By Laura LaVoie
I have been frustrated for years at the way our culture in the United States is biased toward certain groups. For example, have you ever noticed what color “nude” panty hose are? Why should “nude” be a synonym for “white skin?” It bothers me that band-aids are my color when not everyone is my color. I started only buying colorful character band-aids that are more fun, yet some people consider the uproar about “Flesh” crayons to be oversensitive political correctness.
Beyond color, much of American culture is biased toward men. I work for myself, and my health insurance is nearly double that of a self-employed male friend who uses the same insurance company in the same state. And lately I have been noticing a bias that lands firmly in the favor of children.
Of course, it is the anti-child bias that gets all the press. Restaurants that won’t allow kids and airlines that offer childfree flights are considered news. The very reason that these are newsworthy is because there is an overwhelming child bias in our country. As a woman without children I am expected not only to tolerate kids in public, but sometimes, I’m supposed to be responsible for them, even though that is a horrifically bad idea.
I am baffled by the places where I see children (personal bias alert) and I don’t believe they should be there, Our culture is extremely child-centric, and it’s happening more often. I spotted a Mom with a toddler and a baby in arms in a crowded Dragon Con hotel after 11:30 pm. I realize I was judging her choices, but there were some very adult activities are going on, and safety was questionable. Was that the best choice for her children? What if she couldn’t hold on to her young daughter’s hand?
Haven’t we all experienced a meal at a casual restaurant that appeals to both families with children and without that’s interrupted when a kid-nado appears out of nowhere? The child stops at your table. Sometimes he or she even talks to you. And the parents don’t seem to think this is a problem. In these situations, I find it rare that the parent tells their child to stop the behavior, and if I were to do it, I’d be seen as a villain.
Many parents where I live bring their small children to the breweries around town. This is, of course, just fine if the child is well behaved. But when they are not, I get easily frustrated that my adult activity is affected by other people’s bad choices.
I’m not anti-kid, and I am not anti-parent. I am anti-kid-affecting-my-adult-experience. If I were in the McDonald’s play place, I wouldn’t be frustrated. I wouldn’t wander around Disney World complaining that there were too many children under foot. So, I am quite annoyed when children interrupt my adult fun, which really means I’m frustrated with their poorly behaved parents.