Thanks for your response. I totally see your points here. My friend decided for herself that she doesn't want children for a few reasons, one of which has to do with the difficulty of not only providing for them materially, but mostly do with the fact that she has personal hurdles to overcome that she feels would not make her a suitable mother. But of course she has the right to choose to be a mother, and it would be horrifying if there was a government banning or forcing abortion or sterilization of people who are or were homeless or are people coded as "psychologically unwell" (by the way, this could in practice be anyone who goes to therapy if the powers that be determined that was the criteria, which if you're shopping for life insurance going to therapy makes you a "higher risk" client-- that's the slippery slope effect, which stigmatizes mental health expansion).

A doctoral program gave me time to read deeply and engage in these sorts of conversations daily, but it's certainly not meant to be a gauntlet. I'm so happy to think through ideas with you and certainly don't think that a degree makes me more qualified if I'm unable to express the points clearly here. If the points I've shared are useful, then that's great. I don't take your responses as aggressive at all. I literally do this type of talk all day, I teach 120 undergraduates at the moment. Perhaps I came off quite teacher-y, but it's not my goal to be "aggressive" --- it's just my whole job as an anthropologist is to get people to question their lived experiences, power, and their place in the world. I just do this all day with myself and those I interact with. Your comment caught my eye, and I decided to engage. No harm, no foul.

Also, real quick: I see and can understand the desire to scapegoat poor people here, especially when the people who have hurt you have that class status in common. But a good check on that sort of tendency is to ask yourself if you see other class groups being extremely abusive or having drug problems. Rich kids overdose, wealthy parents abuse their kids, the elite molest, rape, and take advantage of weaker people (children, elderly, the poor). If all economic classes do this, it might not be their class status that determines their behavior. There may be other pressure points in this complex puzzle of human behavior.

Sure, money helps us out, it can stave off a lot of pressures, but it isn't a determining factor for abuse or for love. People should totally have basics in order to have children! I agree. I think distributing wealth and changing our tax system among other things is a way to ensure higher quality of life for us all.

Take care, I wish you well. I've got to finish writing an article, but it's been great to chat with you.

Athropologist, linguist, Afro-futurist, critical social theorist, public speaker, university teacher, market researcher, and performer. terukomitsuhara.com

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