The Time magazine issue that Alyssa's Happiness/Misery article came from has generated a lot of buzz. The issue is about being childfree by choice. I haven't read the actual magazine but some of the other articles floating around out there about it were interesting to me. Many describe it as the new divide...much like the SAHM WAHM battles or the breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding. There are a lot of articles and editorials that bring up a lot of different points
Does society judge the CFBC group? Do you have a gut reaction when someone tells you they don't want to ever have kids? I personally wonder if there is any religious criticism that plays into it to, even though that doesn't seemed to be mentioned a lot. Are they really marginalized or overly criticized? Or is it more silent and mild than that...or does this divide exist at all?
I provided some specific quotes from dif. articles, and links to the entire things. Sorry i couldn't pick just one. Its kind of a loosey goosey debate topic, but i found it interesting enough that i didn't want to pass over bringing it up at all.
Consider the most recently monthly Vanity Fair/CBS poll. For September, 2013, the topic was "The Perfect Woman." (The August 2013 poll was on the perfect man -- it's apparently equal opportunity ridiculousness over there.) When the 1,017 participants were asked the most important quality in a woman, 39 percent said being a good mother, above brains, a sense a humor and a healthy sex drive.
This "mother above all" view of womanhood is Sandler's target, not the women she profiles, who don't want kids, or readers who have or want them. Her point is that no one is doing it wrong, but for a very long time, childfree women have been told they are. They are interrogated about their choice in salons and post offices even as they are marginalized by a culture obsessed with maternity and parenting -- see celebrity bump watches, the $49 billion baby product industry and articles accusing women who don't want kids of selfishness, all of which amount to what Sandler calls the "ambient roar" of motherhood.
This one kind of says there really is no judgement, its just a matter of practicality
Can Parents Stay Friends With the Child-Free?
As a parent myself, I don?t read my tendency to gravitate toward fellow mothers as judgment ? I read it as practical. Fellow parents are more likely to understand if I bail on dinner because of a sudden teacher conference, and their eyes are less likely to glaze over if my preoccupation at that dinner is more temper tantrums than, say, the right way to temper chocolate (which might once have held my interest for hours). In fact, I?d argue that it?s win-win.
This one tries to give both points of view in a dialogue that i wonder if it even really happened
Is Being Childfree Selfish? Debating Time Magazine's Touchy New Issue
SBW: As a working mom myself, I completely know what you mean. And I wonder why I, feminist that I purport to be, have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear that women (and also men, but less so) don't want to have kids. The other day, my husband said that one of his colleagues, in her early 30s, definitely doesn't want to have kids. I immediately went to "selfish, narcissistic." What is that about?
BG: Do you think it could be partially that you are envious of her gall?
SBW: I wouldn't ever give up the experience of being a mom. I think it?s that, somewhere back in my primitive brain, I see it as "natural" to have kids, and weird not to have that desire. Of course there are many reasons?economic, environmental?that might make it extremely reasonable not to have kids.