Sunday, July 30, 2006

In a babycentric culture, the childfree have had it.

In age where it's all about baby, the childfree are fighting back
And that's what's really getting under the childfree adult's skin. Whereas generations, for generations, have wanted children, had children, raised children and talked about their children, this one seems more preoccupied with the feat than any other. And that's not hyperbole: Visit, a site where average computer users post their own amateur videos, and there are dozens of birth, C-section and ultrasound videos available for friends, family and complete strangers to view.
Ok, Officially: Ick. It is one thing to share it with friends and family, but the kind of stranger who might want to view your video isn't the kind of stranger you want viewing your video.

Shawne, author of "Baby Not On Board," thinks it's because of a convergence of Generation Xers becoming parents, along with the explosion of personal media. Generation X, after all, made a name for itself almost solely due to the paramount importance of self-expression — at any cost.

"These people are looking for ways to express themselves," says Shawne, "and what better way than to talk about their children?"
. . .
"There's a lot of consumerism around children, a lot of products, a lot of effort going into this to show that they're still cool, even though they have a baby," says Shawne, 32. "This is a generation that doesn't want to be like their parents. They're saying, 'We're not becoming boring people.' But they actually are. They're just blogging about it now."

And that's the climate that's cultivated the baby backlash. The global warming of adulthood, the hot topic of everything baby has gotten the childfree steaming mad. Mostly because of the pressure put on those in their late 20s and 30s to procreate.

"There's this expected inquisition among people where they ask you how many kids you have, and if you say none, then they give you advice," says "No Kidding!'s" Ciaccio, 29. "They tell you about infertility — not that you may have it — and they intertwine womanhood with motherhood."

Ciaccio, who made the choice not to have kids official when he and his wife decided he should get a vasectomy in 2001, also thinks the current focus on celebrities and the ubiquitous tabloid "Bump Watch" is anathema to his organization's cause.

"These actresses say things like 'I've done a lot of good with my life, but this is the most important thing I've ever done,'" says Ciaccio. "Granted, it's obviously important to be a good parent, but there's an idea that somehow they discovered it. Like, 'Look what I found.'"

When Vinny submitted this article to Fark, the fur started flying.


ChrisR said...

Oh, I so dearly want to believe there's a backlash and I won't have to deal with morons demanding I 'justify' my failure to conform. But I really don't see it yet.

Unknown said...

This got greenlighted on Generated over 1300 comments. Lots of childfree Farkers out there, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Vinny - Shame on you for instigating a flame war. I guess it's all awareness for the cause. Better than no voice at all. I found some of the rationale quite good on the FARK comments - on both sides, but it was hard to labor through the particularly long ones, and comments with a decidedly negative tone. I have to say the mini-video clip was impressive use of technology, if utterly rude.

Good on ya for starting this blog. I've linked to it.

It would be nice to be able to see the profiles of all your contributors. Good luck and see you at the next Childfree Festival. Until then, we'll meet in the blogosphere.