I really want to be a cool girl, and just go with the flow, and find amusing the things that are supposed to be quippy and funny.
And I understand that the term “breeder” is almost a term of “reverse-scorn.” Like, “Look at those heteronormative people with significant privilege, let’s give them a name, too! Breeders!” I swear to God I’m not trying to be the PC police here, and feel free to call me out if I’m just not “getting it,” but I don’t like being called a breeder.
Sticks and stones, though, right?
But I just can’t help but think that we should stop referring to people in mass groups by their reproductive choices. Even if it’s childless, cisgender, heteronormative people using the term to describe their cisgender, heteronormative friends who choose to have children. That doesn’t make it okay. And before anyone gets excited, I’m not trying to say that people who have children or want to have children are in any way being oppressed or mistreated, and this word is representative of that. Because in a world that glorifies pregnancy above all things, that’s just not true. But just because a word is not immediately representative of centuries of systematic denigration and marginalization does not make it a word that we should all feel okay using.
“Breeders” make me think of cows. It makes me think of whelping expensive litters of dogs that are sold by indiscriminate people out to make a buck. It makes me think of forced reproductive acts. It makes me think of everything that made me cringe in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. It even makes me think of eugenics to some extent.
It does not make me think of people I know raising children.
It does not make me think, “Well, that IS the scientific term for people who give birth.”
Hell, it doesn’t even make me think of MEN.
It’s a term for women. Who have children. At the whim of someone else. You never hear the term, “He’s breeding.” It’s always “She’s breeding,” in reference to a pregnancy, and has always been an insulting, or at least impolite, word to use in reference to humans. It’s a word we use about animals. It’s a word that actually boils women down to animals reproducing.
It’s not a word for us to use in describing each other. At some point, we have got to stop using words that boil each other down to just reproductive parts and how we use them.
But maybe I just don’t get it.