One man can’t deal with a CFBC (Child free by choice)

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I had been friends with a man for quite a few years – He was not a friend of choice, but we made the attempt to get along because of shared friends.

As a Child Free By Choice, I often make jokes about it to stave off the nosy busy bodies. One day I made an offhand quip in the hearing of said male friend and he went off at me – screaming, swearing and abusing me, breaking out all the anti-feminist bingo. It wasn’t scary because it was a long time coming, and I’d been prepared for such an outburst from him (he has control issues) for years.

His trigger was blindingly obvious – he’d just been made redundant after the birth of his latest child (highly religious, large brood), he was unable to find a job, and his wife had gone back to work, so he was experiencing the joys of being a full time stay at home dad for the first time in his life.

But it was just all #MFIF, my empty uterus was doing the emasculation.

We’re not friends any more.

CM
South Pacific

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24 Responses to “One man can’t deal with a CFBC (Child free by choice)”

  1. Jessica Says:

    What a horrible guy. I feel sorry for you, and his wife.

  2. JRM Says:

    While I love being a mom, I’ve never been one of those people to spout off to CFBC about how they’ll really miss not being a parent, it’s different when it’s one of yours, don’t you want a legacy, blah blah blah. IMO there are TOO MANY people who become parents and a lot of them shouldn’t. Nothing was so heartbreaking to me as a teacher to hear a parent say “well, if I’d known it would be so tough I wouldn’t have done it” or to see parents so wrapped up in their own lives that they couldn’t be bothered to be home at a reasonable time on a regular basis and their kids feel asleep at school and never had their homework done. So if someone has reasoned through and decided they don’t want kids – amen! Differences in opinion make the world go round.

  3. Brittany-Ann Says:

    Glad to hear you’re not friends anymore. I hope your mutual friends aren’t either.

    And I agree with Jessica. I feel sorry for his wife. There’s no telling how long it’s going to be before he blows up at her, if he hasn’t already.

  4. Jay Says:

    Ughh at least you’re not friends anymore. What a douchebag.

  5. Tetsubo Says:

    I am male. But I am CFBC as well. And I have grown very tired of the ‘why aren’t you a parent’ line of questions. It’s like I have somehow violated some unwritten law by not having children. I usually tell them that I would be a terrible parent.

    • Luna_the_cat Says:

      When people ask my why I don’t want kids of my own, I generally reply “because I know myself, and duct tape would end up featuring way too heavily in my parenting skills.” That usually earns me an appalled look and blissfully, no more questions. ;-D

  6. Alexa Says:

    Then again we don’t know the whole story here, I know some child free people who can get pretty snarky themselves, for all we know how she worded it she could have said something offensive to him first,, most people don’t fly off in a rage from small comments, it usually takes something bigger, first.
    His response from how she wrote it doesn’t sound too healthy, but if she’d been making quips for a long time (I know I’ve set off friends by doing similar about other things) or even jokes, sometimes they can hurt, what he did was still inexcusable but still.

    • D W Says:

      If it’s inexcusable then there can be no “but.” The next logical step in that line of thought about this would be that she has come to using those quips because of what was directed toward her.

      I have my own experiences on this topic as another ChildFree individual. It truly doesn’t matter how I say it there will be those who take offense. I’ve come to see that usually, it’s because they see any decision made different than their own as itself criticism of their own choices. My own experience has demonstrated that responding, “None,” to the question, “How many children do you want?” can be sufficient to ignite such fury on the part of the questioner.

  7. yolanda Says:

    I not a child hater per se, but did chose early in life to forgo breeding. I ran into angry men a lot over it. They’d get really irate about my choice and the final way I cemented it (voluntary sterilization.)
    I finally was able to ask one why he was so upset about my choice. He explained that all women are potential vessels for his children. Since he can’t bear them himself, to have even one woman take that option away from him triggered his emotions. I guess they resent not having the choice to have the child or not. At any rate I thanked him for his honesty and went away wondering why we aren’t raising our sons better.

  8. raincoatoptimism Says:

    I like how my blog entry on Thatcher and buses is related to this – sorry about that

  9. CM Says:

    Alexa: I am the person in the story, and I can assure you, this is a man with a very short fuse. He had a bullying father who behaved exactly the same, and he learned all the worst traits.

    There was no “bigger”. This man was offended about everything I did, from working to simply existing and opening my mouth. He is the worst case classic bully, racist, sexist and elitist.

    And I’m not allowed to make jokes? That skates very close to victim blaming. I should not have to censor my behaviour because he certainly never censored his.

    By the by, I didn’t make the joke to him. I was talking to someone more sympathetic and he inserted himself into the conversation.

    Anyone denying his behaviour to me is offensive, classic cover up and denial for the patriachy. He has been a mean bully all his life and I spent 20 years trying to be nice. He never changed. Don’t try to tell me what I should feel or know about someone who I know very very well.

  10. CM Says:

    PS: To further clarify the joke, it wasn’t even about him or anyone we know, with kids or not. I recall it being about some silly survey in the news.

