Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ninety Percent of Children Cry

I couldn’t watch CNN anymore. There were three women on New Day sitting on a couch talking about what was going on in Bill Cosby’s pants when he drugged them and had sex with them. No disrespect to these women but — is this news? I mean are we really watching this because we are concerned about the abuse of women, or just because dirty stories about inter-racial sex just titillate us so much?
I switched to CBC. Some nice guy was talking about kids visiting Santa. (‘At last, I’m home,’ I thought.) Then he said — apologetically — (So typical of CBC, they’re apologizing for everything nowadays with Stephen Harper intent on taking them down.) “Ninety per-cent of children cry when they see Santa.”
Now that really hits home.
The obvious response would be - duh. Wouldn’t you cry if you were three years old and some determined parental unit plunked you down on a fat man’s lap and you were suddenly confronted with blindingly red and white colours and a huge fake beard? And what if Santa was old and smelly (there are Bad Santas you know)? What then?
Which leads me to inquire: if 90% of all children who go to see Santa do not enjoy the experience (and are blatantly obvious about it), why in heavens name would parents continue trotting them out for this sadist Christmas ritual?
The answer is simple and terrifying.
Most parents couldn’t care less what their children need. Instead, it’s all about the parents.
Children take their kids to see Santa, not because it brings the children pleasure, but because it’s a required rite of passage — because their parents took them and it terrified them, and because everybody else does it, and well — you just, should, eh? Because it’s something people do.
Double, wow.
The reason I’m so appalled by this is because it strikes me that generally speaking, people have children for no other reason than to fulfill society’s expectations, not because they care about children or raising them.
And the effects on the children are devastating.
My background is an exemplary example. My mother married when she was 17 and I was born when she was 21. She didn’t want to be married. She was still just an adolescent escaping her own mother. So the fact that she screwed me up so royally is really not her fault.
Perhaps this isn’t happening anymore (you say)? I beg to differ. Every day I look out the window of my house in downtown Hamilton and see legions of babies with babies — pretty girls chatting on cellphones, smoking and doing drugs, while the boyfriends in baggy pants follow them pushing strollers.
It will always be the same: people have children because they are supposed to — the last thing they care about is the needs of the children. Instead they expect the children to fulfill their lives and live up to their expectations, and someday make them proud.
Being gay, I had some hope for gay parents (though I would never want to be one myself). After all, it takes so much planning and effort for a queer couple to manage having children that I thought maybe gay, lesbian and trans people might raise children for all the right reasons in stead of the wrong ones (ie because they love the kids and truly care about their development).
But no. It’s the sheer hysteria of gay parents — all that pride in the little kiddies, all that money paid to surrogates — and the frenzied showing off of the little’uns, that makes me afraid that queers really are going to be just as bad at parenting as their straight counterparts. 
Oh well.
I suppose it’s too much to ask that it all might stop?
Of course I understand that people will forever want to raise children, and that’s fine (okay, after all, we do need to propagate now and then) but perhaps they might  do so  only when they are emotionally mature and have energy for the kids — and wish to respond to the person those kids turn out to be — instead of trying to shape them into a societal expectation of success.
But I doubt it will ever happen.
So the children will continue visiting Santa.

And alas, they will continue crying.