Calling children “radically disempowered” is almost an understatement. Pretty much from the moment they’re born, children are subject to a world that treats them as much like property as like people. Children grow up in a world with no voice. There are countless rules and regulations controlling their daily lives, and they have absolutely no say in any of those rules. They are subject to the whims of the people around them- people who may or may not have their best interests in mind. Children have no privacy and no right to a fair trial when an adult (parent) accuses the child of wrong doing. Their entire lives are at the whims of people who control what clothes they wear, whether they have a roof over their heads, whether they even eat.
Being a child isn’t easy. Very little in your life is under your own control, and you’re also subject to your body’s whims. Children are still growing and developing, and they don’t always even understand how or why they feel certain ways. They may not know why they’re tired or cranky at any particular moment. And, as someone else pointed out, even if they do know, they’re still subject to other people’s whims. An adult who isn’t feeling well can call in sick and avoid interacting with other people, in many cases. Children don’t have that option.
The thread, which is at the time of this post pushing 300 comments, addresses that point and covers a lot of the usual back and forth over this rather explosive issue. Parents versus non-parents is a lot of it, of course. The question of whether it isn't in fact an extension of sexism to complain about "breeders" or bad parents (usually mom) who can't control 'em. Overpopulation, notes about class, various cultural expectations, exasperation more at a society that pushes procreation on people who don't wanna--especially the more reactionary aspects--and so on and so forth.
But I'm looking at it from a slightly different angle:
One difference between hating children and hating whatever other group is that, parents or not, we all once -were- children ourselves.
So, “inner child” mawkishness aside, i do wonder: is this also about disowning a part of ourselves? It's not like we leave the child we were -completely- behind, like a carapace.
I mean, i have to cop to this: screaming kids drive me crazy.
But part of it is irritation because sometimes it reminds me that -I- feel like screaming, and I’m not socially at liberty to do so.
And now I'm curious: do y’all remember how you behaved/were treated when you were in public, when you were kids?