Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
feministe has this post up with about ten comments about a pregnant woman getting kicked out of a bar.
all the comments are something like, "that's ridiculous!" (which it is)
however earlier last year there was a guest post by a woman named mai'a who blogged about how people don't have the right to a child-free space and that she shouldn't be sequestered and removed from adult communities if she can't find child care or (gasp) she wants her child to participate in all the spaces she can.
i agree with mai'a, for the most part, and i think the post is a good critique of ways that western/white/middle-class folks conceptualize adult vs. child-friendly spaces and how that really hurts women and particularly women who can't afford child care.
the post got about 700 comments, many of which were to the tenor of "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WOULD EXPOSE YOUR CHILD TO ALCOHOL AND I HATE KIDS AND YOU ARE DUMB GOD WHAT AN AWFUL PARENT YOU ARE."
so many comments missed mai'as point by about 5000 feet and just perpetuated the racism/classism/Eurocentrism that she was talking about
this is my favorite—the whitest most middle-class comment of the bunch:
Last winter at breakfast out, my only pair of dress slacks was ruined by an adorable curly-haired moppet who plastered me with boysenberry-syruped hands. Her parents? Did nothing–she continued to run wild around the restaurant. The dry cleaners was unable to remove the stains.
it's just interesting that so many months later a commentary on a news report written by a white woman puts forth relatively the same scenario and it definitely doesn't garner the same attention or vitriol as mai'as post. not surprising, just sayin'.
on the whole, i feel like it's far more important to raise a child who isn't sexist, racist, etc. than it is to shelter a child from alcohol, cursing, and rowdiness. hell, i love rowdy kids who curse a blue streak.
(and yes, i believe that critiquing a pregnant woman's choice to go to a bar is about the same as critiquing a mother's choice to take her child to a bar. both are about this concept of good parenting, and while unborn babies are generally quiet this scenario is too similar for me to not think of the two posts together.)
a note: some of my earliest memories are of my dad - who is brown and not from the u.s. - taking me to bars; mostly bars where other lower-middle- and working-class latino men hang out
as far as i can recall, this was never weird for me nor for my dad nor for the men there
they were friendly to me while still having a good time with each other; they drank beer and i drank soda and we all watched soccer on TV and dart-players in the bar
aaaaand it was all OK
ooooh—RAGE. imma gonna have to get on my boxing gloves on go there, aren't I. UUURGH!!!!!