Posted By Jennie Chancey on March 24, 2012
I meant to post something about this during the squall that erupted over Obama’s contraception mandate, but that’s the same week a ship off Mombasa dropped anchor on the cable carrying high-speed Internet into Kenya, and life online slowed down to a crawl. That’s okay. Plenty of other folks took time to comment, both on friends’ Facebook threads and on blogs.
During the brouhaha, I read an absurd and inaccurate article about how “quiverfull” women (those of us with more than the acceptable 2.1 children, I guess) are basically put-upon martyrs, roasted upon the spit of fecundity while our brains go to rot. It was such drivel I didn’t even bother to bookmark it, so now I can’t find it, of course. But it really brought home the fact that feminism still paints mothers at home (and especially mothers with several children) as brainless slaves who can’t make a coherent choice about what color to wear on a daily basis, let alone how many children are “realistic” or how we’re supposed to have any semblance of a cogent thought at the end of a long day full of homemaking, homeschooling, and the general work of any normal marriage relationship.
So I’ve got a long article in the works. It’s bubbling along in my overworked (or is it “underworked?”) brain, and I promise I’ll eventually get it from brain cell to keyboard. Until then, I’d just like to put a shout out to all my fellow wives and mothers who are exercising their minds in the bringing up of the next generation of producers.
Yes, I said producers. Somewhere along the Malthusian line, we’ve lost the notion that children=healthy demographics and healthy demographics=long-term stability. At long last even venerable old dragons like the New York Times are catching onto the fact that a plummeting birth rate is not a happy thing. While China ages itself into a 4:2:1 culture that will not be able to sustainably provide for its elderly, pensioners in Greece riot and throw tantrums over the loss of state-funded retirement schemes (which there are not enough young taxpayers to keep afloat), and the rest of the Eurozone looks at its greying populations and wonders how much longer before their cities are on fire.
Isn’t it possible that those of us having lots of children and bringing them up in entrepreneurial households have actually thought all this out beforehand? Has it never crossed anyone’s mind that fecundity can be purposeful and future-directed rather than aimless and retrograde?
Pardon my tone if it comes across as sarcastic, but after ten years of posting about birth rates, demography, contraception, marriage, family, biblical womanhood, and household economics, I’d kind of hoped the message would have been loud and clear by now:
- Yes, we are having children (and view them as blessings, boons, and bequests).
- Yes, we are doing it on purpose (and, yep, we know “what causes that” and, frankly, enjoy it as the good gift God intended it to be).
- No, we are not oppressed slaves who lay ourselves down on the altar of fertility because we’ve been brainwashed to do so.
- Yes, we truly believe that families who see themselves as productive units rather than senseless consumers of goods are the best foundation from the past and the wave of the “sustainable” future. (And, yep, this means families with two children and families with 19–fertility is a gift; not a contest or a game of one-upmanship.)
Demographics matter, and the ongoing war on fertility is cultural suicide. To all my sisters out there today teaching two-year-olds to pick up toys, five-year-olds to tie their shoes, eight-year-olds to spell, and 14-year-olds to learn a skill that will build rather than squander resources, my hat is off to you. You have your finger on the future’s pulse. Don’t let feminism fool you. Use your wonderful, active brains to pass on a legacy to your children and build your own household economy. The world is counting on you.