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alt.support.childfree Charter and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Charter statement of alt.support.childfree: alt.support.childfree provides information, discussion and a supportive environment for people who choose or are in the process of choosing to remain child-free. This is not a newsgroup for anyone trying to bash the childless state; here, being childless is not something that has to be defended. (Control message posted by Jonathan Grobe, 12 January 1996.) Our charter's URL on the Web: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/alt.support.childfree/alt.support.c= hildfree_Charter_and_FAQ> Violation of a newsgroup charter is considered to be abusive behavior by many ISPs. More importantly, *this is a support group*, with an important function to fulfill, and the legal right to fulfill it. Therefore, attempts to flood the group with off-topic trolling, spam, advertising, and "bot baiting" may be treated as a "Denial of Service Attack," which can have serious legal repercussions for the attackers. All institutions that have the ability to counter such attacks have the full support of our newsgroup's regular members, to take care of this problem when it arises. Frequently Asked Questions for alt.support.childfree Here is the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the alt.support.childfree Usenet newsgroup. This FAQ has been regularly posted to alt.support.childfree, alt.answers, and news.answers since 1 November 1997. Its master copy is available on the Web at: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/alt.support.childfree/alt.support.c= hildfree_Charter_and_FAQ> This document is in two parts: Part 1 contains a brief description of terms, a list of support groups, and a description of this particular support group. It is meant for people who are not necessarily interested in the Usenet newsgroup, but are searching for any kind of support toward the absence of childrearing. Part 2 contains guidelines for posting to this group, and some responses that childfree people have already made to frequently asked questions about the desire not to raise children. It is meant for people who wish to post to the Usenet newsgroup alt.support.childfree. If you have comments, either post to alt.support.childfree, or e-mail email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Disclaimer: The information in this document is a matter of opinion, as is the entire newsgroup it represents. As such, nobody here takes responsibility for incorrect or inaccurate information in this document, beyond correcting the error in the document. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Part 1: Terminology, Support, and About the Group Contents: Terminology: 1. What's the difference between childfree and childless? 2. I'm infertile; can I be childfree? 3. What do all those acronyms and other strange terms mean? Support: 1. How difficult is it to get a tubal/vasectomy or hysterectomy? 2. Where else can I go for support? About the Group: 1. Why does alt.support.childfree exist? 2. So, you all hate children? 3. Don't people hate you for your unpopular stance? ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Part 1: Terminology, Support, and About the Group Terminology: 1. What's the difference between childfree and childless? "Childless" people want them and physically can't, or don't have them and are thinking about having them. "Childfree" people don't want them, don't have them and are positive they don't want them. (Rabbit) Childfree means that you don't have children, aren't going to have children, and are happy about this. Childless means that you don't have children, aren't going to have children, and wish you could. Personally, I think both words and the distinction between them are *extremely* useful. (Jennie D-O'C) 2. I'm infertile; can I be childfree? If you've decided that you don't want children, you're childfree, regardless of whether or not you're actually fertile and have to therefore work hard at *staying childfree. (Jennie D-O'C) I am child free - I made a choice despite my subfertility. I am not childless - I could still have a child, but I don't want to have a child on anybody's terms but my own. My life is fulfilled and complete without children, thankyouverymuch. (Cinnamontoast) 3. What do all those acronyms and other strange terms mean? CF, CBC and CFC=3DChildfree, Childless By Choice, and Childfree By Choice, meaning we really Really want no children. Most people who post to alt.support.childfree are not only proud of being CF, we're smug about it. The following terms may appear in message headers, to help categorize messages. If you use these terms in your message headers when appropriate, many people who just skim the newsgroup will appreciate it. XP: crosspost. OT: off topic (according to the group charter). TR: Troll Response. IDWIYO: It's Different When It's Your Own. FOAK: Font (or Fount) of All Knowledge. SQUICK: Something truly gross. MOO: Mindless, bovine mother. NEWS: News item ripped fresh from the womb of the daily headlines. PET: Pet-related topic. For many other terms one might encounter in alt.support.childfree, such as "PNB," "BNP," "breeder," and "sprog," check out the ASCF "Lexicon of Spawn" at http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Quarter/7404/ Support: 1. How difficult is it to get a tubal/vasectomy or hysterectomy? How bad is the scarring from a tubal ligation? How soon can I (go to work, exercise, bungee-jump) after a tubal ligation? I had a much easier time, before and after my tubal, than I thought I would. My primary-care dr. approved my request for a tubal referral (at the ripe old age of 27 ;> ) with very few questions asked. I had the surgery on a Friday, and was back to work on Monday. By that time, I didn't even need painkillers, although I couldn't do any heavy lifting for about two weeks after I got my tubes tied. Physically, it's pretty much business as usual--I have a normal sex drive, I ovulate, I have normal menstrual cycles. Emotionally, I've decided my family's problems with my decision are just that--THEIR problems--and I do not need to make them MINE. I know I made the right choice for me. (Marisa Wood) Keep in mind that the rate of failure for a tubal is much higher than doctors are willing to admit, and the rate of failure is higher the younger you are. Make sure that your doctor uses the absolute most dependable method. If he jokes around about failure, tell him to drop dead and find yourself a doctor who cares about your desire to avoid pregnancy. (Anonymous) It (the vasectomy) was most undignified. But painless at the time. And it doesn't hurt much now, though it is a bit uncomfortable sitting around with ice in my pants. My only regret about the surgery is that I waited this long to do it. (Karl Zadoc) In my experience, if you're female, doctors will at the very least ask you lots of personal questions and make you undergo psychological counseling if you want to try to get tubal before you've had children. Most will refuse you outright. I find this extremely ironic, since it's possible to choose to change your life permanently and *parent* as early as fourteen or so, but if a healthy 28-year-old woman wants to get herself sterilized, that's not