reappropriate

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

No Apologies Necessary

In the absence of substantial political happenings at the moment, I've been thinking lately about privilege. Recently, an anonymous commenter on this site criticized me for not giving enough face time to my other identities -- I do not doff my asian or female identity enough, apparently, whereas my experiences as a middle-class, higher-educated North American are gathering dust in the closet. At some point, I was told rather pointedly that my class privilege was "patently obvious" in each of my posts -- but no other point was attached to this observation, and after the somewhat heated exchange that had occurred between myself and this commenter, I can only conclude that this was meant as some form of insult. Which got me thinking -- I am a person who experiences some forms of discrimination (or at least inconvience) via my race, my gender, and the fact that I am not a citizen in this country, and yet in many other ways, does enjoy privilege: I am not embarassed to say that I was raised in a middle-class to upper-middle class area by a middle-class to upper-middle-class immigrant family and was privvy to some of the best educational opportunities even a Torontonian could want. Most of us in the blogosphere are economically privileged -- we all have the ability to sit around waxing philosophical in the middle of the day on the Internet while for many others, that is a luxury only dreamt of. And yet, this anonymous commenter tried to throw my privilege in my face, as if it were something to be ashamed of. What is this drive to cover up our privilege, to apologize for it, to be defensive of it, or to even try to give it up to live some sort of more celibate, super-oppressed lifestyle? Underprivileged or unpriviliged minorities live no more morally upright lives than the privileged, they are not always on the right side of every argument -- and yet, maybe this is some sort of post-Civil Rights liberal mainstream mentality that's talking. After all, I don't know any victim who actually really wants to be a victim. I admit that, at times, in the heat of an argument over politics with electroman, I will reach a point of frustration where I cannot speak with the degree of authority he can because I didn't experience what he did -- while he was getting patted down at high school, I was going to prep school. He had pregnant teens as fellow students, I had after-school art classes. It can be frustrating, in the face of such 'expertise' that someone who has been privileged enough to not have to go through such an experience may feel like they are missing out and invariably doomed to lose an argument -- especially if this same person feels that such privilege, denied to some, is the right of all. One might be able to rationalize a certain amount of hypocrisy inherent in trying to fight institutional oppression while subsequently enjoying the fruit of the oppressor. And besides which, no one likes being the bad guy. But, at the same time, speaking from the point of the underprivileged, I can honestly say that the underprivileged don't want to make the privileged feel meaninglessly guilty for being who, what and where they are -- while it might give you your ya-ya's to make another person squirm, it's immature and, in the long run, rather pointless. Rather, from my experience, the majority of the underprivileged want an equal society in which all people can share in privilege. Eradicating privilege doesn't necessarily mean taking away from those who have, but to give to those who have not. To believe one should be ashamed of what one (or one's family) has achieved is, at some level, only insulting and patronizing to those who don't have it. Only a generation ago, my parents came to this country with nothing but a matress, a pot, and a dream. They lived in an unfurnished apartment and my mother, a trained entomologist, started from scratch and developed a lucrative career as a computer programmer. Their story is almost fairy tale Gold Mountain: they moved from one bedroom apartment to bungalow, from bungalow to two-story house, from two-story house to the house I've lived in for over a decade, a four-bedroom 6 bathroom house, in which my room has its own walk-in closet and bathroom. But, before I lived in such relative luxury, my grandparents on both side lived in utter poverty; I still share the story of my father and his nine or ten siblings being forced to eat his pet rabbit when one season on the farm in Canton was particularly harsh. His mother now has crossed pinky toes (it looks very bizarre) because she helped make ends meet by running a local daycare for the other farmers, and every day spent three or four hours picking up and dropping off the children by foot. Economic strains were made more dire by my grandfather's premature death, and my father paid his way through college by scrubbing toilets between classes. My point in sharing these stories is not to highlight how much I am economically unprivileged, but how much I am privileged. It would be an insult to my parents and grandparents, who worked so hard to give me this privilege for me to try and deny or be ashamed of it now. Put it another way -- yes, my class privilege is patently obvious in these posts, and I don't hide behind that. After all, I am a higher educated, middle-class pseudo-citizen who comes from middle-class money. If this blog is about who I am, then that too should be a part of who I present to the world. There are some concerns I don't have to think about, some things I cannot relate to, and while it would be nice for me to try and understand the experiences of those who are not privileged like I am, I could never claim to ever fully understand it. On the other hand, working on my own to be financially independent, and having not accepted any money from my parents in over two years, working a fairly low-paying job in a high living wage area, there are some things I can start to empathize with. Either way, I have never been on welfare, have only spent about four months without health insurance, and recently got my first credit card ($500 credit limit, baby!) -- it would be patronizing of me to apologize to someone on welfare as if I would give it all up if I could. We both know I wouldn't, nor should I, nor would they want me to. Similarly, I am annoyed by those who enjoy racial or gender privilege trying to act as if this is something to apologize for. Don't apologize for being white -- as much as I resent your white privilege, it would insult me more if you tried to "make up for it somehow". Sure, I'd love for there to be a society in which white privilege didn't exist and we could all be treated as racial equals, but, I'm just as irritated by someone acting as if their white washes off as I am with someone who doesn't see how their white privilege has benefitted them. Saying they should feel ashamed of being privileged is like saying I should be proud of my people's oppression. Privilege is a tricky thing, especially given how guilty those who have privilege have been made to feel in this post-Civil Rights society. Certainly, there is something to be said about not basking in one's privilege, as when that privilege gives me the right to purposefully ignore the existence of that privilege, but nor should there be any reason behind trying to give it up, figuratively or literally. I think the best way to approach privilege is to recognize that it is there, and try to realize where it is affecting your political or personal outlooks on life, where it has helped get you where you are -- and if you're basking, then maybe it's time to get in out of the sun and rethink some things, but, for god's sakes, I don't need your apologies for being who you are.

