce — that’s the whole point of sex. That’s the whole point of evolution, for god’s sake. Darwin is turning in his grave at this kind of talk.

    But never mind me. Even when I disagree with you, I still love you Twisty :)

  14. j

    I love VHEMT! I loved it even more when I found out that the Internet Police at my high school blocked the VHEMT website on the grounds that it was “obscene and tasteless.” Hehe.

  15. thebewilderness

    “But then, to someone alive in the mid-19th century, feminism, given its success so far, would have seemed like kind of a long shot. Unexpected things can happen.”

    I respectfully suggest that the women living in the mid-19th century expected a great deal more, a great deal sooner. The only thing that was somewhat unexpected was that large organized groups of men continued in their absurd belief that women had no soul, and were not human, well into the twentieth century.

  16. Twisty

    Aqua, the “why don’t we kill ourselves” counter-argument is dealt with thusly: there is already enough death. VHEMT is about preserving life, not killing it.

    Reproduction is not the “point” of sex. It is a collateral side-effect. Les Knight likens the situation to squirrels burying nuts. Even though trees grow as a result, forestry is not the squirrels’ prime directive.

  17. PhysioProf

    Reproduction is not the “point” of sex. It is a collateral side-effect.

    Assuming we are all on the same page here with materialist ontology, there is no point to anything. There is just the shit that is, and the consequences of shit that happens.

    Reproduction and orgasms are both frequent consequences of fucking. It is probably the case that a fitness advantage to possessing a biological drive to fuck derives more from selection for the former than for the latter.

  18. j

    aqua:

    Of course there is a biological imperative to reproduce — that’s the whole point of sex.

    Even granting your point, wouldn’t you agree that there’s a conflict in that case between the “biological imperative to reproduce” and the moral imperative not to? Ought we not to obey the latter?

  19. Hedgepig

    And I think Darwin would turn in his grave hearing someone talk about “the point” of evolution. Evolution is a process, it has no end-goal. To use the words of the curiously quotable PhysioProf, it’s just the consequences of the shit that happens.

    Whether natural or conditioned, I am becoming aware of growing numbers of women in my age-group who seem to be irrationally clucky. (Thankfully I remain immune). I think it’s the one thing on the VEHMT table that’s not quite right. I do think women have the urge to breed, not just boink. Of course, it is a controllable urge, like most urges other than the urge to eat and drink. However, I don’t fancy our chances of convincing many clucky 30-something females they should not gestate for the sake of the planet (and indeed humankind).

  20. Twisty

    “I do think women have the urge to breed, not just boink.”

    What you describe is cultural conditioning. I know lots of women, including some who have procreated, who haven’t got the urge to breed. They have the desire to fulfill some patriarchal fantasy, perhaps, but “urges” are not mindful of events that take place 9 months in the future and require a subsequent 18 years of servitude.

  21. rootlesscosmo

    @hedgepig:
    Or is that our fate? I suppose it is. Anyone for an anaesthetizing margarita?

    Sure, and I’m buying, because what with this and what with that, I think that probably is our fate, though when and how are still up for grabs. (Physioprof will probably confirm that pretty much every species goes extinct, and there’s no reason to think ours will be the first exception.) I’m a brandy drinker myself but name your toxin.

  22. Hedgepig

    I agree that the phenomenon is mostly, if not totally, conditioning. However, the point I was making was that when in the thrall of this powerful, though culturally engineered, desire, you just can’t get some women to look at the big picture. I know we shouldn’t give up though.

    Also, I think the urge is to incubate a foetus and then nurture an infant. The 18-odd years of servitude are the subsequent, long-term consequences of this urge.

  23. Nolabelfits

    Eighteen years of servitude? Only 18? Why have I got a 19 year old costing me more time and resources than ever before?

    Motherhood has kept me so fucking busy I don’t even know what I like to do in my spare time ‘cuz I haven’t had any in 19 years.

    Except now I’ve found Twisty’s blog to keep me distracted…..

  24. Lisa KS

    Hmm: this just doesn’t speak to me. I was madly curious if my “reason” for procreating was on the list–and it was!

    Reason given: I just want to.
    Real reason: Just wants to. (Correct!)
    Suggested alternatives: Choosing to breed precludes most other things you’ll just want to do.

    Translated: You should want other things more because…why? No reason given. Sorry, not too impressive…given that I’ve had a blast and gotten to be all kinds of cool stuff like a blogger and an engineer and a poker player and a party animal and a homeowner and now, a budding fiction writer–that is most other things I’ve wanted to do. So I’m left pretty cold on a personal level.

  25. keshmeshi

    we could make a further big reduction in land-use by not growing things like coffee, tea, opiates, spices, cocoa, and other crops with little nutritional value.

    Those foodstuffs may not have many vitamins and minerals, but most do have considerable health benefits. Tea and coffee can prevent certain cancers and can balance out one’s blood sugar level (useful for anyone, but especially those susceptible to diabetes). Spices and cocoa are full of antioxidants which can prevent cancer and heart disease. And opiates are plenty useful for purposes other than recreation.

    Quite frankly, your view of a future “sustainable” existence sounds worse than extinction. What kind of life is one that’s so austere and severe even monks would weep?

  26. smally

    Twisty, if the point of the VHEM is to ‘preserve life’ (I assume this means preserving biodiversity rather than the number of living beings on this planet), and human life is on net destructive of life/biodiversity, then isn’t suicide morally imperative?

  27. Sascha

    How about the Papuan solution:

    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24732386-5005962,00.html

  28. Natalia

    VHEMT is the perfect example of Western civilization over-thinking itself. Again.

  29. Alderson Warm-Fork

    Keshmeshi:

    Firstly, I have no idea precisely what will be necessary and to what extent – I’m just saying, if it’s necessary to preserve human life or biospherical health by making huge cutbacks in inessential but resource-heavy things, then we can and should do that. It’s quite likely that things like coffee and alcohol will continue to be made on a smaller scale.

    Secondly, I don’t think even a life with absolutely all non-essential crops would necessarily be monk-ish-ly austere. Austerity is largely about the way you arrange life – if you arrange life to promote fun and enjoyment, then you can make it positively hedonistic regardless of the resources you have to work with. Games, dancing, music, sex, sport, art, body-painting, stargazing, birdwatching, and loads of other things are fun and pretty damn cheap. And many aspects of our current lifestyle function to reduce fun by sapping people’s energy, constricting their horizons, and filling them with anxiety.

    Thirdly, let’s be clear on the current situation. For most of us here, the situation is that cheap luxury commodities flood around us, apparently by magic. For an equally large group of people, the same situation means that land which previously provided food security now produces cash crops for export, which means dependence on international markets for food, which means greater possibility of artificial famines and food price rises, as we saw quite recently.

    If you prefer extinction to a life without luxuries then there’s a lot people currently providing us with luxuries who would be better off extinct.

  30. Twisty

    Lisa KS: “I’ve had a blast and gotten to be all kinds of cool stuff like a blogger and an engineer and a poker player and a party animal and a homeowner and now, a budding fiction writer–that is most other things I’ve wanted to do. So I’m left pretty cold on a personal level.”

    I congratulate you on having personally beaten the system, and am of course pleased whenever a woman manages to retain her identity post-partum, but I nevertheless urge all readers to be cognizant of the fact that your success is atypical in the global motherhood continuum. It is the result of privilege that most women don’t have, and we all know that privilege is experienced by the non-privileged as oppression.

    Given the fact that the earth cannot, by a long shot, sustain its current human population at the level of party-animal luxury you enjoy — I remind the group that 40,000 kids die EVERY DAY from starvation — how do you figure that “I just want to” is a reasonable justification for procreation? Do you actually believe, despite piles of science suggesting otherwise, that the planet possesses infinite resources? Or do you just not give a shit?

  31. Twisty

    Smally: “Twisty, if the point of the VHEM is to ‘preserve life’ (I assume this means preserving biodiversity rather than the number of living beings on this planet), and human life is on net destructive of life/biodiversity, then isn’t suicide morally imperative?”

    No, because suicide is just as destructive as anything else humans do. Only a few wack-jobs would ever actually do it, and (take it from me, I know) the misery and despair left in the wake of a few suicides would cancel out any non-misery that might obtain as a result of them.

    I am fairly certain, however, that we’ll be seeing a fair number of suicides as things get worse. Not because of moral imperative, but because of intolerable living conditions.

    I see this VHEMT stuff primarily as a reproductive freedom message. Even the head extinctionist, that Les Knight dude, agrees that there is no chance of voluntary extinction actually coming off. So what one takes away from this is, reproductive freedom is of paramount importance in mitigating what is certain to be buttloads of future suffering from overpopulation.

    What is meant by “reproductive freedom” is “freedom from reproduction.” If all the women on the planet who wanted it were given access to birth control, the world population would drop like a brick pretty quickly. But governments and other social control groups — such as the Catholic church, who have misogynist compulsory pregnancy outposts all over the goddam place — will never allow that to happen.

    Result? Apocalypse. Thanks, patriarchy!

  32. Twisty

    Natalia: “VHEMT is the perfect example of Western civilization over-thinking itself. Again.”

    What does this mean?

  33. Dawn Coyote

    But what if the very desire to preserve the Earth sans homo sapiens is just more hubris on our part?

  34. ElizaN

    I’m not convinced that it’s serious. In the “Death” section, there’s a citation of an article from the Weekly World News. Despite that, my main issue with the idea is that there’d be no one to rub the tummies of the animal species that used to be pets. I get regular lectures on the importance of belly rubs.

  35. sezhoo

    Ah, but the problem is the thinking types of people who can see and embrace the rationality of not reproducing are exactly the types of people who you’d want to hang around, if you understand (and accept) the unlikelihood of exterminating ALL of the human race. This is already happening in parts of the world. Unfortunately, the types of people who are breeding excessively are the types of which we need fewer. Think about the results: intellectuals all stop breeding. Idiots continue at the current pace. Eventually, someone as intellectually and morally bankrupt as G.W. Bush would rule the world. Hey, wait a minute…

  36. VibratingLiz

    the thinking types of people who can see and embrace the rationality of not reproducing are exactly the types of people who you’d want to hang around

    Let me guess: mostly educated, affluent, and white?

