eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, December 10

Brats!

Some years ago, I was a regular reader of a parenting forum when a random stranger posted to criticize one of the members for having her dog put down (killed, presumably with a drug to make it painless). One of the parents found a forum that the stranger frequented and we were a bit shocked about the content. It seemed to be all about how awful breeders (parents) and their
brats (children) were! (I don't remember if this is the same forum, but it looks like the same author/designer). Some of the parents posted angry messages and criticisms and got themselves banned from the forum.

The bits that I initially read turned my stomach. I tend to have that reaction to the level of hatred and venom that I found at that site. However, I have an incredible curiosity when it comes to people whose views seem to be the opposite of mine. It fascinates me. I want to know how they could possibly think such a way. I've found that the results are often surprising and interesting and that there are usually some real truths - often overlooked ones - behind such views. I tried to see things from their point of view.

To avoid being banned while I satisfied my curiosity, I refrained from posting and did a lot of reading. One of the first things I read was some bit about "read this first". It specifically outlined what was or was not allowed. From what I remember, technically, my very ideas prohibited me from even reading the forum. I didn't think they could actually complain to my ISP for merely reading their site, and I didn't think I was doing anything morally wrong by trying to understand them, so I read on.

While I strongly disagreed with much of what such people had to say, I could see some legitimate grounds for complaint. I think a lot of people do become parents without really thinking it through and then go on to expect other people to help them (public schools, welfare, etc.). Some parents also expect that other people won't mind the tendency of some children to destroy/damage other people's property and be inconsiderate (noisy, run around and accidently run into people/things, etc). It's true that adults do such things too sometimes, but people won't generally think it's cute or nice or ok. They'd think the adult was being rude and might even make the adult leave the premises (in a store, for example).

Another interesting thing I discovered while reading is that the group uses the abbreviation PNB to mean "parents - not breeders". There are posts sometimes praising people who, in their view, are actually taking their responsibility as parents seriously. It seems that parents and children aren't all hated in this group. From the FAQ:

"What I "hate" is the irrational expectation that all adult humans must adore all children, regardless of the facts and behavior of the child in question."

I never did get around to posting on it. I don't now whether I could really get in trouble with my ISP for posting, but I didn't want to find out. Also, I decided that I just didn't really have the stomach for it. I don't much like discussing or arguing with people who stick mean labels on other people instead of trying to understand and help them or to find some positive way to get their reasonable complaints understood.
(Like a campaign to encourage people to be PNB).

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