21 Comments:

Blogger Karlos said...

bask (from dictionary.com): derive or receive pleasure from

I bask... oh, I bask, baby. My white ass is quite tan (well, not my ass, literally... but you already knew that), and I'm lovin' it!

That's an interesting point about losing arguments due to lack of experience... so one could contend that we're actually *experience-underprivileged*... where's our welfare program?

On second thought, if welfare for those without money is a program that distributes money, welfare for those without "experience" would probably start with sending police to our houses to pat us down... maybe I should re-consider petitioning for that one.

6/14/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

hey, k, i never said you could or should lose an argument due to a different experience... ^_^ but that people can decieve themselve sinto believing it's a foregone conclusion...

6/14/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Speaking from the flipside, I have to say, getting patted down in high school does not privilege make, in any context, rhetorical or otherwise. I don't intend to make anyone feel bad for the gifts of their upbringing - but people who fall in the trap of new-age liberal guilt often give me extra credibility on issues involving social and economic oppression, whether or not I deserve it.

I've never been hungry a day in my life. When I speak on hunger though, some good White liberal folk feel bad about their privilege and treat me like the Messiah. I'm not going to overlook the inherent racism in such a response, but it's hard to pretend that their frustration doesn't work in my favor.

Overall, great post. But again, what's most annoying to me is the perception that 'experience' or 'expertise' means enduring hardship without due process or observing social cancers in progress. I'd rather had the art classes.

6/14/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I meant by "class privilege is obvious in your posts" is that you appear to think (for example, in the context of toilet training children) that everyone can have a stay-at-home parent; that you will be able to be a stay-at-home parent; that people for whom that is not true should be using birth control instead of having children.

The class privilege is not the problem. The harsh judgments of people who don't have that privilege? THAT'S the problem.

6/15/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say it was class privilege, by the way: I said it was class BIAS. Way to not respond to what I actually said.

6/15/2005 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

Interesting post -- although Anonymous' mention in the comments about class *bias* still seem justified.

One quick question: what does this sentence mean?

"My point in sharing these stories is not to highlight how much I am economically unprivileged, but how much I am."

6/15/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

""My point in sharing these stories is not to highlight how much I am economically unprivileged, but how much I am." "

Ooops, typo. I meant "but how much I am economically privileged"

6/15/2005 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Anonymous and different anonymous, thank you for posting and I *do* respect your opinions on this and on me. However, as a caveat, I don't feel that you are judging me fairly nor am I interested in defending myself against those who would so quickly make such assumptions about someone from mere snapshots of their life and thoughts. I feel like, at this rate, we will continue to be at an impasse and can only suggest that you continue reading what I have to say over time on this and other topics and maybe you will find a way to revise your opinions given more information about me and my thoughts.

