These ‘jokes’ aren’t funny

[CN: Ableist slurs]

Rosie O’Donnell seems to think the following little quips are funny since she said them as part of a stand-up comedy routine. These ‘jokes’ aren’t funny.

“Because I would trade each teen for autistic triplets, I am just saying I would.”

This is because she thinks that autistic kids are really awful, isn’t it? Aside from that horrendous ableism, there is a really obvious flaw in that line of thinking. Autistic triplets will grow up and become autistic teenagers. Then, for every teenager that she already has which she calls ‘a nightmare,’ she will have three of them. Of course, it wouldn’t make for great comedy if comedians didn’t throw in at least one ableist comment (that was sarcasm because I’m tired of comedians crying about having to be decent human beings).

“I had four teenagers when I decided to adopt a newborn baby. You might ask why. Because I had four teenagers and I needed to remind myself that I actually do love children.”

Children are not soft toys that you replace when they’re no longer cute and cuddly. Children grow up. If you start of by treating them like actual people instead of a thing to add to your collection, then maybe when they grow up, it won’t be so hard to deal with.

“I didn’t have parents! My mother died, my father was a drunk abusive idiot. I had nothing, and my children complain, ‘You wouldn’t even help me with math!'”

Aside from the ableist slur, having bad parents yourself is no excuse for being a bad parent.

I had terrible parents. My mother pretty much abandoned me, and my father persistently reminded me that he never wanted me in between complaining about the burden that I was for him. I don’t really write too much about the woman he married other than a few small anecdotes here and there because I actually can’t.

Trust me: My childhood was rubbish because of my parents. I am not the only person who experienced bad parenting. Some people’s families just suck. If yours didn’t, then that really is good, but that doesn’t mean that our parents loved us because all parents love their children. Honestly, some parents don’t love their children. My parents didn’t love me and please don’t even do the ‘loved you in their own way’ thing like many others before you have done. They didn’t. I know this because they told me over and over and over again.

But that’s not really the point that I’m trying to make. The point that I’m trying to make is that people cannot excuse their bad parenting by blaming having bad parents.

I blame my parents for my rubbish childhood. A lot of the stuff that I had to deal with in my late teens and early twenties was due to the way in which I was parented. I blame them for some of the stuff that I’m still dealing with.

But I will not blame them for my parenting choices. The experience that they gave me of being treated like a troublesome object has helped me be a better parent. They gave me a template of what not to do. Unfortunately, they didn’t give me much in the way of what I should do, but that too has been a bit of an opportunity.

Because I didn’t know what to do to be a good parent, it made me far more receptive to my son communicating what he needed his parent to be. I listened to him. I have adapted my parenting style to suit his needs.

I’m not pretending to be a perfect parent. I’ve definitely made mistakes along the way. I know that I haven’t finished parenting yet, but I also know that I am raising a happy, confident individual who is very comfortable with himself. As one of my friends has told me, he is free and you can see it. He’s free to express himself. He’s free to be who he wants to be and I don’t intend to change that at all.

Having bad parents is no excuse for being a bad parent. If anything, that should make you want to be a better parent.