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Image for "We're in the midst of a gayby-boom"

"We're in the midst of agayby-boom"

“Kids with gay and lesbian parents are the result of long deliberation, careful planning, a bit of luck, and lots of love,” say Sydney filmmakers Maya Newell and Charlotte McLellan.

“But who are these children? And are they somehow different to other kids?”

Voiceless from the beginning, bar a passionate wail and whinge every now and then as all good babies do, children living in a household with same-sex parents are often left unheard – particularly when it comes to social issues that directly affect them, such as marriage equality and having parents of the same gender.

Over the past 12 months, two young Australians have teamed up with the attempt at providing a vessel through which children like them can finally get a word in.

Their film is to be titled Gayby Baby, a documentary that “will reveal the untold stories of kids in same-sex families and allow the rest of us to understand what it means to be raised culturally queer”.

Watch the trailer below.

Maya Newell serves as producer, writer and director, whilst Charlotte McLellan is the documentary filmmaker and photographer. Having met at university in Sydney after being lulled into friendship “on account of matching schedules and haircuts,” this is the first of two projects they’re working on together, and is a rather personal one for Newell, who has two lesbian mums.

“I have loved growing up with two mothers,” she says. “In my opinion, children need love, security and support, and it doesn’t matter if that is given by one parent, two parents or more.

“I hope that in watching this film, audiences will be inspired to interrogate ‘what is family’ and how and by whom is it defined.”

“I have loved growing up with two mothers”

The trailer for the documentary contains a snippet from ABC’s Q&A with opposition frontbencher Joe Hockey stating, “we’ve got to aspire to give our children what I believe the very best of circumstances, and that is to have a mother and a father.”

In the midst of what the director describes as a “gayby-boom”, Newell believes that around a quarter of long-term gay and lesbian couples are raising a child, and notes that “worldwide, millions of ‘queer spawn’ are invisibly roaming streets, schools and living rooms.”

The duo have set a date of December 18 to bring in funds of $100,000 to put towards the filmmaking process, currently sitting just under $11,000 – a figure we noticed has risen by over two thousand dollars overnight.

Featuring kids from queer homes ranging from toddlers, young teenagers and a young boy with an adorable voice, Gayby Baby will be the film for this queer generation, and the next.

The Gayby Baby creative process can be followed on Facebook and Twitter @gaybybaby. Or send the filmmakers an email on hello@gaybybabythemovie.com.

To pledge your support, visit Gayby Baby’s Pozible page here.

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DavoJimbo

DavoJimbo said on the 14th Nov, 2012

I think I will end up paying more taxes to help raise any kids, be they gayby or straightby....breeders are breeders....and someone has to pay for em...and gay couples end up paying for services not rendered or needed... so for fucks sake at least let me get married.... :-)

nvek69

nvek69 said on the 14th Nov, 2012

Back in 1997 there was a brief moment when fluro-coloured bonds t-shirts were all the rage. They were advertised on TV and promoted in shop windows along Oxford St. At $10 they were a significantly more expensive than the usual white/blue/black ones but nevertheless I rushed out and bought three. I would wear them to The Shift on a Saturday night where half the other guys were wearing them too. However, the fashion only lasted about two months and then suddenly they disappeared from view. Knowing that they'd never be fashionable again I didn't even bother with the charity bin, I just trashed them.
In 2012 Gaybies are fashionable. They are promoted on gay websites and on TV shows like "The New Normal" and "Modern Family". They are not as popular as all the promotional material would have you believe though. Personally, I spend several hours a day trolling up and down King St Newtown and still I have never actually SEEN one of these mystical creatures. However, the concept itself is only a fashion and it too will die out within two years.
The difference? My t-shirts cost $30 and I could trash them when the fashion ended. Your gayby will cost you $30,000 a year and you're stuck with it for the next 18.

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 14th Nov, 2012

Hardly think it's a fad. There will always be ppl who will want kids whether those ppl are gay/lesbian or straight and there will be others who dont. For me, kids aren't in the scheme of things-never have been. But for those who want them and want to raise them I wish all the best. Personally I don't think it matters whether the parents are man/woman or same sex. As long as the child is loved and cherished-that's the main thing. It's a big responsibility and a life-long one but I would guess also a very rewarding one.

chad_74

chad_74 said on the 14th Nov, 2012

its one thing to love a child but what about when it gets older marries and has children of its own? The non genetic parent gets treated like crap from what ive seen not only by the inlaws but the kid and the gay partner.I have even seen people financially ruined as the genetic parent goes overboard to be a good grandpa. The old saying goes blood is thicker than water and unless you have a most exceptional partner they will resort back to protecting their own.
This is why though I would love to be a father I have decided not to as the true love of a partner is worth more to me and I would not want to be the cause of potential heartache to them.

ryanaubersonwalsh

ryanaubersonwalsh said on the 14th Nov, 2012

Look, I wrote this article knowing that it's something very close to my heart.
Just like Eggs Benedict said (how I love that username), it's not a fad, there'll always be people who want kids.
I'm only 19 now, but I've wanted kids since I was much much younger because I grew up an only child, raised by my grandmother. I would love to have a family with the person of my dreams. Those TV shows where gaybies are seen mightn't be the best source of knowledge for some people, but they do bring same-sex parenting to light in a normal, humorous way providing easier accessibility and understanding for the general population.
And when it comes to parenting, I'd preferably either adopt or have a surrogate with a good friend, and they'd be welcome into the child's life forever as a mother, along with my partner and I, both as fathers.

There, my little spiel. :]

JayTee

JayTee said on the 14th Nov, 2012

With so many kids already out there that need a family, why are we making more?

Surely the kids already in existence are a priority over kids that may or may not result after "long deliberation". .... Which in itself is a bit of a lie.

I've heard stories of people deciding to conceive a child with someone thuve only know for less than 6 months. A child is a life long responsibility. You don't sign a contract like that with someone you have known less than 6 months!!

Another woman told me of how she and her female partner had a child, but she had difficulty explaining to her parents how she became a mommy without being pregnant - as she wasn't out to them!!

