Why You Should Procreate: An Open Letter To Every Smugly-Childless Man

There’s always one.

Some smug prick at the dinner party who announces he will not be having children.

Because, overpopulation.

And “man as disease.”

Not to mention the mess, and the work, and the annihilation of one’s personal life.

The subtext being that having children is an “indulgence,” a surrender to base, unenlightened instinct, an act both unconscious and unconscionable.

Three things, asshole:

1. Population Winter

We do not only proliferate.

Winter is coming.

We have swelled in number, yes, like poppies on a sunlit hill.

But all it takes is a hard frost, and we have lost our buds.

When you look beyond the garden walls of recent history, you’ll see that plagues, war, and other calamities routinely decimate our ranks.

Black Death killed over fifty million people, which was more than half of Europe’s population at the time.
LINK: https://www.history.com/news/history-lists/6-devastating-plagues

We are not givens.

2. Refinement by Fatherhood

Yes, to have children is to enter the cataclysm. Daily, for years on end.

Yes, your life will utterly change.

Nothing will make you curse so despairingly, scrape the bottom of your own jar so desperately, love so deeply.

It will stretch you to breaking point.

But you’re rigged for it. We all are.

Having children is the great crucible, the forcing function that pulls our greatest love and work from us, even if kicking and screaming.

3. Glorious Human

If you believe our species is a cancer, that we are a stain on nature, then yes, you best keep you seed unsown:

Spare us the spreading of your anti-human tripe by not breeding.

When it comes to changing the world, the works of our hands are but penultimate:

Our greatest creations are the children we produce, tend, and bequeath to the world.

That is how we truly, literally have skin in the game.

Yes, we can, as a species, be cruel and rapacious.

But our contributions outweigh our devastations, if that is what we choose.

Humanity is net positive.

As Julian Simon said, where others see yet another mouth to feed, I see two hands and a mind.
Children are the future, the bleeding edge of our confounding species: a species flawed, fragile, glorious.

Go make some more.

Bryan Ward is the founder of Third Way Man and author of the LIT Black Paper


  1. Dear Sir,
    Believe it or not, I am here to help you and to broaden your mind’s horizons.
    Your text annoyed me.
    Not because of your gratuitous and bland insults. I’ve been called far worse, starting from child of a woman with loose morals that trades sex for money and ending up with parasite living in the rectal orifice of a platypus(1) so being called a smug prick, or an asshole means nothing.
    Nor was I bothered by the callous and mean spirited way you wrote, not caring about the damage that your words could (and would) cause.
    Nope. What bothered me were your assumptions(2)
    1 – That You know what You’re talking about.
    2 – That what you wrote is the product of your mind.
    3 – That you’re entitled to insult and belittle me and people that made the same choices that I did.

    Let’s start with your first assumption.

    You talk about people that at dinner parties announce that they will not having children. Guess what? We rarely announce it. Unless we are being cornered by a bunch of “Thou-Shalt-Make-Children” partisans.
    Let me give you a personal example, and also teach you about the ways that some of us react to people like you.
    Last time I made such an announcement I was at was supposed to be a birthday party. I was thirty seven then (I am fifty three now). I was with my girlfriend that happened to be a bit older than me (nineteen years older if you need to know). If I were the older one, probably nobody would bother making any comments, but since I wasn’t, everybody made sure to make a comment. And since we were all so civilized and sophisticated, nobody mentioned directly the age gap, but everybody and I mean e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y started to ask us when were we going to have children, how many did we want to have, commenting that our children would be gorgeous, that we needed to hurry before it was too late, dropping hints about hormonal therapy and fertility treatments. There was a couple there that was the worst, bludgeoning with words, telling us to hurry up, mentioning the possibility of a surrogate mother interjected with praise of their perfect children, showing everybody the pictures of their five snot nosed brats. After two hours I snapped. I coldly told everyone that I wasn’t going to have children and to stop bothering us with their advice. I am not sure if I ranted about the Club of Rome or how we as species were going to overshoot, but probably did. Everybody went silent until dessert arrived. I remember vividly the people, the light the sounds, the smells, the taste of chocolate mousse in my mouth… and then that guy looked at the mousse, turned to his wife and said : “look Marta. How lovely. It’s the same color of little João’s feces.” I almost spat the mousse and would probably do or say something that would later regret if my girlfriend – that was much more patient and smarter than me – didn’t ask immediately : “How interesting Marcos. And does it taste the same?” Everybody laughed.

