“Shut up, breeder pleaser.”

I was going to ignore a comment left sometime last week by someone who had nothing to say but, “Shut up, breeder pleaser.”

They left it here, far down in the comments section of a post titled “Seven things the childfree won’t usually tell you.” (This graph is a later addition. Quick thanks to a reddit user who pointed out a lack of context in the original post.)

It’s hard to argue with such thoughtfulness, reason, and eloquence, so I wasn’t going to give it any attention, but there’s something about the phrase “breeder pleaser” that is so fatuous, so indicative of an unthinking perspective, and yet so popular in certain childfree circles, that I didn’t want to ignore it.

What I think “breeder pleaser” means to the person saying it is, “You are so desperate for the approval of people who want or have children that you say things you think will make them happy, or at the very least not offend them.”

And this has never made sense to me. What would I gain by pleasing parents, or people who want to be parents? They’re not paying me. They’re not reading this site. They’re not sending me emails to stroke my ego. What would be the point?

No point. Which means “breeder pleaser” must mean, “You aren’t a total dick to people who want or have kids, and therefore you are a failure as a childfree person.”

And I disagree with the profile this particular brand of childfree person is creating for childfree people in general. Making the rest of us look bad, is what they’re doing. Little else.

I’ve tried to understand the position of those who use words like “breeder” in anything but scientific conversation, and “crotch fruit” and whatever other playground name-calling brilliance they can come up with. Are they extra sensitive and defensive because they’re under pressure to have kids? Are they reading too many blogs by narrow-minded people who think it’s a woman’s duty to reproduce and lumping that small crowd in with all parents or want-to-be parents? Are they just pissed off in general and happy for a target?

I honestly don’t know.

But if you’re someone who’s childfree and you’ve come here hoping to find a profanity-laced or snark-infused rant against parents or their children – you know, the kind of stuff commonly categorized as “click bait,” the kind of nastiness that earns people like Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin a decent living because apparently that’s the kind of shit a lot of people like to read (and worship, falling dutifully in line with their burning torches and bared teeth) – you’re not going to be satisfied. You’ll find arguments, defenses, and complaints, but – and I think this is what really irks some of the more rabidly childfree – I try to be fair.

If what you want is a blind adrenaline rush and a pile to jump on, Google “crotch fruit” preceded or followed by the word “fuck,” and you’ll easily find what you’re looking for somewhere else.

That’s not what I’m interested in writing, nor is that the kind of attitude I think is healthy or productive. Even if my stats suffer (oh, woe…however will I survive?) for a lack of name-calling and judging and ranting and what have you, I’d much rather appeal to those who either definitely don’t or may not want kids, but feel pressured (by family, by religion, by the media, by their suburban neighborhood, or by advertising) to have them, and who genuinely want to get the perspective of someone who’s been there, someone who can (I hope) make them feel a little less pressured/more confident.

It’s really that simple.



17 thoughts on ““Shut up, breeder pleaser.”

      1. You make breeders comfortable, at ease. You support tax breaks for breeders the childfree do not get, despite the face we use far fewer resources, both in our own lives and for future generations, such as they are. Breeders, by spawning, cannot be green because their carbon footprint, even if they drive a Nissan Leaf, is overwhelming.

        In behaving and believing as you do, you betray CF people everywhere. Does that help, breeder pleaser?

  1. Or read the Bratfree forums O_O if you have a different opinion on ANYTHING, even if you’re a member too, they will be as nasty as the worst playground bullies and put words in your mouth to make their arguments look better.

  2. Sal

    Wow, silvodene, you appear to be the worst kind of internet troll. I hope you realize you represent a tiny portion of CF people with your vitriole. If that kind of trash is all that you can spout, do the civilized world a favor, and stay off the damn internet.

  3. I appreciate the time you took with your response, Sylvia. I am exhausted as well by the hostile vitriol that’s out there in some segments of childfree world, especially the “breeder” name-calling nonsense. Unfortunately, there are a lot of angry people out there. Keep up your good work!

  4. Candy

    I love your original post and I think this one is even more well thought out. I think people that use terms like “breeder pleaser” and get so worked up about pronatalism are just immature and ignorant. I don’t see why people who want children and people who don’t can’t life side by side and enjoy each other without this being a big deal.
    Silvodene, you’re just childish, hateful and have too much time on your hands. Stop trying to convince someone that their own decisions are wrong and just deal with your own life.

    1. Bara

      I would like to point out that one can be anti-pronatalism because of various reasons, and still not to be a vitriolic troll or immature and ignorant.

  5. Thank you for writing this, Sylvia. I believe that especially as women, we need to celebrate choices, and the freedoms we have to make those choices. Insulting parents or people who want kids with derogatory language doesn’t help matters. Sure, I understand venting in a safe space, but sometimes the anger goes too far. I don’t understand the term “breeder pleaser,” because wouldn’t the definition of being a “breeder pleaser” be having kids in order to make people with kids happy? We’re not doing that. Being nice or not insulting parents doesn’t mean we’re pleasing them. It just means we’re being civil.

  6. Jen

    You know what I love about you, Sylvia? You’re open-minded. That open-mindedness is why I come here. You’re not full of hate or bile and your posts reflect your maturity {unlike silvodene}. I don’t have anything against parents {unless they’re abusive or disrespectful of my lifestyle}.
    I loved your article “7 things the childfree won’t tell you” for it’s honesty. I’m someone who struggled with the decision not to have children, even though I’ve known I don’t want them from a young age. I had an abusive father who shamed women who chose not to breed and become stay at home mothers and as a result, I’ve found it hard to reach a place of self-acceptance. I definitely felt the guilt you described in your book. I was attacked by a person not unlike silvodene simply for saying I had doubts. What I loved about that article was that it said it was okay to have doubts. That article gave me strength.
    {awaits with bated breath for someone to troll below me}


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