Liberals Shame Young Journalist for Having a Happy Family


A New York Times columnist’s seemingly innocuous essay on the joys of motherhood outraged liberals on social media who accused her of shaming the childless.

The column: In a piece published by The Times on Sunday under the headline “I Became a Mother at 25 and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait,” Elizabeth Bruenig made a case for the virtues of young parenthood, despite its challenges, and gushed over her love for her children.

  • Addressing the career-focused, tradition-skeptical urbanites that make up The Times’ reader base, Bruenig acknowledged young people’s concerns about starting a family: money, stability and a host of “cultural concerns.”
  • Ultimately, however, Bruenig argued that, when it comes to having kids, love wins out.
  • “At 25, I nursed my newborn daughter at sunrise in a fifth-story apartment in Washington, dreamily wondering what had become of me, an erstwhile child myself. I searched her beautiful face,” she wrote. “It’s hard to discern much in their features at that age, young and unformed as they are. But she peered up at me from the shadow of my shoulder, and I could see the umber of my own eyes taking shape in hers.”

The reaction: On Twitter, progressives and feminists excoriated Bruenig for what one commenter described as using her “publicly happy experience of motherhood to shame the childfree.”

  • Investigative reporter Aura Bogado said she was “troubled” by Bruenig’s “white extinction anxiety, which imo informs their shared fixations on immigrant/latina/mexican motherhood.”
  • “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing this woman it was a tremendous personal achievement to be repeatedly knocked up by an Internet troll she met in high school,” tweeted writer Jude Doyle in reference to Bruenig’s marriage to her husband Matt Bruenig.
  • Pundit Matt Yglesias was, like many of Bruenig’s defenders, surprised at the controversy, tweeting: “Twitter dot com is where you can go to find people outraged by an innocuous @ebruenig Mother’s Day column about having a child at a roughly average age for an American woman.”

Context: As Bruenig alluded to in her column, the American birth rate dropped by 4% in 2020, marking six consecutive years of decline.

  • According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2020 saw the lowest number of births since 1979.
  • Meanwhile, census data released last month showed that the U.S. population grew at its slowest rate since the 1930s.

Coda: After facing an onslaught from her social media critics over the weekend, Bruenig issued a rebuttal by posting a picture of her family to Twitter on Monday.

  • “so when i say one of the things that’s really nice about having kids is that they liberate you (forcibly) from giving a sh*t about stuff that doesn’t really matter, what i mean is that while twittre has been goin thru it, i have been torching my kids at mini golf,” she tweeted.
By We'll Do It Live