Freedom Folks

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Babies and Blue Don't Mix?

Just read this fascinating piece over at National Review Online.

The author is currently a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard. She is also the mother of "four small adorable kids," and has the ultra blue university town stories to prove it.

The last time I lived in Cambridge with kids was four years ago. Back then I had just two of them — and was pregnant with my third. According to my fair-minded fellow Cambridge residents, I was an overpopulating nut-case. The snickers and sneers were insufferable — most especially when I was out with my boys in a double stroller, pushing them along with my pregnant, over-sized mid-section. You could see the astonished eyes looking first at the stroller, then at my belly, then quickly at my face (to see if I was real, I assume), and then embarrassingly shifting to a store front or a passing car. Then the person would whisper to a smiling companion, well within my hearing, “She’s having another one!” As if it weren’t already obvious.
Hardy left Cambridge, but came back -- this time with four small children. She says she already thought the town was "about as anti-natalist as it could be." She returned to find it worse.

My favorite sign of the times is that in my absence the GapKids that used to occupy the second floor of one of the Harvard Co-op buildings in Harvard Square was replaced with a GapBody.


GapBody is the newest spin-off. It peddles ridiculously trendy undergarments and comfy apparel for women, because, as goes their motto, “there’s no secret to being sexy...feeling good is the sexiest thing of all.”


According to their website, GapBody provides everything a young woman needs to help her feel sexy, including, to my great astonishment, “playful intimates for under your daytime outfits.” Why in heaven’s name students should want something playful under their daytime clothing, I have no idea. The demand for playfulness in classrooms and labs never seemed to me to be particularly high.
( 8-)

The one thing that really jumped out at me as I read this piece? How horrifying it is to think that anyone might consider childbearing and child rearing as an exercise in economics. So horrifying, as a matter of fact, that it made me feel nauseous. Seriously nauseous.

Hardy sums it up perfectly:

Harvard students are more interested in sex — or in feeling sexy — than in kids. Feeling sexy, however, often leads to sex, and sex often leads to kids. Ahem. Or at least to pregnancies. Which is why blue America sweepingly (and coercively) supports choice. They want the sex, but not the kids. The kids are much too costly. To the pocketbook, yes, but most of all to a particular lifestyle more interested in today’s consumption than tomorrow’s production.

Enter defense of illegal immigration (workers need to come from somewhere), abortion and the Pill (for the sexiness without the kids), and support for gay marriage (because what does sex have to do with kids, anyway?). I'm reminded of Walker Percy’s 1971 summary of what the left stands for: LEFTPAPASANE —- Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, The Pill, Atheism, Pot, Anti-Pollution, Sex, Abortion Now, Euthanasia. Think much has changed?
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