As we dive into the autumnal season, many people are excited about the approach of Halloween. While I enjoy dressing up and partying as much as the next person, fall just makes me dread Thanksgiving. Dry turkey aside, as a woman who is approaching the end of child-bearing age, Thanksgiving promises a host of older relatives asking me when my partner and are going to have children. And as broke New Yorkers, one of whom is in graduate school, that’s not happening any time soon, if ever. We’re perfectly happy showering our cats with affection and enjoying the children of our friends and family vicariously.
Sadly, our complacency regarding childlessness – and even the pleasure of it – is controversial. As the annual number of births in many countries dwindles, many people are concerned about the social and economic implications of changing attitudes towards raising children. While these talking points are prevalent in news media and cringey think pieces, they’re also very present in memes. And because there is a steadily growing «trad» on social media, many of these memes decry the choice to remain childless.
Twitter user @EvilEuphoriTori shared one such meme yesterday, and it has inspired quite a bit of discussion on the bird app. The «Wojak» meme depicts a family «in every other century ever.» They’re depicted as farmers, which is made clear thanks to the muscular «Chad» dad wielding a rake. The father is joined by a very trad-looking mother and nine creepy Chad «Wojak» babies. The caption beneath this apparent ideal is as follows:
«CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING NOT AN EXPENSE, WE SHALL HAVE AS MANY AS GOD WILLS»
The other side of the meme features «Families Now,» which apparently consist of a single bespectacled woman and her four cats. Beneath that image is the text «MY CATS ARE MY SONS.»
Whoever made this meme sincerely thinks the world is headed in the wrong direction because some people would rather have cats than kids. As I’m sure many of you are aware, the internet is flush with cat-lovers, and many netizens did not take kindly to this messaging – not just because of the cats, but because the idealized side of the meme is incredibly misguided. We’ve collected their thoughts below but want to know – is there really anything wrong with wanting cats more than kids?