Incidentally, anonymous, this post was not meant as a response to your charge. It was a spin-off thought from that discussion but deals primarily with the concept of privilege in general -- because you originally charged me with having class privilege, not class bias. Strangely enough... not everything is about diapers...

"What I meant by "class privilege is obvious in your posts" is that you appear to think (for example, in the context of toilet training children) that everyone can have a stay-at-home parent; that you will be able to be a stay-at-home parent; that people for whom that is not true should be using birth control instead of having children. "

excuse me? when did I say that I thought everyone could have a stay-at-home parent? I never said that at all ... I said I felt that being a parent meant having to take on responsibilities beyond taking short-cuts. I have nothing but complete respect for working mothers and fathers who do it right (after all, where do you think I got my ideas on childrearing from? my working mother and absentee father... nonetheless who did an okay job instilling right and wrong in me) ...

I just think that being a full-time employee shouldn't mean sacrificing the time to rear a child ... i.e. take on the full mental and physical responsibility of having a kid or think twice about birth control. That doesn't mean quit your job to have a kid. That means discipline them properly and spend whatever free time you have left outside of your job being a parent, not a chauffeur or a friend.

Oh... and uhh... me -- thinking *I* could be a stay-at-home parent? Hardly. Shows how little you a) know me and b) are actually reading this blog. I can't think of a single instance in that post or any other where I said that I believed all families should have a stay-at-home parent or that this was my (or my future spouse's) life ambition.

The problem is that some parents want to have their cake and eat it too -- they want to be against birth control either personally or universally but then have children they don't adequately care for. Too many mothers feel pressured by their own religious or societal beliefs to have children they cannot care for. Whether pull-ups are or are not an indicator of real parenting is not really the issue (although part of me wonders if I unintentionally triggered the Pampers PR brigade here) -- in that post, I had also said it was uncool for parents to look at teachers, televisions, the government and other outside sources to raise and rear their children for them. I had argued that, in this age of choice, parents who choose to reproduce should really excerise that choice and think about the time commitment involved and not cut corners when deciding to create a new life.

You have patently mischaracterized my argument. At no time did I say that working parents should always use birth control, nor do I believe I have ever exhibited any other significant form of class bias even close to what you describe. Birth control entered the discussion when I said I appreciated having choice and more people should really exercise their right to choose to have kids before having one. However, if I have exhibited some other class bias (unrelated to Pampers because I'm really totally done with this topic), I would love to hear from you about it...

Either way, this is apparently what I get for ending a post in a tongue-in-cheek manner. ^_^

6/15/2005 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

"I bask... oh, I bask, baby. My white ass is quite tan (well, not my ass, literally... but you already knew that), and I'm lovin' it!"

... dude...your ass is so pale. you need some serious naked sunning.

6/15/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous #3 said...

I know you identify as left-leaning, but many of your comments -- especially about class privilege -- make me think you may be a Republican in denial! You should check out http://www.youngrepublicans.com/ with an open mind and see if you're more like us than you think.

6/15/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Karlos said...

"... dude...your ass is so pale. you need some serious naked sunning."

Ok, it pretty much glows in the dark. My ass is just so nice; I like to make sure people can see it.

Oh, and anonymous #3:
I, personally, rather enjoy fucking the occasional goat, and I think you may be a goat-fucker in denial! You should check out http://www.younggoatfuckers.com/ with an open mind and see if you're more like us than you think.

6/15/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

Jenn wrote:

"because you originally charged me with having class privilege, not class bias"

Funny enough...

"frankly, Jenn, class bias is so patently obvious in all your posts that nobody needs to be told you grew up with class privilege." (From here.)

It looks like the privilege was taken for granted, but the bias appeared to be the source of anonymous' vexation.

6/15/2005 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Kaede said...

I do identify a lot with what you're saying, Jenn. I grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood, went to middle-class schools for all but one year (where I went to an upper class school). You already pretty much know the story of how I found out I wasn't entirely "white" as I'd always believed so I'll leave that out, but the part about the class apologists really hit home.

I have a friend here in the UK who is about as filthy stinkin' rich as you can get. He owns homes in just about every continent, his family are apparently huge in banking and he's got the ears of several high-ups in what passes for a government here. He told me something that I'll never forget.

