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to think, well said, Maxine Peake.

(115 Posts)
MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:15:31

She's talked about how having children is selfish.
Yes, yes and yes, I say.

I'm fed up with people equating not having children with selfishness. What's more self centred than the urge to populate a crowded world with more people with your genes, that you happen to want to have around?

If it's all about forfeiting your own (direct) needs for those of others, then don't make a person to fulfil that role. There are plenty of people and animals already in existence who could do with your help.

You only have to look at the ferocity with which parents will compete (outdo each other's offspring) to see that breeding is far from the selfless enterprise it's sometimes made out to be.
Focusing on the needs of your own children (often at the expense of others, by definition, when there are limited resources of one kind or another) is selecting children who matter to you and promoting their welfare. The only difference between your child and the child over the road is that they are related to you. That's why you're so "selfless" about them.

So, have kids if you want them, by all means. It's a human urge - go for it. But please don't think it makes you into some wonderful being who has selflessly forfeited their rights to expensive haircuts and meals out. It's just a different form of selfishness.

Nice one, Maxine.

That is all.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 04-Sep-14 12:18:00

I very much doubt many people with children actually think like that.

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:18:31

I have children.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 04-Sep-14 12:18:52

Good for you.

ElleMcFearsome Thu 04-Sep-14 12:19:20

"please don't think it makes you into some wonderful being who has selflessly forfeited their rights to expensive haircuts and meals out"

I don't. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, does any parent that I know.


GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 04-Sep-14 12:19:53


AgaPanthers Thu 04-Sep-14 12:21:10

this is not an AIBU, you selfish person.

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:23:36

Why not, Aga?

You're right, though, I'm highly selfish in many ways.

TidyDancer Thu 04-Sep-14 12:24:19

I have DCs and I understand exactly what she's saying. Having children is a selfish choice and it's not one I would willingly deny anyone (some notable exceptions obviously) but I would never consider someone selfless for having babies.

Cereal0ffender Thu 04-Sep-14 12:25:16

FFs, it is what animals do, we procreate. Infertility is soul destroying so she has my sympathy but half baked pseudo philosophy in the daily mail is not a world view.

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:25:33

Just re-read your post, Verucca, and realised I misinterpreted. Thought you meant not many people with children would agree with the post.

So none of you has ever heard the phrase "X is/was too selfish to have kids"? or the like?

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Sep-14 12:25:41

So this Maxine has stated the completely obvious and now you've stated the completely obvious.


MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:26:45


gordyslovesheep Thu 04-Sep-14 12:26:51

are you quoting her in your OP or is that your view?

Because the quote I saw was simply Having children is very selfish. There is a vanity and selfishness in some respects in believing you must continue your genes and bloodline

She's right - it is selfish but I didn't see her rant about anything else in your OP

Cereal0ffender Thu 04-Sep-14 12:27:50

Being alive is selfish. We should all too ourselves and leave the planet to the dolphins

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:28:10

First line is Maxine.
Rest is me ranting in agreement.

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:28:29

Yes, Cereal.

MasqueradeWaltzer Thu 04-Sep-14 12:28:48

Who exactly is going around saying they had children as an act of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the world?

Nobody I know.

Vitalstatistix Thu 04-Sep-14 12:29:48

I don't think it's consciously selfish or unselfish. It is nothing more than one of the strongest biological urges there are. Probably second only to personal survival instinct. We are slaves to instincts that millions of years of evolution have hardwired into us. Many people have an overwhelming urge to breed. Some people have not got that urge, which you see in many species as a form of population control.

People just try to find logic and reason for our instinctive behaviours in an attempt to convince ourselves we are not just apes and an animal like any other grin

TheHoundsBitch Thu 04-Sep-14 12:29:55

I don't know anyone who thinks like this: it makes you into some wonderful being who has selflessly forfeited their rights to expensive haircuts and meals out.
Of course having children is a selfish act.

gordyslovesheep Thu 04-Sep-14 12:29:56

well I think you should make that clear - she was responding to someone who said they were too selfish to have kids

you are being rather more petty - it's unfair to make out she shares your views - tyr using quotation marks

DiaDuit Thu 04-Sep-14 12:30:01

I have never once heard or read of anyone stating that they thought having children was a selfless thing to do.

Bowlersarm Thu 04-Sep-14 12:30:07

I think having children is kind of selfish too. You don't have children for the good of the world, you do it because you want a family.

It's quite interesting that she's said this after many years of trying to have children and being unable to. Maybe it's a coping mechanism.

minifingers Thu 04-Sep-14 12:30:55

Yes - we should all do the RIGHT thing and stop having children tomorrow.

In another 50 years things would be all nice and quiet because there wouldn't be any people left to grow food, drive cars, run hospitals, wipe Maxine Peake's elderly arse

MrHughJass Thu 04-Sep-14 12:31:15

I agree Vital. It's actually the individual genes which are "selfish", etc..

But I have heard too many people (with kids) use the phrase "too selfish to have kids" now.

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