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I'm pretty sure I know what my crazy old man ranting button is going to be
james_nicoll
In a discussion of California's population, in response to


>There are also ethnic considerations - many Hispanic
>girls want to have a big family because they come from a big family -
>even if they are citizens, even if their family has been in the US and
>California for generations. This desire to start young and have a lot
>of kids isn't going away for that ethnic community, which is a
>burgeoning part of our population.


I say
Is there like a law or something that requires the claim of alarming
fecundity in various minority groups during discussions of population
growth? I mean, Ted Turner and his kin breed like mice; he alone has
had five kids and there's no reason to think he's stopped, despite
which I seem to be the only one agitating for a humane or at least
humane-ish capture, neuter and release program for the Turners. What
is it about them that makes people comfortable with the Turners
spilling out over the long suffering Earth like an all consuming
flood of pink, smugly entitled meat but nervous about Hispanics? What
could that subtle factor be?


(various spelling errors fixed or at least altered)

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

"an all consuming flood of pink, smugly entitled meat" is a lovely phrase.

Shoot, they even gave those Duggar people their own TV show! Talk about a hoard of humans needing "a humane or at least humane-ish capture, neuter and release program"!

And the Duggars are associated with the Quiverfull movement, which says that Christians should have as man children "as God provides." Some believers see this as a way of changing the demographics of America, so that believers can come to outnumber non-believers.

Because faith is hereditary!

But of course. No one ever changes religion, or leaves it. No one ever looks at the effects of their mom having a basketball team's worth of kids and decides that religion makes you do crazy things, and that it's not a good thing.


My mom always told me insanity was hereditary.

You inherit it from your children.

Mmmmmm . . . Yes, I believe I will have a second helping of your pink soylent green.

It turns out this phrasing is no less repugnant when applied to white people.

I thought the ethnic group having large families early was, you know, Americans.</>

The writer is probably wrong in his facts: see Ritaxis below.

But no one is generalizing from Turner because we know he is not typical of 'Americans' in this respect, so we don't know how many children to expect from the (of unknown size) Turner sub-group. And his choice isn't motivated by some cultural factor common to most 'Americans'.

IF Catholic Hispanics is a group of a known size, and if they're following the RC anti-contraception stand, then we can have a reasonable expectation of the number to, er, expect.

So what you're saying is that it's unreasonable to generalize from Ted Turner, because everyone already knows that he's atypical, even though there's only one of him and he lives in Atlanta. While Hispanics are some weird group nobody can know anything about, despite there being several million of them in the US, distributed all over the country.

Huh? Just the opposite. Statistics are available about how many Hispanics there are (in whatever country), how many of them are RC, and how many children they have. The writer James quoted may well be wrong on the facts, but those facts are available. The same sort of information may be available for non-Hispanic RC's also. And we could probably find some relevant information about Evangelicals and other groups that advertise that principle.

Is your first sentence missing a word or something?

... and if they're following the RC anti-contraception stand ...

That's an absolutely enormous "if". Most Catholics are quite happy to ignore the Church's official position on birth control.

For example, in the list of countries by birth rate according to UN statistics ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_birth_rate), three of the bottom five countries are Catholic (one of them being Italy).

People really need to look at demographics. Reproduction rates of immigrant communities decline across generations, no matter what background they come from. Not to mention that reproduction rates are declining in much of the developing world as conditions improve. Iran is a good example, where, despite being run by Islamists, the birth rate has been dropping for years. And of course here in Canada we can point to Quebec, where the birth rate of the primarily Catholic province dropped drastically after 1960. It has been going up some of late, but is still below replacement at 1.74.

And Mexico's TFR is currently identical to that of the United States.

Wow, people in that thread have a hard time recognizing satire.

I stand by my pirañabird plan.

Edited at 2012-06-16 04:13 pm (UTC)

Perhaps you could use the birds to disperse your radioactive pellets.

In The Fantasy Trip they seem to have used parakeets rather than hummingbirds.

I'm always surprised when people can read a sentence like "What could that subtle factor be?" without thinking, "Hmm, this writer could be up to something."

So I'm surprised quite a lot of the time, is what I'm saying.

Wait, racism is a law now?

Racism has been a law for a long, long time.

It used to be. There are still those who wish its restoration - ahem, re-imposition, rather - upon the rest of us.

I think the phrase is "uphold traditional values"

Some "traditional values" shouldn't survive.

Okay, you know I had best stay away from that discussion. Besides the macro picture of California's fertility dropping in general, the poster has no fucking idea of what they are talking about with respect to young Hispanic women. (need I remind your friends that what I do for a living is to take care of babies, largely those of Hispanic women, and largely those of teen mothers? Need I explain that to do my job well I need to actually know something about my families and the statistics that reflect their lives? I think I brag abotu this often enough. But just in case, that's a reminder).

Our young women are having fewer children than their parents, across the board. The number of women who have large families is more than balanced by the number of women who have small ones. The single-child family, yes even among Hispanic women who have their first child young, is not rare any more, and is getting less rare, while the two-child family has replaced the big family as the ideal for most people. Also, California has one of the lowest teen birth rates of all the states.

