Thursday, June 7, 2012

Children's Oppression

Dancing between the tables: On the personhood of Children

I recently ran across a piece of child-hate (no, I’m not telling you where) that said, in part, “Sure, I think children are people, but their parents need to make sure they act like it in public! People in restaurants don’t crawl on the floor or dance between the tables!” Really? Because I’m pretty sure what you were talking about just then was a person who was, in fact, dancing between the empty tables.

This is but one example of the widespread phenomenon of child-hate disguised as simply a “concerned citizen”: children are OK in public, as long as they don’t in any way attract an adult’s attention. It usually comes with a hefty dose of mother-blame (which is a type of misogyny, remember), in the form of “she should control her kids, or keep them at home!”

I don’t really want to get into a discussion of what level of behavior is appropriate to allow children in public, though: what I want to talk about is the message behind these kinds of statements (and the fact that the discussion is about allowing in the first place).

To read the rest of this article CLICK HERE!


  1. these sorts of pieces always get my goat. how do people expect a child to learn how to be in public if they never get to go out in public? and what the heck is wrong with children being seen and heard? why do we want to push them away, hide them? even people with children will say things like "when i go to a nice place i don't want to be bugged by kids". well ok, but i still think those comments are rude. can you imagine someone saying "i'm ok with old people as long as they stay home" or "hey i want to go out to eat and not have to see 'grandpa' eating in the same area". or about anyone with a handicap or a different race. i mean children ARE people, and they deserve respect and acceptance .... PERIOD.

  2. I so agree with you! It always upsets me when I read things like this. You are right Mother blame is a type of misogyny!


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