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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5 comments:

Nursedude said...

I just don't think having kids should be done by everybody. Is that anymore selfish than people on welfare who cannot be bothered with birth control so that they can have more kids? Is it more selfish than macho men who want to leave their seed all over? It's your life, your body-you don't owe your friends, family or strangers any explanations on your choice to be child free.

Jill said...

There was a national study done a few years back regarding the various reasons for having kids. All of the answers were about them and what they wanted - selfish reasons all - except for the most frequent answer (by a wide margin): "I don't know." 53% of the people asked had kids with no prior thought whatsoever about it - they just bred mindlessly. The second question of this survey was if they could do it over again, would they have had kids? 73% gave a resounding NO.

So it's a good bet that a lot of this attitude comes from sour grapes; that the majority of people who had kids never considered that they even had a choice in the matter and as a result they resent that childfree folks were smart enough to realize this.

Jane said...

I think we should start pressuring people to NOT have babies! In fact, as an unapologetic feminist, I choose not to have children who will diminish my capacity to invade the patriarchal power structure and make waves. By not having kids, I am able to fully develop my talents and offer them to society. How many breeders end up making significant intellectual achievements? Some men I suppose, whose wives are house-slaves, but VERY FEW WOMEN. Isn't it selfish to deny the world of your specific intellectual talents just so you can fulfill the most base and easy biological task of reproduction?

Aren't people really just attracted to breeding because they see having kids as a way of attaining some kind of immortality? Isn't that really selfish?

Oh, and what about the carbon footprint of over-population? Come on- breeders- if you really want to help the plant you would head over to the sterilization clinic right now!

Anonymous said...

I'd say these couples need to elect to have a new family and new friends.


skoora

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the article acknowledged having pets as "children" is just a stereotype. It makes me angry when childfree people publicly say that they think of their pets as their children. I think that mentality is stupid and it just gives more fodder for people to criticize our choice to be childfree.