I get that screaming/crying children on planes are a nuisance. But in my considerable flying experience, only about 5% of them are, you know, poorly behaved and doing it on purpose. The rest can’t help it. Babies especially. Air travel can be hell on an adult body – it can also be hell on a small child’s body, and small children don’t yet possess the necessary coping skills to avoid causing a ruckus.
I feel hella bad for myself when stuck on a long flight next to a crying child – I also tend to feel bad for the child. And the parent. Because it’s not as if the crying itself is not bad enough – there’s also the dirty looks from everyone else.
There are some really awful, spoiled kids out there – but for most, irritating behaviour on airplanes, crying in particular, is not a choice.
Now here are some people who do, on the other hand, make a choice:
Pervy older guy who was a total sleazebag? Made a choice!
Dude who put his seat all the way back and didn’t want to raise it during meal-time (I was sitting behind him and couldn’t figure out how to eat, since I couldn’t unfold my tray properly. The flight attendant had words with him. Dude bitched both of us out)? Made a choice!
The people who get roaring drunk and start yelling/throwing up/otherwise being pricks? Are making a freaking choice!
Drunk woman who told my dad to “go back to Russia” after he expressed his displeasure at her nearly dropping her suitcase on him while she was standing up in the aisle? Made a choice!
People who sexually harass the flight attendant? Are making a choice!
Couples having incredibly loud, incredibly obnoxious fights on an airplane? Also making a choice. Look, I have some experience arguing with an SO while on an airplane. Screaming “FUCK YOU I KNOW YOU FUCKED THAT DUDE!!!” is kind of rude. Wait till you get to your hotel room. Really, I am sorry that she fucked that dude, dude. If it’s true and you’re not just making shit up, that is. But when you start screaming about it, it distresses me and it distresses the other passengers (and causes small children to start crying, incidentally.
People who make a horrible mess with their food and belongings and don’t bother cleaning up? Goddamn choice.
I could go on, but the point is – there’s good flights and bad flights. On the bad flights I’ve been on, kids have rarely been the problem, and even when they were, it was mostly over stuff they had no power over to begin with. And believe me, I’ve seen some HORRIBLE kids and even MORE HORRIBLE parents (and the worst, by far, was an English lady who smacked her kid around and yelled expletives at him). But they’re still a minority.
When people make blanket statements demonizing all children they’re also just demonizing mothers. Who are still primarily the ones taking care of children and who should stay at home with their brood until they’re all 18, obviously. Nothing sexist about that, right?