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FAQ Part 2 for alt.support.childfree


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Childfree By Choice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Part 2: Posting Guide, Snappy Comebacks, and Links

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents:

     Part 1: Terminology, Support, and About the Group
   * Posting Guidelines:
       1. Can I post here if I like kids but don't want my own?
       2. If I'm a parent, can I post here?
       3. What kind of posts should I avoid writing?
       4. Why are there arguments and negative postings here?
       5. Why all the off-topic postings?
       6. Why does this group complain about children all the time?
   * Snappy Comebacks:
       1. But you were children once!
       2. But children are our future!
       3. What if your parents had felt that way?
       4. Don't you worry about who will take care of you when you are
          older unless you have children?
       5. Why do you think you have anything of value to say about
          children, parents, or childrearing?
       6. But you'd be such a good parent!
       7. Children are just like very small adults, and you can help them!
       8. It takes a village to raise a child...
       9. What if everyone thought the way you do?
      10. You're just being selfish...
   * Links

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Part 1: Terminology, Support, and About the Group

   * Posting Guidelines:

       1. Can I post here if I like kids but don't want my own?

             + Of course, as far as I'm concerned. But don't be upset if
               things get a bit ... um, nasty. (Rabbit)

             + As far as *I'm* concerned, as long as you don't start saying
               how cute all kids are, you're covered by the charter. (Scott
               E.)

       2. If I'm a parent, can I post here?

             + Opinions *used to* differ. Many people here *used to*
               welcome parents, as long as they didn't start arguments
               about childbearing or talk about their kids. Others have
               always preferred that parents don't exist.

               But then we noticed, *everyone* who admitted being a parent,
               couldn't help talking about their kids. That's off topic
               here, and led to more argument than worth. If you have
               children, don't tell us.

               Still, it's Usenet, and it's unmoderated, so there's nothing
               to keep you from posting here, as long as you observe the
               charter. But remember, it's unmoderated, so people can
               respond any way they like. And the responses will probably
               singe your hair. (Scott E.)

             + I have to deal with parents every day of my life. ASC is the
               *one* place where I can come and not have to interact with
               parents or their sprogs, or, worry that something negative
               that I say might some parent's delicate sensibilities.
               (Chris Henderson)

             + If parents *choose* to post here, then I reserve my right to
               toast them for fun and profit. This is the place where I CAN
               vent against parents and their practices if I feel like it.
               (T. Van Voris)

       3. What kind of posts should I avoid writing?

             + If you read this group and feel you have to oppose the
               absence of children: bear in mind, we've heard it all
               before. If you don't believe it, check out Breeder Troll
               Bingo, conveniently available on the Web at
               http://www.cybercomm.net/~flamingo/breedertroll_bingo.htm.
               If you say anything that's on the Breeder Troll Bingo card,
               you will be ridiculed, at the very least. (Scott E.)

             + Avoid "yabbuting". "Yabbuting" is saying things like "yeah,
               but it's perfectly normal for children to do that" or "yeah,
               but that's not the parents' fault" in response to someone's
               rant. This is generally frowned on in alt.support.childfree.

               When the denizens of alt.support.childfree are ranting, we
               don't *want* to have an argument about what we're ranting
               about. We just want to blow off steam, or commiserate with
               others who might feel the same way. And since it's looked
               down on in our culture to complain about children or parents
               anywhere else, alt.support.childfree is the only place where
               it's accepted. Therefore, "yabbuting" is considered a
               particularly heinous invasion of space. (Jennie D-O'C)

             + People who have wandered over to ASC from misc.kids or other
               parenting newsgroups are used to one type of newsgroup
               experience--one where there is a desire to share information
               and correct misconceptions on issues about being a parent or
               raising children. ASC is a completely different ball game.
               ASC denizens are not interested in performing cultural
               anthropology upon parents, in understanding why parents or
               children do the things that they do. They will therefore not
               respond with gratitude to being "enlightened."