  37. sezhoo

    VibratingLiz, do you live under a rock? Does our president elect (or his wife, who many have pointed out is even more qualified to be president than he is) fit your description?

  38. Twisty

    sezhoo, your comment is an excellent argument for extinction, (not, as you wrote “extermination,” which is a whole nother thing altogether, and is in no way advocated by me). If the conditions you outline obtain,it only proves that we’ve blown our shot. If intelligence is an inherited trait, and it is deleterious to the extent that it dooms the entire species in its effort to save the whole species, natural selection has made its decision.

  39. sezhoo

    Excellent point, Twisty! Nothing left to do then but anesthetize. I’ll have one of those margaritas now please.

  40. sezhoo

    (by the way, I used “extermination” because we are systematically polluting our air, soil and water which, as VHEMT points out, will eventually kill not only humans but the rest of life on earth.)

  41. Silence

    According to the World Wildlife Federation, a quarter of the mammal species here on Earth face possible extinction within the next thirty years. And every single one of these species is under threat due to pollution of its environment, loss of environment, and/or poaching.

    This is genocide. And we know which species is responsible for it — ours. And yet we can sit here and debate about the merits of our species theoretically not existing through lack of reproduction in the next, oh, three or four centuries. Human arrogance is astounding.

    No, the cosmos does not give a shit about us or any form of life on this planet. But how we can claim to be moral beings and yet turn a blind eye to our extermination of our fellow being boggles my mind. Of course, I may be a little anti-human, admittedly. There are only approximately forty Amur leopards left, for example. If I ruled the world — that is, if I were some kind of purely logical, unsentimental, all-powerful being – I’d sacrifice four hundred human lives for their sake and think it fair.

    Very few of us actually have the privilege to decide if we want to breed or not. The patriarchy takes that decision away from far too many women. I know I’m lucky to have been able to make that choice. I suggest that those of us with that privilege should feel obliged to think long and critically before they decide to bring another life onto this planet. There’s always adoption if you want to be a parent.

  42. Twisty

    Silence, this highly theoretical discussion in no way precludes other, possibly more exigent, conversations on the appalling horrors afflicting currently living beings.

    Also, though I mourn the loss of any species (even the non-cute ones), and completely share your outrage, it would be of questionable efficacy to kill four hundred people on behalf of extinct leopards.

  43. Twisty

    I believe that Vibrating Liz, who I assure you does not live under a rock, was responding to the slightly (yes, I’m gonna say it, thus dooming the thread) Hitlerian undertones in sezhoo’s comment about who should and who shouldn’t breed.

  44. Twisty

    Dawn Coyote: “But what if the very desire to preserve the Earth sans homo sapiens is just more hubris on our part?”

    Then the Indifferent Cosmos applies and it doesn’t matter.

    I can’t imagine why I’ve been so chatty on this thread. I will now follow my own rule and put a sock in it.

  45. Dawn Coyote

    Well, Twisty, that’s probably good timing. I was just about to invoke the Utilitarian doctrine of the greatest good for the greatest number: euthanasia.

  46. Dawn Coyote

    (was replying to your comment of 12:06)

    Anyways, this is why I became a Buddhist (of the Stephen Batchelor school).

  47. Natalia

    What does this mean?

    Well, I think it’s plain self-absorption masquerading as enlightenment. Though the genius of VHEMT is that it argues, almost convincingly, that “hey, I don’t think we’re special at all! Not one bit! Not in the slightest!”

    The gentleman doth protest too much.

    The mere idea that humans like him think they can make some sort of difference on this little planet precludes an astounding capacity to be “special.” Just as the idea that the human species is the only one capable of wreaking such havoc and destruction to begin with. So, we die out. Whoop-dee-doo. In a few million years, a race of highly evolved cockroaches will be furiously arguing over unearthed Kafka manuscripts and “voluntary extinction” at each other’s garden parties.

  48. Twisty

    Well, Natalia, when you consider the horrific conditions likely to attend the die-out, and that a little self-control now would probably mitigate this (it certainly couldn’t hurt), the “whoop-dee-doo” position seems a little harsh. But happily for the humans currently being born as a result of their parents’ willful denial of scientific fact, the full force of that mess is still a generation or two away.

  49. Twisty

    Oops, I forgot to put a sock in it.

  50. Panic

    Hitlerian undertones in sezhoo’s comment about who should and who shouldn’t breed.

    And yet, it’s so damn common. People who you’d think would be progressive, suddenly get really interesting when you talk about developing world infant mortality, and child poverty. You know, those people shouldn’t have (so many) kids. Hell, not just those in the developing world, those in the poorer housing a couple blocks away. “Those” people have too many children. But if you’re white and middle-class, you can use the “I just want to” excuse to have as many as you want.

  51. Dawn Coyote

    I like the way this guy describes our curious myopia. I believe it’s the species fatal flaw: not only can we not learn from our mistakes, we are unable to anticipate how the way we live will change as a consequence of our present actions.

    For the record, I won’t be thrusting my genes into the next generation. My own challenges with said genes make me think it would be unkind to foist them onto someone else.

  52. Octogalore

    “I congratulate you on having personally beaten the system, and am of course pleased whenever a woman manages to retain her identity post-partum, but I nevertheless urge all readers to be cognizant of the fact that your success is atypical in the global motherhood continuum. It is the result of privilege that most women don’t have, and we all know that privilege is experienced by the non-privileged as oppression.”

    The ability to experience either motherhood or fatherhood (and, in fact, life in general) in an enjoyable, fairly stress-free way is about class. The ability to experience motherhood in the way that men experience fatherhood is not about class but about gender.

    Let’s be clear. We’re talking here about how motherhood is oppressive because of gender inequality. Certainly, there are larger issues of class privilege that challenge any parents. But at any class level, if women and men have equivalent economic power, they will have the opportunity to experience parenthood with equal levels of stress. Nine months plus some breastfeeding don’t have to impact that if and only if the parents enter into the arrangement on equal footing.

    Of course, that’s a big “if and only if.” But throwing class into it to shame Lisa KS for being too privileged to get it misses the point. A few feminists avoiding motherhood isn’t going to solve global poverty. And it’s not going to solve gender inequality either. Removing things we want, if we want them (and I’m all for avoiding motherhood if one doesn’t want it) is simply punishing ourselves. Working towards a foundation in which men are incentivized and thereby forced to take equal responsibility for housekeeping and childcare is the only sustainable fix here.

  53. Natalia

    a little self-control…

    My “whoop-dee-doo” was me being facetious, but if you think, Twisty, that this is only about self-control, we might have to agree to disagree and call it a day.

  54. Apostate

    Signed on.

    My mother is the biggest reason I never want to be one.

  55. thinkingdifference

    Coming from a party where all women were absolutely in love with all the kids and wanted more and more of them, I felt a bit overwhelmed. And bored by the pace of a conversation centered on infant diseases and pregnancy tips. Reading this post was quite refreshing. Always wondered if the ‘desire to procreate’ is an innate thing or rather a socially induced (think your mothers and in-laws nagging you) duty that women internalize.

  56. donna darko

    If there were no more patriarchy and I had access to millions of dollars, I could possibly procreate. The only thing left would be finding the househusbandcookmaid.

  57. donna darko

    Which I figure wouldn’t be hard considering everything is about class.

  58. Zofia

    Clearly, women are to blame for everything; we’re even destroying the planet! Guess those dang MRAs were right about us.

  59. Lindsay

    I love VHEMT; I’m glad you found them, Twisty. My Nigel, my Nigella and myself are certainly doing our best to ensure the eventual oblivion of the human race.

    I do feel that, by focusing so intently on the question of whether there are or aren’t biological urges to procreate, we’re obscuring the somewhat more pertinent fact that there are, indubitably, economic and social pressures that reward the fertile and penalize the childless. Since, in our individualist*, late-capitalist society, the only ties that are officially sanctioned are those of blood and marriage, and accordingly, since living with/helping out/cooperating with in any nonbusiness endeavor any person who is not your progenitor, your spawn or your mate is seen as vaguely immoral, probably Communist and certainly suspicious — see the strict rules about who all can live together in what density — that means that each person, to save themselves from an old age (or, if disabled, a longer fraction of the lifespan) of grinding, Dickensian poverty, is dependent upon a) their own wealth, inherited, earned, invested, stolen or otherwise and b) having successful, well-off heirs who can take them in and look after them.

    *I use here the traditional definition of “individual” from Western philosophy: a dude and whatever women and children come attached to him

  60. Lindsay

    Zofia, nobody here is blaming women. I read Twisty’s post, and the comments, as blaming a culture that values women only for their reproductive value.

  61. donna darko

    The eradication of patriarchy would be for the 99.9999% of women without millions of dollars.

  62. donna darko

    There would be no time for romance with househusbandcookmaid’s hands so full.

    So what Apostate said.

  63. Pinko Punko

    Well, Merry Fucking Christmas.*

    *disclaimer withheld as not to mar the beauty of the many levels of irony

    ironic non-disclaimer disclaimer

  64. gerda

    in terms of decreasing entropy and therefore delaying the heat death of the universe (which is the big thing life does), the photosynthesisers win hands down, and cyanobacteria are the toppp species.
    they made this planet, over billions of years they pumped all that reactive oxygen into the atmosphere for us parasitical animals to break back down again to get our energy.
    but if there is one saving grace of humans, it is that though we destroy, we also build.
    there is one obvious vector to evolution, and that is towards greater complexity. we could, if we were so minded, take this all the way, by developing artificial intelligence. we would die out, superseded, but we would have seeded the universe with it……
    ah……
    i see the problem….

  65. saltyC

    Hey, you human extinctionists, you know there’s a faster way of doing away with humans: killing yourself.

    Anyway, I’m done here, I had been ignoring the racism, the elitism and the snobbery and the profanity, but this finally nailed the coffin of your morbid blog. Say, how else you want to splinter feminism ’til there’s no one left? Oh yeah pray and hope there’s no one left period, and despise the un-bitter children who will take your place when you die.

