September 15th, 2008
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So often when I’m arguing ethical adoption, reform and the prevailing issues behind those two things, I hear something alone these lines:

Single parenting is widely accepted today. Mothers are no longer stigmatized by society to place their babies. That’s all a myth.

I argue that their belief that this is all a myth is, in fact, a myth. But they never believe me. They say things like, “Look how far we’ve come!” And I say, “It’s not far enough.” And they continue to argue that we have made so much progress. That mothers who choose to parent their children at young ages are no longer stigmatized and stereotyped. They tune me out. They ignore me.

And then I read the stuff that the comments of this post are made of and I realize that I’m right and they’re wrong. And I find no joy in being right.

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In short, Toys R Us denied a “grandparent discount” to a grandmother who was under the age of 50. The blogger who posted the story asked whether or not Toys R Us had a “right” to do so or whether it was discriminatory towards young grandparents. I had no idea the comments would get as ugly as they did. But, oh, they got ugly.

As evidenced by this gem.

I’m 40, so I suppose math-wise I could be a grandparent right now. Instead, I have an 8 and 10 year old. Thank you, God, and thank you birth control!
It is so ghetto/white trash to be a great grandmama in one’s 50s. eesh!

Followed by another gem!

In the 50′s? That is ridiculous to say that but definitely in the 40s it is true. a 50 year old could have had a kid at 25 and that child had one at 25…. No problems there… in mid to low 40s and younger….that is “ghetto/white trash”

I’m glad that anyone who is 30-59 and already a grandparent is white trash. And not just any white trash. GHETTO white trash. Uh, what?

And this!

Maybe people should stop having kids at 13 and stop letting their kids get knocked up at 12, then grandparents wouldn’t be so young these days and you could use you’re stupid coupon!!

And even this!

If you’re so hard up for a stupid coupon, perhaps you should have spent your youth pursuing an education instead of birthin those babies? You wear your foolishness (and obviously your chidren’s foolishness) like a badge of honor. You should be embarrassed to be a 35-year old grandma.

I’m hoping some of these are removed. The ones that launch into long diatribes about the stupidity and free-loading of young grandparents (logic is lost on me, too) serve no purpose but to continue to spread of hatred.

I got very angry reading through these posts. My Mother was 19 when I was born. Yes, technically a teenager. However, she is also a very successful CPA with multiple degrees. My Father was 21 when I was born and has lived a very successful life as well. I was 24 and 26 when the boys were born, which is what the world views as their first grandchildren, thus making my parents still younger than 50. If I would have parented my firstborn, born when I was 22, they would have been younger first time grandparents. But naysayers tell me that there is no social stigma against young, unwed parents. None at all.

I bet this commenter would disagree with those naysayers:

It should be noted that while younger grandparents – those under the age of fifty – may not have proven tremendously prudent in their life choices. However, discounts such as these need to be unilateral in always in good faith. By excluded grandparents – that did not themselves, nor did these offsprings prove to be wise enough to exercise discretion in the art of responsible parenting – it shows all consumers that retail is biased towards some groups. All grandchildren need toys – particularly those visiting their forty – something grandparents in the mobile park….go figure.

Classy, right? This one is even better!

I think its great,good job punishing the parents who raised little hos [sic] who have kids to [sic] young…someone has to point out if your [sic] a young grandparent you raised your child like [expletive] and dont diserve [sic] to save more money they the [? sic] welfare you and your single ho daughter get

Apparently this guy had less education than my “ho” of a mother.

Nope. No stigma people. It doesn’t exist! Go ahead! Keep your baby! You’ll be treated with respect, admiration and compassion. And, to boot, your own parents will as well!

We have a long way to go as a society. A long, long way to go. And reading through judgmental words like these, I’m feeling quite discouraged today. There’s no point in arguing with such nonsense. I’ll just be labeled a derogatory slang word. As will my Mama which is, by the way, an oh-so-classy way to debate a point. And I don’t have the time or energy for such a ridiculous way to think.

