Sunday, January 27, 2013

And maybe you're just being an idiot...

Did you happen to see the blog post by a woman named Janine Kovac, published this past week on a site called Role/Reboot -- an open letter to a friend she addresses as "Doris," who has not (yet?) had children. "Maybe You Are Ready for Kids, You're Just Not Paying Attention," the post is titled and it all goes downhill from there.

There are so many things wrong with this post, I can't even begin to list them. All I can say is, if you're trying to talk your friend into having a baby, Janine, this is definitely NOT the way to go about it. :p  (Not that anyone can, or should try to "talk" someone into having a baby they're not ready for or not sure they want, anyway...).

A few responses I've run across (hearteningly, many of them are written by mothers):

An Open Letter to Janine Kovac (also on Role/Reboot)

Open Letter to 'Clock-Ticking' Childless Women Makes Moms Look Condescending & Self-Righteous (from The Stir)

Motherhood isn't the path to enlightenment for all women (by Mary Elizabeth Williams on Salon -- the first piece I actually read on this subject). How can you not love this summation at the end:
Take it from a mom, Doris. A very happy one whose daughters are straight up the greatest people in the world. Have kids. Or don’t have kids. But you don’t have to make your choices based on the incredibly condescending notion that raising children is the way to enlightenment, or that the alternate road leads to having nothing in life to care about but your iPhone. The only person who can ever fulfill you is you, Doris. And you have infinite worth and value right now, just as you are. Don’t let anybody ever try to tell you otherwise.


  1. I couldn't even finish her post, it was so condescending that it made me made me angry. The whole tone was awful.

    I'll try to read the responses though, I bet they're great :)

  2. This made me so angry. To assume that someone's life is incomplete simply because they don't have children is a notion from the dark ages. Makes me seriously question the sanity of Doris's friend.

  3. Kovac's piece is truly vile - but I find myself puzzled (yet again) about why I've been largely spared conversations like that. I'm child-free by choice but it almost never comes up in daily life. What rare comments have been made have come from strangers so I've felt free to dismiss them (while yelling at them).

    I have friends with kids and friends without kids (by choice and not) and I've never felt pressure to justify my choice - and I'm an only child so my Dad isn't getting grandchildren.

    I've read drivel like the mentioned essay on the Internet and I've seen bloggers such as yourself report pressure from friends, family, co-workers so I know it's out there. I've just never experienced it.

    I wonder what's different? Maybe being raised by my Dad....

  4. Wow!!! Really sad article. I read a few of the responses, and it seems that she is getting a pretty resounding "what the hell is wrong with you"?!? But at the same time it makes me wonder a bit what people think who don't know me well enough to know how desparately I wanted kids.

  5. I read it, and many of the related columns, over the weekend. Kovac's a jerk (a little bit of Pye blood, perhaps?). The head-shaking "Doris, Doris" is wildly condescending. Intelligent, sympathetic people -- to say nothing of friends -- do not dismiss valid concerns with character assassination. I would be very troubled if my friends or spouse published something so snide and spiteful and thought it was clever or just.

    And to annoy Kovac all the more, in case she is a glutton for punishment and seeks out everything ever written about herself, I WILL compare this to dogs. : ) D. and I waited to get a dog until we knew we were going to soon be in a house with a yard and had a two-person household so that the dog wouldn't be alone quite as much. During that time, a dog-devoted co-worker sent me hyperbolic articles about a dog's pure love; one such article said, "You think you don't have room for a dog, but what you really mean is that you don't have room to let the most amazing love into your life." No, I really did mean that I don't have room. And "Doris" really does mean what she says. So leave her alone, Kovac -- although I'm pretty sure she won't be soliciting your company ever again.

  6. Ha, I started to read her post, then felt my blood pressure rising, and shut it down before getting through more than 1/4 of it. I'm glad I stopped reading.

  7. Oh, I read all the posts alright. OMG! wow, that Kovac piece is just vile. Satire, right? RIGHT? Well, I hope everything goes well in her perfect martyr vying for sainthood motherhood world....