Those who try to tear you down for being what you are, when you cannot change that fact, are only speaking out of jealousy. They want what YOU have/had. They don't necessarily want to work as hard as your family did or as you did, they just want it because they don't have it and believe that society (and everyone in it) owes them.

People with that kind of an attitude problem are why this world is a sad, sad place, as far as I am concerned. All these anonymous people can take that how they like but that is my opinion and no amount of flaming is going to change that.

I may have grown up in a middle-class family and enjoy a middle-class lifestyle NOW, but it was far from middle-class when I was living in a one room (total) flat living on popcorn (I kid you not) for 3 months, no money or job, no hope of one, no heating, (I almost froze to death...does that make you class apologists happy? My mother literally came at the last minute before I passed out into what could have been oblivion...) or any mod cons whatsoever. This has coloured my life and I hope that my son never has to endure what I went thru, class distinctions or not. Just because you have something at one point, doesn't mean you will always have it, and it all depends on how hard you are willing to work YOURSELF for what you have. If you're an idle bugger, you're not going to get very far, and bitching at people for working hard, or for having families who worked hard isn't going to get you anywhere either.

I have never forgotten what I went thru for all those years to get where I am now. Maybe I didn't have to work as hard as most people to get here, but I have had to put up with a lot in return for it and I am damned well not going to apologise for what I have achieved and what I hope to achieve just to make some miserable so-n-so happy. I don't believe I should have to, and neither should Jenn.

I do believe in helping others out (what's so Republican in that?) and I have taught my son well, I believe, as he is the most helpful child as anyone could hope for. I just hope he stays that way and that I taught him right for the future. He should never have to be ashamed of who he is, or where he came from. So what that his great-grandparents were coal miners, railroad engineers, or that they fought and died for our country (I am Canadian as well). At least they did the best they could with what they had, as are we all. Or at least I hope so....

Enough of the harassment already. Jenn has nothing to apologise for, the anonymous bloggers do...

6/15/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

"Those who try to tear you down for being what you are, when you cannot change that fact, are only speaking out of jealousy. They want what YOU have/had. They don't necessarily want to work as hard as your family did or as you did, they just want it because they don't have it and believe that society (and everyone in it) owes them."

I agree wholeheartedly. Yet this is not, from how I'm reading it, what anonymous (the first) was talking about. (It does perhaps sound like what anonymous #3 has in mind, but that's pure speculation...)

My understanding, based on his comments, is that anonymous has no problems with Jenn's class privilege. As was stated, it's the bias, rather than the privilege, that was the (attempted) point of the discussion. The diaper example that anonymous raises (that Jenn seems to find so amusing) is a valid one. Jenn makes no allowance ("It's a cop-out easy way for parents to invest less time in potty-training their kids... in other words, to potty train so long as it fits into the parents' schedules." -- from here) for the possibility that a parent might have extremely limited parenting time out of necessity. She condemns tools that allow some flexibility as exclusively a cop-out of the lazy.

6/15/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Kaede said...

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. As a parent, I don't necessarily think anyone knows what it's like to be in that situation until you get there (sorry Jenn) but I don't see the class bias in there. Some people just don't agree with it, and that's their choice. It has nothing to do with class, as there are plenty of lower-income people who feel the same way and prefer to toilet-train their children from a very young age the old fashioned way. My friend H is a case in point.

At last count (I've not spoken to her in a couple of years since we moved from there) they had 3 kids, all 18 months apart, and she had no choice but to have A toilet-trained as soon as she could because of the cost of diapers (both cloth and disposable) when C was born, and she did the same with C when M was born, with varying degrees of success. It was more a cost issue, than a class bias.

She also didn't agree with the whole idea of disposable diapers (whoever thought up the word 'nappy' here should be shot...) and used cloth ones that had been handed down in the family (sterilised of course). It was her choice to make, even tho it did mean a lot of laundry and associated costs from that. It's balancing the one with the other that is hard to gauge unless you are a parent and in that financial situation yourself. *chuckles*

I'm sure I'm not making sense but this is how I see it. Another side note - my son had a few issues and thus we had no choice but to use pull-up style undies until he got himself back under control. It was either that or the school wouldn't allow him to go as it's a hygiene issue. I won't bore anyone with details as it's personal but yeah. That's where we had no choice. I don't disagree with them anyway but Jenn is entitled to her own opinion, whether I agree or not, and for anon1 to criticise her for that is, well...rude.