All this child raising nonsense is selfishness in it's purest form. Take care of the kids already in existence because they need someone to take care of them. Don't have a child to fulfill your own needs!

JayTee

JayTee said on the 14th Nov, 2012

That said, I think this project is a valuable one as it gives a voice to those children who are a result of GLBT selfishness (not that hetero children aren't a result of selfishness).

mark_

mark_ said on the 15th Nov, 2012


:p
That's $540,000!

A Sydney newspaper says it's $900,000 until age 21. And as we know kids nowdays DON'T leave home 'til they're 30

Boaz

Boaz said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Back in 1997 there was a brief moment when fluro-coloured bonds t-shirts were all the rage. They were advertised on TV and promoted in shop windows along Oxford St. At $10 they were a significantly more expensive than the usual white/blue/black ones but nevertheless I rushed out and bought three. I would wear them to The Shift on a Saturday night where half the other guys were wearing them too. However, the fashion only lasted about two months and then suddenly they disappeared from view. Knowing that they'd never be fashionable again I didn't even bother with the charity bin, I just trashed them.
In 2012 Gaybies are fashionable. They are promoted on gay websites and on TV shows like "The New Normal" and "Modern Family". They are not as popular as all the promotional material would have you believe though. Personally, I spend several hours a day trolling up and down King St Newtown and still I have never actually SEEN one of these mystical creatures. However, the concept itself is only a fashion and it too will die out within two years.
The difference? My t-shirts cost $30 and I could trash them when the fashion ended. Your gayby will cost you $30,000 a year and you're stuck with it for the next 18.

nvek69: as the father of a wonderful 7 year old "gayby" I find your comments superficial in the extreme. The desire to procreate, whether you're gay or straight, isn't a passing trend. The only difference between now and yesteryear is that openly gay parenting is much more socially acceptable - so we're doing it. I'm sorry if I've upset you. Perhaps you can buck your spirits by shopping for some fashionable t-shirts.

torilee

torilee said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Another gay parent here... couple of comments:

1. I find the term "gayby" revolting, honestly. Kids are kids, whether they have two mums or two dads or a mum & a dad or just one or neither. Whatever. Also, "breeder" is crude and insulting.

2. As others have said, this is not so much a new trend as it is more out in the open now. And there are loads of kids born to gay & lesbian parents who had previous heterosexual relationships before coming out, so... yeah.

3. To those saying "why make more babies when there are so many who need a home" - I agree to some extent, but the fact is it's extremely difficult to adopt a child that is not related to you. I went to an adoption information meeting once and was basically told to bugger off because, no same-sex couples allowed. At all. I know that some people foster, and that's great, but it's not quite the same thing...

4. Those of you whinging about selfishness and taxes are missing the point. The children of today grow up to be the taxpayers of tomorrow; the doctors and nurses who will keep you fed and wipe your arses in your old age. :) Seriously, do I really need to explain how children are an integral part of a functioning society? Even if you never have any of your own.

5. chad_74, I'm sure some "non-genetic partners" get treated like crap, but that's certainly not the case for me and the people I know.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 15th Nov, 2012



3. To those saying "why make more babies when there are so many who need a home" - I agree to some extent, but the fact is it's extremely difficult to adopt a child that is not related to you. I went to an adoption information meeting once and was basically told to bugger off because, no same-sex couples allowed. At all. I know that some people foster, and that's great, but it's not quite the same thing...


Why is it not the same thing? Because you might have to give them back? If that's not selfish i don't know what is. Children are not things that one has possession of.


4. Those of you whinging about selfishness and taxes are missing the point. The children of today grow up to be the taxpayers of tomorrow; the doctors and nurses who will keep you fed and wipe your arses in your old age. :) Seriously, do I really need to explain how children are an integral part of a functioning society? Even if you never have any of your own.


Only SOME children are a part of functioning society. A lot grow up to only be a burden to society. And that blame rests purely at the feet of the parents who raised them.

As someone who works directly with families, saying that 50% of parents are minimally competent would be stretching it. Most parents see their children as extensions of themselves. That their children are there to make them look good, and for parents to use them in competitions with other parents. Dont deny that. You can't tell me that you don't worry about whether your kid is up to the milestones that every other lid in their class is at. Nor how your kids behaviour reflects on you as a parent.

Don't have any more children please. Foster the children that are already in existence. Yes this will create a better functioning society (since that seems to be the selfless reason so many GLBT parents are having babies these days).

JayTee

JayTee said on the 15th Nov, 2012



You'd be surprised at how many fathers i have come across in my work who ditch their kids the moment they become a burden.

Granted they are heterosexual, but if there is a biological desire to procreate, then there is also a biological desire for men to abandon their offspring who aren't wont give the returns on investment.

trina2004

trina2004 said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Sounds like your line of work has embittered you.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 15th Nov, 2012



Quite the oppisite.

I sesea lot of kids fulfill their potential despite their setbacks in life.

It's not thanks to the parents they succeed. It's inspite of them.

I only wish they didnt have to life live with dumb parents and feel pain because of it. And i feel even worse for those kids who can't overcme their burden.

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, advocated that parents give over their children to be raised by the state so that no parent knew whose child was succeeding/failing. That way all prejudices/biases towards individual children would be removed and people would want to see all children succeed because they'd never know which one was theirs. They would work to ensure all children live up to their potential because that was what was best for their community and not just a selfish want to see their own child succeed.

I believe there is some merit in the idea. It probably wouldn't work because there would always be paedos who would they to get into the child rearing game - just like with people wanting to be catholic priests in times gone by because ot would give them access to children.

But even 2,500 years ago this problem of parents being more interested in themselves than their children was identified. I don't think much has changed....

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Quite the oppisite.

I sesea lot of kids fulfill their potential despite their setbacks in life.

It's not thanks to the parents they succeed. It's inspite of them.

I only wish they didnt have to life live with dumb parents and feel pain because of it. And i feel even worse for those kids who can't overcme their burden.