               Most parents would never think of posting along the lines of
               "geez, why don't you guys adopt?" on alt.infertility.
               Posting "yabbut" on ASC is the same thing.

       4. Why are there arguments and negative postings here?

             + It's real people posting, and real people often disagree.
               Sometimes it's difference of opinion, sometimes it's
               misunderstandings. Cyberspace doesn't allow for body
               language and inflection. (Rabbit)

             + For some reason, some people who would never think of
               starting an argument in support groups like
               alt.support.shyness or alt.support.grief don't hesitate to
               troll to our particular support group. (Scott E.)

             + Yes, (insert name of troll here), we can't make you leave,
               but make no mistake about it that you *do* cause damage by
               your presence here. You are putting your selfish need for
               entertainment and the last word before our need for a
               support group. (Elise Rauschenbach)

             + Just as freedom of religion is now generally seen to include
               freedom FROM religion, the childfree state properly includes
               the right to be free of lectures on parenting issues.
               (Stella)

       5. Why all the off-topic postings?

             + Sorry... it's kinda like a big childfree cocktail party.
               (Bill)

             + 'Cause they're FUN! I feel like the a.s.cf posters are my
               friends. In real one-on-one life, I talk about everything
               with my friends, and I like to do that here. I figure that
               if someone doesn't like the off-topic postings, they can
               scroll by them. (Rabbit)

             + Well, this is alt.SUPPORT.childfree, and sometimes you have
               to support people by talking about things they want to talk
               about. (Scott E.)

       6. Why does this group complain about children all the time?

             + Because the idea behind a support group is venting. Why does
               AA always talk about drinking? To someone just stepping in,
               it would indeed seem that all we do is complain. But here's
               another way to look at it. I work with my computer a lot,
               and 90% of the time it works properly and does what I need
               it to do. I feel no need to say, and most people don't want
               to hear, "Well, I did my work today, computer worked fine."
               But if it "misbehaves", eats my work, etc., then my natural
               response is to want to throw it out the window. I won't do
               that, of course, but it makes me feel better to be able to
               turn to someone and say, "Goddamn computer! I'd like to send
               it to Mars!" So in real life, 60% of the children I see are
               well behaved. But all it takes is one screaming one to make
               life miserable for everyone in the restaurant, and that's
               when I want to complain about it. (Rabbit)

   * Snappy Comebacks:

       1. But you were children once!

             + Yes, and fortunately I grew out of it. (Joann)

             + I would never put anyone through that hell again. (Scott E.)

             + When I was a child, there were people then who didn't want
               children, and didn't want the company of children. You know
               what? That was okay with me. (Mari)

             + Yes, and I wasn't a planned, wanted child. You have no idea
               of what kind of misery that can cause a child - they pick up
               on that very easily. What kind of parent would intentionally
               do that to another person? And yet you suggest I be that
               kind of parent. (Mari)

             + "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a
               child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put
               childish ways behind me." (St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:11)

             + And the Blessed Virgin Mary managed to raise the Son of God
               without "personal bonding leave," lactation breaks, or a
               special pumping room. (Gutterboy)

       2. But children are our future!

             + Death is our future. Children would just ruin the time I
               have left to live. (DPH)

             + Maybe, but unless a lot of people stop turning out 3 of
               them, there won't be much of a future. (Rabbit)

             + I care enough about "our future" not to subject it to my
               lack of maternal instinct. (Marisa Wood)

             + Most of the high-achieving women in history have not had
               children (Queen Elizabeth 1, Florence Nightingale, Jane
               Austen etc.) (Janet)

             + No, badly disciplined and selfish adults are our future, if
               parents don't start training them for true adulthood.
               (Sunfell)

             + Only if you believe that as soon as those children turn 21
               every older generation will retire.

             + I expect to work until the day I die.

             + I am my own future.

             + We are making our future RIGHT NOW.

             + We can't cop out by saying that somebody else is the future.

             + When I'm dead, it certainly won't mean anything to me if the
               human race goes on or not.

