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Man Who Forgets He Was Once A Child Suggests Banning Kids From Grocery Stores

Where do you think kids learn to behave in public? Becoming someone who isn’t a total nightmare takes time, patience, and most importantly practice.

Social media is a great way to bring people together. But sites like X (aka the app everyone still calls Twitter) and Reddit have become havens for those who have committed themselves to spending their one wild and precious life arguing with one another about nonsense with strangers. And, more and more it seems, that discourse involves children. Specifically, whether they should be permitted — legally or otherwise — in any number of public spaces, from pubs to planes to *checks notes* grocery stores. Yes, someone has suggested “a grocery store where no children are allowed.” This is where we are now, apparently.

The tweet, which has garnered more than 9.5 million views as of press time, comes from @Camel_Crushin, an account with about 10,300 followers. A bit of a disclaimer: we here at Romper recognize that, like a lot of viral content, this hot take is intentionally inflammatory and in writing about it we’re playing into what was very likely the end goal. But whether this is rage-bait or sincere, the fact that statements like this pop up again and again online and prompt the same basic arguments back and forth speak to the fact that there’s something here worth examining.

While there’s no small amount of folks happily agreeing with @Camel_Crushin (“Take my money.”), most of the engagement (again, very likely by design) is people disagreeing with the sentiment, in seriousness and snark and a delightful combination of the two.

“It’s called Doordash. Enjoy,” retorts @stephens_ben.

“Hear me out… children are people and people are allowed in public spaces,” @dramadork884 says.

“You lot grew up to be the uncles and aunties that you hated,” @Merry_Rissa offers bluntly.

Ultimately the argument against kids in public spaces boils down to is “Parents feel so entitled to bring their children to places where I, an adult, am entitled to exactly the public experience I envisioned in my too-online mind.” This is the same basic argument for disallowing kids on planes, in restaurants, and anywhere else that doesn’t cater exclusively to adults. As others have pointed out — in the responses and quote tweets of this oh-so-modest proposal and in more or less every iteration of this exhausting argument — where do you think kids learn how to behave like adults in these spaces?

Becoming someone who isn’t a total nightmare in public takes time, patience, and most importantly practice. And kids aside, banning kids from public life is just a round-about way of keeping a whole lot more women cloistered away since we’re usually the ones caring for them. I know legislating where women are and are not allowed to go is fashionable in some places these days but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.


So why does this matter? Why does it almost always prompt this kind of discussion? I can’t speak definitively, but as a mom of two I think it has something to do with the fact that even in a world where children are allowed in (and regularly patronize) grocery stores, parenthood is isolating. American culture and society aren’t always kind to families. Our maternity leave is abysmal. Our paternity leave is basically non-existent. Social safety nets have been rent so violently asunder that I don’t know if you can even call it a net anymore. Parenting communities (aka making friends) can be incredibly hard to come by and socializing with fellow adults when there are kids in tow can become logistically challenging to the point of impossibility sometimes.

Parenthood, especially when you have very young children, often feels as though you are being pushed further and further out of a life you know how to navigate. So suggesting that what we need for a better society is more segregation of children and adults and, de facto, further isolation of parents is just, well, the straw that broke the @Camel_Crushin’s back.

For their part, @Camel_Crushin purports dismayed confusion that they could have been so misunderstood. “I do find it interesting that this somehow turned into an I hate children tweet. I don’t recall saying that, but whatever.”

Is it interesting? Or is it kind of like if someone said “Hear me out… a store that doesn’t allow [insert an ethnic or racial group here]” and then being flabbergasted when people call them racist? (Or, more likely, did you know exactly how this was going to play out but you’re sticking to the bit?)

I’ve no doubt this discourse will return, probably soon, in some new and unhinged way. I’m waiting for the tweet that suggests kids should be banned from amusement parks... oh wait, that’s also been suggested. Fortunately, the only place we’re really seeing these hot takes are online among people, I’m guessing, don’t get out much to begin with, so I don’t know what they’re even complaining about.