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, advocated that parents give over their children to be raised by the state so that no parent knew whose child was succeeding/failing. That way all prejudices/biases towards individual children would be removed and people would want to see all children succeed because they'd never know which one was theirs. They would work to ensure all children live up to their potential because that was what was best for their community and not just a selfish want to see their own child succeed.

I believe there is some merit in the idea. It probably wouldn't work because there would always be paedos who would they to get into the child rearing game - just like with people wanting to be catholic priests in times gone by because ot would give them access to children.

But even 2,500 years ago this problem of parents being more interested in themselves than their children was identified. I don't think much has changed....

State raised children? Might be good in theory but isn't this new Royal Commission also looking into State run organizations that "turned a blind eye" in the past to child sex abuses? (besides the Churches that is).

I've known a few guys brought up in these types of organizations who are still receiving "therapy" today. Not for any sexual abuse (that I know of) but other forms of both physical and psychological handed out, in the past, to children in State-run homes.

It's "funny" isn't it? To own a dog requires you to have a license and abide by certain rules and regulations - but any human being can raise a child (unless deemed unfit by a court) without any such parameters.

I wonder Jay Tee, if you work in Social Services have you come across many cases of neglect/abuse etc by same-sex parents where both partners are raising children in a "family environment"? I would be interested to know if there are any figures/research/studies done on the subject.

The_Freak

The_Freak said on the 15th Nov, 2012

http://i.imgur.com/ZSE9a.jpg

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Baby vomit, so much worse then a bullet.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 16th Nov, 2012

State raised children? Might be good in theory but isn't this new Royal Commission also looking into State run organizations that "turned a blind eye" in the past to child sex abuses? (besides the Churches that is).

I've known a few guys brought up in these types of organizations who are still receiving "therapy" today. Not for any sexual abuse (that I know of) but other forms of both physical and psychological handed out, in the past, to children in State-run homes.

It's "funny" isn't it? To own a dog requires you to have a license and abide by certain rules and regulations - but any human being can raise a child (unless deemed unfit by a court) without any such parameters.

I wonder Jay Tee, if you work in Social Services have you come across many cases of neglect/abuse etc by same-sex parents where both partners are raising children in a "family environment"? I would be interested to know if there are any figures/research/studies done on the subject.

In my work I have really only known one family headed by a same sex couple. They did a so so job.

I don't think that same sex parents would be any better or worse at parenting than hetero couples (or even single people).

What I have seen though is the parents who have their own lives - ie every moment of their day isn't spent obsessing/talking about their children - are far better parents. They have their own interests, are empathic towards the needs of others as well as their own children. They let their children be whatever they want to be and have no attachment to the outcome, so long as their children grow into productive and happy adults.

I have a friend who has already talKed to his young daughters about how they can marry a girl or a boy when they grow up. The daughters (4 and 6) said that in that case they wanted to marry each other! Obvisouly they don't have any ideas about the role sexuality plays in marriages. But they certainly know alot about love and affection. These girls will grow up knowing their parents accept them whomever they want to be with. Male female or neither. And they will also grow up being accepting of others in the same way their parents are accepting of them.

Contrast that with a child who grows up with their every movement monitored and compared to others. What kind of a person will they grow up to be? How will they relate to others? It doesn't take a genius to guess that the bulk of these children will grow up to be anxious and competitive about their social status and thus look at others as beng in competition with them.

And that's the kind of future our society has to look forward to when the baby bonus generation grow up. "we are only here because our parents wanted the free cash" - so they will also be in it for themselves as well. Whatever they can get out of others they will. No thought of others needs. Just themselves. You can already see how competitive some people are about how they look, what car they drive, where they live etc etc. That conversation topic has been spread over many thread on same same lately. People have noted that some clubs/cities are filled with snobs who are rude to anyone they don't deem worthy.

But the reason I think that same sex couples shouldn't have their own children is because it is such a hassle to conceive (for lesbians) and conceive/give birth (for gay men) that I think it's a lot of wasted energy that is much better spent on children already languishing in state care (as you rightly pointed out).

But i also think the same thing about opposite sex couples who go to great lengths and expense in order to have a child through medical intervention. Why????? There are already kids out there who need a home and loving parents - even if it's only for one weekend, one month, or one year.

Children grow up, leave home and become whatever it is they want to be (or what they think they should be) - but they don't become what parents want them to be. Because children are people. Autonomous beings whom parents merely have the privilege of helping guide - not choosing - who they eventually become.

Life is littered with stories of parents completely disappointed that their children have abandoned them and don't give the parents what the parents want/need. "this isn't what i wanted for you", "why are you doing this to me", "do you know how hard it was raising you?"

If you want unconditional love from a companion that will never leave you, get a dog. They are made for happily serving a master. Children are not.

mark_

mark_ said on the 16th Nov, 2012

One of Louie's colleagues said tonight he could get a surrogate child very easily and they're cheaper than a new car, he said

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UxcIrNK0h8

wysi

wysi said on the 16th Nov, 2012

these children will pay for our future taxes and medicare bills, and will fund our aged pension. so i'm not complaining.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012

I've done it again :D, this post is spread out over two posts. Sorry :(.

JayTee you refute yourself many times in this thread. I feel like you see a problem and in your haste to lay blame you're simultaneously pointing the finger at and away from parents. Life can be incredibly hard, and people can be remarkably incompetent no matter how hard they try, that doesn't have to be anyone's fault.



You mention selfish many times in this thread. When I was thinking about having children of my own, I could not come up with a single selfless reason for having them. Can you give me a selfless reason for having children?

If you want to get philosophical about it, is it possible to be selfless about anything? Even if you do something for somebody else with nothing to gain from it on the surface, in reality it improves your survival chances in future by enhancing your relationships, improving the chances of the proliferation of your progeny and helps the community at large (generally speaking). I think this is why selfless behaviour evolved in the first place.

Raising children who are "productive and happy" (I thought it was interesting that you managed to reduce children to just those two descriptors) is an excellent way to contribute to a functioning society which will, as some have pointed out "pay taxes and wipe your arse when you're old", but that's hardly a selfless reason to raise them well. To ensure that they are productive and happy?