I can't help but feel, whenever I come across this kind of alarm is that what I'm really seeing is a cry of "Help me! I'm surrounded by brown children!" and that's really deplorable.

This is only personal anecdote, but I'd really like to go on record with a general impression of my families. Generally, the young women in my program are fifteen to eighteen when they get pregnant, relatively sexually inexperienced when they get pregnant, and commence birth control afterwards. They are committed to graduating from high school and community college. They breastfeed their babies on the whole for more than three months, they rarely have another child before they graduate from high school, they take weekend and summer jobs, they read to their children and are on the whole reasonably good parents.

Later, I see them with jobs, usually semi-skilled, and their children are doing decently in school. Some of our girls who would go on to community college or even University, who have the skills, the energy, and the work ethic to make it through while working and raising children, can't do it, because they were born in other countries and don't have the proper papers to get financial aid. But that's the only barrier for some of them.

We have tragic stories to tell too, but this story I am telling now is the characteristic one of girls who are in teen mother programs with childcare support built in.


I used to think that, on the whole, it was probably better for most women to wait until they were into their twenties before having their first child. I am no longer sure that is so clearly true. Of course, it depends on many factors.




"...what I'm really seeing is a cry of "Help me! I'm surrounded by brown children!" and that's really deplorable"

Yes.

More like "..imaginary brown children in my mind!" Because there's no worse invasion of privacy than having to think about other kinds of people. Did I agree to let those people into my sacred brain? I did not.

Reminded of Paul Ehrlich's nightmarish experience in Delhi (1968):

The streets seemed alive with people. People eating, people washing, people sleeping, people visiting, arguing and screaming. People thrusting their hands through the taxi window begging. People defecating and urinating. People clinging to buses. People herding animals. People, people, people, people. As we moved through the mob, hand horn squealing, the dust, noise, heat and cooking fires gave the scene a hellish aspect. Would we ever get to our hotel? All three of us were, frankly, frightened. … Since that night I’ve known the feel of overpopulation.

this story I am telling now is the characteristic one of girls who are in teen mother programs with childcare support built in.

Wow. That's amazingly positive.

One of my sisters has been working in breastfeeding programs in Albany, NY. The hospitals are awful about support.

You cheered me up today. Thank you. (Is there a named program I could be donating to?)

Funny you should ask this. The Walnut Avenue Women's Center, of which my childcare center is a part, is running a fundraiser right now.

Here's the donations page of our website! Thank you for thinking of us!

James should note whether in fact some of his best friends are Turners.

Prior to e-books many of his friends were page turners. Many probably still are.

>I'm just talking about what I'm seeing.

No, you're talking about what you are noticing, which is different.


I love this.

I've got a public hearing coming up where I expect to see some people with...shall we say an agenda...showing up. And I am so going to use that line.

Indeed, that was a truly awesome (and awesomely true) phrase.


>fixed or at least altered

ISWYDT.


Once again, you post about something I was recently discussing in meatspace. The poor guy I was talking to looked so sad when he realized the general difference in perception of large families based on which race the family is. He did mention Nadya Suleman as an example of a "white woman," though got sadder when I mentioned her father is Middle Eastern (Wikipedia says Assyrian and Iraqi) and she's a single mother aaaaaaaaand has the female physical appearance/porn stuff to go along with all that. Ire abounds.

I find it interesting though that many so-called liberals are all about free will and feminism until it comes to women having children; suddenly, it's "this is an unethical medical procedure" and "there should be a law preventing women from doing these things" all over the place. That might be why people didn't realize you were deploying satire, they'd heard it as a serious argument before.

I mean, I know they didn't realize it because it's Usenet and that's just what Usenet does, but you get my meaning. Hopefully.

The tendency to regard Nadya Suleman as the harbinger of some kind of apocalyptic trend rather than as the outlier to end all outliers pissed me off so much.

Every outlier discussed on the internet is seen as a harbinger by so many people that it's truly disconcerting. Though the famous Cicero quote about "children no longer obey their parents" indicates, to me at least, that it's a long-held tradition for people to believe things they notice (and what we notice is different than what is really going on, of course) means humanity cannot avoid DOOM and also MORE DOOOOOM.


I don't know anything much about Hispanic girls, but the young-to-middle-aged Hispanic women who are coming to be the majority of housewives in my formerly-WASP middle-class Southern California suburban neighborhood seem to have settled for having one, two, or sometimes three children, for the most part. I'm not well-enough acquanted with enough of them to be certain, but I suppose this is intentional, and that any desire they might have for A Big Family is probably satisfied by forging strong bonds with their Extended Family, via frequent visits with brothers, sisters, (including in-laws) and cousins, and their children.

the obvious question then is whether being Hispanic or being Catholic is the correlative factor. Before we moved to the country we lived in a Catholic neighborhood, of which a higher-than-average proportion of resident families were Hispanic. But everyone had a "large" family, relatively speaking.

Recent immigrants, perhaps? From largely agricultural cultures? If so, then (as previously diecussed) the family size is Lilly to decrease sharply with each generation -- pretty much independently of religion, interestingly enough.