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.
7 replies on “Being a Breeder”
I was expecting a story about dog breeding when I saw this headline lolz
That aside, the first time I heard the word “breeder” applied to women, it was from a serial killer on an episode of Criminal Minds. Now I always associate it with misogynists
One of the many reasons I refuse to watch crime shows. That shit sticks with you forever.
.. I expected a dog story. I should have known better (and fully agree on the subject).
The term breeder comes off as so dehumanizing with regards to populations that are already marginalized for having children. Speaking personally, it has some nasty implications when you consider how the reproductive capabilities of WoC (among other populations) have been feared and manipulated by some people presently and historically, e.g. the notion “welfare queens”, forced sterilization, slavery, etc.
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.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that the word is representative of that, since it is mostly used by a different demographic, but people who want to have children are discriminated against. Women with children on average make less money than women without children, and even less than men with or without children; many homosexual couples want children but can’t have them due to restrictive adoption and reproductive laws; people who breastfeed are regularly harassed; many people who want or have an abortion say they want to actually keep the child but can’t afford it; in the USA, paid maternity OR paternity leave is minimal; this isn’t even to mention how people talk about poor and/or black/latina (single) mothers and how they are “a drain on the system” etc.
So not only is the word pretty derogatory, it is actually (knowingly or not) used against a pretty diverse group whose members face varying levels of actual discrimination. I would prefer it if people stopped using it, honestly.
I guess what I meant is that the IDEA of pregnancy is glorified. Once there’s actually a baby, that’s your own problem.
But I just can’t help but think that we should stop referring to people in mass groups by their reproductive choices.
This quote sums it up for me. I support anyone making the choices that’s best for them and I hate that women especially are the target for these terms. I think it boils down to hating a “holier than thou” attitude from whatever side.