On this point I disagree with you vehemently. It is imperative (and it usually happens naturally to some extent, unless something is very wrong) that a parent feels possessive of a child in order to raise them well. The idea that parental love is all sweet and sentimental is a crock of shit. It is messy and ugly, it should be unconditional and unfaltering, there is an element of 'drat the kid' mixed in with a lot of patience and heart wrenching love. Possessiveness is a big part of that. What distinguishes a good parent from a bad one is knowing when to let go, because when they are young and helpless, children need to be possessed, and parents need to possess them in order to effectively deal with the gargantuan responsibility of raising one or more children while taking care of themselves. This brings me to:



I think this is more like the light at the end of the tunnel and you're just pattern matching and assuming causality. Remember the tiresomely often quoted rule, which I'm going to quote now in an attempt to be funny: correlation does not mean causation. I think parents need to live entirely in terms of their children early on in order to rapidly gain competence in child rearing so that they can quickly and effectively attend to all their children's needs and still have time to take care of themselves effectively. This then allows them to have an honest relationship with their children which isn't steeped in resentment and expectation of return. So actually what you identify as the cause of being a good parent is really just a symptom of it. Being a good parent is not about 'having your own interests'.

I'm bringing up this point because actually by making it you're arguing for bad parenting. The parents who neglect their children are usually the ones who have their own interests. Exclusively their own interests. Actually having your own interests when you're responsible for helpless children is rather selfish, which you seem dead-set against, and parents who raise their children in terms of how they compare to other children, or in terms of what they can gain from them are taking care of their own interests as well. It's a matter of prioritising. The child's needs come first, the parent needs to put their own needs second, but also needs to be competent enough to take care of both (as well as work, their relationships with family, friends and partners, mortgage, household chores, the government, world and current affairs).

Let's please not underestimate the role of a parent in society. It is hardly easy. It is also hardly surprising that there are some parents who fail at it miserably and most who are just mediocre at best. Even a mediocre parent has done more than I could dream of having done in my life, and a good parent or excellent parent could probably put most CEOs to shame. My grandmother was a superb parent. She raised not only her 7 sons on her own, but her sisters 10 children (after she passed away), and often many of the homeless children in the neighbourhood, as well as a few of her grandchildren. She was all of the things you identified as being a 'bad' parent, yet she raised some of the most productive, capable, self-satisfied and self confident people I have ever met in my life, who still manage to be compassionate and generous even in the worst of times. She did it in terrible poverty as well, my father didn't have any shoes until he was 14 years old. If there was one impression I got from interacting with my grandmother it was that she was not 'nice' - she was an incredibly tough cookie, but she was a fucking mother if ever there existed one.

So this brings us to:


Just quickly - don't you think in your line of work, your sample is not really representative of the population? I don't think 50% of parents are minimally competent, and I don't think that it's that simple either - there is variation among parents' strengths and weaknesses and variations among children's personalities and needs. I think most people are doing the best they can.

Regarding the competition, which you seem very focused on, I couldn't agree more. Parents who are obsessed with their children's achievements and worry more about their public image than their children's needs can be very annoying, but not, I think, for the reasons you suppose.

Firstly, I'd just like to point out, that while not necessarily happy, these children are likely to turn out pretty productive. I mean come on, with that kind of expectation in place in order to be loved, the kid is going to be a genius if they are capable of being a genius. The problem is, whether or not they turn out happy depends entirely on how well their needs are met outside the home.

I think it's important to point out that these parents, in their stupid, lumbering way, actually do have the child's best interests in mind. I think they know how hard life can be, and want their children to have a shot. I think they also feel pressured by society (whether or not that pressure actually exists) and they don't deal with it very well.

Let's talk about where this pressure comes from though, because it seems to me that again, you've focused on the symptom and not the cause. Don't we all, as adults, live in a ridiculous competitive society where apparently the most important thing is to be on top and be better than everybody else? Isn't the whole concept behind the capitalist + democratic system that it is survival of the fittest meets life is a popularity contest / image or perception is everything? Don't we all have to put up with this superficial meaningless shit every second of our miserable lives anyway?

If you had children, and didn't have the insight into the situation to realise that it was all bullshit (the latter of which seems to describe the vast majority of the population), wouldn't you want to set your child up to be ready to take on the tidal wave of shit that's going to be pummeling them the minute they're old enough to be legally perceived as an adult (read: fair game for all)? If you don't, people (schools - indirectly the government, other parents etc.) blame you for the child's lack of achievement and call you an irresponsible parent if you take no notice. As a small aside, I wonder whether you object to the way schools are run? Pitting students against one another, getting them to compete for grades/sporting achievements, ranking them across the state once they get out of school, and then telling them what they can and cannot do with their lives because of how they behaved when they were younger? Anyway, those bloody kids, they take no notice of this kind of thing though, they just don't understand! What are they doing taking an interest when they should be hitting the targets? To be completely honest, part of being a good, responsible parent is preparing your children to be independent in the world, and this is the unfortunate reality that we all apparently choose to live in and consider 'the best system we know of'. It's true though that some parents take it too far and completely lose the plot, but I suppose one of the difficult things about parenting is that you're always expected to know things you couldn't possibly know, so it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know best, even when you don't.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012

...Continued

Which I think then covers this point:


That is a grossly unfair accusation. We are not all so 'in control' of ourselves, our lives, our children (should we have any) or the lives or decisions of our children (which are not necessarily in their control either) to be able to make a claim that great. In fact this point directly contradicts the following points you made:

I sesea lot of kids fulfill their potential despite their setbacks in life.

It's not thanks to the parents they succeed. It's inspite of them.

I only wish they didnt have to life live with dumb parents and feel pain because of it. And i feel even worse for those kids who can't overcme their burden.

Children grow up, leave home and become whatever it is they want to be (or what they think they should be) - but they don't become what parents want them to be. Because children are people. Autonomous beings whom parents merely have the privilege of helping guide - not choosing - who they eventually become.

Life is littered with stories of parents completely disappointed that their children have abandoned them and don't give the parents what the parents want/need. "this isn't what i wanted for you", "why are you doing this to me", "do you know how hard it was raising you?"