    Soon after that she left me, because she couldn’t handle the constant pressure and malice of people.

    That was not my first (or last) round with the “Thou-Shalt-Make-Children” crowd. Far from it.

    And it’s funny that different people, from different cities, and even different countries made the same stupid assumptions and asked the same stupid questions.

    During the 80’s the question was : “ Not have any children? Are you a faggot?” By then I was a bit inexperienced so it took me a while to find out the perfect answer. “A faggot? Me? No. Say have you noticed that the guy on the corner is checking out your ass?” or “No. Why? Do you want me to f*** your ass?” or “ No, but now that you mention it, you DO have a nice ass”.
    Obviously, a few times their immediate reaction was to punch me, but it was worth it.

    During the first half of the 90’s the question was : “No children? Why? Do you have AIDS or something?”
    After I told them that I was perfectly healthy they always asked if I was gay.
    I used to look at them with a slow smile and say : “ Sorry dude, I’m a ladies man, but I can give you the phone number of a guy that will bust the cherry of your ass for free” (and I did give that phone number in two occasions).

    By the late 90’s, beginning of the 21st century things took a sharp turn for the worse.
    “What? No children? You must be a pedophile (or a satanic pedophile)”.
    I suppose that nobody expected me to give the obvious answer. “A pedophile? Me? No. If I were a pedophile I would make sure to have a lot of children so that I could trade them with my pedophile (or satanic pedophile) friends. Wait… (horrified look, taking a step back, gasping for air) how many children do you say you have?”

    Of course that not all members of the “Thou-Shalt-Make-Children” crowd are this limited.
    Some, like you, talk about population winter. What you forget to say is that people like you make the population winter inevitable. You mentioned the plague and said that it killed fifty million people, half of Europe’s population at the time. What you fail to mention is that most of those victims were on urban centers, cities and villages. Crammed people always were a treat for the dissemination of disease. Tokyo alone has 9,3 million people. New York 8,7 million people, São Paulo 17 million (not counting with the people that live in the favelas, the slums). Take a look at the slums in Shanghai, Mumbai, São Paulo. Think, if you dare, about what the combined element of overpopulation and poverty will cause. And considering that we live in a finite world with finite resources, a continuously growing population implies continuously growing poverty and social tension. This inevitably leads to brutality and war.

    Of course some people, like you, have faith. Glorious Human. Where others see a mouth to feed you see two hands and a mind. True. But those hands need food to be able to work and the brain needs a proper education. How will you accomplish this? How many potential Einsteins are now starving and living in abject poverty, without access to food, water, shelter, education, health care? Take a look at the poor neighborhood of your own city, of your own country. Multiply it for the world.
    Some people believe that we will reach for the stars and that the excess of population will be transferred to Mars. Others believe in the rapture, others yet believe that any attempt to reduce the population growth is a sin, or that a child genius will come up and solve all our problems, completely conquer Nature and take us to a blazing future away from this world and conquering the Universe. What are these but pipe dreams? And don’t answer me that someone will think of something.

    Me… I have never seen a path to Utopia that didn’t end up in a blood bath.

    Now let us look at your second assumption.
    The assumption that those are your own thoughts and words.
    They’re not. They’re the words and thoughts of a parasitic meme/thought form that is five thousand years old and infected entire cultures. The meme of Empire.
    Expansionist warrior cultures always ruled the reproductive freedom of others.
    The sexual laws of the Old Testament make sure that married men could only have sex with their wives on their fertile period. If you think that I this is a lie check for yourself. http://www.jewfaq.org/sex.htm
    Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
    and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
    As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
    so are children of the youth.
    Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
    they shall not be ashamed,
    but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate

    But the kingdom of Israel was far from being the only one.
    In Sparta any adult citizen that was not married was forced to parade naked on the streets of the city, during the winter, shouting it´s crime. Marrying (and fulfilling the duty of impregnating one’s wife with a future Spartan warrior or warriors) was mandatory. That mindset traveled through time until our days. The first thing that an Empire state (or an Empire state wannabe) does is to use propaganda to turn the women into breeding machines. I am sure that you can come up with several examples yourself, but none is more appalling and more insidious than your own country.
    Make no mistake. I have been several times to your country. I have friends in the US that are like family to me. But as an outsider I can see things that you are too close to see.

