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raindrop 1
Mayor Bloomberg: The epitome of the conceit of the self-anointed.
Posted by raindrop on March 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
What? An older woman has knowledge, money and, presumably, a stable living situation. At least it's not an "accident" but a wanted child. And that's good news for children. If you're worried about population, get your own
tubes snipped.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
how about no women get 'shammed'? sham-wow, charles.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Big Sven 4
"Because humans as a whole should be making less babies,"

Not true. The world population is stabilizing. There only a few countries (notably Pakistan) that have not taken the availability of cheap birth control to bring down growth rates.
Posted by Big Sven on March 15, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 5
@3, you are crazy to think shamming does not have a place in social management. one should shame men for not using condoms. shame is socially useful.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
The actual problem is poverty. There are social programs available to help a teen with her infant, but those are not available to women in their twenties. For a poor woman who wants to have a child, it does make a certain amount of sense to have those children when they can get some social assistance to help bring them up. If the U.S. had better maternity assistance programs, including paid maternity leave, I think you would see birth rates among women in their twenties and thirties increase. Nobody really wants to have children in her forties. It's a sad comment on American society that a woman can't afford to have a baby until she's in her forties.
Posted by shambhaladawa on March 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
venomlash 7
What's that, Charles? Young women are there to make babies? What, men don't have any part in making babies? Misogynistic pig!
Posted by venomlash on March 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
schmacky 8
This whole post is one big sham.
Posted by schmacky on March 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
What @2 said. The issue isn't the assignment of babies in some kind of neoliberal moral lottery, it's that babies born to teenagers have a much tougher time. And of course people go out of their way to have babies in middle age, and it happens accidentally to teenagers.

How is it possible for one Stranger writer to be wrong/nonsensical on pretty much every topic? Not to mention misspelling "shaming" two sentences in a row.
Posted by also on March 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 10
im mean shaming. sorry.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
JF 11
@5 You'll be happy to know that the campaign also targeted and shammed men. You just won't see those on the blogs or the hysterics because it does not fit the narrative.
Posted by JF on March 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
merry 12



We now return you to your regularly scheduled Friday morning Slog-blog...

Posted by merry on March 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
AFinch 13
@5 - Hahahahaa...we just had a huge smackdown on this issue on one of SLLOTD: apparently shaming men is hunky-dory because it:

a) satisfies feminist rage (I'm guessing no shaming of women meets this criteria).

b) is payback for the Misogynist Partriarchy and the "fact" that apparently hooking up more physically pleasurable for men.

c) condoms are far in a way the best solution to STIs and unwanted pregnancies, so the ends justify the means: just shame men into wearing them.

So where is the problem with making girls aware of the all the likely consequences of teen pregnancy? Or is it that there are some socially acceptable targets of shame and others who are off limits?

Back when I was a school teacher, one of my favorite colleagues - an English teacher - had a poster on her door noting that the number one cause of poverty in America is teenage pregnancy. Isn't this like putting ghastly pictures on cigarette packs?

Just because we're making headway on all these public health measures (teen pregnancy, smoking, etc.) does that mean we should let up on the gas? As contraception becomes more convenient, more effective and now, with PPACA, much much more accessible, why not really hammer away at this?

Here's what I find really troubling (at best) about that picture: did they deliberately choose a child model who appears to be of mixed ethnicity? That little 5th Avenue touch I could do without.
Posted by AFinch on March 15, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Indighost 14

Mr. Mudede, have you ever considered the concept that adults, but not children, have the right to self-determination?

All I can say is, hopefully this posting will be noticed by the other staff.

@9: I know, right? The crazy thing is that unlike every other Stranger writer, he never even tries to be funny.
Posted by Indighost on March 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
AFinch 15
@12 - Doh! i bit down pretty hard, huh? Got some pliers to help me get this hook out?
Posted by AFinch on March 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
What @ 8 said. Troll.
Posted by live.small on March 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
From a biological perspective, the statement is, actually, untrue.

Earlier menses due to exposure to environmental cues is causing women to enter their fertile periods at very young ages, and your eggs only have optimal viability for a limited number of years.

Should teens get pregnant? Socio-economic factors say no. Biological factors are less clear.

In studies of American populations, we notice that many long-lived individuals in fact had mothers who were not old, but in fact, teens. Societal factors have moved us away from such young marriages, but biological factors have not.