If you want unconditional love from a companion that will never leave you, get a dog. They are made for happily serving a master. Children are not.

I'm not sure you can logically have it both ways. Either children are autonomous and make their own decisions in life that their parents cannot control, or they are not. Either providing a nurturing or negligent environment for a child determines whether or not they turn out ok, or it doesn't. Or at least those are the options if you want to 'rest blame purely at the feet of' anybody. The truth is probably somewhere in between though. These things can contribute, but they develop in an environment which equally contributes, as well as the presence of genes which can be pretty random. If you want to think it all the way through, you'd realise that parents are just the result of their parents' parenting and so on and so forth back through the generations. By your logic, I guess this makes it Eve's fault. Or maybe it's the fault of the first prokaryote(s) that we all eventually evolved from. Or maybe the concept of fault is meaningless and you might like to read [URL="http://www.samesame.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=24236&highlight=faulty+kind+logic"]my thread about it and tell me what you think.



I agree. People, regardless of orientation, should foster and adopt more. There should be more encouragement, awareness and support for this as well, and it should be better managed because the system is presently a shambles. I've been told by people who've fostered that they will give children to anybody because they are so desperate for parents.



I agree



Your friend might still expect things of their children when they grow up. They are still very young, most parents are easy-going when their children are at that age from what I've seen. I hope this doesn't end up influencing your opinion of your friends parenting, because they're probably doing a great job.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 17th Nov, 2012

I've done it again :D, this post is spread out over two posts. Sorry :(.

JayTee you refute yourself many times in this thread. I feel like you see a problem and in your haste to lay blame you're simultaneously pointing the finger at and away from parents. Life can be incredibly hard, and people can be remarkably incompetent no matter how hard they try, that doesn't have to be anyone's fault.



You mention selfish many times in this thread. When I was thinking about having children of my own, I could not come up with a single selfless reason for having them. Can you give me a selfless reason for having children?

If you want to get philosophical about it, is it possible to be selfless about anything? Even if you do something for somebody else with nothing to gain from it on the surface, in reality it improves your survival chances in future by enhancing your relationships, improving the chances of the proliferation of your progeny and helps the community at large (generally speaking). I think this is why selfless behaviour evolved in the first place.

Raising children who are "productive and happy" (I thought it was interesting that you managed to reduce children to just those two descriptors) is an excellent way to contribute to a functioning society which will, as some have pointed out "pay taxes and wipe your arse when you're old", but that's hardly a selfless reason to raise them well. To ensure that they are productive and happy?



On this point I disagree with you vehemently. It is imperative (and it usually happens naturally to some extent, unless something is very wrong) that a parent feels possessive of a child in order to raise them well. The idea that parental love is all sweet and sentimental is a crock of shit. It is messy and ugly, it should be unconditional and unfaltering, there is an element of 'drat the kid' mixed in with a lot of patience and heart wrenching love. Possessiveness is a big part of that. What distinguishes a good parent from a bad one is knowing when to let go, because when they are young and helpless, children need to be possessed, and parents need to possess them in order to effectively deal with the gargantuan responsibility of raising one or more children while taking care of themselves. This brings me to:



I think this is more like the light at the end of the tunnel and you're just pattern matching and assuming causality. Remember the tiresomely often quoted rule, which I'm going to quote now in an attempt to be funny: correlation does not mean causation. I think parents need to live entirely in terms of their children early on in order to rapidly gain competence in child rearing so that they can quickly and effectively attend to all their children's needs and still have time to take care of themselves effectively. This then allows them to have an honest relationship with their children which isn't steeped in resentment and expectation of return. So actually what you identify as the cause of being a good parent is really just a symptom of it. Being a good parent is not about 'having your own interests'.

I'm bringing up this point because actually by making it you're arguing for bad parenting. The parents who neglect their children are usually the ones who have their own interests. Exclusively their own interests. Actually having your own interests when you're responsible for helpless children is rather selfish, which you seem dead-set against, and parents who raise their children in terms of how they compare to other children, or in terms of what they can gain from them are taking care of their own interests as well. It's a matter of prioritising. The child's needs come first, the parent needs to put their own needs second, but also needs to be competent enough to take care of both (as well as work, their relationships with family, friends and partners, mortgage, household chores, the government, world and current affairs).

Let's please not underestimate the role of a parent in society. It is hardly easy. It is also hardly surprising that there are some parents who fail at it miserably and most who are just mediocre at best. Even a mediocre parent has done more than I could dream of having done in my life, and a good parent or excellent parent could probably put most CEOs to shame. My grandmother was a superb parent. She raised not only her 7 sons on her own, but her sisters 10 children (after she passed away), and often many of the homeless children in the neighbourhood, as well as a few of her grandchildren. She was all of the things you identified as being a 'bad' parent, yet she raised some of the most productive, capable, self-satisfied and self confident people I have ever met in my life, who still manage to be compassionate and generous even in the worst of times. She did it in terrible poverty as well, my father didn't have any shoes until he was 14 years old. If there was one impression I got from interacting with my grandmother it was that she was not 'nice' - she was an incredibly tough cookie, but she was a fucking mother if ever there existed one.

So this brings us to:


Just quickly - don't you think in your line of work, your sample is not really representative of the population? I don't think 50% of parents are minimally competent, and I don't think that it's that simple either - there is variation among parents' strengths and weaknesses and variations among children's personalities and needs. I think most people are doing the best they can.

Regarding the competition, which you seem very focused on, I couldn't agree more. Parents who are obsessed with their children's achievements and worry more about their public image than their children's needs can be very annoying, but not, I think, for the reasons you suppose.

Firstly, I'd just like to point out, that while not necessarily happy, these children are likely to turn out pretty productive. I mean come on, with that kind of expectation in place in order to be loved, the kid is going to be a genius if they are capable of being a genius. The problem is, whether or not they turn out happy depends entirely on how well their needs are met outside the home.

I think it's important to point out that these parents, in their stupid, lumbering way, actually do have the child's best interests in mind. I think they know how hard life can be, and want their children to have a shot. I think they also feel pressured by society (whether or not that pressure actually exists) and they don't deal with it very well.

