Even a cursory glance at the coverage of the Schwarzenegger cheating-and-paternity scandal shows that WAY too many people still believe in the whole idea of “legitimate children” and “illegitimate children.” It goes beyond mere word-choice. The “illegtimate child” has an aura of embarrassment attached, at best. Oops, your parents messed up, and produced you! If only your dad had kept it in his pants and/or wore a condom! Or else, the child is viewed as an oughtright inconvenience. Some people even think that laws should be rewritten, so that the little “bastards” in question should not threaten a “legitimate” family’s finances.
This gif sums up my feelings on the matter:
I’m not one of those people who can honestly say that she loves her neighbour (especially not when he’s blasting really bad techno at 2 a.m.) or turns the other cheek. Like any person, I’d be pretty pissed off if my husband went off and had a kid with someone else, and I was in the dark about it. The reason why so much aggression and discomfort centers on the child has to do with the fact that the child serves as living, breathing “evidence” of a betrayal. People often project their own insecurities about their relationships onto children like that, without even knowing the child personally or consciously acknowledging what it is they’re doing. All of that is perfectly understandable.
None of it excuses the ridiculous label of “illegitimacy.”