Saturday, April 25, 2015

Let's Stop Giving Shit To Women Who Don't Want Kids

Let's Stop Giving Shit To Women Who Don't Want Kids�|�Karen Mangiacotti:


"You want to open yourself up to a huge stinking pile of judgment? Just be a childless female over 30. Even worse, a married childless female over 30. A woman who chooses not to have a child.

I have never been a childless female over 30, so I am not speaking from experience. But, I can tell you that I have never heard anything good offered up about women who exercise their right to live their life in a way that suits them.

I can also tell you that whenever I meet a woman who has chosen not to have children, she confesses that right away. Sometimes she will share this information apologetically, sometimes with a bit of compensating bravado, and sometimes just as a warning or heads-up that I may find her pristine ovaries all too much and take leave of her company forthwith."

Well, I've been a married woman over 30 for over 7 years now.  I've admitted in the past that I don't get shit.  I know, I'm incredibly lucky.  I'm a native New Yorker whose parents cared a lot more about me getting a college education than whether I gave them grandchildren (and a mother in law who doesn't even know how to be judgmental).  My neighbors and community know I'm childfree, and the usual response is "kids are not for everyone" (although, come to think of it, many of my neighbors don't have kids either . . . )



So I want hear from my other married 30s women - what have your experiences been?  I have no doubts that the article is true, and it is difficult for many of you, but I'm curious what kind of range there really is out there.

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7 Reasons Why Being Childfree Isnt Selfish | Care2 Causes

7 Reasons Why Being Childfree Isnt Selfish | Care2 Causes

I've always found the accusation that we're selfish to be poorly thought out.  First of all, for many of us who know we would dislike parenting, raising a child would not be a beneficial act, since children deserve parents who really want them.

Secondly, life is basically navigating near infinite choices, some of which by necessity have to be "selfish."  If we're going to be judged by the things we don't do, it makes just as much sense to call someone selfish for not working for a charity, for not spending their weekends at a soup kitchen, for not living in a studio apartment and donating the rest to a good cause.  Are parents selfish for not having the time to volunteer that we childfree do?  There's no way I could take on the pro bono work I have for the poor or asylum seekers if I had a child.

Every day we make selfish decisions.  Few are cut out for a purely selfless life, which would be one of deprivation, hard work, sacrifice and few pleasures. Almost all of us choose to spend money on entertainment, spend some of our free time relaxing, and create lives that balance happiness with our contributions to society.

Why single out this one act - having children - as the one we are not allowed to opt out of without being labeled?  I think it's pretty simple - it's the one that's the most common, the one biology drives us to do.  But those are poor reasons for making this the one "mandatory" sacrifice when there are so many others to be had. It's simply lazy thinking.

Lastly, it's pretty easy and short-sighted to say that you're selflessly raising kids (so we should, too) when you actually *want* kids and enjoy their company.  You don't actually live or understand what you're asking us to do, since you have no idea what parenting would be like for us.

But fortunately, I hear this less and less.  In fact, in my New York City neighborhood, I hear it never.  It seems to remain in many other cultures, and in the culture of trolling on the internet.  But we're undergoing a foment in the ways we think about other peoples' life choices, toward a live and let live philosophy.  I would wager that this attitude will, in the coming decades, shrink until it is only the domain of trolls and extremists.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids?

Zocalo Public Square



"In advance of the Zocalo event “Why Have Kids?”, we asked a panel of experts: If Americans have come to accept a range of non-traditional family structures, why does a woman’s choice not to have children still elicit skepticism and judgment?"


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Meghan Daum Talks 'Selfish, Shallow And Self-Absorbed' And Being Childless By Choice

Meghan Daum Talks 'Selfish, Shallow And Self-Absorbed' And Being Childless By Choice





HuffPo's video interview with Megham Daum.

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Being Childfree in Miami - The Miamian

Being Childfree in Miami - The Miamian



"So it’s established not everyone in the world wants kids, so of course a nightlife mecca and glitz capitol like Miami Beach wouldn’t be any different. After all, the fast living is perfect for couples with no dependents and on any given night the town is full of celebrities – a demographic known for going without children. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Eva Mendes, and George Clooney all have gone public about their desire not to have kids.



Miami Beach was recently named Maxim’s number one US party city. At the same time, children make up only 12.8% of the town.



However, in the rest of Miami it’s a different story. Of course there are rich neighborhoods like Cocoplum and Brickell that boast the occasional single millionaire tycoon, but most suburbs are full of the nuclear family. Mom, dad, two-and-a-half kids, and a family dog. A lot of the culture contributing to Miami’s melting pot are family oriented, and it may be a little isolating for a children individual in Kendall or Pinecrest to feel at home."

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‘Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids’ - NYTimes.com

‘Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids’ - NYTimes.com:



"The 16 essays are cleverly arranged, creating a satisfying intellectual and emotional arc. The book opens with an appeal to the heart, by Courtney Hodell (who is, full disclosure, my friend) — a chronicle of how it felt to watch her gay brother break their mutual vow of childlessness — and concludes with Tim Kreider’s rousing defense of the child-free as “an experiment unprecedented in human history. . . . A kind of existential vanguard, forced by our own choices to face the naked question of existence with fewer illusions, or at least fewer consolations, than the rest of humanity, forced to prove ourselves anew every day that extinction does not negate meaning.” Along the way, the reader is treated to nearly every reason one might choose to forgo having children: Pam Houston loving her freedom too much to ever let it go; Elliott Holt’s suspicion that her history of depression would make her an unfit parent; Anna Holmes’s allergy to “the creeping commodification of childhood in the form of must-have status symbols” (among other reasons)."


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