6/16/2005 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Kaede said...

Oh, and as for most of the rest of her post, I agree fully with the astonishing lack of parenting skills shown, not just in the US, but world-wide where physical discipline is not permitted BY LAW. The UK has enacted a law whereby you are forbidden to so much as raise your hand to your child.

I do not advocate beating as a preventative measure or for punishment, by any means, but I was raised the 'old-fashioned' way where we got the belt when we did seriously wrong and I don't think I turned out too badly. I think a well-reasoned out smack in the bottom goes a long way, together with the 'talk it out' approach towards behaviour modification where needed. Establishing well-reasoned and common sense family rules are necessary as are disciplinary measures for infractions. Beating, no. Just talk, no. Neither of these work, either on their own or together. Everything in moderation ppl, and this includes physical discipline.

Anyway, one of the points I am trying to make here is that the government has made it so easy for parents to abrogate their parental responsibilities, which is so totally wrong...in my view. If your child breaks something in a store, you should be made to pay for it. Not just excuse it as 'kids will be kids'. If a child vandalises something, they should be made to pay (or help) to restore it. The parents also should be accountable in helping with costs associated.

I feel very strongly about the fact that it seems like most people these days, children, teens, young adults, seem to have been poorly raised, with a complete lack of moral system, ideals and manners. When has it become acceptable to beat another child on the bus (as I witnessed) and nobody say a word? (until I did...) When has it become acceptable for children to have such tantrums in shopping malls, restaurants etc. and nothing be done about it, even tho it ruins the experience for the rest of us and provides a poor example to our children?

When my son has a tantrum, we remove him from the situation immediately, no begging/pleading for him to stop. He knows the consequences of his actions, and we ALWAYS follow thru, on matter how distressing to us, as well as him. He knows that when he misbehaves (as he did yesterday) he misses out on treats and priviledges. I don't see what is so hard that other parents can't do the same. It is not hard. Well, oke, it's hard on you when your child is screaming and crying and hating your guts, but they always get over it, and so do you.

My husband blames things like the child abuse hotline and such things like that for telling children that it's oke to shop your parents for yelling at you or whatnot. The majority of calls they deal with (believe it or not) are retaliatory because a parent tried to instill some discipline, not because of children in serious physical abuse situations. It gives children the one-up on adults and they are not in a position to use it responsibly - they are children for pete's sake! Not mini-adults, as Jenn pointed out. They are pushing boundaries which don't seem to exist any more as the goverments have taken them away.

And ppl wonder why there's so many murders and serious offences commited now by younger and younger offenders these days....

I blame the parents and the governments, full stop.

6/16/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

Kaede, the world needs more parents like you. :) I can't quite agree with your assignment of blame (government initiatives are, after all, the result of public pressure -- not the cause of the attitude), but it's definitely true that parenting standards have slipped dramatically over the last few decades...

6/16/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Shelly said...

whoa.... i think i jumped in on this discussion after it turned a corner somewhere, but here it goes anyway. Someone above me somewhere mentioned the idea that privilege isn't a constant. I think that is a very important part of this post because it makes an important distinction between race, sex, and class. Class can change. I'll always be a white female, but sometimes i'll be a paris hilton and sometimes i'll be a peg bundy and sometimes i'll be somewhere in between. What i'm getting at here is that people lump class into the race and gender category because, politically, they coincide pretty often. But class and privilege are malleable. I can't wake up tomorrow and be an asian man, but i can wake up tomorrow and be broke as shit.

6/16/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

"Kaede, the world needs more parents like you. :) I can't quite agree with your assignment of blame (government initiatives are, after all, the result of public pressure -- not the cause of the attitude), but it's definitely true that parenting standards have slipped dramatically over the last few decades... "

hmmm... that's basically what I was saying in the parenting post.

different anonymous, here is what the concern seems to me to be -- yourself and anonymous seem to be unable to reconcile this: that I think a working parent can and should still be a good parent without shortcuts. Attacking pull-ups is not an attack on working parents -- they are an attack on pull-ups and what I perceive as the mindset behind many parents who use pull-ups: that you are removing the impetus for a child to potty train so that potty training can be on the parents' schedule. Now, Kaede's example (and another commentor on that post who had a similar example) uses pull-ups for another reason, and that's, in my opinion, unrelated to why I brought up pull-ups in the first place.