             + Making a baby, or even a clone, does not make you immortal.
               You yourself will still be dead someday.

       3. What if your parents had felt that way?

             + How do you know they didn't? (Ilene Bilenky)

             + Then I would have been the child of *other* parents! (Robin
               Kornides)

             + Well, maybe you would have had an easier time finding a
               parking space today. (Daniel Reynolds)

             + Yup, and the planet would be in somewhat better shape, too.
               People have no responsibility, zero, to sprog they don't
               produce. (Elise Rauschenbach)

             + Mine did. Unfortunately, they lived in such a narrow,
               closed-minded society that they felt pressured into having
               kids. As a result, they resented their own children. If my
               parents had never had me, I wouldn't be here to have any
               regrets about it. (Dulcinea West)

             + Then maybe my mom would have gotten her Ph.D and never
               crawled into the ol' booze bottle. If I'd had the option, I
               woulda given up my life for that. (Dorothea Salo)

             + Well, I wouldn't have to worry about it then, would I?
               (Rabbit)

       4. My child will wipe your ass when you're older!

             + Which means s/he won't be hanging around wiping YOUR ass, I
               suppose? (Mari)

             + The same people who will be wiping yours when your kids are
               too busy with their own children to take care of you. (Tara
               D)

             + Are you currently wiping your parents' asses? (Tara D)

             + If your children are young, it remains to be seen whether
               they will turn out to be worthwhile, as ass-wipers or
               anything else! (Janet)

             + My hypothetical spawn won't wipe my ass; they'll just name
               themselves trustees of my retirement fund and pay *your*
               children to wipe my ass. Why not eliminate the middlemen?
               (Scott E.)

             + If you would be so kind, please show me the iron-clad
               guarantee you have that shows that beyond a shadow of a
               doubt, your children will support you and comfort you in
               your old age. (Rabbit)

             + You make children, I'll make friends. (Rabbit)

             + On your way home tonight, why don't you just drop by the
               nursing home and see how many people wait day after day
               after day after day for their children to visit them?
               (Rabbit)

       5. Why do you think you have anything of value to say about
          children, parents, or childrearing?

             + You've never been a politician. How dare you criticize the
               way they spend your taxes! You don't know what they go
               through! Once you've been a politician, then you can talk!
               (Gutterboy)

             + If one believes that, then one also believes that men should
               never be gynecologists, or indeed that any *parent* could
               possibly have an opinion on any other parenting or child
               other than their very own. (Brenda Peters)

             + We have all been children, so we have some idea of normal
               behaviour! And the fact that we have no children enables us
               to view children in a more objective way than parents do.
               (Janet)

             + Sometimes an outside, unschooled perspective is MORE
               valuable than that of the practitioner. Often those who work
               on something day after day lose perspective; they get so
               caught up in the parts *they* see, they lose sight of the
               parts they *don't* see but others do. (Jim Paradis)

       6. But you'd be such a *good* parent!

             + I usually snicker and say, "Believe me, you're not the first
               person who's ever called me a 'mother'." (Rabbit)

             + But smothering is illegal you know?!? It's so much easier to
               avoid the issue entirely *my* way. (Tara)

             + So? I give good blowjobs too, doesn't mean i want to be a
               hooker! (Ilona)

       7. Children are just like very small adults, and you can help them!

             + Okay. My advice is they get a job. (Jason G.)

             + If they're small adults, can I date them? (Scott E.)

             + I don't put up with bad behavior from adults, either.
               (Angelmoon)

             + Charity begins at home. They DO have their own parents,
               don't they? (T. Van Voris)

             + If children are little adults, why aren't they out working
               alongside the rest of us? Why are there tax breaks for them?
               Hell, if they are little adults, they should be paying
               taxes. Also, if they are little adults, this nonsense about
               taking violence off T.V. for the sake of the
               chilllddddrrruuuuunnnnn would be moot. After all, they are
               little adults right? (HCF)

       8. It takes a village to raise a child...

             + It takes a child to raze a village. (Ilene B.)