  66. Ron Sullivan

    For years and years I have been absolutely fascinated by the way the any exhortation nor to breed always draws a few “Well we might as well commit suicide!” remarks. Is your life so disgusting to you that you’d rather die than not make more lives just like yours? Looks to me like delegating the shit.

    That nonsense about how “people like us”——meaning not even necessarily wealthy middle-class folks but also “conscious” “green” “radicals”——ought to breed more to save the world is one of those discouraging fallacies that assume the world will roll on the tracks we’ve laid just because we’ve laid them. Are we living all of our parents’ values? Bet they thought we would, because of course those are self-evidently The Best. Guess what: Kids grow up to be adults with their own ideas. Lots of them in the USA, e.g., grew up to vote for both George Bushes.

    If you have the chance to decide, don’t reproduce. There are six billion-plus of us on the planet now. The world doesn’t need any more; “we”——whoever “we” might be——don’t need more. Of course we love our children! Hell, I even love other people’s children, and I’m nuts about my nieces and nephew and grandnieces and grandnephews. Doesn’t mean I think my sibs or niecephews or other parents should go have more; means I love people who exist.

    In fact, I have loved them enough not to drop another mouth or two into the competition that pretty much any of us can see in the future.

    Y’all should be glad too, because mine would be fierce.

  67. B. Dagger Lee

    Mine would be rabid cannibals.

  68. tinfoil hattie

    clucky 30-something females

    Nice. Very nice.

    The underlying misogyny in many of these comments is astounding.

  69. Ayla

    This has less to do Twisty’s post and more to do with the comments about the potential future of humans on earth and all the assorted food/waste/energy issues that come with it. I strongly urge everyone to check out some information about hydroponic food production. We can grow enough food to feed the entire world WELL with less manpower, less money, less waste, less pollution, and less overall land usage than we are currently using to keep the privileged fat and the poor starving. There would even be space for all the yummy, but non-essential stuff we love like teas, coffee and chocolate. Plastic bins, water, fertilizers that cost pennies a pound, and know-how are all that stand between those 40,000 children that died today and life.

  70. Tigs

    “Plastic bins, water, fertilizers that cost pennies a pound, and know-how are all that stand between those 40,000 children that died today and life.”

    Um, actually, caring about the lives of the 40,000 children that died today is what stands between them and life.
    Granted, instead of letting corn spoil in silo, we’re dumping it into gas tanks, but the problem is the same. Up to now, it hasn’t been a matter of resources that has kept people oppressed. Shockingly, it’s been the oppression.

  71. Zofia

    But I think it kind of sucks to take the kudos from the patriarchy for doing its work…

    How does this work? I’m curious how any mother, other than maybe upper class white women, get anything other than absolute shit for choosing motherhood? Do you have any idea how women of color who have children are viewed in this culture? The list of disparaging names is seemingly endless. What kudos does the average black or brown woman receive?

  72. AoT

    “Do you have any idea how women of color who have children are viewed in this culture? The list of disparaging names is seemingly endless. What kudos does the average black or brown woman receive?”

    So true. WoC who have children, whether because they want to or because other options aren’t available, are looked upon a huge source of the problem in communities of color by a lot of white people. The rise of the “welfare queen” is a great example of that.

    While I agree with the general gist of the vhemt it does come from a place of privilege. The first obvious illustration of this was in the “Why Breed?” list.

    Reason given: Need help on farm or in family business.

    Real Reason: Too cheap to hire help. Child labor laws inconvenient.

    Right there is a real problem. As if people who live by subsistence farming are just too cheap to go hire more help.

    I am in a place of privilege that allows me to not have kids, and that is my plan. And I can see that all of this propaganda for vhemt is correct in terms of most middle to upper-class people in the US, it simply fails to recognize the reality for a lot of people outside that demographic.

  73. Lewis

    If the only people VHEMT reaches (and influences) are middle to upper-class U.S.ians, then they can consider their job well done. Some researchers have said that an average person living in the U.S. consumes over 20 times more resources than an average citizen from the rest of the world. If this analysis only included the middle classes and up, the number would probably be even higher. The world would obviously benefit from far, far fewer of that group of people and maybe that’s VHEMT’s specific intent.

  74. Hedgepig

    tinfoil hattie: some of my best friends are clucky 30-somethings. Sorry if the word “clucky” offends – mind you, my chooks might take offence at being compared to baby-obsessed female humans.
    Sorry, now I’m just being deliberately antagonistic.

  75. Greenconsciousness

    I haven’t read the other comments yet as I ran here to breath fresh air after reading the comments on Astarte Circus about (my endorsement) of your column urging the sanity (and necessity) of refraining from reproduction. The blog owner wrote a critique of your position ending with (and I am not quoting exactly as I cannot stand to go back there) that no one was ever going to listen to these “rad fem” position. Yes, this is a radical feminist position in the sense of dealing with the roots rather than the obvious manifestations of a problem and thank God a feminist finally did. Another feminist did some time ago also; Elinor Burkett in the book, The Baby Boon. I will not repeat what I wrote at Astarte’s Circus but I was trying to get them to see why tax policies, school payment burdens, social programs all encourage reproduction and discourage women from remaining child free.

    The commenters could not wait to fling the SOC around. Never “interfere” or “restrict” a woman’s right to breed as IF that is not done in a billion ways every day by the patriarch’s economic policies to force breeding. Don’t make the children suffer for the sins of the parents as IF that is not done in a billion ways every day by allowing abusers and the dysfunctional to breed.

    The only argument I have with you Twisty is your thought that there is no biological imperative to breed. There is no planet or species’s need for unrestrained overpopulation. But there is a primitive urge to survive (economically). When women are taught to grab a man because it is clear that it is almost impossible to survive alone then that self-survival need is never acknowledged but sublimated becomes an overpowering urge to have a baby with the man you want. All this becomes a very powerful urge which is never examined and is seem as biological but not understood as a self survival mechanism rather than a love or desire for a child.

  76. Twisty

    Octogalore reminds the group of an entry in Twistopoedia of Blame. Uterus The location at which class and gender intersect.

  77. Twisty

    It is elitist to call for a future in which millions of oppressed people don’t suffer? Extraordinary.

    I don’t disagree that the voluntary extinctionist website seems directed at an audience with internet access, i.e. not expressly toward “subsistence farmers.”

    If subsistence farming actually requires an abundance of children — although I suspect that there is a point at which the law of diminishing returns obtains, which is when you read the news blurbs about indigent farmers in XYZeenia pimping off their daughters because they can’t feed all their kids — the programme should be geared toward eliminating the necessity of subsistence farming in the first place. Which occupation, correct me if I’m wrong, is a direct result of resources stretched beyond their limits.

    Get with it, friends! Subsistence farmers are not some integral cog in the natural order of things! Their poverty is the product of the megatheocorporatocracy, overpopulation, honky greed. They and other poor, rural people are already experiencing the effects of the die-off. It’s not just some dumb internet theory about some distant apocalyptic future to them.

  78. lauredhel

    greenconsciousness: you opened with a slam at women who “willingly breed defective children”, closed with your admiration of Chinese reproductive restrictions (forced abortions at eight months, how awesome!), and got miffed with feminists didn’t eat up your visionary wisdom with a spoon? Give me a break.

  79. Greenconsciousness

    Laurelred hel

    What is wrong with slamming women who willingly breed mental defectives? And there are plenty of them, Sara Palin being one. China is doing the sane thing because they cannot sustain the birth rate.They cannot breath their own air and skin cats and dogs alive because survival has become so desperate that feeling is extinguished.

    I would like to give you a break but my desire to refrain from violence precludes that option.

  80. delphyne

    Has anybody suggested yet that men stop fucking women? That would probably help a great deal more women and children across the world than admonishments not to “breed”.

  81. Greenconsciousness

    delphyne

    Changing tax policy; and social benefit eligibility will do more than trying to admonish anyone to do anything.

    What I am trying to get people to see is that there is a reason for overpopulation. That is that the patriarchy encourages it through its’ economic policies and regulations. So many centuries of this has brainwashed people to their own self-interest. Survival is a basic hard wired primitive instinct. If economically, a woman needs marriage to survive then marriage will be made attractive with benefits everyone wants and they will call that love. If children mean economic benefits, child support and status then women will breed and call it “natural”.

    But it is only the invisible corporate religious patriarchal hand behind the curtain pulling the strings. That is what the Baby Boon is about. Suggesting ways our economic policy could be used for rational purpose rather than to spew out cogs for the machine.

  82. AoT

    “Get with it, friends! Subsistence farmers are not some integral cog in the natural order of things! Their poverty is the product of the megatheocorporatocracy, overpopulation, honky greed. They and other poor, rural people are already experiencing the effects of the die-off. It’s not just some dumb internet theory about some distant apocalyptic future to them.”

    This is certainly true. My point was that it has it’s problems in terms of race, as does nearly any discussion by white people of the choice, or not-a-choice, of poor WoC about reproductive matters.

    Also, I think Zofia’s point about how western society acts toward WoC who have children in situations that don’t conform to the nuclear family expectations of the ruling class. It certainly isn’t encouraged by society at large and a whole heap of scorn is put upon the WoC.

    It is an attempt, I assume, to have a “colorblind” view of the world, something that doesn’t help mitigate racism and can often make it worse.

  83. lauredhel

    China is doing the sane thing because they cannot sustain the birth rate.They cannot breath their own air and skin cats and dogs alive because survival has become so desperate that feeling is extinguished.

    I would like to give you a break but my desire to refrain from violence precludes that option.

    And yet, you’re cheerleading horrific violence against women.

  84. Octogalore

    Twisty, interesting, but mathematically, if “Uterus” is “The location at which class and gender intersect,” then how to explain how this intersection happens when class differs for different owners of uteruses? That strikes me as ignoring the very real difference that class makes even while keeping gender constant.

  85. Greenconsciousness

    laured
    It is not horrific violence against women to demand and enforce a one child policy compared to the horrific violence of starvation and pollution that overpopulation produces. Abortion is not horrific violence. If we get to that place in the US, and we will, I hope we have the same policy here. I am a strong advocate for women’s rights but EQUAL rights not superior rights.