  11. Dude Says:

    Wait a second, if you knew it was a long time coming, and you weren’t surprised that he would go off, and you knew what his trigger was… then wouldn’t you avoid making jokes that he would find offensive when you were around him?
    I mean I know he’s a dick. I get that. But when someone is rude and bigoted, you either avoid them, or avoid talking about the things that upset them, or you confront them. You don’t antagonize them by making jokes about the subject of their bigotry. That is not “attempting to get along because of shared friends”.
    I totally think you are in the right here, I just think that maybe setting him off wasn’t your best option.
    I can understand if he wasn’t meant to overhear what you said, if it was accidental. Or maybe you find him at a lot of your gatherings and don’t feel like censoring yourself often. Or maybe you wanted to get rid of the jerk and come off with him looking like the bad guy. In that case, kudos, because it seems to have worked.
    In any case, your friends should be more supportive of you, and not invite bigoted people like him who openly detest your lifestyle to their gatherings.

    Still. One day you might have a boyfriend/husband, and he might have a mother/father that disagrees with your lifestyle. While you’re partner should be supportive of you in such a situation, it WILL NOT help you to make jokes about being child free in their presence.

  12. Janie Says:

    Interesting that you excluded exactly what you said to him. There is such a thing as provoking people, you know.

    • CM Says:

      Wow. Just. Wow. Did you even read what I replied? I explained clearly the situation.

      Provocation. I can’t believe that. That is just unbelievable victim blaming. I’m appalled. This is why rape and abuse victims have so much trouble getting justice. It’s because of this: “YOU must have done something to provoke him”.

      Never the man, eh?

      Good to know abusive bullies still reign free in this world, while a woman who stands up to him gets told off.

      Thanks. Thanks so very bloody much.

      • Dude Says:

        This is an internet blog CM. Don’t post your personal opinions and then get angry when the world doesn’t agree with you.

        In any case, this guy seems like a pretty serious asshole. Have you discussed with your friends how uncomfortable you feel when they invite him to the same social occasion as you?

    • Luna_the_cat Says:

      Would this be the same kind of “provoked” as how Raoul Moat’s ex-girlfriend “provoked” him into going on a shooting rampage? Or more like how a lot of women get beaten by abusive spouses by “provoking” them with behaviours that set them off, like not having a hot dinner ready on time?

      • CM Says:

        Yes, the same kind of “provoked” which made a certain man in a NZ murder trial stab his girlfriend to death 216 times with scissors.

  13. Tetsubo Says:

    Spending the rest of your life editing every comment you make so that you don’t offend others seems sort of obsessive. How about people just accepting that other people don’t hold the same beliefs that they do?

  14. CM Says:

    @ Dude: We never go to the same social functions, and our mutual friends know not to let us mix. He has caused problems with other friends, so he doesn’t mix a lot with us anyway. If I know he’s going to be around for any reason, I make myself scarce (but he’s not allowed in my house).

    Also, saying “it’s just the internet, people will disagree” is just another way to fob off a woman’s concerns about a threatening male – “oh he can’t be that bad”. Yes, he is. I thought about maybe giving some more examples of his behaviour to give an idea of how abusive he is, but I’m not stupid enough to want to identify myself that way.

    So many people talk about “provocation” or “he’s not that bad” or “that’s just the way he is”, but that’s typical of the normalization of men’s behaviour, of their abuse and violence against women. I’m lucky, I’ve only been verbally threatened. There is no physical evidence whether he’s attacked other women (though he reguarly gets into fights with men – he can’t keep a job because of this) but I think it’s only a matter of time.

    • Dude Says:

      Well I don’t and never did blame you. This guy seems more like a stalker or uninvited company than anything else, and I hope he has the good mind not to attend the same social functions as you anymore.
      Your first comment makes the story much clearer than the original post did. That’s why people in this thread were confused. Not everyone reads the comments before posting. You made it clear that you weren’t provoking him in your second post. In your original post it seemed as though you were provoking him.
      To be clear, no one here supports this mans behavior. The reason people suggested you avoid provoking people was to help prevent these situations in the future, not to shift the blame on to you. I’m sure you have the support of everyone on the site (with the possible exception of Phil).

  15. Gail Says:

    He sounds like an asshole and congragulations on him being out of your life. You shouldn’t of been verbally attacked because of your decisions. It’s your life not his you’re living, so, you were not doing any harm. I also doubt this survey was that “bad” to say even near him. He was just being an over grown baby who should get taisered.

  16. Derp Says:

    Some people want kids, some don’t, whatever. I’m certainly not condoning this jerks behavior, but coming up with a specific label and acronym just to describe such a simple position like that, is a little bit odd imho. It seems like it would make a polar them-against-us situation out of something that has no reason to be like that.

    • CM Says:

      Derp, CFBC is a term and acronym that has been around for quite some time and appropriate by people such as myself. I didn’t “just make it up” nor do I/we use it to trigger people into being assholes about our reproductive state – they do that all on their own recognisence. Therefore, you saying I use the term specifically trigger people is insulting and sexist in itself.

      Do people who have children have a term and acronym for themselves? No, they are just “mommy and daddy”, because they are normalized by society. We don’t go round saying “OMG you’re a MOTHER BY CHOICE?! How fucking disrespectful is that for you to appropriate that term and throw it in my face because it insults MY state”.

      I don’t got up to parents and abuse them for being parents. The jokes I make are about the way certain parts of society insults me for my choices.

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