What have you to say?

Photo Credit.

5 Responses to “If You Need Evidence of the Lack of Progress”

  1. ladyofmoonlight says:

    Wow…. that’s about all I can say… Granted I’ve had the “yes, racism does still exist!” conversation enough times that I ought to realize this sort of bigotry extends elsewhere. Oddly enough, my upper class/overeducated MIL is 50, my husband will be 39 when our son is 18, college age, and it’s highly possible we’ll be grandparents in our 40′s. Stupid HS and adoption agencies, letting us trailer park/white trashies adopt children. Don’t they know age means absolutely everything?

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but yeesh! Judgmental jerks :( And yes, agreed, society as a whole has a long way to go.

  2. beth1962 says:

    a long long way to go

    Just remember,
    people who say these ugly things
    say them out of jealousy.

    They say these things because for
    some reason
    they think they are more deserving.

    They can’t do what these
    “little white trash ghetto girls living in trailers” have done.

    Several of my highly educated and financially secure friends, who have college educated children with respectable careers are now grandparents under the age of 50.
    (barely lol)

    despite their young age
    and comfortable salary
    they want the stinkin Grandma coupon too.

    Having children in your 20′s is
    very normal and very healthy.
    Any OBGYN will suggest that you shouldn’t
    wait to have kids until you are too old.

    If you ask me :)
    It’s better that your Grandma be
    40 something – instead of your mom.

  3. JudyK says:

    Well, I don’t think we need to go and be biased the other way, Beth1962. That makes us just as bad as those who say the derogatory things about young mothers and young grandmothers.

    Of course, I say this as a 47 year old mother to a 6 year old. Young, old — we bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. Not better, just different; that’s all.

    What I say, though, as a friend of mine who is a PROFESSOR and is younger than I am and will become a grandmother in March — what I said to her yes, young (18, I think) pregnant daughter is what anyone should say in the situation — Congratulations!

    Mom had her children young and still went to college and got her Master’s degree, provided a great life for her kids and is a professor at a university now. While her daughter is young, I have a feeling she might follow in her mother’s NON-white trash footsteps. They’re admirable, hard-working, ethical people who I’m proud to know. They’re young parents, but like I said — young or old first time parents — neither is better or worse, just different. There are pros and cons to each, and ALL — young, old, and in-between — all should be celebrated.

    Parenting is hard enough as it is. I wish we would all support each other instead of trying to tear each other down. It not only hurts us, but I think in the long run, it hurts our kids. How sad is that?

  4. beth1962 says:

    Judy,
    You’re right we should all support
    each other.
    And derogatory personal opinions are
    just that.
    Every one has their own reason for
    their opinions.
    Ages of parents do bring different
    strengths and weaknesses to the table,
    all which can be dealt with in some way.
    I guess the reason for my negative and
    probably hurtful comment is because
    I was separated from my family at birth
    for the opinions that the people
    above shared.
    These opinions hurt my family,
    when it wasn’t necessary.
    It is very sad.

    I am a 46 yr old mom with a 14 yr old son,
    and could be a grandma any day if my 23 yr old daughter,
    or my son for that matter
    decide to take that route.
    If they do, I will be one of the
    proudest and most happy grandmas
    you’ve ever seen.
    Life is to be celebrated,
    no matter how old you are.
    Please forgive me for my anger towards this opinion, it is so dificult for me
    not to argue in some way to try and change this outlook that young mothers are not deserving of their born children,
    simply because of their age.

  5. JudyK says:

    No problem, Beth. I’m very sorry for what you’ve gone through.

    I agree that young mothers are also deserving of their children. I’ve seen some very wonderful young mothers. The age of the mother doesn’t make her a great mother or a poor one, and I honestly don’t understand why some in the general public don’t understand that. I can understand your anger and I realize that it wasn’t directed personally at me.

    Thanks for understanding my comments.

    It’s all good. :)

    ~ Judy

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