The primary c-section obstacle to large families

This one will be a quickie because state level data is a huge headache to assemble, but nationally, about 20-25% of first births are primary c-sections. About 33% of births each year are c-sections, but the exact amount which are first births varies more year to year.  Further, starting that way limits the feasible number of births to no more than 6, with 3-4 being much more typical.  After four c-sections, the risk of death to either/both of mom and baby or catastrophic surgery like a preterm c-section/hysterectomy combo gets up to the level of open-heart surgery (well north of 20%, far, far, far higher than the half a percent (.5%) risk of rupture only (not death and not catastrophic surgery, rupture may mean forceps or vacuum delivery for the infant and/or another c-section) for VBAC after one section that leads many hospitals to deny women access to VBAC .

Some women (pretty much all conservative Christian or Mormon women) successfully find a doctor willing to perform the surgery after 4 c-sections, and some of those women die.  It’s a small group, so I’m not going to claim you’re guaranteed to die if you have five or six c-sections and zero vaginal deliveries.  So few women “go there” it’s not easy to know.  But you will struggle to find a doctor to take on your pregnancy past four and increasingly past three sections and you will be very very very strongly pushed to have a hysterectomy or tube tying after the second, third or fourth c-section delivery.

I basically hear zip, zilch, zero about this from conservatives claiming people have smaller families these days due to selfishness and love of money and vacations.  You’d think they would pay attention to this sort of massive obstacle to a plurality of women having large families.


World War T and the backlash against breastfeeding, two sides of one misogynist coin

There is a backlash against breastfeeding in which women constantly argue they need their drugs more than they need to breastfeed and it parallels the WWT (World War Transgender, courtesy of one Steve Sailer) demands for drugs to maintain a supposedly inborn gender.  Yep, I totally went there!  But in the case of women, as opposed to the men and teenage boys encouraged to take dangerous drugs with horrible side effects, most of the (usually) psychiatric medications they want to take are compatible with breastfeeding.

Another part of the breastfeeding backlash is defining bizarre edge cases where breastfeeding would not be feasible as normal and typical, like this cancer mom

Also, in a country where formula feeding is the social and medical norm, screaming about boob nazis (women defending the right of women to behave in biologically normal ways that were historically part of the public sphere) disturbingly parallels the vicious and astonishing misogyny leveled towards radical feminists, who represent another minority group of women desperately trying to defend the biological reality of femalehood and female existence from the relentless onslaught of surgically unaltered men proclaiming themselves more womanly than any woman born.

If woman is just a feeling a man has sometimes, what rights (even to existence) do real women have?

“Women don’t really exist, they’re just a feeling a man sometimes has”– GallusMag at GenderTrender, a radical feminist clearinghouse on WWT and one of the few sources of real journalism on that topic.

The breastfeeding backlash is pretty virulent and often part of nominally conservative circles that identify as more “moderate” and libertarian.  I was inspired to start this post-topic by the weird fact that I’ve seen soooooooooooooooooooooooo many conservative men bring up OUT OF NOWHERE the “boob nazi” narrative regarding why their wives put some or all the babies on formula.  One notable example was reading a dissident right blog mostly about statistical analysis of various stuff and out of nowhere comes the boob nazi thing at the end of a post.  Another interesting example was an open thread discussion on a center-right/libertarian blog that wasn’t about birth or breastfeeding or pregnancy in any way.  But then a dude just busts out with it.

Liberal dudes tend to be super pushy about “posting for their pregnant wife/girlfriend”, which is controlling and weird too, but conservative guys tend to be anti-breastfeeding as a norm.  To brag about how their wife used it as a weight-loss tool, sure, but never as something normal and part of how women birth and nourish infants.  They are also this way about homebirth and midwifery.  Only if they assisted do they support it or speak of it favorably.  One example is the place I purchased some homebirthing supplies from, which was a guy who assisted with his wife’s homebirths enough times that they decided to start a business selling the supplies online.

Breastfeeding for more than a year is especially reviled, which is bitterly funny given the supposed support for SAHMing.

Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and it carries a lot of health issues (like being exhausted from the biological process of milk-making, among other things), but it’s biologically normal, it’s part of the great work that is our womanly form.  We weren’t designed to merely have a baby and then, well, whatever foodwise.  We were designed to breastfeed for many months of an infant’s life, with again a natural decrease in production as the infant matures and can eat more and more solid foods into toddlerhood, where the weaning process is supposed to happen.  These are ideals, and the fallenness of this world makes them not always possible for every woman.  But normalizing *anything but breastfeeding* is definitely anti-woman.  And that happens over and over again among conservatives.  It’s so common to denigrate solely feminine spheres in this way, by only speaking of them when they have some utility as a tool to serve a man’s desires.  It’s not just a thing that gets your body slimmer for funtimes postpartum.  It’s not costless compared to formula, it simply comes with different accounting.  It’s a fearfully and wonderfully made system of infant feeding built right in to start working even before you give birth.  Formula is very clever, but breastmilk production and nursing is so remarkable I do encourage women to try it and support them in doing so in the ways that I can (food, employment for nursing mothers, connecting them with other experienced nursing mothers, etc.)

My position is the same online as it is when I’m helping out women offline to breastfeed at all or for a few months longer than they otherwise would.  Formula is a great invention, but it’s not magical and requires a lot of resources to be a reliable feeding method for infants.  Babies that sleep badly will do so regardless of the food they eat.  And if they sleep pretty good, then they’ll do so with breastmilk as readily as formula.  And making milk is work too, just like growing a baby, so dig in.  But the main way to get more women breastfeeding is to actively support and approve of women staying home all day.  Pumping rooms at a job aren’t going to do it and create many other problems, like pressure on women to run to work ten minutes after delivery.  Anyway this is a hobbyhorse so I’ll hop off and leave additional discussion to the floor.