  86. VibratingLiz

    Abortion is not horrific violence.

    Neither is a vaginal exam, a colonoscopy, or a limb amputation, unless it’s performed against a patent’s will. Just about any forced medical procedure qualifies as horrific violence.

  87. incognotter

    Greenconsciousness: ” I am a strong advocate for women’s rights but EQUAL rights not superior rights.”

    So then you’re in favor of forced sterilization for men? I am routinely astounded how when ‘equal, not special rights’ are proposed they just happen to be proposed as the ‘compromise’ which is status quo for those in power and everyone else should just conform.

    I look forward to the day when the “*equal* rights” dudes are willing to cut their balls off to spare the women the burden of birth control and reproduction. In a female-default worldview that would be the most fair and equal policy.

    But I guess that would be a horrific invasion of “manhood” while forced pregnancy and forced abortion are just natural inconveniences of having the bad taste to be born female.

  88. Lily Underwood

    Thank you, Twisty. Oddly, visiting the VHEMT website made me happy to be human.

  89. Greenconsciousness

    If forced castration of indiscriminate procreators worked I would be in favor of it. I am not in favor of women’s right to destroy my planet and environment with over population. I am not in favor of women’s right to breed children they cannot care for. But I have in moderation a post I wrote to delphyne that I want her to read. It is about what I really propose instead of all these PC distortions of what I propose. For some reason twisty is keeping it in moderation although it is very reasonable.

    This is how it starts:

    delphyne

    Changing tax policy; and social benefit eligibility will do more than trying to admonish anyone to do anything. What I am trying to get people to see is that there is a reason for overpopulation. That is that the patriarchy encourages it through its’ economic policies and regulations. So many centuries of this has brainwashed people to their own self-interest. Survival is a basic hard wired primitive instinct…

    BTW, This is “horrific” violence:

    http://www.peta.org/feat/ChineseFurFarms/index.asp

  90. Greenconsciousness

    delphyne
    Changing tax policy; and social benefit eligibility will do more than trying to admonish anyone to do anything.
    What I am trying to get people to see is that there is a reason for overpopulation. That is that the patriarchy encourages it through its’ economic policies and regulations. So many centuries of this has brainwashed people to their own self-interest. Survival is a basic hard wired primitive instinct. If economically, a woman needs marriage to survive then marriage will be made attractive with benefits everyone wants and they will call that love. If children mean economic benefits, child support and status then women will breed and call it “natural”.
    But it is only the invisible corporate religious patriarchal hand behind the curtain pulling the strings. That is what the Baby Boon is about. Suggesting ways our economic policy could be used for rational purpose rather than to spew out cogs for the machine.

  91. darms

    Twisty, glad you found & appreciate VEHMT, I found Knight’s group back in the late 1980′s, back when the newsletters were photocopies circulated via the US mail. For me the chief appeal of VEHMT’s philosophy is it seems to represent the absolute pinnacle of personal anarchic rebellion against the ‘patriarchy’ and all it represents. VEHMT represents a rebellion that cannot be betrayed or subverted in that while this world can do whatever it wants to me (as it often has & will), it cannot do a thing to my ‘descendants’ for the simple fact that there aren’t & won’t ever be any. Unless, of course, human cloning should ever become viable. Fortunately by then I’ll be dust…

  92. another voice

    “women’s right to breed” Hey greenconscious can women breed without men? Methinks you are missing a piece of the puzzle.

    And we should just fix men against their will. They have external equipment that is easier to get to. We do so much to women against their will already, it would start to even things up.

    Does the above sound odd or wrong to you? Question your privilege man

  93. Greenconsciousness

    Here is some more horrific violence

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/

    There is no need to fix anyone against their will in the US. We would remove the tax incentives for reproduction; take away reproduction as the only way to access benefits such as employer related medical insurance. Right now one can only access such benefits for biological children. Right now medical care is available only to people with children, the same for all sorts of other benefits. We would force parents to pay the true costs of reproduction instead of forcing the childless to bear the burden of their choices. At the same time we would remove economic penalties for remaining childless. Reference the book by Burkett I mentioned above.

  94. Hedgepig

    Greenconsciousness said “What is wrong with slamming women who willingly breed mental defectives?”

    As I understand the VEHMT position, the mental capabilities of the child are irrelevant: if the child is living in the western world, it has a huge footprint, regardless of its intelligence or disabilities.

    I notice that VEHMT is quite encouraging of adoption. I wonder if that includes overseas adoption. Surely any child growing up in the industrialised world will have a large footprint, regardless of its place of birth?

    delphyne said “Has anybody suggested yet that men stop fucking women?”

    I think most men have the capacity to be homosexual, and should be encouraged to be at every opportunity. Unfortunately, patriarchal culture insists that women remain the primary orifices.

  95. Nolabelfits

    At the same time we would remove economic penalties for remaining childless.

    I must point out that women who have children suffer economic penalties. Read “The Cost of MOtherhood.”

    Having children did not benefit me economically in any way. Quite the contrary. I’m set to end up in poverty in my “Golden Years,” because of having children. Unless I get real creative and figure something out.

  96. Lindsay

    Greenconsciousness,

    We would force parents to pay the true costs of reproduction instead of forcing the childless to bear the burden of their choices.

    and

    At the same time we would remove economic penalties for remaining childless.

    to my mind constitute very different kinds of action, and seem like they lead in opposite directions politically and economically. Keeping the financial “burden” of reproduction solely on individual parents, as you argued for it on Octogalore’s blog, is hardcore economic liberalism, with all its problematic notions of total individual autonomy and blindness to inequalities of opportunity and access. Also, from a feminist perspective, requiring families to be completely self-supporting could work to trap women and children in abusive situations, if without the abusive father’s income the children would be without health insurance, access to good schools or whatever.

    On the other hand, removing the economic penalties for childlessness would expand, rather than contract, economic assistance for individuals (as opposed to family units).

  97. Zofia

    Greenconsciousness says, “I am not in favor of women’s right to destroy my planet”. His planet, not ours, Twisty and you are silent in the face of this. Maybe feminism is as dead as the womanist claim. I realize I’m a total wuss, but I find it heartbreaking.

  98. Nolabelfits

    Also, from a feminist perspective, requiring families to be completely self-supporting could work to trap women and children in abusive situations, if without the abusive father’s income the children would be without health insurance, access to good schools or whatever.

    I’ve got news for you. Women still ARE trapped in abusive situations because without the father’s income the children would be without health insurance, access to good schools, whatever. Absolutely nothing has changed relative to this reality. Access to affordable/free childcare is a big reason for this. Why should society have affordable or free childcare? They already have it. Its called The Mother.

  99. thebewilderness

    Hi Zofia,
    We’re not supposed to feed the trolls.
    It’s hard, I know. I happen to be a sucker for a troll myself.
    Still, that one is particularly absurd and transparent, dontcha think?

  100. Kim

    “In response to that last one, Knight delightfully suggests that holding such a view means you’ve been ‘beguiled into believing compliance is noble free choice.’ ”

    The problem, however, is this statement means if a woman decides to – it is, “breed?” – her status as a thinking, cognizant creature is completely annihilated. She is reduced to that of a mere brainwashed creature.

    Hogwash.

    Additionally, how is it that so many feminists miss that “breed” is a misogynistic statement when applied to female humans? Shall we next call women who have had children “bitches,” “broodmares,” and “laying hens?”

  101. Natalia

    There is no need to fix anyone against their will in the US.

    But when it comes to other countries, the answer is…? Or do I not want to know? Probably.

    What is wrong with slamming women who willingly breed mental defectives?

    Why hello, Mr. Hitler. Shaved the mustache, I am guessing?

    Seriously, this is some sick crap, as I’ve said over at Octo’s.

  102. Natalia

    Oh, and I’m sorry, but I had to give the middle finger to Godwin’s Law on this one.

  103. Greenconsciousness

    Lindsay

    You think abusive men support children?? God I spend a lot of time being staggered about how much of this discussion is either based on ignorance of the real life actions of people and fighting the lies of the exholts of the world.

    ABUSERS DO NOT SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES; THE USE THEIR FAMILIES TO SUPPORT THEIR SELVES. And when then can’t get what they want they leave or they kill someone, sometimes both. And they do not pay child support. Sometimes if the woman has been on welfare the state will go after the father but if he is a real abuser and not just a dysfunction person, the abuser will evade support responsibility indefinitely.

    Since the people here from Astarte Blog supported a pig saying I should “eat a .44″ for daring to express my views I will not respond to them. Their hate speech is irrelevant to me. I know I have done more for women’s rights in one month of my life then they have done with all their brave talk on the web.

  104. Greenconsciousness

    I think the decent people here not the ones from Astarte’s should go over to Lindsay’s blog where I am being even more direct. I know you will all attack me but I think you should here this discussion because one day everything i am warning about will be in your lap. I am always about 5 years ahead of what actually happens in the world. Besides I like Lindsay a lot and would not mind her seeing how much other people support her.

    Now I will try to post again what I wanted delphyne to hear.

    What I am trying to get people to see is that there is a reason for overpopulation. That is that the patriarchy encourages it through its’ economic policies and regulations. So many centuries of this has brainwashed people to their own self-interest. Survival is a basic hard wired primitive instinct. If economically, a woman needs marriage to survive then marriage will be made attractive with benefits everyone wants and they will call that love. If children mean economic benefits, child support and status then women will breed and call it “natural”.
    But it is only the invisible corporate religious patriarchal hand behind the curtain pulling the strings.

  105. Greenconsciousness

    I think the decent people here not the ones from Astarte’s should go over to Lindsay’s blog where I am being even more direct. I know you will all attack me but I think you should here this discussion because one day everything I am warning about will be in your lap. I am always about 5 years ahead of what actually happens in the world. Besides I like Lindsay a lot and would not mind her seeing how much other people support her.