    Your whole culture, all your memes are infected with the idea that people have an obligation to have children. Do you think that I’m exaggerating? Far from it. Look at your television series. Look at Grey’s Anatomy. They killed the character that didn’t want to have children. Some of the minor characters that weren’t interested in kids ended up married to people that had children. Look at Private Practice. The character that didn’t want children ended up with a stepson and pregnant with triplets. In fact the final episodes smelled of baby barf. All the women pregnant or with children, The one that was not pregnant and was childless, endured nine months of pregnancy to give birth to a brainless child, that was used to have it’s organs removed to save the lives of other babies. He (or she) was nothing more than a bunch of spare parts. She fulfilled her patriotic duty to the Empire.
    Other television series?
    NCIS. Gibbs had a wife and daughter. Fulfilled his obligation. Anthony DiNozzo got Ziva David pregnant. Fulfilled his obligation. NCIS LA. Sam Hanna the prototype of the American hero has several children. Fulfilled his obligation. Granger had an affair with a North Korean spy, got her pregnant and later made his daughter defect from North Korea to the US. Fulfilled his obligation big time. Do you want more examples or those are enough? The propaganda to make children is pervasive in your culture. People end up convinced that those are their own thoughts. They’re not.
    And television is supposed to be liberal.

    Your third assumption.
    The assumption that you have the right to insult and belittle people like me. You are not alone in that mindset. In fact a recent study shows that most people feel morally outraged by people that decide not to have children. That is why the fight for reproductive ( or non reproductive) rights is a never ending war.
    But in my opinion (and correct me if I’m wrong) we are dealing with two things here. One is the idea that an individual has the duty make children. The other is the rage that people feel against someone doesn’t just talk the talk but also walks the walk. I and many others believe that the world can’t support so many people. We believe that it is required a reduction of the number of people. We have chosen to not have children and we have the courage and integrity to implement that choice.
    If it bothers you that’s your problem.

    (1) This sounds far better in English than it sounds in my native tongue
    (2) Assumption is the mother of twins, and they’re called Mistake and Failure.

    • To have children or not is an individual choice. If you don’t want kids that’s your business, and I have no desire to convince you otherwise, or need to feel superior. But you need to recognise, and temper your bitterness with the realisation it’s a choice that most of us make because we’ve evolved to want it. If that weren’t the case we wouldn’t have survived as a species. Does that mean those who don’t have children are inferior? No. Does it mean they are the odd ones out, and therefore others might express surprise when tell them you’ve chosen not to? Yes. That’s the reality and you need to get over it.

      I doubt if you were as content as you claim to be in your choice you’d have responded with this long bitter post. It also seems your emotional reaction to this issue may have overcome your reading comprehension. The author was not condemning those who don’t have children. He was responding to those who express *moral superiority* for not having children – which judging by your last few paragraphs, you also feel (or want to feel).

      • Sir, you said : “ It also seems your emotional reaction to this issue may have overcome your reading comprehension. The author was not condemning those who don’t have children. He was responding to those who express *moral superiority* for not having children – which judging by your last few paragraphs, you also feel (or want to feel)”
        Although English is my third language I pride myself in my ability to read and write it fluently and without mistakes. I was very clear when I wrote that the “moral superiority” is usually a last resort that people like me use when bullied by the “Thou-Shalt-Make-Children” partisans.
        You also said : “Does that mean those who don’t have children are inferior? No. Does it mean they are the odd ones out, and therefore others might express surprise when tell them you’ve chosen not to? Yes. That’s the reality and you need to get over it.”
        Sir, I am 54 years old. Kindly accept that I known the difference between surprise, and bullying.
        Also you : “ But you need to recognise, and temper your bitterness with the realisation it’s a choice that most of us make because we’ve evolved to want it.” I’m absolutely comfortable with that. What bothers me is the pervasive propaganda to make children, and please don’t pretend that there is none.

        • It seems like you’ve decidedly not had kids and your clear emotional sensitivity to the subject demonstrates you have not fully accepted your choice or are uncomfortable with the reality that not having kids places you as the odd man out. Sorry my friend.

  2. Jeremy Slayden says

    Wow, that guy Carvalho has ALOT of spare time…and a lot of rage to spare…

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