Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recent childless/free stuff...

Elizabeth Renzetti, a columnist with The Globe & Mail, had a major piece (section front page plus a full page inside) in Saturday's paper on "Why childless people are persecuted." 

The comments (so far as I've read, anyway) have been remarkably even-toned and even sympathetic -- I've found just one "why not adopt?" lol. A few people took issue with the term "persecuted."  Perhaps it is a tad strong -- but there's no doubt (at least among those of us without children, for whatever reason) that we have, shall we say? an image problem -- if not among parents who call us "selfish," then among certain economists & pundits who have been blaming the downfall of the global economy at least partly on us & our failure to procreate and keep the fertility rate from dropping like a stone.  :p 

Part of me wishes Renzetti had at least acknowledged those of us who are childless not necessarily by first choice... although a couple of commenters did point out that not everyone chooses childlessness.

But there's much here that's applicable and relatable, no matter how you came to be childless/free (whatever label you prefer).  On balance, I thought it was a sympathetic & respectful article that puts forward the childfree point of view in a thoughtful and reasoned way -- not a "breeder" or "sprog" comment to be found.

Notes Renzetti: 
An aside: I’m the mother of two children, and I adore them. I have never second-guessed my choice to have them, except for that afternoon I spent picking gum out of the cat’s fur. But I also understand that a journey down the baby highway – a road that has no exits, and is sometimes terrifying and sometimes so dull you fall asleep at the wheel – is not for everyone.
If only there were more like her. Go read it. And let me know what you think.

(ETA:  In the space of just a few hours since I posted this, the number of comments on the story went from under 70 to more than 170... the story was also posted on the Globe's Facebook site. I haven't read all the comments yet, but caveat emptor!) 

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In the same vein, MoJo Working posted "A Rebuttal" to a comment she received on her recent "Why I Hate Mother's Day" post. It's an eloquent defence of those of us who are childless not by choice, and gives voice to the additional pain we feel on this day devoted to all things mommy: 
I have no issue with giving your mother flowers, or taking her out to dinner, or with every mom on the planet receiving breakfast in bed one day a year. None of that matters. What DOES matter is how we make other people feel, every day of the year. What matters is that we, as a society, diminish non-moms and dismiss them because they don't have children. What matters is that we recognize only one kind of mother, and we ignore all of the others that don't fit that mold. What matters is that we don't recognize, publicly, that your value as a woman is not tied to the state of your uterus.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked that article. Then got distracted by other articles highlighted (as the evil website intended) and went on to read them too.

    The comments - yes, some were the usual bs implying that if you don't have kids you have no understanding of life, but most were respectiful of the decisions people make. Interestingly though - in the articles and the comments there always seems to be an assumption that those of us who couldn't have children live a life of sadness and regret. Forgetting that we can in fact embrace and appreciate our life without children, and even feel glad about it.