“If our urge to stay away from kids is constantly enabled, does our society become even more child unfriendly than it is?”

No one likes flying on a plane with a screaming child next to them. Some airlines are considering offering child-free sections that you can pay to sit in, but Pedro wonders if that would come with more than a monetary cost.

This is a comment by Pedro the post “Child-Free Sections on Airline Take Flight Amidst Controversy“.

Pedro says:

I understand it, although it’s kind of funny from say, the perspective of conservative politics. The free marketeer types say “great, go ahead and segregate, if people are willing to pay for it, more power to you”. The pro-family types (and also the Ross Douthat women-should-start-breeding-because-fertility-is-economically-necessary crowd) might observe that our society lets people off the hook too easy when it comes to children. If our urge to stay away from kids is constantly enabled, does our society become even more child unfriendly than it is? Fewer God’s special little snowflakes, fewer native born youngsters working to support our increasing senior-heavy population, less political will to fund schools.

It took me a long time to get used to the idea of having kids (let alone take care of them when they arrived in all their crying, poopy glory). Part of that was my family – widely scattered and inclined to have kids later. I was the youngest sibling and the youngest cousin. But it was also the child-free fantasyland most of us inhabit as young adults. My kids really humbled me. What are these creatures? The learning curve was steep. I don’t think I was alone in starting out as a dad with very few clues, and I have to think a lot of that is our society’s tendency to encourage segregation by age.

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  1. Can you be a child hater and still be a Good Man?

  2. I encourage all parents to express outrage at this policy. I would like to see parents organize a boycott of AirAsia. Parents, don’t buy tickets on for that airline, and refuse to fly with your children on that airline. Spread the news far and wide that AirAsia discourages children from flying.

    That way, demand for their tickets will drop, decreasing their ticket prices for those of us who want to fly without children. Staging a boycott will help guarantee even fewer children on their flights. Outraged parents get to feel righteous indignation, I get cheaper, childfree travel, a total win-win all around. Yay, supply and demand!

    Let all the airlines know that if they set up childfree flights they will lose child customers. Spread the word about airlines who are creating childfree flights. These are the companies I want to support….

  3. wellokaythen says:

    P.S. Also, no more tax breaks for having dependents. That’s essentially a tax penalty for not having children.

  4. wellokaythen says:

    If we’re looking to eliminate barriers between some age groups and the rest of society, for example between children and adults, then let’s get rid of all the separate age standards, even ones that benefit those groups.

    For example, let’s say age discrimination is just inherently wrong, so any economic discrimination on the basis of age is also wrong.

    Okay, then that means no more discounts for children. No more separate kids menu with lower prices than the adults’ menu. No lower admission prices to movies or theme parks, everyone pays the same. No airline ticket discounts for babies or children.

    Don’t like age segregation of children? Then everyone pays the same admission price, orders from the same menu, and has to follow the same rules of conduct. All screaming and running around the restaurant will be treated the same way regardless of age. Which means no more distinction between juvenile and adult law enforcement either. Which means a pilot can ground a plane for an out of control child as easily as for an out of control adult.

    That means no more special “just a child” considerations. Are most parents really ready to give up those parts of age discrimination? Most people would consider those special distinctions quite valid. Imagine if you tried to do away with these forms of age-based discrimination – you’d be accused of age-ism there as well. Easy to cry discrimination when it works against your interests, but less likely when it’s in your favor.

    So, really, we’re talking about accepting some forms of age discrimination but not others. So, how do we choose which ones to keep and which ones to lose?

  5. Thanks for the recognish, Editors.

    I’ve long had these thoughts about our societal tendency to indulge in segregation by age, so thanks for the forum. We need to discuss this issue, methinks – not just in regard to children, but the elderly as well.

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