Sunday, December 14, 2008

FAMILIES are being told to keep children away from supermarkets and shops to curb customer rage in the countdown to Christmas.

Tempers explode as customers lose their Yule cool
FAMILIES are being told to keep children away from supermarkets and shops to curb customer rage in the countdown to Christmas.

The call for child-free zones follows complaints frazzled parents are causing maddening delays at cash registers.

Retail rage traditionally soars near the festive season as short-fused customers struggle to cope with crowds.

Some hot-tempered shoppers have even assaulted staff, industry sources said.
Australian Retailers Association executive director Richard Evans advised parents to leave youngsters at home when possible, especially in peak hours, to reduce the risk of abuse from aggressive and impatient fellow shoppers.

"By all means take the kids to see Santa, but don't take them shopping," Mr Evans said. "Some people snap at the sight of a mother with baby on hip, pram in one hand and trolley in the other holding up the queue.

"It's like being on a freeway when they've paid a toll and then get stuck in traffic.
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Artist breaks with tradition of childfree female artists

Neo-Maternalism: Contemporary Artists’ Approach to Motherhood
Ever since the Abstract Expressionists held forth at the Cedar Tavern in the 1950s, the unwritten rule has been that making art is a consuming obsession that leaves no time or space for worldly responsibilities like childrearing. . . . So, why then, closing in on the final years of fertility, with scant investigation or evidence that the outcome would be salutary, did I stop using birth control in 1998 and let fate take its course? My decision was more intellectual than emotional. I reasoned that I was an artist. If I did get pregnant, wouldn’t this primal experience strengthen and inform my work? If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t have any regrets. I rolled the dice, and three months later the pregnancy test was positive.

The iconic mid-century female artists I admire made different choices. Before the feminist movement, ambitious, pragmatic women like Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning rejected motherhood. Louise Nevelson and Grace Hartigan both had children, but ultimately left their upbringing to relatives so that they could turn their undivided attention to making art and tending their vocations.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Family and friends turn up the pressure on child-free couples

Tough choice being kid-free
Couples who are childless by choice are being labelled as selfish by friends and family, new research has found.

The Waikato University study reveals that stereotyping of such couples still occurs.
. . .
"I was called selfish by a family member, because I was failing to provide grandchildren for my parents," Ms Goldsworthy said.

"One friend told us we wouldn't be complete until we had kids."

Physically being able to have kids should not mean having to become a "baby factory".

"Look at all the people who bring babies into abusive and violent environments. They can have kids but should they?"

Ms Riley - who has herself opted not to have children - decided to research the topic after being made to feel there was something wrong with her.

"I was made very aware that not showing maternal behaviour and a desire for children did not gain social approval.

"It was met with horrified responses and social exclusion.

"I believe that every woman should have the right to do with her life as she sees fit.

"The choice to remain child-free may be perceived by some people as taking the selfish and easy option in comparison to parenthood, but this does not justify ill-treatment of the child-free."
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