Let me begin by saying that reproductive freedom is an absolute cornerstone of women's rights, and human rights. By which I mean a woman having absolute control over her reproductive choices, whether that's 1 child, 19 kids and counting or zero. Without apology. Until that happens, we are second-class citizens, and we are a hell of a long way from reproductive freedom. Women who don't have children and don't want children are regularly put down, told they will change their minds, told they're less than women with children, told their families aren't "real" (this happened to a good friend of mine recently) and all kinds of other shitty, infantilizing, insulting, hurtful things. It's a particularly pernicious and effective tool in patriarchy's playbook, one that divides women and weakens us.

But some women do decide to become parents, in any number of ways. And we're vulnerable as well. Vulnerable to the judgment of our parenting. We become much more vulnerable physically and economically when we become parents. But that's an enormous issue that is beyond the scope of this post.

Mostly what I wanted to say was: don't say you hate children. I fully and enthusiastically support anyone's right to not have children. To grouse about the treatment they receive for that choice. To call out stupid sexist idiots and complain about baby showers. I hate them too.

But children, to my mind, are an oppressed people. They have few to no rights, being the property of either their parents or guardians or the state. The sentimental regard in which we are thought to hold children is a relatively recent phenomenon, and really only applies to the children of the bourgeois. We also are incredibly sentimental about animals, and treat them terribly.

You don't have to enjoy the company of children or sitting near them on airplanes. But to hate them is a form of ageism, and not cool.