This is a phrase coined from the Misanthropic Bitch web site at It refers to the general societial tendency to worship anything relating to children. Members of the Cult of the Child say phrases like "What about the children?" and participate in things such as the Million Mom March.

The rise of the Cult of the Child has led to things like Baby Gap and Kids R Us stores, lots of family friendly workplace policies but nothing for single folks, and minivans. You can find cult members residing in suburban and upscale areas of any given city.

More seriously, the Cult of the Child is often invoked as a camel's nose to promote all sorts of hysteria against things that the speaker would rather not acknowlege in everyday life, and would like to take out of adult life as well.

In France and the Netherlands, for instance, schoolchildren regularly walk past bookstores and video rental shops openly advertising explicit sexual material, some of which can be seen through the shop's windows. Inside the shops, which also carry more mainstream media, the erotic merchandise isn't shrink-wrapped, and sits tamely next to fashion magazines and domestic and foreign (meaning American) films with significantly less stimuating content. (Lest this sound callous, concern for children's safety in the Netherlands, at least, is a very serious issue.) Yet they seem neither overstimulated nor traumatized by the sight of leering naked women and titles translating to "Open your Ass, you Slut!" any more than American kids are spooked by Count Chocula -- pre-pubertally, their reaction ranges from bored to indifferent. In America on the other hand, the tiny tots are supposed to have been shocked into near-catatonia by the sight of a wardrobe malfunction exposing a nearly naked Negro breast with a piercing, and the same shops, even if they were allowed to trade anywhere near a school (unlikely), would be forced to have no windows, and even a set of baffles so that the innocent wouldn't be corrupted by say, a naked thigh visible through the door. The merchandise would be shrink-wrapped, the clientele furtive, and the atmosphere paranoid.

What they'd like to see is the video store, bookshop, pornopolis, shut down forever (or at least operate, if at all in Antarctica) and Ms. Jackson's boobs remain unpierced, or at least unseen by the general public. What they're really creeped out by is the fact that normal members of the public do such weird things as watch movies in questionable taste and get painful-looking jewelry.

Sometime during the Columbine hoopla, video games, especially Quake, were supposed to have sparked Dylan 'n' Eric's wild foray into live-action first person shooter action, thus prompting the fashionable to decry any kind of warlike game -- after all, aren't games like that used to train soldiers to kill? My response was to ask whether they would support a ban on Go and Chess, since the latter has been used as military training (of a sort) for some centuries now, and the former has been considered one of the best abstractions of the modern battlefield. "And you see, it's all so bloodless," I cooed. "you're even encouraged to sacrifice your own men..." Somehow this failed to have the warm response I'd anticipated -- chess and go are different, you see, because they aren't as...

What they meant was they weren't as much fun as the splatter- and gore-fest they envisioned. They don't make use of scary new technologies. They're, as opposed to a walk-through action-adventure movie that rewards you with wargasms with every hit. It's not that Quake endangers the natural pacifist right now stalking the's the more-than-creepy realization that grown men (and a few women) think nothing of coming home at the end of a long day and firing a few dozen rounds into a shambler.

And you don't have to be a misanthropic bitch to see that.

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