  106. Greenconsciousness

    Nolabelfits

    Your position is the whole reason I am taking all this crap. Even though I put it in various ways, the drive for me to talk on this subject is what I have seen happen to women who get trapped in the patriarchy’s web of sweet sounding lies regarding reproduction. Think of the machine set up to make you believe that is the primary way to satisfaction; the economic policy; the tax credits; the everything. All to keep that cheap labor flowing for the bosses. And now what is your reward? How easy was your life? I hope whatever it is, is enough especially during the next three years.

  107. Natalia

    Shorter Greenconsciousness:

    “Defectives and other such trash shouldn’t exist!… Wait a minute, how DARE you tell me to eat a .44?!”

    Ah, the lulz, the lulz.

  108. Nolabelfits

    Greenconsciousness,

    I agree with you. I have lived it, and continue to live it. I see completely how the entire system is set up to make mothers dependent on men and in low paying positions. I could give you myriad examples from my own life, so don’t think I don’t “get” it. I did not give birth because someone made me think it was the ultimate road to happiness. I gave birth because I got pregnant despite using birth control and decided that I would not “terminate the pregnancy.” I saw the sonagram,and I saw a person,not a pregnancy. Thats what choice is all about. And once I gave birth, well, I became subject to all the patriarchial crap that the Nuclear Family is all about. I saw first hand how I lost my job, how my husband got a raise, how the tax structure served to drive my labor back into the home.
    The only truly financially successful women I know do not have children. Thats my observation. Being a parent eats up pretty much all the financial resources, and Mothers are economically disadvantaged through motherhood and the Nuclear Family.
    And incidentally, I do enjoy the company of my daughters very much. Its not all bad news.

  109. Nolabelfits

    So where’s this other Astarte blog?

  110. Greenconsciousness

    Nolabelfits
    Right exactly –the one thing you may not see yet is that according to the stats single women are on the economic bottom. It does not look that way when they are young hence all the big mouths here. But they hit the ceiling at about age 38 – then they usually decide having a baby sounds good. And so it begins.

    You know I am speaking for your daughters too. Better someone says this stuff frankly to them now. I don’t just say do not reproduce. I say change the financial policies of this country so you do not have to reproduce or marry.

    Beyond that I have run displaced homemaker projects for women who are stuck. I see the reduction of reproduction as freeing resources for those who already exist in such pain. Of course we will have to drag them away from the ruling class but that is the struggle. Easier to fight without a baby on each arm.

    Look for Astarte’s Circus and you can get to Lindsay’s by just clicking on her name.

  111. Octogalore

    GC — while I believe it was a rhetorical flourish made in anger at statements like “defective children,” I did not support the “eat a .44″ language and specifically called it out. Please don’t misstate what happened there.

    Nolabelfits — I agree, the system is set up to make things more difficult for women. But overstating it makes something not inevitable in all cases seem like it is. There are many “truly financially successful women” who have children. Typically the other ingredient is a spouse who shares the labor 50-50. I must admit I don’t know any personally in the 8 figure annual income range, but many in the 7 range, which I believe is financially successful. Women who wait to marry past 25 and marry men with approximately equal incomes and income potential have better odds than otherwise of finding egalitarian situations. Of course, that doesn’t solve the issues of poverty on a larger scale.

  112. Nolabelfits

    Well, as a mother I was on the bottom of the economic pile for many many years. From the outside looking in, a man’s earnings may make a woman look financially successful, but really, shes financially dependent, not financially successful. A-okay if the relationship is a good one, but even so it places a woman in the position of always being controlled by a man. I was a stay-at-home mom for awhile and therefore knew many other financially dependent women. Its amazing how, even in our times, men see their roles as breadwinner as more important than taking care of the little ones. I saw supposedly “enlightened” men leaving lists of chores they expected completed before they left for work. I saw men who called their wives every fucking hour to check up on them. And even my own husband would come home and assess whether I was engaged in “approved” activities that he decided were contributions as opposed to “wasting time,” like maybe getting stuck in a novel for a few hours on the rare occasion the baby napped for more than an hour straight. I couldn’t take it and eventually went back into the work force, just to get my own money so I would not feel so controlled. If your marriage sucks, its even worse.
    I have to mention one other issue that has not really been brought up yet. Pregnancy happens even if you use birth control. Every method has a failure rate. Not everyone who gets pregnant chooses it. In my case the choice was not between getting pregnant and not getting pregnant, because I tried my damndest not to get pregnant. My choice was abortion or birth, quite a different set of circumstances.

  113. Nolabelfits

    One more point of clarification since I just re-read my post. I also went to work because we really couldn’t live on one income. I stayed at home because childcare was cost prohibitive and low quality at best. We struggled along hand to mouth until we could park the kids all day in that horrible institution known as public school. The place where girls learn to be inferior.

  114. Greenconsciousness

    Octo galore

    You are misrepresenting what happened. Called out? You said the offender was good at language but directing someone to kill them self made you “uncomfortable”. Then you asked him not to think you were a jerk for saying that.

    You are a jerk as far as I am concerned in light of how the internet has been used exactly to get people to kill their self.

  115. Octogalore

    GC, so much for selective paraphrase. What I said was:

    “GC – while we don’t agree on much else here, I agree that “eat a 44” is out of line. If that wasn’t clear from what I said above, I’m stating it loud and clear now.”

    Further, I would have been even more emphatic had not you included such triggering statements as:

    “breed defective children”

    not supporting children of “women living in poverty and garbage dumps or as slaves everywhere”

    “one to four [children] are killed everyday by their caregivers and those are the lucky ones”

    suggesting we emulate China (a country not known for espousing women’s or children’s rights)

  116. Greenconsciousness

    You are selectively paraphrasing — I never suggested we emulate China I said China was serious after you insulted Twisty as not being a serious commentator. I continually talked about tax and school policy as encouraging reproduction and a culture which encourages reproduction even of defective children, even for women living in poverty, even from clearly abusive parents. I wanted polity to stop supporting reproduction and to stop penalizing non producers.

    “the lucky ones” are those who finally die from the torture rather then just praying to die –

    I could go one but I know you are pretending ignorance to make a point so you look good, something you care about too much. You said and it is still on your blog. Telling one poster to kill herself makes me uncomfortable. I hope you don’t think that makes me a jerk.

    You don’t want to understand my position for reasons I suspect but will not go into here. Just keep repeating the ignorance that characterizes your blog and from now on I will ignore it after posting your exact comments on my blog.

  117. J. Goff

    It is elitist to call for a future in which millions of oppressed people don’t suffer? Extraordinary.

    Well, more accurately, it’s a call for a future in which people, in general, don’t exist, right? Then, I suppose, it comes down to a question about whether it is better to not be oppressed than to not exist at all, which I feel ill-equipped to answer, since I’ve never been oppressed.

    Of course, I consider myself a member of the VHEM, though I never knew it existed before. No need to reproduce when there are almost 7 billion and counting mouths to feed. Then again, I’m dripping with privilege when I say that.

  118. sonia

    this is kind of the entire point of my feminism, Twisty. thanks for posting about it.

  119. nobodyinparticular

    Delphyne,

    I suggested it a long time ago but nobody listened.

    Mary

  120. delphyne

    Seems like they are missing the point of radical feminism then don’t it, Mary?

    Women’s choice whether to reproduce or not should be ours alone – not the choice Chinese government, not the choice of the queues of men who think they have the right to stick their dicks in us because they were born male, and not the choice of a bunch of misogynists on the internet who talk about women “breeding” in such a contemptuous manner.

    Some people don’t seem to be able to imagine a world without het sex so they have to have a go at women for “breeding” instead. Ugh.

  121. Greenconsciousness

    Delphine

    I am contemptuous because I spent my life picking up after women who bred thoughtlessly and then mistreated their children because of the consequences of thoughtless reproduction, one of which is often poverty. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and worked with other victims. We don’t worship at your narcissistic mother’s rights altar.Just as brutal as father’s rights as far as I am concerned. I say children and the earth come first before your right to unlimited reproduction.

    Also I, as a childless woman, am forced to pay economically for unrestrained breeding which is pushed by the corporate patriarchy for their own agenda.

    Why should the choice to breed be solely a woman’s when she expects the male and society to pay for that choice? Feminism was right to insist on a woman being the decider when BC and abortion were not available and men could escape child support easily. But times have changed. Not enough, but enough for what I am proposing which is that those who pay should have a say.

  122. thebewilderness

    GC: I am contemptuous because I spent my life picking up after women who bred thoughtlessly and then mistreated their children because of the consequences of thoughtless reproduction, one of which is often poverty.
    and
    But times have changed. Not enough, but enough for what I am proposing which is that those who pay should have a say.
    ————-

    Criminy!
    That is one painfully specious argument you have going there, troll.
    How much control of other peoples lives do you think your dollar contribution is worth?

  123. Natalia

    The “warrior for women” doth protest too much, methinks. Tell us that part about who is or isn’t unfit for parenthood again, Greenconsciousness. After all, I’m sure that these people’s lives will be radically changed due to charmed encounters with eugenics apologists. :D

  124. Nolabelfits

    You know, It still atounds me that everyone thinks getting pregnant is a choice. GC, if you were raped, and then got pregnant, do you think anyone other than you should make the choice whether to give birth or not? If you were using birth control, and slept with man, and got pregnant through said birth control, would you call it irresponsible? Would you want others to say what you could or could not do with that fetus? Birth control fails. Regularly. You mention women who bred “thoughtlessly,” the consequences of which is poverty, but you don’t mention the associated men who also bred thoughtlessly and are apparenetly nowhere in the picture. I understand alot of your points GC, but it really seems like you blame women here.

  125. SoJo

    I’m a human animal but I don’t appreciate the term ‘breed’

  126. lauredhel

    “[...] enough for what I am proposing which is that those who pay should have a say.”

    Common or garden variety MRA. Yawn.

  127. Greenconsciousness

    Nola

    I do not think rapist should have any standing for decisions regarding reproduction and worked with rape survivors when the rapist father sued for visitation rights. He had standing because he was paying child support. However, to have a child and tell it all life long that its father is a rapist is child abuse. And I saw that happen. It was life long acting out hatred on an innocent to have that child.

