One of the Kantian categorical imperatives is that no human being should ever use another for his or her own selfish objectives. Another ethical principle that is close to absolute is that one should never exploit children. A third is not to treat human beings as objects, or to denigrate, diminish or humiliate them without their informed consent. A fourth principle is that forced child labor is inherently unethical, and a fifth is that making individuals do work that benefits you without compensation is theft.
HEY! I’ve got a brilliant idea! Let’s help parents turn their babies into living, breathing, drooling mops!
Thus the Baby Mop was born. You put your uncomprehending child in a onesie that is really a mop suit, and let the little darling clean your floor while he crawls! Clever! Cute! Funny! Practical!
And completely, irredeemable, despicably unethical in every way. Children deserve respect as human beings from the second they are born; some of us would say even before. Parents who think it’s fine to use their children as mops fail to comprehend the basic ethical principles such conduct involves and reinforces, and thus these are the same parents who think its fine to torture their children to make funny videos for Jimmy Kimmel, make them compete in toddler beauty pageants like Honey Boo Boo, or give up their childhood to training for the OIympics to compensate for Mom or Dad’s unfulfilled dreams of athletic stardom.
Children have no choice but to trust their parents to care for them, love them and put their needs as young and vulnerable young humans above their own as responsible adults. A parent who see nothing wrong with turning an innocent infant into unpaid household labor is not to be trusted; unfortunately, the unfortunate child has no other options. He or she is doomed to be forced to submit to all sorts of indignities for their parents’ amusement, profit and gain on the way to adulthood, and probably doomed as well to inflict similar indignities on the grandchildren.
A joke? Sure, I know it’s a joke, or at least started out as a joke. Talking about a Baby Mop and making a Saturday Night Live fake commercial about it are one thing; actually manufacturing it and using it on real babies is something else, and that something else is called wrong.
Pointer: Headline News
Graphic: Better Than Pants