the overpopulation of self righteous idiots

Never scroll down to the comments!   This is something I have to remind myself when viewing anything on YouTube or reading any news article.   Personal comments like those found in a blog like this are generally fueled by people who understand and care about the topic  so they are mindful and supportive,   but  news comments are a whole other can of trolls.    It used to be just YouTube,  (where the viewers seem to be bored, 13 years old,  and excited that they can anonymously sling nastiness at strangers to instigate a fight)  but now that vibe has spread to news articles.    It’s bad enough that most news stories themselves are emotional and opinionated rather than just fact-based reporting,  but to open up the floor for every idiot with access to the internet to chime in with their ignorant two cents has ruined a lot of perfectly good reading experiences for me.   A sweet story about kittens and puppies can somehow lead to a hateful debate about racism and politics if you make the mistake of scrolling down to the comments.

Still there are stories that I assume would be safe from this kind of mindless madness, and I’m genuinely interested in what people have to say on the subject… like the subject of infertility.  I deal with idiots all day every day on the matter, but somehow when reading an article online I forget that Joe Public has some seriously dumb shit to say about the whole thing.   Recently NPR has been running an ongoing series called “The Baby Project”  where they are following the journeys of different expectant mothers.   Somewhere in there was a thoughtful piece about infertility which I was pleasantly surprised to find.  Then I did it…  I scrolled down to the damn comments and saw it… one of the most common and simultaneously most offensive arguments against fertility treatments:  It is sinfully selfish to artificially fertilize oneself because there is an overpopulation problem on the planet and millions of children who need to be adopted.  Clearly infertility is nature’s way of controlling the population and it is wrong of us to fight against that.

I have always had my stomach truned by that argument,  but really never had a response to it other than wordless disgust.   Until now:

You know what else is nature’s way of controlling the population?  Death.  By this same argument,  it is sinfully selfish of people to try to end war and famine when clearly it is just nature’s way of thinning out the herd.  Cancer is another good way to cap the population.  If you or a loved on find yourself with cancer,  it would be sinful and selfish of you to expect the miracles of modern medicine to try to save you.   Why waste your money getting injected with radiation when you could just drop dead and be replaced by an adopted child?  Oh and there is no way your grandparents should be as old as they are.  It is sinfully selfish for there to be so many old people.   Old age and fragility is nature’s way of controlling the population and yet we selfishly fight against it all the time,  now there are too many of us!   In fact if you have a child (“naturally” of course) and that child gets sick,  you should just let them go.  They will be a burden on society,  and there are plenty perfectly healthy children awaiting adoption.   It would be selfish of you to care for your sick child when there are so many people crowding the earth.

The drive to have children for some is as intense and natural as the drive to love and have sex.  Can you imagine being told that you are incapable of love or sex?  The primitive instinct to procreate can be as strong as the instinct to survive.   As much as it is our nature to fight against death,  for some of us it is our nature to fight for the ability to create new life.   It is fundamental self preservation at its finest.  Add to that the undeniable force of maternal instinct.     A mother can love someone she just met with a supernatural power unmatched by anything in the universe.  That love is already there before the new life has even been conceived, driving us to find that child we have been dreaming about just as hard as a mother would be driven to find a living child that had been taken from her arms.

The population will always control itself,  and we will always find new and ingenious ways to fight back and preserve our place in the population.   There will always be disasters, both natural and man-made.  There will always be sickness and death.  Funny thing is, none of the people who fight those things will ever be called selfish or entitled for trying to save and preserve life.   They are called heroes.  Doctors who find ways to help the blind to see again are heroes.  Scientists who discover ways to help the deaf to hear again are heroes.  No one calls a deaf person selfish for wanting to experience a most basic aspect of the human experience.   When your legs don’t work and you strive to overcome your given limitations and make them work,  you are a hero and an inspiration when you walk again.  When your reproductive organs don’t work and you strive to make them work… you are sinfully selfish and adding to the strain on the planet itself?

No.*   (* <— that “No” replaces several lines of indignant profanity that I edited out.  But I feel the heated part of this rant coming on,  so they are probably going to sneak back in….)

The selfish ones are the ones who think they get to dictate what you should or shouldn’t do with your body, in any way.  The selfish ones are those who have never walked in your shoes but love the opportunity to chime in and tell you how you should be walking.  What is selfish and hateful and ignorant is throwing bullshit judgement  into the faces of families who are struggling with the confusion, heartache, and grief that this disease called infertility brings into our lives.   It is not just a trivial inconvenience,  it is a form of organ or system failure to be treated as seriously as any other.   It isn’t the same as not being able to get a new car or a bigger house,  it is the same as not being able to fucking breathe.   Am I selfish for wanting to be able to breathe? …or walk? …or keep my grandmother around for long enough to finally meet this kid I haven’t had yet?  Are the very cells that I am made up of “selfish” for needing to replicate?  Then neither am I!

The next time you hear the argument that there are already too many people alive and fertility medicine is somehow a destructive force against nature,  tell that person they should stop going to the doctor…  Or locking their doors at night…  Or educating their kids…. Or donating to cancer research.   All that stuff will probably lead to the extension of their life… and that’s just selfish.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JDragonfly
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 21:42:59


    That’s all… You are a genius.


  2. Jennifer Langford Filler
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 21:57:20

    I read an article about young women freed from sex trafficking in New York City after being taken from their country in Africa from people that tricked their parents. Comments that pissed me off were about how they were probably on welfare in America now, and using our hard-earned tax dollars to live off of… Ummmmm, unbelievable!! My God they had been raped for money by American citizens… IF they were on welfare (which the article had never implied or addressed) we owed them that!! People are ridiculous…


  3. Becky
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 22:07:35

    You go, girl! Love it!


  4. Melissa
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 05:51:30

    All VERY good points!


  5. Amanda
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 07:20:20

    Ugh, that makes my blood boil. It’s just unreal.

    Amen sister!


  6. Amy
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 13:53:43

    I second Amanda…Amen!


  7. Lily
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 17:34:01

    I LOVE your response to the whole load of crap about how infertility treatments are “selfish”. Fertiles are totally ingnorant to the fact that having a baby is completely instinctual and that “just going to pick up a baby at an adoption agency” is not only extremely difficult and costly, but not the same as having a baby yourself. They’ve never been robbed of this basic human instinct. They also haven’t a clue that infertility is a medical condition that deserves the same consideration as any other medical condition. I will use some of this ammo next time some fertile spouts off!


  8. Cassy
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 10:18:23



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