Sunday, February 27, 2005

Blame

A Google search reveals "about 110,000" matches for the phrase "illegitimate son." Throw in equivalent phrases for daughter, child, and children, and you've racked up more like 348,000 matches. Definitions for "illegitimate child" can be found in references like the Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Everything2, and Datasegment. The word "bastard" is often thought of as a cuss-word, and is defined as follows:
  1. A child born out of wedlock.
  2. Something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin.
  3. Slang. A person, especially one who is held to be mean or disagreeable.
Google yields only 1,650 matches for "illegitimate father"--a number which, by some queer quirk of Google, actually decreases to 640 matches when combined with searches for "illegitimate mother" and "illegitimate parent." Even using the higher number, that means there are less than 5 references to illegitimate fathers for every 1000 references to illegitimate children.

It is interesting to me that in an age that emphasizes personal achievement over inherited wealth, where we are taught never to judge or discriminate based on a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, or origins, that we still label children for something they have no power over, and ignore the irresponsible attitudes and actions of the people who put them in that position in the first place.

What do you think?
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