Let's talk about where this pressure comes from though, because it seems to me that again, you've focused on the symptom and not the cause. Don't we all, as adults, live in a ridiculous competitive society where apparently the most important thing is to be on top and be better than everybody else? Isn't the whole concept behind the capitalist + democratic system that it is survival of the fittest meets life is a popularity contest / image or perception is everything? Don't we all have to put up with this superficial meaningless shit every second of our miserable lives anyway?

If you had children, and didn't have the insight into the situation to realise that it was all bullshit (the latter of which seems to describe the vast majority of the population), wouldn't you want to set your child up to be ready to take on the tidal wave of shit that's going to be pummeling them the minute they're old enough to be legally perceived as an adult (read: fair game for all)? If you don't, people (schools - indirectly the government, other parents etc.) blame you for the child's lack of achievement and call you an irresponsible parent if you take no notice. As a small aside, I wonder whether you object to the way schools are run? Pitting students against one another, getting them to compete for grades/sporting achievements, ranking them across the state once they get out of school, and then telling them what they can and cannot do with their lives because of how they behaved when they were younger? Anyway, those bloody kids, they take no notice of this kind of thing though, they just don't understand! What are they doing taking an interest when they should be hitting the targets? To be completely honest, part of being a good, responsible parent is preparing your children to be independent in the world, and this is the unfortunate reality that we all apparently choose to live in and consider 'the best system we know of'. It's true though that some parents take it too far and completely lose the plot, but I suppose one of the difficult things about parenting is that you're always expected to know things you couldn't possibly know, so it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know best, even when you don't.

Fahed I feel Jay Tee is right on the money with his comments. I understand you come from a conservative background which has a high emphasis on the importance of family loyalty and excessive gratitude to ones parents and can see why his comments would unsettle you. Yet Jay Tee is right, too many parents consider their children to be their property and extensions of themselves and not as autonomus individual humans.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012

That wasn't my argument Ash. My argument is: this is not necessarily a problem, and it's not necessarily their fault. Just to be clear though, I can't voice any of my current opinions to my parents. I'm not quite so easily an imprint of them, in fact I'm very different. I speak from my observation and my education, as you'd expect. I think I've been able to distinguish the good and bad sides of my parents' parenting techniques, they weren't fantastic parents, but I can see they tried their best, and I appreciate that much at least.

You could at least admit that until you've tried it, you're hardly in a position to judge, right? I mean you wouldn't judge an olympic runner on their stride, and I think running a track really fast is far less difficult to achieve than raising a human being.

wysi

wysi said on the 17th Nov, 2012

Fahed I've been posting pics of you, where have you been.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012



You have not! I occasionally stop by to read a post or two but rarely reply if I don't find anything interesting. I've been productive with my time (and happy, note :p).

wysi

wysi said on the 17th Nov, 2012



fuck off you slutty bastard. come see me tonight if you want more productivity. :D

JayTee

JayTee said on the 17th Nov, 2012

I've done it again :D, this post is spread out over two posts. Sorry :(.



i'll respond fully later as I'm not able to read the whole post properly at the moment.

but just one point.

My experience working with families spans almost 2 decades. I've worked in many different settings - with rich, with poor, in lots of geographical locations across australia. in child protection jobs, in generalist community worker jobs etc

It's not like i'm making an assumption about all parents based on 2 weeks working in the outback.

That's certainly more representative than just looking at one's own family and families one has regular contact with to see how things are.

And I'm not even saying that poor parents make the worst parents. quite the contrary. it's often middle class and rich folk who treat their kids as a trophy more than poor people.

Just walk into a cafe in the inner city on a weekday morning and have a listen to the conversations mothers are having with each other in ear shot of their toddlers, and you might see what I mean.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012

i'll respond fully later as I'm not able to read the whole post properly at the moment.

but just one point.

My experience working with families spans almost 2 decades. I've worked in many different settings - with rich, with poor, in lots of geographical locations across australia. in child protection jobs, in generalist community worker jobs etc

It's not like i'm making an assumption about all parents based on 2 weeks working in the outback.

That's certainly more representative than just looking at one's own family and families one has regular contact with to see how things are...

Sure, I'll wait for your full reply, but I just want to say, some of my 'education' comes from reading the work of psychiatrists who had decades of experience with parents as well (one in particular served for over 30 years as a developmental psychiatrist as well as doing research and has massively informed modern ideas on development). At no point did I just take their word for anything despite their extensive experience. Experience and qualifications are a measure of age and number of pretty papers as argument by authority will attest. I'm not saying that your experience is useless or that you are wrong of course, just challenging the ideas you've created to explain your experiences. The problem is that things are never quite what they seem from the outside (which is where your work will always keep you), and if I understand your work correctly from when we met, you're usually only involved when there is a problem - that's what I meant by having a non-representative sample. I could have been wrong, but that was a small point anyway.

Regarding using my own family as an example - it only takes one example to prove a hypothesis false. Again, it was a small point.

Just to further explain my position, I recently befriended a paramedic who is convinced that phases of the moon affect people's psychology. He has been a paramedic for over 20 years and seen plenty of full moons on the job in that time. Do you think I should believe his theory on the basis of his experience? Because I questioned it, and still challenge him on it all the time (we've sort of agreed to disagree. He usually says, 'I know, I know, but I still think it has an effect', which is not an argument so I just have to accept it, unfortunately).

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 17th Nov, 2012

Sure, I'll wait for your full reply, but I just want to say, some of my 'education' comes from reading the work of psychiatrists who had decades of experience with parents as well (one in particular served for over 30 years as a developmental psychiatrist as well as doing research and has massively informed modern ideas on development). At no point did I just take their word for anything despite their extensive experience. Experience and qualifications are a measure of age and number of pretty papers as argument by authority will attest. I'm not saying that your experience is useless or that you are wrong of course, just challenging the ideas you've created to explain your experiences. The problem is that things are never quite what they seem from the outside (which is where your work will always keep you), and if I understand your work correctly from when we met, you're usually only involved when there is a problem - that's what I meant by having a non-representative sample. I could have been wrong, but that was a small point anyway.

