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In Real Life and in fiction, the Straw Feminist and the Straw Bachelor are generally at each other's throats. However, it seems that there is one thing that both parties agree on: children are a waste. For the straw feminist, a child serves only to keep a woman at home when she could be aspiring to bigger and better things. To the straw bachelor, a child means being tied down to one woman, and having to pay child benefits, when that time and money could be put to better use.

Other reasons people might believe this is thinking that children are spoiled brats, cruel, or just useless—surely all they do is run around playing, and not contributing to society. To rectify this, some morally dubious characters may decide to build something Powered by a Forsaken Child.

Contrast Babies Make Everything Better


Anime and Manga

  • Black Butler has a prostitute going to a doctor to get an abortion with this as her excuse. That doctor had lost her ability to have children thanks to an accident that killed her husband and nearly her as well. This was the last straw before she snapped and became Jack the Ripper.

Film - Animated

  • In a deleted scene of The Incredibles, Helen/Elastigirl has to deal with a condescending woman at a neighborhood barbeque. Helen then lays down a verbal smackdown, prompting the other woman to gape in amazement and ask what Helen did before she had her child.

Film - Live Action

  • Something like this seems to be the prevailing mindset in the movie version of Logan's Run. Most people live carefree lives and don't bother with child rearing. Their "Utopia" has no family units, children are put in state homes by their "seed mother" and raised en masse. Francis notes that most men don't bother to hang out at the nursery to meet their children, and Logan (who is doing just that) declares that he's not so deviant that he's interested in meeting the mother. Is it any wonder a bunch of wild children went all Mad Max and took over an apartment tower?


  • Council Wars mentions this as a reason for the human population dwindling; with god-like technology available to everyone, most people have better things to do than look after kids. Note, this is not the only reason mentioned; that Society is still not over the overpopulation of the planet that occurred sometime in the past is also mentioned, thus making large families frowned upon.
  • In Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, a character points out the implication of strict utilitarianism: Newborns appear useless.

Live Action TV

  • Sex and the City drifts into this at times.
  • Married... with Children is based entirely on this trope; as Al Bundy's motto says, "A man's home is his coffin." Al was a high-school football legend being recruited by colleges, until his loser girlfriend, Peg, got pregnant... and he had to take a job selling shoes.
  • CSI: Miami had a guy who, while not opposed to monogamy, really disliked sharing his wife with another creature to the point of hiring three people to give his wife a Convenient Miscarriage via carjacking (one for survailence, one to hit her rigged car and one to steal it); unfortunately he didn't count on one of them to beating her half to death and the baby survived anyway. This makes his apparently stable relationship with his son all the more perplexing until you realize that the boy *might* have set him up for the assault since he hated his stepmother and worked at a chop shop.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • This is what all the characters in Questionable Content (except those which are parents of others, obviously) seem to agree on implicitly. In several cases justified since they came from families where... something went wrong. But apparently not even Marten Reed (for example) seems to think that the world needs another Marten Reed.

Web Original

  • Jiz is anti-life on the abortion issue.

Western Animation

  • On The Simpsons, there was a group of single people who were tired of dealing with other people's children and led a campaign for more restrictions on kids ("The children are our future: today belongs to me!"). They succeeded, and Marge led a counter-campaign to get everything back to normal.
  • In one episode of Phineas and Ferb we see a Bad Future where Doofensmirtz is in charge. It turns out to be the Moral Guardians who really pushed the world into dystopia, though; they decided that all imagination was dangerous and irresponsible, and since children naturally were imaginative, so were they. For everyone's protection they locked them away in cryogenic sleep until they grew up.

Real Life

  • Shock Jock Tom Leykis refers to having children as an "ego-trip", by which women are "dream killers" who use children to trap men into 18 years of child payments. His favorite line is, "Just because you have a human Xerox machine, is no reason to push the print button."
  • Some members of the Childfree Community take this position, for one reason or another.
  • On a more humorous slant, in economics the concept of "inferior goods" refers to goods whose demand rises when the income of those buying them falls - usual examples include things such as spaghetti and meatballs in a can. Countries that have industrialized and therefore seen per capita incomes rise have also seen their fertility rates fall dramatically (in the cases of Japan and several European countries, below the population replacement rate of 2.1 children/female), so children are often jokingly called an inferior good as a result.
  • Anti-natalism. Although the argument is that it's bad for the child, rather than the adults. Look up the book 'Better Never to Have Been'