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Liberal - but not THAT Liberal!


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#1 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:36 AM

I'll probably come off sounding like some grumpy old woman, but recently I'm getting ever so weary of some of the ways in which people behave in today's world. Those of you who have known me a while will know that I have distinctly Liberal leanings, but these days I feel I must assert that there is a distinct floor and ceiling to my Liberal beliefs, and far too often, I am confronted with instances of people behaving in the most irresponsible ways - seemingly, just because they can do so without any meaningful consequences - at least to themselves.

:wallbash:

Recently, my 18 year-old daughter came rushing downstairs to tell me that a guy with whom she once shared a paddling pool session with at the local Mums & Toddlers group had announced on facebook that he was going to be a father. A comment added by his own father said that he might have told his parents first. Either this is a rather bad-taste joke about a rather disgusting situation, or it really was the truth and this kiddie had proudly announced his impending fatherhood on facebook before he done his family the courtesy of telling them. Whichever way, this kid is 18 years old, and clearly he's knocked up some girl and apparently this is something to boast about on facebook. My daughter was a bit shocked - largely because she'd heard me talk about the family from years back and clearly the son is now an acquaintance of an acquaintance - hence she saw the facebook entry.

However, I don't think she expected my response: that it was disgusting, that clearly his parents had left lessons about effective contraception to the school (knowing the prudish mother I think this likely), and actually, it was yet another instance of children having children. My daughter said that she had only told me because I used to know him and she hadn't expected such a judgement, to which I replied that, actually, this careless procreation jolly ought to be judged a bit more harshly because never before in human history has it been more possible to avoid unwise and unlooked-for pregnancies, and frankly, this smacked of irresponsible behaviour on the part of the boy and the girl he's made pregnant.

What will happen of course, is that the baby will be welcomed into the bosom of the family and one of the mum's will shoulder the lion's share of raising it and subsidising the teen parents finncially and emotionally, or else the tax payer will be footing the bill - probably both, but in all probability neither teen parent will have to face reproach for their actions - possibly not even have it pointed out to them how hard it is to bring a child into the world and raise it, and as teens who have barely left school, they are not exactly well-equipped to be parents.

I'm not for one moment suggesting a return to the kind of draconian policing of social and sexual behaviour that used to be carried out by religious teaching (as it still is in some areas), nor that unwed mothers and illegitimate children should be treated as social outcasts, but I wonder if as a society we haven't become a little too tolerent of people who seem to take having children so casually, especially when the outcomes for those children might not be so certain. Let me say that I have no religious or moral objection to sex outside marriage, but I have a real objection to people who will not behave responsibly and take precautions against STIs and pregnancy. I am usually pro-choice, but I really, really object to irresponsible people who use abortion as a fail-safe contraception method.

I was married five years, financially secure, and recently moved into a new house that was large enough before I allowed myself to become pregnant with our daughter, and even then, at just past 29, I didn't feel ready or equal to the challenge of parenthood. IT never even occurred to me that it would be acceptable to become pregnant while still living in a one bed flat - even if it was out own and we were both working. Of course, whn I did become pregnant I was perfectly well supported and educated enough to know where to ask for help and look for moral and practical support, and as it is, I pride myself in thinking that I did a reasonable job at raising my daughter, but the point is that I would never have considered playing Russian Roulette with contraception before the point at which I knew I was in the right place for my husband and I to be parents. Even then, I decided to stick at the one child and not just go on dropping sprogs to the point where I found my resources stretched and turned into one of those whinging, incapable mothers who have out-reproduced their ability on Nanny 911.

Why have we become so tolerent as a society towards people who will not take responsibility and understand that babies are for life and not just an excuse to throw a baby shower and get some attention? This surely has to be about the right of children to two loving parents in a committed relationship with each other, and who at least have some intention of staying together. You know, I really really fed up with being expected to congratulate people who are pupping children after only having been together for a few months and with no prospect of a wedding in sight. I find myself wanting to ask if they didn't miss out a step! This happens a lot. I've gotten angry on occasions and have not come out with the expected response to the surprise of my husband, daughter, and even myself, but I really feel that some kind of brake need to be put on the endlesly permissive society and bottomless tolerence we Liberals are expected to embrace these days. No, I'm not going to congratulate people who won't marry because they percieve it as some kind of prison while going about casually enetering the most challenging aspects of being in a relationship - namely buying houses and having children. There's no point in anyone cohabiting to smugly tell me that there is no reason to get married (without ever exploring why they won't) and then expecting the same rights in law as those currently guaranteed married couples when it all goes tits-up because they rushed into bed and parenthood with someone they barely know, and they have a brokenhearted kid who will soon not being seeing much of daddy anymore.