Regarding using my own family as an example - it only takes one example to prove a hypothesis false. Again, it was a small point.

Just to further explain my position, I recently befriended a paramedic who is convinced that phases of the moon affect people's psychology. He has been a paramedic for over 20 years and seen plenty of full moons on the job in that time. Do you think I should believe his theory on the basis of his experience? Because I questioned it, and still challenge him on it all the time (we've sort of agreed to disagree. He usually says, 'I know, I know, but I still think it has an effect', which is not an argument so I just have to accept it, unfortunately).

Fahed you seem quite feisty in your response to JayTee, it's good to challenge, yet you come across as being quite defensive.

As for the full moon effect on people, I've heard a lot of people from medical, psychological backgrounds etc... make the same claim. It would be interesting to see if anyone has ever done a study to see whether this hypothesis has any basis or it's an urban myth.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 17th Nov, 2012



so i guess we wont be making babies how sad :(

Fahed

Fahed said on the 17th Nov, 2012



I thought that's how I always discuss everything? Haven't you seen my logo:

Fahed VS The World
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3orkn8ORA1rn2llbo1_400.gif



I remember this being brought up in a lecture - it is difficult to test because you can't manipulate any of the variables really. They've found a positive correlation, which my paramedic friend was quick to point out to me, but they've also found a strong positive correlation between big toe size and intelligence. I wouldn't give it too much credit. Given a big enough sample size, anything can be correlated with anything else.
There's no logical or sensible reason why a full moon should have any effect whatsoever on people's behaviour. One theory is that the body is primarily water and that the moon affects the tides, but this is an effect of gravity which is based on the relationship between the distance and magnitude of two masses. A tissue box placed on the table in front of you has more gravitational pull on the water molecules in your body than the moon, whether it is full or new.



When did this happen? I didn't know there was interest! I don't have a uterus, but we should still try both ways just to be safe. We should try many, many times to be very, very, very safe ;).

chad_74

chad_74 said on the 17th Nov, 2012

I think heterosexuals have children more out if it being an accident (ie not taking the pill or not pulling out quick enough)than actually wanting to have one. Then once they've had the one they are pressured into having more.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 17th Nov, 2012


When did this happen? I didn't know there was interest! I don't have a uterus, but we should still try both ways just to be safe. We should try many, many times to be very, very, very safe ;).

i agree, i mean we can never be sure!

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 17th Nov, 2012



I remember this being brought up in a lecture - it is difficult to test because you can't manipulate any of the variables really. They've found a positive correlation, which my paramedic friend was quick to point out to me, but they've also found a strong positive correlation between big toe size and intelligence. I wouldn't give it too much credit. Given a big enough sample size, anything can be correlated with anything else.
There's no logical or sensible reason why a full moon should have any effect whatsoever on people's behaviour. One theory is that the body is primarily water and that the moon affects the tides, but this is an effect of gravity which is based on the relationship between the distance and magnitude of two masses. A tissue box placed on the table in front of you has more gravitational pull on the water molecules in your body than the moon, whether it is full or

Fahed can you provide the research which states that a tissue box has more gravitational pull on a human than the moon?

chad_74

chad_74 said on the 17th Nov, 2012

Tissues are handy when your in the mood for a gravitational pull

Fahed

Fahed said on the 19th Nov, 2012



That research is over 300 years old. Here's the wikipedia page on how gravitational pull works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

I was being facetious about the tissue box to make a point, but if we apply the formula for gravitational pull between two objects, we can calculate the gravitational effect of almost any body in the universe on us.

Before I do this, I just want to point out that the reason the moon has an effect on tides is that the ocean is a massive body of water which acts as a single mass because of forces like surface tension and hydrogen bonding. The effect of gravity between any two objects depends on the masses of the two objects and the distance between them. The bigger the objects, and the closer they are to one another, the greater the gravitational pull between them. Although there's quite a bit of water in our bodies, it is spread out all over the place and hardly acts as a single mass, but I'm willing to overlook this fact for the sake of argument:

The formula is:
F = G x ((m1 x m2)/r^2)

Where;
F is the gravitational force in newtons
G is the gravitational constant (6.67300 × 10^-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2 according to google)
m1 is the mass of the first object in kg
m2 is the mass of the second object in kg
and r is the distance between the two objects in meters


mass of the moon according to google: 7.34767309 × 10^22 kilograms

Now I weigh 70 kg, so lets use that as an estimate, but you can calculate this with your own mass if you feel mine isn't representative enough ;), and to simplify things we'll assume that I'm a spherical object so we can treat me as a point mass. I'll do two calculations; the moon's effect on me, and the moon's effect on the water in my body if it were sucked out of me and placed in a giant goldfish bowl ;). We'll say I'm 70% water by mass (which is an overestimate, I think, given the density of bone etc.), so that is 49kg.

The distance between the Earth and the moon actually varies fairly regularly, but to give the benefit of the doubt, we'll use the shortest calculated distance between Earth and moon (I.e. when the moon would have the greatest gravitational pull) for the period 2004-2023 according to this website: 356523 km, which is 356,523,000 m

Now we plug all these numbers into the formula:

The water in my body
F = 6.673 * 10^-11 x ((7.34767309*10^22 x 49)/356523000^2)
= 0.0019 N

Me
F = 6.673 * 10^-11 x ((7.34767309*10^22 x 70)/356523000^2)
= 0.0027 N

"A tissue box on the table in front of you" only suggests a very vague measure of distance, so what we can do is calculate how close the tissue box needs to be in order to have the same gravitational pull on me as the moon does when it is as close as it's going to be in its full phase over the next 10 years. If we rewrite the formula to make r (I.e. the distance between me and the tissue box) the result, we get:

r = SQRT( (m1 x m2 x G)/F )

Now I weighed an almost full tissue box on the scale here in the lab, and it came out to be about 325g which is 0.325 kg. Therefore:

= SQRT( (.325 x 49 x 6.673 * 10^-11)/0.0019 )
= 0.00075 m
= 0.75 mm

I could plug in the numbers for my full body mass, but it would yeild the same result. So a box of tissues which is between 0.5 and 1 mm away from me has an equal gravitational effect on me / the water in my body as the moon at the closest it will get to me during its full phase for the next 10 years. It's not quite the same as what I claimed, but I feel my point is pretty well justified given that we are talking about a not-quite full box of tissues, and I did make many concessions in favour of trying to prove the theory correct.

