By Jonathon Van Maren
The Globe and Mail has a column by a 25-year-old “digital marketing expert” Patricia Untinen asking the question: “Has having children become unconscionable?”
The answer is not given—no post-Christian libertine would summon the chutzpah to (gasp)—tell someone what to do—but it is heavily implied that to procreate in our climate of change would be very stupid. Have you, like, not looked outside lately? As it turns out, it is as difficult to predict the future in 2022 as it was in 1922, and what responsible person decides to have children without knowing what the future holds?
Of course, the only reason any of us exist is because our ancestors chose to have children during wars, pandemics, natural disasters, and the brutal grind of life before modern medicine, but to ruminate on that for awhile would require more mental bandwidth and less self-absorption than most progressive activists are capable of. Untinen’s logic, applied any time before Untinen’s birth, would likely have precluded her existence and denied her the privilege it takes to write a column in a national newspaper wondering why people bother to have children (perhaps making those who invested in her generation by birthing them and funding their education ask themselves the same thing.)
It’s not that Untinen doesn’t make any valid points. Housing prices are crazy, she says, and things are more expensive. Of course, poverty is relative, and what seems like penny-pinching to us would look like staggering luxury to most of our ancestors a couple of generations back. For my grandmother the biggest housing crisis was when the Germans flattened Rotterdam and being “poor” a century ago meant not having enough to eat. We spend as much on our smartphones as our grandparents did on food for a couple of months. Despite the challenges the upcoming generations face, the greatest shortage appears to be gratitude, standing as we do on the centuries of suffering that gave us this society.
Not that I’m trying to convince folks like Untinen to have kids, of course. I suspect the only way to make such people rethink their position is to ask: If straight folks stop having kids, how will LGBT couples find any to adopt?