Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Russian Newsweek Cover Story: Parental Bribes and the Childfree

If you speak Russian, please help us out by translating some or all of this article. I am posting below a rough Babelfish translation for the time being.
Chayldfri are physically healthy and completely they can bring children, but they do not want to sacrifice their freedom, money, time and energy. Today in to [Childfree LiveJournal Group] is more than 1000 participants, daily enter new. True, until it covers only the small portion of Russians, who consciously reject the continuation of kind. According to the data of the Federal Service of gosstatistiki, of 42 million Russian families 48% they do not have children, moreover only 5 million - according to the medical indices. Rest either await the more suitable conditions (dwelling, work, accumulations), or they live according to the principle "third excess" and become the followers of means the lives of chayldfri.
Original Article (In Russian)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, here is a bit shortened translation of the article in Russian. I`m Russian, so do not blame me if the translation isn`t entirely perfect :))

Not to give birth is great

Diana, a 32 year old muscovite, doesn’t believe into the forthcoming demographic crisis, and doesn’t need a presidential payment for “the second” baby. She doesn’t need even the first baby – neither now, nor in the future. The appearance of “Putin`s baby-pressing” – posters in gynecology clinics and in metro, billboards mushrooming along roadsides and calling to give birth to babies at first irritated her, but now she’s learnt to simply not notice them. Diana has never wanted to have children and for a long time considered herself being an outsider, but last summer she found out that there were people who thought and felt the same way she did.
She came upon those people while surfing the Internet, where the virtual community of childfree had existed since 2005. Childfree people are physically healthy and in most cases are able to conceive, but they do not want to sacrifice their freedom, money, time, and energy. Today the childfree community counts more than 1000 members, and daily has new ones. To tell the truth, at the moment an inconsiderable minority of Russians who deliberately refuse to have children are participants of the community. According to the Federal Statistics data, 48% out of 42 million Russian families do not have children, and only 5 million do not have children due to some medical reasons. The rest of the childless families are waiting for more appropriate life conditions (better work, apartment, finance), or just follow the principle “the third one is an unwanted one” and become adepts of the childfree lifestyle.
The idea of “childfree” was introduced by the American woman Lesley Lafayette, who created the web community ChildFree Network (CFN) in 1992. She explained the term “childfree” as being an antipode of “childless” (meaning that children are wanted and desired). At that time, the new movement had a revolutionary effect in the puritan America. Nevertheless, after a while the tough criticism by representatives of some political and religious organizations changed to admittance that such lifestyle had the right to exists as well. Nowadays there are more than 40 childfree organizations in the USA, and each of the organizations counts more than a thousand members and had tens of branches within and outside the country.
On special websites one can find hundreds of childfree places` addresses – restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and sports clubs that children are prohibited to enter. For instance, the hotel of premium-class Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Florida prohibits entrance for children under 16. “Many visitors do not like noise and clatter usually produced by children” – one of the hotel representatives’ comments, - “We’ve decided that we are going to give the main priority to such type of clients”. Some entrepreneurs specialize on building family hotels, some – on building “anti”-family ones, and it’s an economical matter.
Russian childfree do not like being admitted officially, and do not like being called a movement with a special ideology. The society doesn’t understand and criticizes them, and calls them “morally deformed”, “aborts` victims”, and degenerates.
Russian psychologies express an opinion that childfree people are like children themselves. Experts say it doesn’t mean that they have a mental disorder, but it is more likely to be one of the sighs that the modern society is becoming more and more infantile. More and more people are operating with purely childish notions “I want/I don’t want” instead of the mature concept “I must”. They live in the present and do not feel any responsibility for the future. Childfree people’s life is based on the principle “live and do not bother others”, and they think that they owe nothing to anyone. Every childfree person has their own reasons for not having children. The list of “Top 20 reasons not to have children” includes everything – from labour difficulties to planet overpopulation. The majority of the childfree community members are women aged 20-35; every 4th person in the community is a man. According to a poll held by the CF community, the majority of the members live in cities, have a higher education, and a high social status. Often they are people of creative professions, administrators, medical workers, scientists, and sportsmen. Some claim they’ve always known they want to be childfree, others came to this decision with time, but all are sure that the childfree lifestyle has a lot of advantages. According to a research of the Florida University and Vanderbilt University held in 2006, parents have a considerably higher stress level compared to childfree.
Sterilization is one of the most painful CF issues and causes much rage in society saying that humans are not animals (many people are ready to go abroad to have the operation, as there the procedure is available for persons of full legal age).