Personally, I think our society should support women having children once they are adults, and make it possible for them to raise children and complete higher education and professions at the same time. Delaying only works to their advantage from socio-economic factors, not biological factors. But it should be THEIR choice, not the "choice" of men. Free or inexpensive early childcare (2-5 yo) would be needed, and remote education, as well as work study opportunities.

(just an observation)
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 18
Instead of "less posts" by Charles, perhaps we could look forward to "fewer posts" from Charles.

I always suspected PLU had low standards, but he's confirmed it.
Posted by Sir Vic on March 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 19
More posts from Charles.

Less polls about Which Star Trek Dinosaur Color Are You? or Ten Ways To Please Your Gay Husband!

(although I would love the first poll)
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Indighost 20
@17: I agree, I'm inclined to think that the idea solution is either to (a) divorce pregnancy from women, via science-fiction means, or (b) have either very cheap or government-provided long-term childcare services, perhaps both. Doing these would truly make the sexes more equal.
Posted by Indighost on March 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
onion 21
i wouldn't worry too much about the impact of 40+ women having children on the total population. i suspect that even though the PERCENTAGE of 40+ women having children is going up, that PERCENTAGE is actually still quite smaller than the ABSOLUTE NUMBER of 20- and 30-somethings having children.

Posted by onion on March 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
As a currently pregnant for the first & I-swear-to-whoever's-listening only time 39 year-old, in a married, two-income household, I have two words for you, Charles. And they are both FUCKYOU.

I think I'm going to go through with my idea to print up business cards that say "The Public Commentary Desk is closed today. We thank you for your interest". I'm going to hand them out not only to everyone who feels entitle to comment on my body/size/choice of lunch items, but to social engineering types as well. Where you see Political, I see Intensely Private.
Posted by jhops on March 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
onion 23
Posted by onion on March 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 24
12, you know, this sort thing is getting tired. what you call trolling is extremely selective. i write about 4 posts a day. all of them express an opinion or idea i have. one of these ideas happens to rub you the wrong way and you scream: "troll." where you when i made this post and similar such posts?…

oh, i see, you get to pick what is trolling and what is not. how convenient.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 25
@2, why not adopt a child then? what is wrong with that? it is the more rational thing to do.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
AFinch 26
@25 - Children are not fungible goods or pets. Part of our reproductive drive is to have our own genes passed on. If it were a question of "rational", nobody would have children; they've clearly been net economic drags on parents for several generations now.

Lots and lots of >35 people aren't able to conceive and I'd bet in @onion's absolute numbers, the adoptions far exceed biological births.
Posted by AFinch on March 15, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
fletc3her 27
It's just a subway ad. They aren't making women walk around with letters monogrammed on their clothes like Laverne.
Posted by fletc3her on March 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
@25 - i agree completely, but how many children have you adopted? right...just what i thought. it's easy to tell people how to live. walking your talk is a bit tougher. for the record, i also have children that were not adopted.
Posted by walk the talk on March 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
lark 29
@5 Charles,
Spot on. I agree with you whole heartedly. Some of these fellows need to shamed. I hope you noticed the comment I made on an earlier post of yours. Nice coincidence.
Posted by lark on March 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 30
I like to change my genes when they get dirty.

A good acid wash and spin untangles the kinks in my DNA and RNA.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM · Report this
it makes more sense and seems more fair that it should be the business of younger women.


Younger people are less equipped to deal with child raising. Younger people also tend to have a lot more wanderlust. And they are less able to provide because they don't have established careers, savings, or households. They make less money, and their incomes are stagnant (see prevoius Slog story). They are more prone to stress and overreaction. None of these are good conditions for dealing with babies, toddlers, or any other children.

Older people are more likely to plan their pregnancies, more likely to consider the pros and cons in detail before deciding, and more experienced in general to know what those pros and cons are and what they need to plan for.

Bring on the older parents, I say.

Besides, older pregnancies means less generations in a given time frame. A woman who is having children at 20 has created a 20-year generation gap; if their kid has a kid at 20, that's three generations within 40 years. but if a woman is having children at 40, that's only two generations within 40 years. From the perspective of population growth, which you express concern about: if you're going to have pregnancies, better it be with older women than younger women, as that means slower population growth.
Posted by K on March 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Bloomberg should stay out social engineering that he wasn't elected for. His financing of public school "reformers", (i.e. privatizers) is as repellent as Gates'.

