So, ageism is okay now?
While there is technically no such thing as a wrong opinion, there are certain point-of-views that are less socially acceptable than others. Take racism, sexism, or ableism, for example. While you’re allowed to believe in these things, most people are going to bash you for it (and they should). That said, it is relatively okay to voice negative opinions about people of certain political groups or age groups.
When this mom, Mumsnet user allegretto, sat down and thought about it… She realized that saying you “hate” children is just as bad as saying you hate any other group of people. She couldn’t seem to see the difference between saying “I hate children” and “I hate (insert any racial group).”
“If you hate children, you are hating them for their age – how is this different from hating someone for skin colour?” she queried on Mumsnet.
Rightly so, the topic sparked an online debate that sent Mumsnet users into an uproar.
It all started with this mom watching stand up comedy. The female comedian’s jokes must have definitely been thought-provoking, as it led to Mumsnet user allegretto heading to the forum with a question:
“Prompted by a certain female comedien saying this (whom I love btw!), it seems that it is the last taboo. By all means say you are not a child-person, you don’t want kids etc but HATE them? You wouldn’t be able to say that about any other group of people (and kids are people), so why do people say it about children?”
Literally minutes later, allegretto had some answers.
Ask and you shall receive
While the inquisitive mom got a few smart-aleck type responses, she stayed focused on getting a mindful answer. The first response, from user WhatsWineGotToDoWithIt, asked if the comedian was actually being serious about hating children. “I’m not sure but in any case, it is something which crops up quite a lot with childless friends of mine that they say that they hate kids. Seems a bit OTT to me,” allegretto responded.
User ShatnersWig seemed to think that being a person doesn’t excuse anyone from being dislikable. “I hate bigots. They are people. I hate homophobes. They are people. I hate Donald Trump. He’s a person. I hate child abusers. They’re a group of people,” the user wrote.
While ShatnersWig’s dislikes are socially acceptable (by most measures), allegretto still had some thoughts. “Shatnerswig – in all those cases, you are hating people for something they have done. If you hate children, you are hating them for their age – how is this different from hating someone for skin colour?” she said.
The Legal Side
There were those who even offered a legal opinion, bringing up the Equality Act. Under the legislation, age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion/belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership, and pregnancy/maternity are known as protected characteristics. While age is included, it generally refers to older people.
After user Lilmisskittykat pointed out that children were not included in the recently-amended act, user CliffRichardsPenIs and DunkMeInTomatoSoup agreed. Allegretto wasn’t satisfied though. She replied, in part, “I am not asking if it is legal to overtly hate them (it clearly is) but whether it is right.”