    And that is another result of woman centered breeding. Women have children with men who do not want them. Then they sue for child support. Then the custody and placement wars start since CS is connected to placement, and also the parental alienation starts just in case the child might want to live with the other parent. And no one can shut up either parent to the children. The child becomes the bait, the spy,the reporter, the punishment.

    All their life a snake is whispering in their ear about the other parent. WHICH IS THEIR FLESH AND BLOOD. All that venom destroying the child’s self image because the child eventually realizes it is as much the father as the mother. This is kin to the battered women who does not leave subjects her children to abuse while making them her friends, her protectors, her allies against the abuser in her passive aggressive co dependent relationship. Until the children, kill the abuser for her, or kill them self, or end up in prison from rage.

    The war becomes the child’s life. That is why I think men’s who do not want to bring life into the world should not be forced. Yes, under all circumstances I do not think anyone should be forced to bring unwanted life into this world, male or female.

  128. Inverarity

    I call BINGO!

  129. Nolabelfits

    GC

    Anyone who has het sex has to face the consequences of the act. Knowing that birth control methods fail is part of that. Both man and woman need to be ready to decide what to do about a potential pregnancy before they engage in the act. This includes men. If they are not willing to face the fact that a woman may decide to give birth to an unplanned child, they need to keep it in their pants. Its not that difficult to have a conversation about sex. “hey if we’re gonna do it, what happens if you get pregnant?” “Well, I can’t promise I’m going to have an abortion.” “Okay forget it.” Its that simple. All this BS about men not having any self control is exactly that-Bullshit. If a man’s gonna play, he may have to pay. When I said pregnancy is not always a choice, I was not only referring to pregnancies caused by rape.

    Sure kids get abused when brought into the word by people who don’t want them. Thats why abortion should not be made illegal. Most mothers who decide not to abort actually make that decision because they decide they want the child. Unplanned does not always equate with unwanted. Kids get abused by other people too, in all kinds of situations. Its a shitty world. I know tons of single mothers and of the four I can think of right now off the top of my head, not one of them is going after child support. Not one. They should get the sperm donors to sign away all parential rights, in my opinion if said donors aren’t going to participate in the raising or financial support of the child.

  130. Greenconsciousness

    Nola

    I agree with a lot of what you say but blowing off “kids get abused” — shows you have no concept of what this means to the child and to society as a whole. Every abused child is a disaster with earth shaking and collateral consequences which last that child’s life. 80-90 years. Even those who just carry it all in their crushed hearts. I am wanting to suggest books again but I won’t.

    Of course the mothers who do not abort want the child but often just to relive an unsatisfying early life experience because they think that this time they will get what they did not get before. It is a compulsion not a legitimate basis for parenthood. There is nothing more beautiful than the love affair of a mom for a wanted child when she is even semi-prepared with a knowledge of child development and insight into her own problems and the skill and discipline to really be a good parent. And i have seen this and am always happy for it. I appreciate these women. Some of them are single mothers. But I have never seen it with mothers who force the fathers and then hate them.

    The STATE will not accept the signing away of parental rights unless there is another payer willing to adopt.

    And as for that little talk about what happens if I get pregnant?

    1. Both women and men lie.
    2. Both women and men change their minds.

    The only say I could get behind the talk is if they would sign contracts on the matter of pregnancy which would legally bind the parties.

    Last, I would like you to think about the shoe on the other foot. What if a lover had your baby against your will when you did not want to parent with that person? Think an individual has the right to do that to you? And BTW, turn over 17% of your income. You can see the child, 2 weekends – 4 days every month.

  131. Nolabelfits

    Sorry, GC,but I still say if you don’t want to consider the spectre of parenting, you shouldn’t be having sex to begin with because children happen as a result of sex. If you don’t want to parent with that person, don’t have sex to begin with. Children are a reality of having sex. I think you’d better make damn good and sure you trust the person you are having sex with. People do change their minds, so you have to be prepared for that. And if a man who turns over 17% of his income (which is not much when you are raising a child so what the hell are they bitching about, hell my entire salary goes to my children)wants to see his children more than 4 days a month, he can petition for joint or sole custody. This whole arguemnt doesn’t make sense.
    Basically it seems to me that what you are saying is that men should have the ultimate decision about whether a woman gives birth or not. Which means the converse is true…that a man can make the decision about whether a woman gets pregnant or not as well, because that is not a huge leap to make when you are giving someone control over reproduction. When I got married many many years ago (in a foreign country) I was required to get my husband’s signature in order to get birth control pills. Apparently he had control over whether I got pregnant or not. Not my choice at all either way. I’m sorry, but men should have no say in what a woman does with her body. Period. And to pretend you know why individual women choose to give birth to unplanned children is pretty arrogant. I agree that every abused child is a disaster, but you tell a tale of a couple of fucked up people and expect that to be justification for giving men control over women’s reproduction.

  132. Nolabelfits

    The STATE will not accept the signing away of parental rights unless there is another payer willing to adopt.

    GC..could you please clarify this? Are you saying that a woman willing to accept full financial responsibility for her child cannot get the reluctant and/or dead beat dad out of her life? Because if that’s the case this is REALLY something for women to bitch about.

  133. Greenconsciousness

    Yup cannot get a TPR without another payer ready and waiting to adopt. Even if the male wants to give up his parental rights. Because the judges don’t want to pay for the kid either. At least that what I was told sarcastically when I went with women to try to get rid of fathers.

    Everything I believe now comes from having to navigate the reality of family court in the US and watching both males and females use children to meet their own sick needs. And in the minority of cases where a tricked women was heroically trying to leave abuse and protect her children from it, watch her be destroyed by the legal system and the abuser’s rights elevated above the children’s or the non abusing parent’s.

    Also NO WAY does giving a payer the right to veto a birth give him the right to force a birth. The whole point of what I am saying is that children have the right to two willing non abusive parents, or one who is self sufficient and not an abuser. I do not hold that you can force birth on any individual because the right to veto belongs to both parents.

    You do know don’t you that even proven abusers get visitation. Women are sent on the DV underground railroad to shelters in other states and if they are discovered which is easy for investigators to do, the mothers have to go to the court of original jurisdiction or face kidnapping charges.

    And when they do show up the abuser gets visitation. If god intervenes you might win supervised visitation but it will be with his mother, or new wife or his brother.

    I had a case with a child, 6 year old, with whisker burns on her vulva after visitation (medically documented) and his mother who he beat was appointed visit supervisor. I had made the mistake, because I believed in the legal system, of telling her, I promised, she would not have to go back to him again. But she did. She learned not to tell.

  134. Nolabelfits

    Believe me, I am well aware of how women and children suffer abuse, both by men and by the system. Right now I am trying to make a connection here regarding what you are saying. Are you saying that this man became an abuser because the woman chose to give birth rather than have an abortion? Are you saying the woman is responsible for the abuse because she chose to give life to the child knowing the guy was an abuser? Are you saying this abuser would have no victim if this child had been aborted? (He would probably find someone else) Was he the rapist you spoke of? Do you think the rapist should have had the right to demand an abortion from his rape victim?

    Maybe we should fix the system and give men LESS RIGHTS and then the abuser would not have access to the child, rather than envision a world where she did not even exist because her mother decided not to abort her. Sounds like blaming the victim here rather than blaiming the system for failing this child. Obviously I don’t know the whole story so I am sure there are plenty of issues going on here.

    One of the issues I have with all of this is that men have the view that women are solely responsible for birth control. If I were a man, and I knew I did not want to have a child, I would use more than one method of birth control to ensure no pregnancies would result from my actions. For example, The pill, like any other method, has a failure rate. Therefore, even if she says she is on the pill, and even if I totally trust her, I am STILL going to use a condom and/or spermacide for extra assurance. What if she doesn’t want to use the spermacide? Red flag. Maybe she ain’t the woman for me if she is not as invested in not getting pregnant as I am. There is plenty that men can do to control their fertility before the fact, rather than after a pregnancy occurs. Too many men go around taking zero reponsibility and then get angry when a woman gets pregnant, and expect to have the right to tell her she has to get an abortion. There is a point at which “changing your mind” is too late. YOu can’t abicated responsibility for birth control and then expect to be the decision maker when a pregnancy occurs.
    The reality of life is that men have to depend on women for reproduction. If a man wants a child, he has to either adopt, or get a surrogate mother, or find a woman who wants to parent with him. He can’t just go out and rape someone. Therefore, women are the ones in control of reproduction. Men can control where they stick it and what birth control methods are used, but when it comes to a woman’s body, he has no say. You can’t force a woman to have an abortion, even if it seems to everyone else that an abortion is the right thing to do.

    And as an aside, NO Rapist should ever have “parental rights” to a child. Giving a sexual abuser access to a child is just wrong. I don’t care if he is paying child support. Any child support should go to a third party and be redistributed. In fact, the asshole should be in jail.

  135. Greenconsciousness

    The asshole was in prison. The state will not support the child if there is a payer anywhere to get reimbursement from. When you prosecute the rape you have named the father.

    Nola, You have a lot to learn about the system. Women who force men to reproduce are cutting their own throats. And then they cut out the child’s heart. That is the price of unequal rights. Violence, murder and abuse without end.

  136. Tigs

    I know, I know, I shouldn’t, and elsewhere this has been said before, but:

    “Women who force men to reproduce [...]”
    Who are these women who are raping the menz and getting pregnant? I am a social scientist and I’ve never heard of this tribe of evil-doers. I have a dissertation topic, but I could be flexible.

  137. luxdancer

    GC:

    Uh… if the men don’t want to reproduce, like evah, why don’t they get vasectomies and remove all doubt? A vasectomy is a hell of a lot less invasive than a tubal ligation or even the Essure procedure. It’s also less expensive – although in some places, both procedures are free.

    Plus, if they wanted to reproduce someday, they could put their sperm on ice beforehand. Women don’t really have that option, egg removal is expensive and invasive.