allowed. (Jennie D-O'C) 2. Where else can I go for support? Planned Parenthood: http://www.plannedparenthood.com/ For information about tubal ligations, a good place to start is http://www.herownwoman.com/tubalstuff.html. For information about vasectomies, see the newsgroup alt.support.vasectomy, or the websites http://www.vasectomy-information.com or http://www.vasectomy.com. Please see the Links section of the FAQ for even more sources of support for both sterilization and childfree living. About the Group: 2. Why does alt.support.childfree exist? Because we need a place to vent. If somebody's child rams a mini shopping cart into the back of my legs, or a child at the next table in a restaurant wanders around and screams, or someone changes a diaper on the bench in the ice cream parlor, I'm not the type of person to create a scene. I'm seething inside, but I generally keep my mouth shut. That's not healthy. If I mention at work or among other people that these things annoyed me today, I'm just as likely to hear, "Well, what do you expect? They're just children." I don't want to hear that. I want to hear, "Hey, what a jerk that parent was, let me tell you about the one that tore all the posters we'd just put up today." I can come here to a.s.cf, moan about it, and people will commiserate. (Rabbit) There are lots of things in this world that bug people (isn't there even a site on the net for discussion nothing but peeves??), and I think this newsgroup just gives CBC'rs a place to rant about things that bug them regarding kids, parents, and people who nose into their lifestyle. I believe (at least I hope) that it is nothing more than that. (Liz Guzzi) To provide a place that being childfree is a *given*. (Jennie D'O-C) 3. So, you all hate children? I do. The next poster doesn't. But then, I hate metalhead music, Brussels sprouts, small foreign cars, McDonald's, and that song from 'Titanic," and no one gives me a hard time about it ... (Rabbit) Chilllllll-druuuuuuun are quite nice actually. With bernaise sauce and a good Merlot. 8) (Marisa Wood) What it all boils down to for me is that I don't tend to like interacting with people who think that the world revolves around them. Since the vast majority of young children don't yet have the cognitive skills to realize that this isn't the case, I'd rather not have anything to do with them. (Jennie D-O'C) 4. Don't people hate you for your unpopular stance? Some do. That's why there's a need for support. (Rabbit) Oh come now, it's not like we're proposing to ship our surplus children to the Congo for famine relief or anything. Despite the answers you see above, some of us actually get along nicely with lots of parents, some of whom have actually posted to this newsgroup. (Scott Eiler) I've had more trouble with being misunderstood than with being hated. Not that that's exactly fun, either. (Jennie D-O'C) Some do, mainly out of jealousy that they weren't smart or thinking enough to make this same choice for themselves. (Glenna99) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Part 2: Posting Guidelines, Snappy Comebacks, and Links Contents: 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... 11. When will you have your own children? Links ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Part 2: Posting Guidelines, Snappy Comebacks, and Links 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 Eiler) 2. If I'm a parent, can I post here? No. Parents are not welcome to post to alt.support.childfree. This group is for the childfree and for childless people in the process of deciding whether to be childfree. (Jason G) 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 Eiler) **FAQ Maintainer's Note: The original Breedertroll Bingo site is now defunct, but a similar site exists at http://www.cfpersonals.com/bingo/index.php 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 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 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 Eiler) 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) 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? '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 Eiler) Sorry... it's kinda like a big childfree cocktail party. (Bill) 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! I would never put anyone through that hell again. (Scott Eiler) 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) And the Blessed Virgin Mary managed to raise the Son of God without "personal bonding leave," lactation breaks, or a special pumping room. (Gutterboy) Yes, and you can DAMN WELL believe I would never have been allowed to act like THAT in public! (Kent) Yes, and fortunately I grew out of it. (Joann) "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) 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? Well, I wouldn't have to worry about it then, would I? (Rabbit) How do you know they didn't? (Ilene Bilenky) Yup, and the planet would be in somewhat better shape, too. People have no responsibility, zero, to sprog they don't produce. (Elise) 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) 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) 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) 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) 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 Eiler) 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) The same people who will be wiping yours when your kids 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) 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) So? I give good blowjobs too, doesn't mean I want to be a hooker! (Sixkats) But smothering is illegal you know?!? It's so much easier to avoid the issue entirely *my* way. (Tara) 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 Eiler) 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 TV 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 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 themselves 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? See this thread: <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.support.childfree.moderated/browse_thre= ad/thread/b2421a2903189dee/6337539369baa2 ba?tvc=3D2#6337539369baa2ba> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ASC Links: ASC Charter and FAQ on the web: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/alt.support.childfree/alt.support.c= hildfree_Charter_and_FAQ> http://www.faqs.org/faqs/support/childfree/faq/index.html (rarely updated) ASC Lexicon of Spawn: http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Quarter/7404/ The ASC Killfiles FAQ http://www.terracom.net/~dorothea/killfaq.html ASC Guide to Fancy Restaurants (inspired by a "breedertroll" visitor to the newsgroup) http://www.eilertech.com/hhgg/fancy.htm _________________________________________ Copyright (c) to infinity and beyond, by the FAQ Maintainer and all authors mentioned above. ASC Lexicon of Spawn: http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Quarter/7404/ The ASC Killfiles FAQ http://www.terracom.net/~dorothea/killfaq.html ASC Guide to Fancy Restaurants (inspired by a "breedertroll" visitor to the newsgroup) http://www.eilertech.com/hhgg/fancy.htm _________________________________________ Copyright (c) to infinity and beyond, by the FAQ Maintainer and all authors mentioned above.