I'm not saying that marriage is the perfect answer or that people don't get divorced, but at least show some intention of providing a stable home for the kid! I've been married 23 years and I often think I deserve a Long Service medal and time of for good behaviour! However, even when I was expecting myself all those years ago - I had to put up with my husband being called my "partner" and everytime I had to put them right by saying I was married for five years before getting into that state, I was told that it was not to offend unwed mothers - well what about offending me when they just assumed I wasn't wed? I just don't see the point of political correctness if it is designed to preserve the feelings one group over another. I also don't see the point in civil partnerships - that's why I support gay marriage, but which ever, people are simply having sex and not facing up to the risks and responsibilities and it seems like nobody - not even principled Liberals like me - can say anything against it.

Plainly religion isn't the answer, but what will it take for people to stop producing children by mistake or treating them as cool commodities or lifestyle accessories foe yet another new, short-lived relationship?

[/rant]

Edited by JulesLuvsShinzon, 28 September 2010 - 09:42 AM.


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#2 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:30 PM

Was it something I said? :P
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#3 maneth

 

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 02:15 AM

Technically, at eighteen the boy is an adult. It's the responsibility of parents to raise children who are effectively adults at 18, not just legally. Instead, we get the reverse: curling parents who protect their kids from every possible setback in life, so that they aren't even in theory, never mind in practice, able to take responsibility for themselves when it's their legal obligation to do so.

That said, plenty of people never reach the point where they're financially secure, and job security is an oxymoron these days.


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#4 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 05:49 AM

quote name='sevnson_71' date='29 September 2010 - 12:28 AM' timestamp='1285723827' post='788787']
Was it something I said? :P
[/quote]

Well, actually, yes it was! :rofl1:

But seriously, when I read what you wrote I thought - well, thank goodness there's a guy that understands the part he has to play in not producing unwanted or unplanned children. I get really, really tired of seeing gormless men on chat shows complaining that their girlfriends have children by them and blaming her for not using contraception when there are methods men can use to play their own part. As Britiain's Jeremy Kyle says, they have the option "to put something on the end of it"! The other annoying whinge is the complaint that their girlfriend gets pregnant and he wants her to abort the child, or she aborts it and he wanted it. At what part do these hapless men realise that responsible sexual behaviour begins with choosing the right partner first? You clearly get this, but then you area well-read man and probably a credit to your parents.

[quote]Technically, at eighteen the boy is an adult. It's the responsibility of parents to raise children who are effectively adults at 18, not just legally. Instead, we get the reverse: curling parents who protect their kids from every possible setback in life, so that they aren't even in theory, never mind in practice, able to take responsibility for themselves when it's their legal obligation to do so.[/quote]

I agree. As I have said, my daughter is 18 and now fondly believes that she is living "independently" at university. If so, it's a heavily subsidised independency as my husband and I last night totted up the cost of actually getting her through the door of her accommodation block while she gets a government loan she'll have to at some point repay with interest. I think we've done our best to get her to the point where she is a responsible adult in reality rather than just age and she pretty much handles her own affairs by herself with occasional advice from us, but she's been at home all this time and she's not going to have our experience yet of stuff like budgeting to pay the bills and paying a mortgage, let alone parenthood. Just about every kid at 18 thinks they're independent adults even of they're living at home on Jobseekers' Allowance and not contributing to household expenses. That can happen in the best families, but it's up to those parents to remind these 18 year-olds that what the law says they can do and what they actually have the experience and knowledge to cope with are very, very far apart. It would have been different in the past when there was no discernable teenage and kids went straight from childhood to adulthood. In the past 18 year-olds would have been out in the world and working for some years, and probably married - at least girls. The contrast must be evn sharper in the US where adults are prevented from drinking until the age of 21 long after the age at which they are deemed old enough to give their lives for their country. Basically 18 year-olds have probably only just left school and are seeking work or off to university, with little or no cogiscance of the realities if life. These people are not equipped to be parents without a lot of help from various agencies. Mostly they are emotionally immature and not ready to nurture the healthy emotional development of their offspring.