  138. Greenconsciousness

    Why not realize shit happens, have an abortion and wait for a man who is willing or go to a sperm bank — what is the need to FORCE a male to reproduce against his will? It is all right to life BS and desperation. Then come the justifications for demanding child support or welfare which means the STATE will demand child support. Then the guy will go for equal placement to reduce child support – the new wife hating the kid — and it all begins.

    Do you think your callous wise cracks can really gloss over the unjust and unequal decision making and the tragedy of these children? You are too glib.

    The results of this disregard of the father’s wishes should be studied by that Social Scientist up there, tigs. But I don’t believe you are a SS because if you were you would KNOW what I am talking about.

  139. luxdancer

    GC:

    You are being glib as well. You and I may not have any moral and ethical quandries about abortion, but millions of people do. And while these quandries are rooted in superstitious patriarchal mumbo-jumbo, they do cause a great deal of stress and guilt, which have real physiological effects on people.

    You paint the picture as though the woman purposefully bears a child as some maniacal trap to sap the finances of some poor sod; rather it involves people, being a product of their culture and society and making decisions based on these nigh all-encompassing influences, who end up resenting each other because they cannot conceive of retaliating against the monolith of their culture.

    We’re ALL being “forced” (or rather, coerced) into having offspring, by the cultural meme of the sacredness of parenthood and our “duty” to reproduce.

    The child support system was intended to alleviate the fact that single mothers have the short end of the stick. That women, in general, make less than men and that if they are the custodial parent of the child, they make even less. Of course, it makes alot of assumptions about who should be the primary caretaker of the child (ie that it is a woman’s “natural” role, thus the kids should stay with her, etc, etc).

    Also, having an abortion is not the same as getting your tubes tied or having a vasectomy. They are not analogous, the latter is *prevention* whereas the former is *remedy*.

    Like that old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  140. Nolablefits

    I may have alot to learn about the system, but I still think men who don’t want children can do quite bit to make sure pregnancies don’t happen, and they don’t do it. I also know that there is no way you can give a man the right to force a woman to have an abortion without also giving him the right to tell a woman she has to give birth. You see it as unequal rights but thats the way it is. You can’t give men rights over women and then decide its equal. Your statement “why not just have an abortion and wait for a man who is willing” is a bit callous. Many women take abortion very seriously and can’t just go in and do it. They see the fetus as a life, especially if its more than a couple of weeks along. I believe in legal access to abortion, but personally I would not have one. And I am not some right-wing conservative.

  141. Inverarity

    So GC, are you arguing that a man should be able to compel a woman to have an abortion? Or that if she chooses to have the child against his wishes, he should be free of all responsibility, financial and otherwise?

  142. Nolablefits

    What luxdancer said.

    The more I think about this, the more I can’t believe I have restrained myself in this discussion. It seems like GC sees a fucked up system,and rather than address the whole fucked up mess, he decided the easiest route is to blame women for it. If those stupid women would just have an abortion when a man demands it he would’nt be forced to act like an asshole. These poor men are just victims in some evil women’s scheme.
    Can you imagine what it would mean to women married to abusive assholes if their husbands could force abortion at their demand? A whole new avenue for wife torture.

    I don’t work in “the system,” but I live in one, and I have known plenty of abused women outside of “the system.” Enough to know this concept is a very bad idea.

  143. SoJo

    Apparently GreenConsciousness hates women, can we get this person out of here?

  144. Greenconsciousness

    Here I am the person who hates women. Will those of you who are so much finer and purer in your love for women please go to this Woman’s blog and help her.

    Free US now
    http://freemenow.wordpress.com/

    She has followed your advice and now she needs your help. Try to put some effort into your alleged commitment to women’s rights instead of just rhetoric and political self righteousness.

    Now I am gone because this exercise is empty – people are like sheep — they do as they are told by their masters — lets see if SOJO goes to free us now and does ANYTHING.

  145. Greenconsciousness

    Lux dancer

    I do not include you in my above comments — everything you said is correct as is everything I said — this can happen

    The only place I disagree with you to the point of laughter is YES FCS YES!!! some women deliberately trap men — where have YOU been? and some do in unconsciously but they are deliberately unconscious.

  146. Cathy

    What nolabelfits says.

    The idea of forcing a man to have sex without a condom is ludicrous. GC sounds like one of those “pussy has all the power” assholes.

    The VHEM website lists the following as one of the reasons for reproducing:
    A good family is essential to career advancement and strong standing in the community.

    This is obviously directed at men, since the exact opposite usually happens to women, as Twisty and nolabelfits point out. I’m living this hell, too. My career is down the tubes.

    Personally, I think everyone, male/female/inbetween should get temporarily fixed upon coming of age (not so easy for females, but I bet someone could figure out a way). No one gets unfixed until proving s/he really wants children and is competent to raise them, and this would be proven only by first adopting someone else’s child. I know there are problems with this (especially in keeping out the eugenics freaks), but it sounds much easier that expecting men to stop fucking women.

  147. Hedgepig

    I think the reason GC has got up so many of our feminist nostrils is that she really doesn’t seem to be blaming the patriarchy for any of the situations she bemoans.

    For example, she blames women for trapping men into fatherhood. Well, even if some women do deliberately get pregnant in order to extract 17% of the father’s income, couldn’t this pathetic state of affairs be a result of patriarchal relations? When the best some women can aim for in motherhood is reliance on a grudging fragment of an unwilling father’s income, that’s an indictment of relations between the sexes under patriarchy. Surely??

    It’s getting hard to remember that this thread began by talking about the sensible intentions of VHEMT, which ARE compatible with patriarchy-blaming. Unfortunately, the main proponent of voluntary childlessness left in this discussion (i.e. GC) seems to be blaming women rather than the P.

    So, I hereby state that I agree with VHEMT, and I blame the patriarchy.

  148. Dilly

    “…hunger’s an urge to defecate.”
    This phrase immediately brought to mind that episode of South Park wherein the kids learn that shoving food up your butt causes you to poop out of your mouth.

    “be nice so that people will come to visit you in the home”
    This phrase reminded me to check on the status of that wonderful separationist retirement community I hope to find myself in forty years from now. Any tips?

  149. Silence

    Would I be merely stating the obvious if I noted that the base of the problem is that sex is automatically defined as ‘man sticks his penis in a woman’s vagina’? There are plenty of activities people can do to erotically satisfy one another’s needs, but somehow in this society, such behavior is not seen as ‘real’ sex. ‘Real’ sex is the one that comes attached to the possibility of pregnancy. Change that attitude and you will probably decrease the number of pregnancies per year in short order.

    Mind you, I do not know how you change society’s attitude toward sex outside of there being a new sexual revolution. It might be possible to do through media and education, but that could take several decades to take effect and I sometimes wonder if we have that much time to spare.

    And yes, the emphasis on PVP is definitely an outgrowth of the patriarchy. When a man penetrates a woman, the concept is that he has dominated her. You only have to look at pornography for a while (with a bucket handy, mind you) to be aware of this trope. As a fondly-remembered member of the I Blame The Patriarchy community once wrote: ‘I get my dick in you, you lose.’

    That’s what we’re truly up against.

  150. Greenconsciousness

    Women do not trap men for 17% of his income – at the pregnancy stage that is not the thought. Usually it is that she thinks she love him wants him needs him whatever – she wants to bind him to her and has an uneasy feeling he does not love her enough to stay. Then she gets pregnant and “loves” him so much the idea of killing his “baby” is abhorrent. She bravely states she will go it alone if he doesn’t want the baby. Because then she will always have a part of her great love.

    And that works until the welfare gets involved because she loses her job, or the baby gets leukemia or she gets a new boyfriend – whatever. This is the trap which ends up trapping her because yes this is all happening in the patriarchy.

    The reason I am not blaming the patriarchy in this thread and talking about ethical feminist reproduction is because this 2009 not 1972. The worst thing the black civil rights movement did was freeze and not adapt and change as the situation for AA moved and changed. The AA movement ignored obvious problems and therefore they got worse. I am not going to do that even if the contemporary feminist movement does. Yes, there is a patriarchy oppressing women right now and there are loads of places to talk about it. Restrictions on abortion for one. But here, in this thread on the politics of reproduction and also as it relates to domestic abuse there is room in 2009 to talk about women’s responsibility as well. What the fair and just world looks like. And the value of that. Not to say never breed but do it under safe healthy conditions for the child. Have the responsibility and skill required to remain self sufficient and not dependent for the child’s sake. Have a willing father (or none)for the child’s sake. And create ultimately a world of equal rights, not special rights.

  151. thebewilderness

    And create ultimately a world of equal rights, not special rights.

    I have a bingo, too!!!

  152. Greenconsciousness

    Is she a woman hater too?

    From Women Who Broke the Silence:

    “I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

  153. Jezebella

    GC, have you happened to notice the title of this blog? Wherein the patriarchy is blamed, right here in 2009? There are many, many other blogs where blaming women is acceptable, welcome, de rigueur even. This is generally not one of them.

  154. Greenconsciousness

    And I am not blaming women — that is your feeble interpretation of what i am doing.

  155. Inverarity

    Weren’t you “gone” several posts ago, GC?

    Away, away!
    Yes, yes, we go!
    These pirates slay!
    Tarantara!
    Then do not stay!
    Tarantara!
    Then why this delay!

  156. Greenconsciousness

    I am challenging the patriarchal norm which reinforces in every possible way the idea that reproduction is always a blessed event. That patriarchal norm which bestows attention and praise on women for destroying their own lives in impossible circumstances by making choices which damn them and the children they produce. A patriarchy which makes the marriage day and the birth of children the event which gains women approval, attention and a sense of power. The approval of a social order which grooms women for said role from birth.

    I am saying what the second wave did is make more reproductive options which women should embrace and expand – abortion, which needs to be elevated and expanded; birth control which needs to be made safer and extended to males as well;and the ability to exist in a single independent lifestyle which needs equal pay and benefits. Lilly Ledbetter coming for a vote again.

    I blame the patriarchy as I did in my original posts for telling women they should stay pregnant when the baby is deformed and defective, when the man doesn’t want the child, when the woman cannot support herself, when one or both of the parents are addicted or seriously ill and in all circumstances where there is no chance she can raise a child and remain financially independent.

