Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Unexplored Case Against Adultism

Originally published on May 7, 2014. Last updated on September 8, 2017.

Many readers are likely to stumble across this because they already oppose Adultism and presumably search for fresh content tackling it. If you are one of those, odds are that your proposed remedies to this overlooked malady never target the initiation of biological parenthood. A common theme I've noticed with critics of adultism is the tacit belief that good and bad parenthoods are a thing, in a categorical sense, and that the main driving force behind generically bad parenting (or stewarding) is the substandard levels of respect adults show for the personhood of non-adults. Aside from this, opposition to adultism for these critics is not to be confused with anything that remotely resembles an opposition to biological parenthood itself. The anti-adultist aims to improve parenthood, not to question it on a foundational level.

I on the other hand believe that any solution to adultism that relies on nonjudgmental overviews of parenthood is no solution at all. All such solutions are supplementary at best and nickel-and-dime tweaks at worst. Patchwork. I settled on this view some time ago, after coming to the conclusion that there are no finely grained good and bad parents. There are only more/less imperfect parents. Now that I am well acquainted with a topic as niche as adultism/anti-adultism, I'll try to merge some of what anti-adultists are after with some of what I'm after.