Rob's Soapbox Archives
September 6th, 2010
THINGS ALL PARENTS MUST STOP DOING IMMEDIATELY
The most cowardly argument on the planet is based in the fundamental belief that unless you walk in someone else’s shoes, you can’t have an opinion or comment on how they live their life, or how their decisions affect you and those around you. “You don’t understand because you’ve never been there,” is how the pathetic yarn is spun.
Most commonly, it is the fallback position of lazy parents in America who hear themselves criticized by those who have never raised children. Rather than refuting the arguments made, the parent simply lashes out at the person making the argument, claiming they have no standing since they’ve never raised a child of their own.
Fair enough. You win. From now on and from this day forward, no person who is not a parent, or has never been a parent, can ever utter an opinion about child rearing. In keeping with the logic of this new principle, here are some additional rules:
- You can never again send back or complain about a meal in a restaurant. Since you have never managed a restaurant before, you don’t understand the challenges presented by trying to rush dozens of food orders out to hungry customers. Don’t try that “but we all cook, and we all eat,” argument because all of have been kids once, and therefore we were all parented, but since non-parents can longer comment on kids, customers can no longer comment on service industries.
- You must never again utter a peep about anything involved with the military unless you’ve served. Never mind that this literally goes against the constitutional founding of our nation, in which a civilian corps of elected leaders is entrusted with telling our military where to go and when to do it, we’ll work out that little detail later on.
- Revoke your citizenship. Since America was founded by a bunch of guys who had never before run a country, but had the audacity to say that the King who was running America was doing it wrong, we should immediately ask England to once again rule us.
- Disavow and cease and desist from ever having an opinion on abortion, unless you’ve aborted a baby. Sorry, pregnant gals and all women who have given birth, you’re disqualified too, since you may have given birth, but you never actually aborted a baby. Only those women who have terminated pregnancies can and should have any say on whether or not abortion occurs, since they have actually been through it. Those of you who have been through the decision making process and kept the baby still don’t know what the abortion is like, so you’re out. And don’t try that whole “but that affects all of society and/or someone else’s rights,” arguments, because that is clearly true of parenting in America; almost nothing affects our society more than how you raise your children, but we’ve decided that more than half of us can’t comment any longer since we’ve never done it, so that argument has been refuted.
- You must never get upset at your neighbor’s dog for barking at 1a.m. unless you too own a dog since you are incapable of understanding how challenging it can be to get those things to shut up and obey unless you have experienced it.
Clearly, the idea of trying to point out the absurd by being absurd is a lost art on already absurd people, yet still I try.
It’s one thing when people argue certain levels of perspective; for example, as it relates to the current debate about the Ground Zero mosque, many people argue that we should consider the feelings of the 9/11 victims’ families; fair enough, we should consider them, but not allow them to solely guide us, throwing our principles out the window under some asinine creed that demands that because they experienced loss on that tragic day, only they are entitled to a substantive opinion.
Parents today in America take it a step further, demanding that because they have found parenting to be so overwhelmingly beyond what they thought it would be (a provably common conclusion more and more parents are coming to as growing numbers of them report record high resent and regret levels over having their children), everyone and anyone in the same position would have the same experience. This is ludicrous, of course, since plenty of parents criticize the parenting skills of other parents, thus proving we don’t all share the belief that it’s okay for children to roller skate through an Outback steakhouse filled with diners. To argue that a person who has never had children arrives at that very opinion, shared by plenty of parents, solely because the non-parent “doesn’t understand” is so intellectually insulting it borders on hilarious.
So in conclusion; I fully realize that this entire essay was an exercise in futility and as a result I expect that none of you will in any way criticize me for wasting your time because unless you write a weekly column, you simply don’t understand how difficult my job is.