“Population control is a fraught topic, and carries with it associations with eugenics and other nasty historical events,” writes Kristen Pyszczyk at CBC. “But we still need to talk about it.” Ah, do we? I’m not so sure—though in either case it is deeply concerning that Pyszczyk does not actually dismiss out-of-hand the implementation of “eugenics and other nasty historical events” in order to achieve “population control.” I guess she’s prepared, come what may.
The author’s tacit consideration of “nasty historical events” is inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines’s announcement that they are expecting their fifth child. Now, most people are excited and impressed when a couple announces they’re expecting baby number five—but some people, hearing the joyous news, can only thing of our species’ alleged impending extinction:
I get that humankind’s theoretical demise is not enough to justify abstaining from what is for many the most meaningful experience of a lifetime. But it’s not theoretical. Climate change is getting measurably worse, populations are multiplying exponentially and economic inequality is not getting better. And to top it off, Prince is dead. Don’t bring a child into this.
Procreation is becoming a global public health concern, rather than a personal decision. So when people do irresponsible things like having five children, we absolutely need to be calling them out.
It is notable that Pyszczyk identifies herself as a “feminist.” It has really been quite delightful to watch more and more feminists gradually shift from “My body, my choice,” to “You deserve to be shamed for the choice you made with your body.” The feminist politics of “choice,” which for years have seemed so immutable and so monomaniacal, have started to give way in the face of climate change hysteria. We “absolutely need to be calling out” the women who decide to reproduce in ways that climate mavens don’t approve of: how progressive!
Here is the truth of the matter: babies are great. They’re fantastic, actually, and there is no cap to it: one baby is great, two babies is fantastic, five babies is a freaking supernova of baby delight. There will always, of course, be a chorus of shocked, pearl-clutching Malthusians who say that having more than a teacup pig or a couple of hermit crabs is irresponsible and unfair to our overcrowded, groaning, verge-of-annhiliation planet. Ignore them; actually, point and laugh at them. The Malthusians are always wrong; they always have been and they will be again. (“This time we’re right!” the Malthusians insist; they always insist this.)
If you want to have five kids, have five kids. Heck, why not go for lucky number seven! After all, once the greenhouse effect really gets carried away and civilization finally collapses, you’ll definitely want to have enough workers on hand to comb the ravaged countryside looking for the last remaining scraps of food and drops of water. You have to plan for the future.