Why Diversity is Bad for Sustainable Farming

Sustainable farming is all about the horrible exploitation of Mexican single mothers and slightly smarter brown women creating one middle-income job with benefits for themselves along the way as administrators of various “incubators” for small-scale vegetable farming.

What does it have to do with conservatives?  They could Notice that the stable farms producing local or regional food are not part of some baksheesh scam, but in fact are family enterprises that return profits and are mostly farmed by intact Christian families.  They could also point out that the “diversity” push is actively removing farmland from production and leading to less food produced over time, rather than more.  In the examples above, most of the land isn’t being farmed and what is being farmed is plots barely larger than a backyard garden.  The women farming those plots are worse off than actual sharecropping, because they’re never given enough land to make a full time income from, but they’re also not allowed to farm the entire plot as a group for the “incubator”.  It is the worst of independent “farming” of a backyard plot combined with all the regulatory hassles of having many masters as in a full-on collective.

There’s also fun stuff like requiring the immigrant single mothers to take college courses (that they have to pay for) to maintain access to the plots they do farm.


This is so horrifying I’m just going to put it up as it is and not try to expand on the numerous other examples of “sustainable” evil out there.





Practical Definitions: Defining the Acceptable Fringe

Something that is important to keep in mind is the concept of the Acceptable Fringe.  This would be behaviors, beliefs and practices that are considered weird or fringey, but do not result in the person or family practicing them being considered “not one of us”.  It’s very important to distinguish acceptable fringe things from unacceptable fringe things mainly because if you don’t understand where the lines are, you can’t really work to combat truly dangerous fringe practices that are being protected by their acceptable-fringeness.

Vision Forum was acceptable fringe until the scandals exploded with Doug Philips’ sexual misconduct and abuse of authority.  Many conservatives didn’t buy into the whole shebang, but owned a few videos or books.  Bill Gothard/ATI was also acceptable fringe, along similar lines.

Quiverfull is (barely) acceptable fringe.  Christian Identity (white nationalist Christianity) is not acceptable fringe.  Interracial and international interracial adoption is acceptable fringe.  A lot of people aren’t really into it in conservativeland, but they don’t want to upset their friends and family who are.  It remains relatively uncommon and fringe in practical terms, though.

Homeschooling is acceptable fringe.  Homeschooling is an interesting case because it’s being successfully co-opted and drained of its fringeyness and, well, that’s another post for another day.

Acceptable fringe: homebirthing.  Unacceptable fringe: unassisted homebirthing.

Acceptable fringe: living off the grid.  Unacceptable fringe: not getting your kids Social Security numbers and birth certificates.

This post is also a work in progress.

Marriage and children in wedlock do cost 100k per year to have

Married-Couple Families in America By The Numbers.

This table leaves out the married couples with no kids under 18 in the house.  This is just a brief glance at where families in America are today.  This is all married couples of every race and ethnic group, of both native-born and foreign extraction, this is all of America that marries and has kids.  And it’s not cheap.

Related Children

In Family under 18

Median Family Income (dollars) Total Families % at $100,000+ annual family income

(number of families in parentheses)

1 90,630 9,843,227 44 (4,344,364)
2 92,322 10,077,382 46 (4,626,248)
3 78,000 3,985,394 37 (1,474,397)
4 66,040 1,172,703 29 (337,068)
5 57,302 307,165 28 (86,303)
6 50,000 99,034 22 (22,059)
7 70,000 37,525 27 (10,261)
8 or more 60,500 16,593 39 (6,419)
Total of all married-couple

Families w/kids under 18


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 data

Also very informative are the family size cliffs, particularly after three children and five children.  And if I pull data from about ten years earlier, the numbers are pretty much the same, even down to the percentages.  The medians are a little lower, but not by much.

In a smaller table, I’ll just list what the total percentage of families is if you go ahead and toss in the 75-100k folks to account for lower cost of living areas where money might go a bit further.

Here’s the percentages even if you call 75k the new 100k to raise a family as married folks.

Number of Children % of families earning

75K/yr or more 

(raw number in parentheses)

1 62 (6,120,213)
2 62 (6,190,910)
3 52 (2,075,235)
4 42 (493,219)
5 40 (123,006)
6 38 (37,954)
7 45 (17,114)
8+ 46 (7,604)


And there you have it.  A majority of households having kids in wedlock are not doing it on the cheap and significant pluralities are not doing so at larger family sizes.  Definitely something for conservatives to think about when discussing family and marriage issues.  Even at high incomes, it’s possible to feel broke raising kids these days because the prices are being set by very high income households.  This is a marriage canyon.

Whatever happened to respectable poverty?

One of the weirdnesses of American conservative life is the way in which everyone tries to label themselves middle class or even upper middle class no matter how low their actual station and income.  Conservatives, even the very devout Christian sort, really do seem to buy into the “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” self-image.  So the idea that poverty is sometimes a thing that can happen even to people who work hard and live clean is lost, even though as recently as the 1970s in America it was still a whisper here and there (mostly of course in the context of black Americans, but not exclusively).  Living among the poor sincerely and functionally, not on a temporary basis where you go back to your high-income zip code a year later (there are easily half a dozen pastors I can think of who have done that kind of thing and dozens of non-pastors who think it’s “missional living” to do it for a few months), is something worth more than getting into a good school district via scrimping.

Americans have always recoiled from respectable poverty and only grudgingly accepted its existence, but in post-America, it’s worth remembering that poverty is always going to be with us until the Lord returns, so having it be respectable is better than having it be unrespectable.

This is the very model of a bagatelle.