dear fellow adults: I will not be complicit in your bullshit.
I’m at the age where a lot of my peers and friends are starting to have kids, and in fact I hope to as well in the next 2-3 years, so this is becoming more and more relevant and necessary for me to think about and say.
being an advocate means nothing if I won’t put friendships and relationships on the line for it. studying and writing essays and organizing events and teaching on issues of children’s rights is worse than worthless if I won’t stand up to my neighbor or my colleague or a stranger on a bus when they cross a line.
social injustices are fuelled by willingness to look the other way, to quietly enable, to prioritize a “united front” over moral courage. adults are socialized to act like other people’s kids are none of their business, like it’s unthinkably intrusive to speak up or act against another parent’s wishes even when you recognize that something they’re doing is wrong, because those kids “belong” to someone else.
I will not be part of that. I will lie to you to protect your child’s right to privacy. I will smuggle books to them that you’ve told them they’re not allowed to read. I will challenge you when you make cruel and dehumanizing comments about your children (or children in general) as a shitty bonding ritual with other adults. I will tear apart your unfounded rhetoric about “kids these days”. if I see you hurting your child, I will protect them, and if necessary, I will hurt you. if I see you disrespecting your child, I will tell them they have the right to expect better, and I will treat you with the lack of respect you deserve.
if I can’t educate you, I will confront, challenge, and undermine you. you’ll get no “united front” from me. I don’t care about your feelings, I don’t care about your convenience, and I don’t care what you think of me. I care that people get treated with respect, dignity, and kindness, especially by those they should be able to trust and rely on most intensely. if you can’t manage that, we’re going to have problems.