Oh Hai Backchannel of Teh Internets!

I’ve got a post on Babble that is getting people’s goat again.  The backchannel* is in full swing it appears, so I felt an explanation, rebuttal, and greeting to those who are googling DadCAMP for the first time would be necessary.

I wrote a very specific rant about 2 childless couples I know and how their lifestyle choices / complaining about those choices are frustrating to those of us with families. This is in no means a rant against couples who can’t have children, but rather a specific type of selfish couple that chooses not to have children and then complains about or campaigns against kids.

1 is a childless couple who moved into the inner city right across the street from a school. The school is now closed because of lack of children in the neighborhood. Empty nesters who never left, and nouveau chic child free couples have depleted demand. This while the fringes of the city burst at the seams and children spend up to an hour in each direction on buses to other schools.

Schooling is a major issue in Calgary, specifically the lack of available space where families are living while inner city schools sit empty, are closed, or are filled with children forced to spend up to an hour in each direction on school buses. The school my son will attend next year has less than 10% of its students within the walkable radius, the rest are bused in.

It’s frustrating. While families seek homes near amenities their children will need, those without need for said amenities squat. Grumble.

I also mentioned a colleague who has lamented about her lack of social life in the suburbs. The opposite of my inner city, friend, this woman and her husband moved to the far reaches of the city and then had the gall to complain it was nothing but strollers and school kids. They had a hard time finding buddies for random pub nights, and she couldn’t understand why people didn’t just “drop by” to her home 20km from the city centre.

If you don’t want to be near kids, don’t move near kids.

I then went on to discuss how childfree couples have a selfish sense of entitlement that sees them campaigning to have children banned from planes, food courts, and restaurants.

Who would have known that these childfree people have Facebook Groups and backchannel message boards dedicated to their childfree cause? (It seems everyone has a special interest group attached to their cause these days).

When a board is called BratFree, I can’t expect much sympathy – and they haven’t cut me any. Which kind of makes my point even more valid, I think. The campaign against kids is filled with selfish vitriol from a Me Generation of adults.

The post was originally written back in February and sat in my queue until yesterday. The article that sparked it, Why The Choice To Be Childless Is Bad For America, complains that childfree couples are ruining America because not enough babies are being born to sustain the population.  I think immigration will solve the population problem quite easily, and maintain the tax base for future generations.  The article is terribly narrow and xenophobic in its view.  My post was originally written to show the true ‘evil’ of childfree parents – their selfish, me-first, sense of entitlement as I detail above.

I agree that Mother Nature has just about enough of us on the planet and if a few couples skipped out on having kids, we’d probably all be better off. The problem arises when the childfree couples take a bratfree attitude and expect the rest of the world to march to their drum. Ain’t gonna happen.

I will concede that some parents are entitled and bring their kids to places where children should not be present (bars, R movies, fancy restos, etc).  I have called them out in the past:

I agree  that my original rant was not very well written, I’d love to go in and edit the rambly parts, but it is posted so c’est la vie.

The thesis, however, remains – childless couples are becoming ever demanding and selfish in a campaign against kids. If you put yourself in place where kids are going to be, don’t complain about it. Stop squatting on land that families need near schools.

You don’t understand what it’s like to be a parent, no matter how many dogs, cousins, or nephews you have.

Image via Michael Gilldadcamp fire

* “The backchannel” usually refers to a conversation that happens behind the original conversation. Think of people texting and tweeting about a presentation or conference. The presenter is trying to engage the audience, but they are talking amongst themselves – backchannel. In this sense, the backchannel refers to the anonymous trollosphere where people fuelled by keyboard courage gather in very very niche groups and then hide behind nicknames, avatars, caplocks, and extensive cursing to slag off bloggers, celebrities, etc without fear. These types of message board and forum backchannels are often an ugly place where people say things behind someone’s back they would never have the courage to say to their face.

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Buzz

Buzz Bishop is a Dad. Broadcaster. Writer from Calgary, Alberta. He is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in 2007 and Charles in 2010.

One Comment

  1. And herein lies the problem… I am talking about people in my specific city with specific circumstances. We are a rapidly growing city that has schooling challenges. I am not making a blanket statement about schooling in every town, village, city and hamlet across the globe .. I am talking about my specific city.

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