Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Baby Rant

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Baby Rant

I don't know if I've ranted about this before, but if I have, I apologize in advance. This is just a topic that really strikes me as singularly important, and upon which I should air my grievances.

At what age do babies cease being 'it' and become 'he' or 'she'? I figured that, you know, when they're BORN with either a penis or a vagina that people would start getting in the habit of referring to them by the pronoun of their particular sex.

Apparently not.

I have no idea why this resonates so sourly in me, but whenever I hear a commercial for some product aimed at babies and mothers (of which I hear plenty considering I'm at home all day) I usually hear the same damn thing:

"...keeping baby dry and happy..."
"...helps soothe baby's sensitive skin..."
"...fabric softener keeps baby's blankets soft and warm..."

Is it so hard to add the word 'your' before 'baby'? They're not talking about someone named Baby. They're talking about YOUR baby. Use this product for YOUR baby. YOUR baby will love it. You'll get more sleep because YOUR baby won't wake up crying in the middle of the night.

Parents refer to their newborns as 'the baby'. Why not 'he' or 'she'? I realize that babies are strange little alien-like creatures that don't even know how to communicate properly, let alone speak in complete sentences, but is that perhaps because we treat them like inferior morons? We dress them in the colors that society deems appropriate according to their gender, but refuse to refer to them verbally with that label.

What if, when a baby is born, you just started talking to him or her like a normal person, making jokes they don't understand, staying up late watching Sopranos with them, getting upset at them when they don't have dinner ready for you when you get home, etc.? Instead, we talk in some unintelligible spew of 'goo goos' and 'gah gahs' and refuse to call them by anything besides 'it'. It's time for babies to take on some responsibility in this relationship.

Yeah yeah. You're thinking, "but babies are incapable of adult thought and comprehension, that's why we goo and gah at them, to help their cognitive development as loving, expressive people. And how could a baby make you dinner? They can't reach the counter, and the stove would be hot and dangerous."

To you people I say, your babies are just lazy. Stop calling them 'baby' or 'it', stop treating them like idiots, and calmly explain to him or her that they need to put up their share of cash if they want to live in your house, beneath your roof, with your heating and grocery bills.

Then see that baby jump up and get a paper route.