Along with Mayor Bloomberg and Ms. Rhee’s Sacramento-based StudentsFirst organization, other big out-of-town contributors to the coalition were media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose News. Corp. affiliate News America Inc. kicked in $250,000 a day before the March 5 primary election, and Joel I. Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor, who gave $25,000. Mr. Klein is an executive vice president at News Corp. and heads Amplify, the company’s education division.…
Posted by anon1256 on March 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
seandr 33
First of all, Charles, our economy can't function without young people to pay taxes/social security/health insurance, start businesses, invent things, etc. The last thing we want is the average age of our country to increase.

Second, the babies born to responsible, educated, intelligent, wise, caring, prudent middle-aged women are exactly the babies we (as a society) want. They are more likely to grow up and make a net contribution to our communal coffers.
Posted by seandr on March 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 34
Actually, if your goal of "making fewer babies" is to put fewer stresses on limited resources (which I agree with), then you should ENCOURAGE women to delay child rearing, and we should CELEBRATE medical advances that allow this to happen.

Figure this: one group of people have on average 20-year generational gaps, and another has 35-year generational gaps, the first group will grow faster than the second. In 100 years, the first group will be on the cusp of their sixth generation; the second will be merely approaching their third.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on March 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
An important point: WA state has had a long-term decline in school age pregnancy. But we did have a small bump up around 2007- likely the result of taking our eye off the ball a few years prior with 'abstinence only' education. we are back on track- but this isn't something we can 'leave alone' -it takes real and constant work to reenforce the social norm of waiting until after high school to have your first child.
Posted by Chris Jury on March 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 36
the term you're looking for is GERIATRIC PREGNANCY.

i have 2 friends who are pregnant for the 1st time. 43 & 45. who the fuck cares if they have a kid, they're NOT going to fuck it up.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
sirkowski 37
So preventing public health problems causes shame now?
Posted by sirkowski on March 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Dougsf 38
@25 - Adopting a child can be very difficult and very expensive. It's not in everyone's wheelhouse.
Posted by Dougsf on March 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Why should child bearing be left to the younger women? The math is pretty damn clear, having 4 kids in your thirties grows the population SLOWER than having 2 kids before the age of 22. Shifting the child bearing burden onto older women is good for population control.
Posted by jconthehill on March 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
blip 40
Have you looked at the chart on the NYT blog post you linked to? As onion mentioned above, the absolute number of pregnancies for women over 40 is a small fraction of the total. The relative increase is so large only because the baseline it is compared to is so small. Teen pregnancies are still a much larger problem in terms of sheer number.
Posted by blip on March 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
blip 41
@40 Allow me to correct myself, since I don't think pregnancies for older women are a "problem." Yes, biologically they are more likely to suffer complications and certain birth defects, but they are also more likely to have access to quality pre-natal health care.
Posted by blip on March 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 42
Do you have proof of that, or is that a sociologically determined "result" you "believe", @33?

Studies show it depends on how rich their families are and how educated the mothers are, not this age effect you speak so highly of.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 15, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 43
The problem isn't teens getting pregnant it is teens giving birth.

Free abortion on demand for anyone under 21 years of age would fix this problem (in so much as it exists, which isn't much).
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on March 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
blip 44
@Will, the answers to all your questions are in the NYT blog post linked above. Women are delaying childbirth to focus in their careers and to develop financial stability.
Posted by blip on March 15, 2013 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Mr. Mudede says: I admire Bloomberg for being a muscular social engineer.

Geez, dood, you mean like when Bloomberg appointed Jack(hole) Welch, the dood who offshored all those engineering, computer science, scientific R&D and manufacturing jobs in egregious amounts, starting in the mid-1980s, destroying an untold number of families, parents' ability to pay for their children's further education, etc., etc., as the NYC Education Czar?

Are you completely nutso, Mudede?

Jackhole Welch also transformed GE from what it had been to a private equity/hedge fund operation, which still ONLY exists because they were allowed to access TARP bailout funds, and were pumped further funding from the Federal Reserve.

Anyone who isn't completely skeptical of Bloomie by this time is a certified whackjob!