             + I'm not a member of that village that's supposed to raise
               your kid for you. (Scott Amspoker)

             + I moved out of the village with no forwarding address.
               (Melody)

             + In order to save the village, we had to destroy it. (Jim)

             + You may live in the village but I live in the jungle.
               (Veronique)

             + The day that parents took away my rights as a village member
               to chastise, and educate their children; they also lost
               their right to assume I would mind and attend to their
               children. (Tara D)

       9. What if everyone thought the way you do?

             + 200 years from now, the earth would again be a green and
               flourishing place. Whales would have stopped stranding
               thmselves as oceanic pollution levels dropped back to zero.
               Without the EMF fields migration routes would re-establish.
               New species would begin to develop, and the Earth would once
               again be whole and well. (Swan)

             + And if everyone thought like you, every *other* species on
               this planet would die out. (Mari)

             + Give me a call when there are fewer than 2 billion people on
               the planet; until then I'm not particularly concerned about
               extinction. (DPH)

             + Given the overwhelming social pressure in society to breed,
               it seems highly unlikely that this will happen. Since the
               world is over-populated, perhaps it would be better if more
               people thought like us. (Janet)

             + I'll bet that the chances of human extinction are made
               greater by rampant overpopulation, than by some of us
               deciding to remain childfree. (Renee)

      10. You're just being selfish...

             + Selfish people make lousy parents. (Ellen)

             + Selfish is popping out a kid that you can't afford to raise
               and then expecting other people to make the sacrifices
               necessary to raise it. (DPH)

             + Can you give me 5 reasons you had kids, which don't begin
               with "I wanted"? (Renee)

             + In a polluted and overcrowded world, it is not unselfish to
               breed. (Janet)

             + I see most *parents* as the selfish ones; they're concerned
               only for their *own* kids. Instead of "me, me, me" it's now
               "mine, mine, mine!" (Ellen)

      11. When will you have your own children?

          *This* one has so many snappy responses, I refer you to
          http://www.eilertech.com/text/asc/when.txt . (S. Eiler)

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Links:

   * We have a photo gallery, at
     http://www.kersey-gallagher.com/ascf/gallery.html.

   * We have a sister newsgroup, alt.support.childfree.moderated. Its FAQ
     is at http://members.home.net/ascmod/. People who may yet want
     children someday need not apply.

   * There's a popular collection of web pages, at
     http://www.fred.net/turtle/kids.html. Not only is this the tip of a
     pyramid of childfree goodness, it's linked to the entire CF world via
     the Childfree Ring.

   * If you want *serious* comebacks to stupid questions, try
     http://www.olist.com/essays/text/ray/shame_children.html.

   * If you want more reasons to be childfree, try
     http://www.tftb.com/childfree/.

   * The alt.support.childfree Killfile FAQ
     http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~dmrovner/killfaq.html. This has very useful
     instructions on how to avoid trolls.

   * Visit Sprogopolis, my ideas on how a city should REALLY be run.
     http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/1285/sprogop.html. (Larry Kahn)

   * Check out the ASCF "Lexicon of Spawn" at:
     http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Quarter/7404/. (Gutterboy)

   * The alt.support.childfree archive now resides at:
     http://childfree.homepage.com/. It has several memorable posts to the
     newsgroup. (Jim)

   * Play Breeder Troll Bingo, at
     http://www.cybercomm.net/~flamingo/breedertroll_bingo.htm.

   * And finally, the alt.support.childfree Guide to Fancy Restaurants, at
     http://www.eilertech.com/hhgg/fancy.htm. Thanks to Angi Long who
     inspired it.

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright  2000, by the authors mentioned above.

--------  Scott Eiler   B{D>  --------  http://www.ultranet.com/~seiler

I consider New Year's Eve to be Amateur Night, so I just stay home.

-- Greg Hill, morning DJ for WAAF (http://www.waaf.com/).

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