Just because you are a working parent, that is not an excuse to demand others to fully approve of your parenting skills in that if you're willing to pass the buck then you deserve criticism as a parent whether you work or not. If you're a working parent and you need to take your kid to daycare, fine, but don't then expect *me* to be okay if you start treating your daycare provider as the de facto discipliner and parent. You can easily resort to daycare, etc without giving up your responsibility and position as a parent -- but many parents don't, and *that's* my problem.

I think it's really awesome for a parent to work and to raise kids, but just because you work doesn't give you an excuse to spend less time or energy being a parent -- that's what I'm talking about with responsibility... I believe you could spend all day with your kid and still not take the responsibility of having a child seriously. It's the mindset or American parents that are pissing me off.

In fact, if you re-read the post you are linking, you'll see that I actually never make any connection between responsibility and working parents. Y'all put the class issue there, not me ... especially with the diapers thing.

Kaede, thank you for sticking up for me, and I actually very much do agree with you that I am speaking a little out of my ass since I have never been a parent before. I'm sure my opinions on everything from daycare to diapers will change dramatically if and when I have a child, but that doesn't mean that right now, as the childless person who has to put up with the dramatic decrease in parenting in America, my views are any less valid. Even if I'm not a parent, that doesn't mean I have nothing to say on the subject (bringing that back to what this post was originally about -- just because you have racial, gender or class privilege doesn't nullify what you have to say about oppression issues).

And Shelley, I also agree with you that class privilege *is* fluid, which makes it difficult in my mind to directly correlate it to issues of gender and race. Good point!

Regarding whether or not I'm a young republican -- hardly. That's almost as patently absurd as the idea that I think all families should have a stay-at-home parent and that this is what I plan on doing one day too.

6/16/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Kaede said...

Oh I don't think (and didn't say) that you didn't have a valid viewpoint on issues relating to parenting. It's all in your experience and what you know and as long as you have a thoughtful, well-researched position (as you do) then I don't see any harm in that. I agree with you that it's absolutely disgusting that parents use child-care provision as the means by which their children are taught right from wrong, and excusing them from all responsibility.

I can't believe I forgot this, but I'll tell y'all a story. I used to be a nanny in a northern Native community in Canada. The girl I worked for (or one of them, as I was working for two of them together at one point) was a teacher at the school there. What I found highly objectionable was this: despite the fact that she was a teacher, her children were the worst behaved I have EVER come across in all my years of childcare and parenting. She lost friends because of this and refused to believe her kids could do wrong. She wouldn't let me discipline them when they misbehaved (which they did with astonishing regularity) and her excuse for not teaching them the basics like dressing themselves, manners and such was that she was a teacher all day and didn't want to have to come home and do it there too. I found that appalling and said so (almost promptly getting sacked). Her younger child almost killed my turtle while I was away visiting my family and nothing was done - my stuff was ruined, nothing was done. In the end we agreed to go our separate ways, as nothing was working out there. I should have run a mile when she said she'd had 10 nannies in 10 months prior to me. I lasted just over 6 months....

My point in all this is that regardless of what position you hold in society, when you are a parent, you have the responsibility to teach your children, not rely on others to do it for you, then scream bloody murder when they don't do it to your satisfaction. Using other things to avoid these responsibilities shows a disgusting lack of caring which seems rife everywhere you look in this day and age and is something both Jenn and I feel strongly about, based on our different viewpoints and experiences.

6/18/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

"Attacking pull-ups is not an attack on working parents -- they are an attack on pull-ups and what I perceive as the mindset behind many parents who use pull-ups: that you are removing the impetus for a child to potty train so that potty training can be on the parents' schedule."

Where does this belief in the "pull-up" mindset come from? (Maybe I'm missing something here, but I have never heard of parents foregoing potty-training and letting kids "figure it out" on their own with pull-ups...)

Condemning pull-ups because some people *might* use them that way (or attacking pull-ups to express your point of view on lazy parents who might use them as a parenting substitute) seems very much like condemning computers entirely because some people interact exclusively through them, instead of being active members of society. A tool should not be condemned simply because it *can* be used half-assedly.

6/18/2005 11:59:00 PM  

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