This doesn't prove that the the moon has no effect on behaviour, but it does provide evidence that, if the moon does have any effect, it's probably not through gravitational pull on the water molecules our bodies.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 19th Nov, 2012

That research is over 300 years old. Here's the wikipedia page on how gravitational pull works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

I was being facetious about the tissue box to make a point, but if we apply the formula for gravitational pull between two objects, we can calculate the gravitational effect of almost any body in the universe on us.

Before I do this, I just want to point out that the reason the moon has an effect on tides is that the ocean is a massive body of water which acts as a single mass because of forces like surface tension and hydrogen bonding. The effect of gravity between any two objects depends on the masses of the two objects and the distance between them. The bigger the objects, and the closer they are to one another, the greater the gravitational pull between them. Although there's quite a bit of water in our bodies, it is spread out all over the place and hardly acts as a single mass, but I'm willing to overlook this fact for the sake of argument:

The formula is:
F = G x ((m1 x m2)/r^2)

Where;
F is the gravitational force in newtons
G is the gravitational constant (6.67300 × 10^-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2 according to google)
m1 is the mass of the first object in kg
m2 is the mass of the second object in kg
and r is the distance between the two objects in meters


mass of the moon according to google: 7.34767309 × 10^22 kilograms

Now I weigh 70 kg, so lets use that as an estimate, but you can calculate this with your own mass if you feel mine isn't representative enough ;), and to simplify things we'll assume that I'm a spherical object so we can treat me as a point mass. I'll do two calculations; the moon's effect on me, and the moon's effect on the water in my body if it were sucked out of me and placed in a giant goldfish bowl ;). We'll say I'm 70% water by mass (which is an overestimate, I think, given the density of bone etc.), so that is 49kg.

The distance between the Earth and the moon actually varies fairly regularly, but to give the benefit of the doubt, we'll use the shortest calculated distance between Earth and moon (I.e. when the moon would have the greatest gravitational pull) for the period 2004-2023 according to this website: 356523 km, which is 356,523,000 m

Now we plug all these numbers into the formula:

The water in my body
F = 6.673 * 10^-11 x ((7.34767309*10^22 x 49)/356523000^2)
= 0.0019 N

Me
F = 6.673 * 10^-11 x ((7.34767309*10^22 x 70)/356523000^2)
= 0.0027 N

"A tissue box on the table in front of you" only suggests a very vague measure of distance, so what we can do is calculate how close the tissue box needs to be in order to have the same gravitational pull on me as the moon does when it is as close as it's going to be in its full phase over the next 10 years. If we rewrite the formula to make r (I.e. the distance between me and the tissue box) the result, we get:

r = SQRT( (m1 x m2 x G)/F )

Now I weighed an almost full tissue box on the scale here in the lab, and it came out to be about 325g which is 0.325 kg. Therefore:

= SQRT( (.325 x 49 x 6.673 * 10^-11)/0.0019 )
= 0.00075 m
= 0.75 mm

I could plug in the numbers for my full body mass, but it would yeild the same result. So a box of tissues which is between 0.5 and 1 mm away from me has an equal gravitational effect on me / the water in my body as the moon at the closest it will get to me during its full phase for the next 10 years. It's not quite the same as what I claimed, but I feel my point is pretty well justified given that we are talking about a not-quite full box of tissues, and I did make many concessions in favour of trying to prove the theory correct.

This doesn't prove that the the moon has no effect on behaviour, but it does provide evidence that, if the moon does have any effect, it's probably not through gravitational pull on the water molecules our bodies.

will this have an impact on baby making?

Fahed

Fahed said on the 19th Nov, 2012



Oh, I'm sorry babe, I got distracted by science. I'm totally focused on our baby again. This time I promise I won't get distracted again, I swear!

I feel we should start early... fertility clock and all that jizz :p

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 19th Nov, 2012

Oh, I'm sorry babe, I got distracted by science. I'm totally focused on our baby again. This time I promise I won't get distracted again, I swear!

I feel we should start early... fertility clock and all that jizz :p

whos going to be carrying it? i mean my ovaries are starting to churn.

Fahed

Fahed said on the 19th Nov, 2012



Lol. That got quite a chuckle out of me. I thought we agreed we'd try both ways and see what stuck? How did you manage to make churning ovaries sound sexual?

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 19th Nov, 2012



oh yeah how could i forget. we can see who falls preggers first. and then go from there. :cool:

wysi

wysi said on the 20th Nov, 2012

Well, if still you both ain't fertile enough, you can always use me and my very much fertile body.

Take turns.

The more entries, the more chances of winning!

JayTee

JayTee said on the 20th Nov, 2012

Well, if still you both ain't fertile enough, you can always use me and my very much fertile body.

Take turns.

The more entries, the more chances of winning!

All this talk of unprotected sex between multiple parties.

This thread should be retitled "we're in the midst of a gay STI epidemic".....

Fahed

Fahed said on the 20th Nov, 2012

^Wait what? We have to do this without protection? Deal is off :mad:

wysi

wysi said on the 20th Nov, 2012



duh condoms are contraceptives.

aoxmas shin

aoxmas shin said on the 24th Nov, 2012

this is my contact personplease call mee

JayTee

JayTee said on the 27th Nov, 2012

Fahed you seem quite feisty in your response to JayTee, it's good to challenge, yet you come across as being quite defensive.
.

yes he seems to have an issue with me personally.

He did the same thing with a posting i made in that long sexual racism thread. Hundreds of pages of comments to respond to but only responded in length to mine.

it's jack like that that makes me just want to make one line comments. We have reached the age of the samesame internet soundbite...