    I blame the patriarchy for economic policies which encourage reproduction and penalize the child free.

    I condemn the patriarchy which does not allow natural limitations to encourage sustainability such as having those parents with children under 18 pay for the school in proportion to the number of children they produce to use that resources.

    In all these ways I blame a patriarchy which seeks to keep women barefoot and pregnant in some man’s kitchen whether the man is an individual or the state.

    While others here have repeated that unlimited reproduction is a woman’s right.

    Who is the feminist and who is defending the patriarchy?

  157. Cathy

    GC, this latest comment (thanks to Jezebella’s reminder of blog title) makes more sense than your previous ones. Why did you accuse women earlier of deliberately trapping men with babies for income, when you should know damn well it is the men trapping the women? Men like to complain about marriage and fatherhood being traps, but isn’t it obvious that mothers are far more trapped? A man pretends to love a woman so he can fuck her, but if an unwanted bundle appears, who takes off? Which parent has an easier time staying employed?

    You griped about “picking up after women who bred thoughtlessly,” with no mention of the macho deadbeats who like to “love ‘em and leave ‘em.” Because the men are invisible, you are blind to the fact that you are picking up after them.

  158. Twisty

    GC:”when the baby is deformed and defective”

    I know a few “deformed and defective” adults who might take issue with this characterization.

  159. Greenconsciousness

    Twisty I know the words are what they are but it is the truth when used about the unborn fetuses. Yes the entire disabled movement is enraged at any characterization of all the various permutations of fetal disability that refer to the condition with words that are not their own.

    Many deaf people object to doing anything to cure deafness in their children. I think this says a lot about movements and politics which advocate for conditions not people. Such politics do have an agenda that advocates for resources from the whole without regard to the capacity of the whole to sustain the burden.

    But I am talking specifically about the unborn and I think the words are accurate. I am challenging the idea that it is good for women (and those children) and something to be admired when women deliberately produce such children as Palin has done.

    That is the real source of the anger toward me. The insistence on the PC terms is, I believe, part of the patriarchal notion that child breeding regardless of the medical condition of the child is what a woman should do. That is patriarchal morality and I think it is misogynist.

    Cathy, I have to ask you to reread what I said or I will just be repeating myself. I am talking about the morality of reproduction in 2009. I am talking to women about how their behavior is contributing to their own and their children’s oppression. I am saying the patriarch conditions them in certain ways. This whole thread has been women defending that conditioning or refusing to see their attitudes as conditions or seeking to blame others for what ultimately is their responsibility. It is women who must refuse to breed until they are in a stable and sustainable place and women who must consider their own ability to care for a child alone if necessary.

    It is society which needs to stop encouraging limitless reproduction which it cannot sustain with any quality of life for its population as a whole.

    I don’t similarly talk to men because I prefer changing institutions and laws to modify male behavior.

  160. Greenconsciousness

    Should have said……………

    “refusing to see their attitudes as conditioned or…”

  161. Greenconsciousness

    and Cathy

    I have been saying that an “unwanted bundle” should NOT appear —men IMO have as much right as women to say no to pregnancy for all the misery you outline in your comments

  162. thebewilderness

    “…men IMO have as much right as women to say no to pregnancy for all the misery you outline in your comments.”

    May I just say that, in this one instance, I agree with you entirely, troll. Have a Troll-house cookie.
    Men have an absolute right not to be impregnated against their will. Further, they have an absolute right to be the one who determines if they will continue or end their pregnancy.

  163. Twisty

    “Men have an absolute right not to be impregnated against their will. Further, they have an absolute right to be the one who determines if they will continue or end their pregnancy.”

    Ha!

  164. Cathy

    Oh, I’ve read your comments, GC. Basically, you’re saying that if a woman gets pregnant, she wanted it and he didn’t. Because of course birth control is always the woman’s job. So if she has too many children, it’s HER fault. Poor dewds are so socially responsible, they don’t want to add more children to the world, and should be able to dictate that the woman have an abortion. What you seem unable to grasp is that the child should not be considered half his while residing in her womb, taking nutrients and making employment difficult. You forgot to blame the patriarchy for the assumption of male ownership of children.

    If a guy doesn’t want children, what’s stopping him from using BC? “I don’t wanna get fixed, I won’t feel macho.” “But it feels like wearing a glove!” “It’s her responsibility.” If it weren’t for AIDS, condom sales would be low.

    I have no problem with blaming Palin, because she has the resources to do what she wants. Privilege is directly proportional to blameworthiness. But to blame, for example, Mexican women for having too many children is idiotic and useless. They want to use BC, but their husbands beat the crap out of them for trying, because having lots of rug rats shows how studly they are. The Catholic Church is no help.

    I don’t similarly talk to men because I prefer changing institutions and laws to modify male behavior.

    I suggest you work on those institutions and laws, GC. Male behavior is desperately in need of modification, and males have the power to actually do something about it. Your victim blaming has worn thin, and almost everyone else has given up on you. Everyone else here is well aware of the tax credits and other incentives for reproducing, so the wealthy will have plenty of cannon fodder for their wars, as well as slaves to support them. We don’t need you to remind us of the morality of reproduction in 2009. We need you to stop blaming the people who are powerless to do anything about it. They are already blamed for everything else, and aren’t helped by your guilt trips.

  165. Twisty

    Nice blaming, Cathy.

  166. Greenconsciousness

    First of all I do and have worked on the laws and changed society since 1972.

    Second despite Twistys approval you do not make any sense — it is blaming without logic.

    “read your comments, GC. Basically, you’re saying that if a woman gets pregnant, she wanted it and he didn’t. Because of course birth control is always the woman’s job. So if she has too many children, it’s HER fault.”

    HAVE AN ABORTION

    If you are prevented in the US contact a feminist group for help.

    I am specifically not talking about women outside the US and have made that point a billion times.

    And the child IS half his as she will remind him and it for the rest of his and the child’s life in a variety of hideous ways.

    What is stopping men from using BC.

    If women’s birth control can fail why can’t men’s? I know plenty of people who got pregnant using all kinds of BC.

    No one ever wants to hear about their own responsibility . Do you want a list of the things I have done: Starting the first battered womens shelter in WI; doing underground railroad abortion counseling; working to get strict enforcement of child support; working to end the tolerance of child abuse in the family court system; changing the rape laws. And when I say working I do not mean writing on a blog. I mean organizing. Some of my work is documented in Mother’s On trial by Phyllis Chesler. And these observations come from that work. From what I have seen. The cycle of poverty and misery for women will not end if all they do with the choices we have gained is blame avoid and deny their own ability to change their lives by making the hard choices necessary.

    That is what WE need as a gender. The end to the belief that women are powerless and instead the taking of control. Control is not given, it is taken.

    There is an old women’s movement poster which says: Passivity is the dragon each woman must slay in her quest for Independence.

  167. Greenconsciousness

    Cathy

    I just thought maybe she thinks I am blaming women before this point in our evolution.

    No Cathy, I know that our past was limited (and still is in many ways). My abortion was illegal and butcher. And things were not as clear as women were changing things. I am talking about now. From this point forward. The new morality – a feminist ethic of reproduction. I think at this time we need to expand the choice options but also to demand more from women in terms of limiting their reproduction being seen as often the highest morality in a situation. Right now the forces of oppression including democrat politician have made abortion something dirty they want to make rare. We have to start saying abortion is a sacrament and the practice of priestesses of the earth. That is what i am trying to start this year. If you though I was speaking of women’s past decisions, then I am sorry I did not make clear that I am talking about now.

  168. Amlohdi

    I’m calling logical fallacy on the “if fuck urge equals procreation urge then nutrition urge equals shit urge.”

  169. Hedgepig

    Amlohdi, want to back up your call with a bit of analysis? The analogy looks sound to me; I’d be interested to know how you think it’s fallacious.

  170. BeliefBeef

    I don’t understand what your advocating for though. It seems your blaming ‘humankind’ and you want humans to become extinct. While we are all free to think the way we want, I have never really heard of people wanting their own species to die off.

  171. Jezebella

    Well, now you have.

  172. Hedgepig

    @Jezebella @BeliefBeef: LOL

  173. Donna

    GC, I’m not understanding your defense of men who don’t want to pay child support. It kinda contradicts your contention that tax policy ought to be changed so that childless people aren’t subsidizing other peoples’ kids. IOW, ought not the sperm donor be expected to contribute more to the care and feeding of his offspring than unrelated taxpayers?

  174. Donna

    Amholdi, what you’re describing re: nutrition and shitting would be a fallacy, which is exactly the point that VHEMT is making.

  175. J.Goff

    And the child IS half his

    Bullshit. The child is a child, not owned by anyone. Half of the support of the child is his. Remember, people are not owned, and the language you use has to reflect that. As it is, it seems your language completely reflects the idea that children are not entities unto themselves, but slaves, the responsibility of whom is a political poker chip.

  176. atopian

    This Malthusian crap has been around forever, and the impending population crisis has never struck. Actually, the rhetoric of ‘population control’ from its inception has been a tool of the megatheocorporatocracy for oppressing the lower classes, e.g. enabling forced sterilization of poor women of color. There are no “natural” limits to population growth apart from those imposed by the system of domination and maldistribution we live under. If there were, we never would have gotten this far.

    And wouldn’t it be depressing for homo sapiens to go extinct without ever experiencing life free from patriarchy? So even though I might never reproduce, I’m against the VHEMT. And you should be too. Talking about “overpopulation” is the same faux-scientific naturalizing that the evolutionary psychologists do to prop up patriarchy. Let’s say there IS a problem with overpopulation (as there has, for HUNDREDS of years, been purported to be)–what can we, the enlightened and beneficent patriarchs, do about it? Legislate women’s bodies.

  177. atopian

    But at the same time, feminists can’t shrink from the patriarchy’s threat that “If women quit submitting to heterosex [rape], the species would go extinct!” It’s the same threat capitalism makes, that without it all we’d be left with is a Mad-Max hellscape. Revolutionaries must be willing to wager everything, up to and including the extinction of the species. Anyone talking about apocalypse is selling something.

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