[quote]That said, plenty of people never reach the point where they're financially secure, and job security is an oxymoron these days.[/quote]

It's getting more so definitely, but my beef is with people who never try to reach that stage, or somehow assume that it's not important to be at that stage before having children. Or they think it's important to have luxuries as well as children, so their idea of financial security is skewed. There's a vast difference between the couple that strive to become financially secure and then lose it through redundancy and then find themselves in need of a leg-up and aid from society, and those who simply reproduce and assume that taxpayer will pick up the tag in perpetuity. There's a big case in the local paper at the moment about a family of 12 who are getting benefits that collectively amount to more than the average working couple can earn in a year - and that's before paying taxes. People are outraged and so they should be.

#5 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:17 AM

quote name='sevnson_71' date='29 September 2010 - 12:28 AM' timestamp='1285723827' post='788787']
Was it something I said? :P


Well, actually, yes it was! :rofl1:

But seriously, when I read what you wrote I thought - well, thank goodness there's a guy that understands the part he has to play in not producing unwanted or unplanned children. I get really, really tired of seeing gormless men on chat shows complaining that their girlfriends have children by them and blaming her for not using contraception when there are methods men can use to play their own part. As Britiain's Jeremy Kyle says, they have the option "to put something on the end of it"! The other annoying whinge is the complaint that their girlfriend gets pregnant and he wants her to abort the child, or she aborts it and he wanted it. At what part do these hapless men realise that responsible sexual behaviour begins with choosing the right partner first? You clearly get this, but then you area well-read man and probably a credit to your parents.
[/url] Honestly that was something that was something drilled into my head by my mom from the time I sprouted my first whisker. I will say as I have before, I am a product of an insanely large family by modern standards. But my dad worked very hard to support us, and earned a proper living wage to meet the needs of nine children. There were times when he was between jobs or "underemployed" when the economy tanked when we were on welfare, but trust me, both being Depression survivors depending upon the state for assisatance was something they loathed to the core from the start, and because of the critical eye society placed on large families in the 70's, and was so reserved for a last resort when the savings had run dry before he landed a "real job". It wasn't a luxurious upbringing by any stretch, but it was a good one. We didn't wear designer duds, they were all hand picked by us out of the Sears catalog. But my mom also made sure we knew why if we wanted a name brand we'd have to sacrifice and we usually ceded to her in the end. The way he put it to me is that he made a good wage and chose to invest it in his children. We all learned effective household management skills, though admittedly some of us chose a smaller family and more luxury in our adult lives. Their choice, and I don't fault them for it, all of my nephews and nieces are productive members of society and most are college educated, if they chose to be. But the other thing was with them as it was always put to us, we had to secure our OWN financing for higher education, as with buying the first vehicle, so that we'd appreciate it and not abuse it as so many entitled children invariably do.

That very scenario with the ex girlfriend happened to a friend of mine, and he was utterly devastated when she told him she did it. He is the proud papa of two sprouts now, but I know that still bothers him because he did broach it from time to time.


The contrast must be evn sharper in the US where adults are prevented from drinking until the age of 21 long after the age at which they are deemed old enough to give their lives for their country. Basically 18 year-olds have probably only just left school and are seeking work or off to university, with little or no cogiscance of the realities if life. These people are not equipped to be parents without a lot of help from various agencies. Mostly they are emotionally immature and not ready to nurture the healthy emotional development of their offspring.

Don't even get me started on that <_< That is the most politcal piece of legislation in our modern Constitution. Here is the history of it. Before Prohibition there was NO minimum age in the US. But as a condition of it's repeal, it was restricted to legal adults, which at the time was age 21. The legal age of adulthood was then kicked down to 18 to meet recruiting goals for WW2. After the war legal adulthood was kicked back up to 21. An argument went on for years about which is the "right age", the current legal age, or the more responsible and mature age of 21. What they finally settled upon and put in as our 26th amendment was the legal "voting age", thus creating a tiered system. A system that by my observation is asinine. If you are old enough, and presumably mature and responsible enough to vote for elected leaders, acquire debt, work a job, and get drafted to fight and potentially die for your nation's sovereignty, you shouldn't need to leave the that nation to legally embibe. Most of the people between the ages of 18 and 21 have a better working knowledge of drunk driving laws than many of their parents! All leaving it at 21 does is assure that there will be a big college bash for their birthday they never would have seen living with their parents at eighteen :P Given my personal experience I think learning limits made me more responsible as a drinker. But I also think I would have been better off not having to sneak off in the woods to do it. Our other laws regarding it are sufficiently stringent so that should do away with the tiered adulthood system the effect would be pretty well blunted.
Posted Image

So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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