We don’t have any particular permission to reprint posts from The Hand Mirror, so here are just a couple of extracts, and a recommendation to head on over there and read the whole thing:
On Monday the NZ Herald started a week-long series looking at the gap between rich and poor in Auckland. On the first day they examined two families – one well-off and one struggling. The first had two kids, 10 and 13, the second three children, all aged 3 and under. … Comments such as these were made:
“Agree though that life is all about choices and looking at the big picture of deciding to have 3 kids (and another from a prior relationship) to support when not in a strong enough financial position points to perhaps the wrong choices being made along the way.”
“I agree that an average worker should expect to be able to support a family on average pay, but three or more kids I think is pushing it. You shouldn’t enter into a situation you can’t afford to maintain, that’s irresponsible in my view.”
When did we decide that having three kids constitutes a large family? …
What also bugs me is how, like with so many issues that come up through a feminist prism, this is about pretending that you know more about someone else’s life than they know about it themselves. Second guessing the life choices of others is a game I’d rather not play. There could be many reasons why people have 2< children (or indeed any children, one child, no children). Maybe there was a contraceptive failure, or cultural pressure to have a big family, or a desire to have children of different sexes, or they had the financial resources at the time of conception, or any range of other reasons that are theirs and not yours, or mine.
And what’s are the assumptions made by those saying the equivalent of “you shouldn’t breed more mouths than you can feed”?
- People’s financial situations don’t change over time – or at least they don’t get worse.
- Someone can totally foresee how much more each child will add to their outgoings.
- Contraception is fool-proof and freely available and widely used and not socially, religiously or culturally discouraged for anyone.
- Abortion for economic reasons is legal and accessible.
None of these is an accurate assumption. Taken together they in fact look quite ludicrous, and the last one in particular I find quite chilling. Those advocating for the termination of pregnancies which are going to put financial pressure on a parent, based on projected income, well, there’s a name for that. …
Read on for more…