Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hey Lexicon of Spawn! For your Consideration: Mommy Mafia

Child-free women take on the mommy mafia
Although childfree-by-choice women have always endured criticism from other females, it's only recently that people like Semper have chosen to square off against the motherhood mafia: Baby-biased women eager to smother any whimper of dissonance in the ranks.

"There has been an assumption among some mothers that I haven't really thought through my decision and can be easily dissuaded from it," says Semper.

"It tends to take on the air of proselytizing -- it's rude, it's uncomfortable.... [It's] almost as if you've attacked a person and they now feel they must defend themselves or their values."

She believes the lack of understanding may stem from other women's self-doubt, noting that "people tend to fear that which isn't the same as them and begin to question their own choices when presented with an alternative."

Jane Dahl, who by age 18 was requesting a tubal ligation to ensure she never became pregnant, had one woman tell her she was "selfish, immature and irresponsible" for opting out of motherhood.

"Women tend to judge other women very harshly," says Dahl, a 47-year-old trust accountant for the federal government. "If you aren't interested in hearing about colic and spit-up, you aren't part of the club. You're an outsider .... Now we have our own exclusive club that only we get to join."

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