'Nuff said.....
Posted by sgt_doom on March 15, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 46
@36, as one who did my kid business in my mid 20s, do not underestimate the importance of sheer strength and youthful energy. teens, yes too young; but 40s, too old.
Posted by Charles Mudede on March 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 47
@25 I agree.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Will of Seattle's remarks get everything right this time (evidently, he is evolving a bit???).
Posted by sgt_doom on March 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Thank you 34 and 39. Some people have no memories. Starting later decreases population growth. That is why people used to be encouraged to either stop at 2 or start at 30, since those are roughly equivalent ways of slowing down population growth. Women who have children in their 40s without having any before then, are significantly decreasing population growth. So, you can come up with other arguments to be against it, but population growth is a terrible argument to use. And even worse when you then want to encourage young women to do so.
Posted by uncreative on March 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
If you want fewer babies then educate women and increase their income. Fertility falls on its own when that happens.
Posted by ryanmm on March 15, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Yikes Mudede. That's one of the more wildly inappropriate assertions that you've ever made. People waiting until middle age to have kids are not part of the problem, and they ARE part of the solution. If you don't have kids earlier, then you've automatically limited the number of kids you are probably able/likely to produce and drastically reduced the odds of your kids contributing to "surplus". Many of these people would rather remain childless than go through the expense, difficulty, and emotional risks of adoption (just so that they can go through the expense, difficulty, and emotional risks of parenthood for a child they don't perceive to be "theirs" - not everyone can or wants to bond with babies willy-nilly). Additionally, many of these women are facing the end of their opportunity to have their own babies safely and without need for extra medical intervention (either to conceive or to successfully complete a pregnancy) and are making the best possible decision by having waited until it was late but not *too* late.

Additionally, where is it written that young women are somehow more deserving of the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Most young women I know are neither emotionally or financially prepared for kids, and it is flat out stupid to assert that young women should have babies just so middle aged women can adopt them, when neither party would probably consider that their preferred choice.

Lastly, given that you yourself have children and none of them are adopted (as far as I've ever heard), this is seriously an issue where you should butt the fuck out and stop acting like a self-righteous hypocrite. If you aren't going to adopt rather than procreate, why the fuck should they?
Posted by ricaroo on March 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Posted by venomlash on March 15, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
merry 53
@ 24 - Sorry for the delay in responding, Charles. Work was hella screwy today.

The main reason this particular post of yours struck me as 'troll-y' are your last two sentences. It's your phrasing more than the idea contained within them: "shaming middle-aged women". I'm sorry but that is just red meat thrown into the lion's cage. Ergo = troll-y.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy much of your work. But you do sometimes get a bit muzzy, and you have admitted to viewing Slog as your tickle machine - so you know good and well what sorts of coin to feed into the machine to get those tickles rolling. (Not that that is a bad technique, per se, just a rather obvious one.)

Sorry if my thrice-repeated bolded TROLL ALERT put your nose out of joint - it was meant humorously, I promise.
Posted by merry on March 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Is it wrong for men in their 40s to have children? If it's moral for forty years old to adopt because there is already a bunch of parentless children, then isn't the same true for 20 year olds?
Posted by j2patter on March 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
Charles -- did you adopt your kids?
Posted by Amanda on March 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
I feel like you stole my idea. [expressed on another slog post by one of the "rape culture" writeresses. she was arguing something something akin to "real teens don fall in love like they do in teen romance movies"] 14year olds should all be falling deeply in love and having "replacement babies". nasty old breeders need to stop.
Posted by carsten coolage on March 17, 2013 at 6:49 PM · Report this
It seems a bit hypocritical that The Stranger should employ a writer who advocates shaming women. It's one thing that Mr. Mudede's posts tend to be incoherent, poorly thought out, and irrelevant, but this is a new low.
Posted by malwae on March 17, 2013 at 11:22 PM · Report this
Global birthrates are plunging and have been for decades, Charles. Worrying about overpopulation is so 1970s.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on March 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Older, more emotionally mature, and more financially secure women make better mothers than younger, dumber and poorer ones. This has been found in studies many times. And no, adoption is not "absorbing the surplus", there essentially is no surplus, seeing as there are such long queues to adopt children. Women who give birth late are perpetuating their bloodlines in the most prosocial fashion - creating a child once they can raise and care it for well, so that it will be well positioned to contribute to society as an adult.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on March 17, 2013 at 11:44 PM · Report this

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