Thursday, October 21, 2021

Odds & ends

  • I was thrilled when the private Gateway Women community marked Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month (in part) by setting up a new Childless After BabyLoss group -- and incredibly honoured when I was asked to co-host!  Not only that, but my co-host is the lovely Bamberlamb, who blogs at It's Inconceivable. It's been a while since I put my support group facilitating skills to use, but I hope to do justice in the role! 
  • The New Yorker published one of those articles that I think should be mandatory reading for people who go around asking childless women why they don't "just adopt": "How an adoption broker cashed in on prospective parents' dreams." 
  • There was also this piece in the Atlantic: "The New Question Haunting Adoption." (Tagline: "At a glance, America’s shortage of adoptable babies may seem like a problem. But is adoption meant to provide babies for families, or families for babies?")  
    • I've read and recommended two of the books mentioned in the article, earlier this year: "American Baby" by Gabrielle Glaser, and "The Child Catchers" by Kathryn Joyce. Click on the links for my reviews. 
  • I also thought this Atlantic article was interesting: "The Hidden Costs of Living Alone."  (Tagline: "In ways both large and small, American society still assumes that the default adult has a partner and that the default household contains multiple people.")  Obviously, I do have a partner, but I can still relate to a lot of this -- couples without children don't quite conform to the assumed default household either...! 
    • Sample passage (which I think could also apply in many ways to childless couples -- boldfaced emphasis mine): 
And many single people, whether they live alone or with others, constantly face the stigma associated with not being partnered. “It’s oppressive, always getting pitied,” [Bella] DePaulo said. “People have bought into the ideology that having someone is better—[that] the more natural, normal, superior way of being is being coupled or having a family.”

She sees this norm in the political rhetoric around virtuous, “hardworking families,” and thinks that this cultural default can to some extent be blamed for the ways in which American society has been slow to adapt to people who are single or live alone. She also attributes the slowness to “cultural lag”: In the future, lots of Americans are going to live alone—tens of millions already do—and eventually, society will, with hope, catch up.
  • The latest edition of Anne Helen Petersen's "Culture Study" newsletter focuses on The Ideological Battlefield of the "Mamasphere," with a fascinating interview with Kathryn Jezer-Morton, who is studying "momfluencers" for her PhD dissertation (!!). (Sometimes when I read about mothers like these, I'm glad I never got to be one, and certainly not with today's social media... I could never keep up!)  I especially loved reading the comments about the "Performative Farm"...! 


  1. A quote by European intellectual and feminist Emilia Pardo Bazán ( "All women conceive ideas, but not all conceive children. The human being is not a fruit tree that is only cultivated for the harvest".

  2. Oh yes, we have that "hardworking families" rhetoric too. It is so alienating to so many people. Argh.

    Also, I love Anon's quote above.

    And yay, to you and Bamberlamb (whom I met in our shared support group almost 20 years ago) for hosting a childless after babyloss group. Such good choices by Jody! I must check it out.

  3. Wow, lots of good stuff here. And I love Bamberlamb's blog!