I was visiting my childhood friend, now a mother, when dinner time arrived. She squirted ketchup onto her daughter’s plate and then her son’s. And then mine. I looked at it.
She immediately recognized her mistake and laughed. She knew I could squirt my own ketchup, she said, but she was just so used to doing it… She apologized (still laughing) for overstepping her role as “mother” by inadvertently mothering me.
Where my friend excelled is where many other women, such as Kathleen Parker in her column “Of pleasure and parenthood,” fail miserably. They overstep their role as mother by saying things, as Parker did, such as, “It’s hard to know for certain that one doesn’t want children. Many don’t, until they do.”
Whether people should need a license to have children isn’t a new conversation. In 1980, Hugh LaFollette, Marie E. and Leslie Cole Emeritus Professor in Ethics at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Editor-in-Chief of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, argued in favor of licensing parents because, in short,
I once told my Childfree Girls co-founding non-mothers that arguing with people who identify themselves as “pro-life” is pointless. It was in a moment when I was in the middle of a discussion with someone else who had been going around in circles for a while, and I was tired and angry that some people not only still think it’s OK to tell women what they can or cannot do with their bodies but are also very supportive of heavy legal regulation in this matter.
While this person and I were discussing rape, birth control, and abstinence, I noticed he kept pulling the conversation back to a point where he could argue one more time that “zygotes and fetuses are also human beings; therefore, abortion is murder.”