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Brats, Moms, And The Rest Of Us
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Brats, Moms, And The Rest Of Us

Digging into the discourse surrounding the new book "What Are Children For?" by Anastasia Berg and Rachel Wiseman -- with a side of Charli XCX.
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Photo by George Bakos on Unsplash / Canva

Reading the comments on The Cut’s Instagram page is not for the faint of heart. Things tend to get weird and heated and even more weird, but sometimes they also get interesting, like they did after writer Shannon Keating wrote an essay about her confused ambivalence about having children.

The piece ran with the eye-catching headline “Should I Be A Mom, or Should I Stay A ‘Brat’”? (‘Brat’ is a reference to Charli XCX’s latest album, on which she has a song that contemplates motherhood.) After The Cut promoted this essay Instagram, people began to pop off almost immediately. The rather innocuous essay spawned a whole lot of diametrically opposed anger. Women with children expressed anger at the idea that women couldn’t be moms and brats (they can!), while women without children expressed anger at the idea that not being a mom means you’re inevitably a brat (you aren’t!). One commenter railed against the idea that “having kids is the only way to f…

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Claire Fallon and Emma Gray obsessively analyze our cultural obsessions, from fashion trends to books to the buzziest scripted TV shows.