I’m going to piss off a lot of parents here, but I don’t give a shit: all procreative parenting is tinged with vanity and ego, even if it’s unconscious. We are, after all, biologically compelled to propagate ourselves.
Society would be a lot healthier if we confronted this fact, rather than singling out select groups of parents as egotistical, as columnist Rosemary McLeod did recently in her odious column “Why I feel for the kids of ego-trippers”.
McLeod’s beef is with trans parents, specifically female-to-male transsexuals who live their lives as men (whatever that means) but still choose to produce children because they’ve got the plumbing.
“Why should I care? Because if it’s happening today in California, it’ll be happening here next week. We pick up on all extreme trends, and then defend them heatedly as if we invented them.
It’s the kids I worry about. It would be all very well if their mother/father had kept his/her unusual situation private, but he/she has boasted about it publicly, and that stands a good chance of rebounding against the kids, which hardly seems fair.
He/she can give birth to live goldfish for all I care, but I dislike ego trippers bent on being famous, especially at other people’s expense.”
This from the woman who created New Zealand’s answer to Dallas, the TV soap Gloss, a celebration of excess and millionaire ‘look at me’ lifestyles.
If McLeod is really worried about things rebounding against the kids, perhaps she should focus more on our appalling rates of child abuse. As at August last year, Child Protection Services estimated that 80,000 children witness family violence each year, and you don’t have to be a mathematician to deduce that the vast majority of these situations will be occurring in “normal” families with heterosexual parents.
Currently, New Zealand Police have over 6,000 child abuse cases open. The statistics in relation to child abuse over the last ten years are harrowing.
Between 2000 and 2004, 39 children were murdered due to family violence related incidents. In 63.4 per cent of these murders, the perpetrator was male.
But hey, if kids being shoved in the drier is too much of a downer for you, why not get back to this ego question and look at what some idiots have attempted, either successfully or otherwise, to name their children.
This from Yahoo’s article, 10 illegal baby names – New Zealand shamefully topped the list:
1) Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand)
New Zealand law bans names which could cause offence to a ‘reasonable’ person. Good thing too – the country is a stupid name hotspot. We found a couple from the islands who tried and failed to call their son ’4Real’, but nothing beats the ridiculous moniker above. It belonged to a 9-year-old girl before a judge had her renamed during a custody battle. ‘It makes a fool of the child,’ he said. It certainly made application forms a pain in the butt.
Has New Zealand banned any other names? Oh yes. The judge listed some that were also blocked: Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit. Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed.
That last one’s kinda ironic, isn’t it?
Rosemary’s column incited a protest at the Fairfax offices, and generated more articles, which doubtless delighted the management no end. Rosemary herself was missing in action.
Perhaps she was busy penning a sequel to her 2006 book Thrift to Fantasy: Home textile crafts of the 1930s-1950s. Someone should hurry up and invent the time machine so we can send her back there.