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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

For Kids

What I love in this country is how well everything is organized for people with kids. I still can’t get over the shopping carts with the opening for kids to put their feet through and the little plastic seats. Or the parking spots for pregnant women right in front of the entrances with pictures of little storks. Or the changing stations in public restrooms. 

Also, there are so many completely free places to take out kids here in town. Parks, playgrounds, the splash pad. Everything is clean, very well-maintained, with padded flooring, shady picnic areas, and shockingly clean public toilets. 

Of course, we pay high property taxes but it’s great to see that the taxes go to something worthwhile.

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17 thoughts on “For Kids

  1. Shakti on said:

    I still can’t get over the shopping carts with the opening for kids to put their feet through and the little plastic seats.
    As a kid there was room to put my feet through. The carts were not designed to be amusing to kids with fake wheels and the cartoon characters.

    Or the parking spots for pregnant women right in front of the entrances with pictures of little storks.

    That didn’t exist when I was a child. The ADA wasn’t law until 1990, so those handicap parking spaces and ramps weren’t there either.

    Or the changing stations in public restrooms.
    Also not ubiquitous when I was small.

    Everything is clean, very well-maintained, with padded flooring, shady picnic areas, and shockingly clean public toilets.
    I remember many playground fixtures were made of metal and put on top of concrete. Most kids were fine, but some had…accidents. If it’s playgrounds for kids, it’s well maintained, because the owners do not want to be sued.

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  2. Stringer Bell on said:

    For disabled people too. Coming from a country where disabled people have to depend on others for the simplest things because public (or private) infrastructure is not designed for them, it is all so nice to see. ADA seriously rules!

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    • When I was riding buses every day, I’d experience something close to ecstasy when I saw the bus stop for disabled passengers and roll out the railings. It was the reaction of the healthy passengers that really got to me. Everybody was happy to accommodate the disabled. Nobody swore, nobody insulted, nobody whined that it was inconvenient, nobody tried to push or kick the disabled person. It was very good to see. I come from a different world, unfortunately.

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      • Stringer Bell on said:

        “Nobody swore, nobody insulted, nobody whined that it was inconvenient, nobody tried to push or kick the disabled person. ”

        For real? God.

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        • When my sister was 8, my father was bringing her home from the hospital in a cast. They were in a bus obviously because we didn’t have a car. The passengers threw him off the bus because it was funny to see a scared 8-year-old unable to get off the bus on her own. Plus, they both look very Semitic , which made the whole thing doubly entertaining.

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  3. Remember:
    All these family-friendly amenities exist at the expense of singles, who get shoved aside in favor of the more “socially orthodox” contributors to overpopulation.

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    • Stringer Bell on said:

      Remember:

      You’re an idiot.

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    • I’m not entirely sure how building a playground in a formerly empty space or putting openings for a toddler’s feet in shopping carts “shoved aside” anybody. I’m also failing to observe any overpopulation here in the Midwest. If anything, the region is very depopulated. There are tons of completely empty space and the population flight intensifies with each generation. We are anything but crowded here.

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      • I’m talking more about the social climate and attitudes of favoritism toward those who fit the norm as opposed to the quintessential misfit individualist.
        There are a lot of social prejudices, and “favoritism toward the family” is among them.

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        • The norm is rapidly changing. Over 60% of people in Western European countries live alone. People with multiple children are no longer the norm in developed countries. I’m not sure there is much to celebrate in this victory of consumerism but it’s what there is.

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      • Stringer Bell on said:

        ‘My tax dollars should only be used for things that benefit me’ is such a pernicious idea.

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        • So is feeling collectively alienated.
          Always being made to feel like an “intruder”.

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          • Stringer Bell on said:

            Nobody can make you feel what you feel. If you’re feeling alienated, maybe it’s time to look within yourself. You (and I) are not important enough for society to have an opinion about.

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        • It’s all in how one defines “what benefits me.” I strongly believe that wheelchair accommodations benefit me even tough I don’t use a wheelchair. For one, I don’t know – and nobody knows – when or if one might become disabled. But even if one never needs wheelchair accommodations for oneself, it makes me very happy to know that disabled people are not treated as subhuman.

          This is all about whether you fully interiorize the neoliberal mentality that positions all human beings as competitors for limited resources and results in alienation, loneliness, skyrocketing depression, etc. Or if you decide that there is no need to be in thrall to neoliberalism and accept the idea that human solidarity is pleasant, fun, enjoyable and makes one feel good.

          Haven’t we given a lot to neoliberalism as it is? Why give more? It’s all I’m saying.

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          • It’s just that couples, groups, and families are the more favored by societies.
            The lone single male is always the suspected “rapist”, “child molester”, “lone gunman”/”terrorist”, “weirdo”/”oddball”, public nuisance.
            It’s both biased stereotype and favoritism.
            The “10 half-gallon milk for $10” at the supermarket (for example) favors groups and families over the hapless singles.

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            • And parents think that childless people are more favored by “societies.” Do you know how much whining I’ve heard about this from parents who think that the world conspires against them?

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