Friday, November 19, 2010

"Nothing Else to Do... Let's Have a Baby!"

I don't know about you but one morning I just woke up and said, "Well... I don't have anything else to do today... no football games to write up this week... honey... let's have a baby." That is, it seems, what Joy Behar and the panelists who enthusiastically agree with her seem to think drives most women to have babies (and no, of course it didn't really happen that way!). Here's the clip. Be prepared. You will hear some idiotic statements if you click play.

For those of you who didn't hit play here are some of the highlights:

Joy Behar: "Do you think that some women actually just make the choice to have kids because they can't think of something else to do?" (around the 40-something second mark).

"Now people regard that as littering..." (having large families... and large in this conversation seems to be more than one or two)

"for billions of years we ended up having one or two children per women, and we're moving back towards that now..." (billions...)

Does anyone really think that that is why couples decide to be open to bringing life into the world (the answer, by the way, is apparently yes... at least in the group of women on the panel)? I have a hard time believing that anyone who is actually asking that question has ever spent more than a few moments with a child.

Then there was this article. I originally saw Gale's post about it and went over to read the whole awful thing for myself.

Erica Jong begins her article by letting everyone know what she thinks about motherhood. She has "endured an orgy of motherphilia for at least two decades." Her initial complaints include movie stars proudly displaying baby bumps for photographers and magazines describing the joys of motherhood. Thus begins the angry tone that continues throughout the article.

If Joy Behar thinks that women have babies because they have nothing else to do, Erica Jong thinks that babies are used to oppress women and that they do the job more effectively than men ever have.

People who's entire focus extends no more than an inch beyond their own nose (or is directed towards the nearest mirror) and who can imagine no greater good than doing what they think feels good at the moment, can't even begin to understand the idea of a vocation of any kind, and that includes the vocation of a wife and mother.

Christians are fortunate in a way because we have it spelled out for us. We are called to serve. With the Catholic concept of vocation we often have an even clearer idea of just who it is that we are called by God to serve.

And that is something that our modern world will have a very, very hard time understanding.


  1. I think of parenthood as a type of calling...some people know it's what they've always wanted/felt moved/required to do, others never really felt that calling and therefore are drawn to making the world a better place in other ways. And then there's some who may have wanted children but couldn't for whatever reason.

    I can't imagine wanting to have children simply because there's "nothing else to do". Many mothers I know had very full and active lives before becoming mothers.

    I don't believe that babies oppress women...but sometimes I think that the way society regards motherhood is pretty oppressive!

  2. I can't bring myself to play the video...all I can say...what a beautiful photo of you and babies!

  3. Wow. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but certain extreme degrees of stupidity still stun me.

    Maybe being pregnant with #4 makes me a "litter bug" but at least, in a couple of decades, we will be outbreeding the idiots.

    The number of assumptions, biased I might add, in that WSJ article are too numerous to count. I admit I didn't read every word (my patience only goes so far) but did it ever occur to her that maybe marriage as an ideal preference had something to do with parenting as opposed to single parenthood? I also would love to know just where she thinks loving your child falls into her rant.

    No offense, but if these women had more than a few brain cells and even thought about it, anyone who has any kids NEVER has "nothing to do."

  4. They are just so sad. Those poor, deceived women. :(

  5. I agree with Catherine above about the way society views motherhood being oppressive. We have such a loving example in Mary who was given (and accepted) the task of bringing Jesus to us and caring for Him. It is beyond me how some people do not see and appreciate the monumental vocation of wife and mother.

  6. I watched the whole video, and of course I think it's pretty ridiculous. If having kids is just an "evolutionary imperative," then it's considered a privilege -- something parents "get" to do, are "self-sacrificing" if they don't do, and are "selfish" if they do too much.

    Unfortunately, when people who think this way finally do decide to have kids, they tend to be pretty shocked at how hard a job it is. Whereas when you go in with the perspective that this is a vocation, that it's not about you, it's about the kids, you're more likely to take the difficult moments in stride.

    Oh, and don't get me started about people who say, "Oh, I decided not to have kids. My dogs are my babies."

    Um, I think they just called my kid equivalent to a dog! I find it very offensive.

  7. Firstly I understand why people are offended by the video. It is very insulting. Mothers around the world all work very hard. Mine included.Motherhood should be respected, but so should people who do not understand it. Should we not take this as an opportunity to teach them instead of trashing them behind their backs?

    By the way my mother sometimes refers to her dogs in the same way but I have never felt offended.
    If the love you have for your life as a mother and your children is so solid you should really not be affected by what others say.

  8. Since I don't have Joy Behar on speed dial, I speed dial I can't really call her up and say "hey, Joy, I find 90% of what you say to be offensive." A blog also isn't really "trashing" someone behind there back. When you speak out in a public forum you can expect a public response. And that's what this blog is. A public response to a world gone insane.

    I wouldn't be offended by a person referring to their dogs in the same way as their children (once my aunts and uncles were out of the house my grandparents dogs became their children and we joked that they were the other "aunts and uncles").

    What others say doesn't affect my thoughts and feelings about my beautiful vocation. However, I think we should call attention to the darkness in this world, so that people who are struggling to discern their calling (like motherhood and wifehood) can see that there are other options out there, besides the one that's so popular today (i.e. "all women have to work.. if you don't you don't have worth").

    However I think you have inspired another post, because this is an interesting topic to me and I sincerely hope you will not be offended by my response.

  9. Thanks for the response! I understand you yourself were not as harsh about Joy, but others can be. And i get that you cant actually speak to her face, so i guess I was really commenting on how people generally trash celebrities these days just because they are in the public eye. But you have a good point.

    I have heard people in real life however, both SAHMS and mums who work outside the home, routinely trash each other and I try and stop this whenever I come across it.

    I agree that many nowadays look down on SAHMs. However I think that is due to ignorance more than malice. Also there has been a trend to knock down working (outside the home that is) mothers recently so the other side is feeling it too.

    I think both sides should just make an effort to understand each other.

    Which is the post that I inspired? It would be interesting to read it.
    By the way you and I might be very different but that is why your blog is so interesting to me!

    God bless you and I hope no offense was taken by my posts.


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!