Friday, July 13, 2007

Book Rails Against French Pronatalism

French woman leads rebellion against 'baby mania'
FRENCH women may be top of the European league when it comes to producing babies, but a young mother of two and author is spearheading a rebellion against what she calls an oppressive "baby mania" that makes a pariah of anyone who does not want children.

Corinne Maier's tongue-in-cheek polemic No Kid: Forty Reasons For Not Having Children, has shot into the bestseller lists, appealing both to childless women irritated by the idea that they must have babies and to parents frustrated by the sacrifices of child-rearing.
. . .
"In France, people go on too much about the glory of motherhood and you're not allowed to talk about all the problems having kids causes. I thought it would be fun to take a dig at the myth that having a child is wonderful," she said.
. . .
She rails against everything from giving birth and breastfeeding to dull holidays, no sex, stupid child-talk and the Paris Disneyland.

She is irritated by pregnant actresses appearing naked on magazine covers and loathes giant prams bulldozing their way down pavements, mothers whose sole topic of conversation is their children and those whose toddlers record the greeting on their answerphone.

French society dictates that women must want a child.

"Any dissident is suspect: neurotic, obsessed by her career, selfish or a lesbian," writes Maier.

How strongly does she believe in the child-free vision she advocates in her book?

"I'd say it's 50 per cent provocation and 50 per cent a serious book about legitimate questions people ask themselves. There are moments when I bitterly regret having kids.
Wow. Kudos to this author. For those who don't know - this attitude may sound familar, but France is actually more rabidly pronatalistic than the US. I have receieved countless interview requests from incredulous French journalists who see childfreedom as a strange, foreign phenomenon.
And y'all just know how much I love parents willing to be honest about parenting, and accept our choices. Here's to the Madelyn Cain / Selma Hayek of France :)
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Addy said...

Where can I find this book? I was very excited to find a book on this topic (in particular about France's baby-rabies) written by someone from France!

Anonymous said...

Addy : you can find it in any possible Fnac, Virgin, or any Relay shop in train stations, for a mere 14 euros.

I read it in about 2 hours. One of the best books ever!