Discussion:
Semi-OT: "The Atlantic" 2015 article on childfree women
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Lenona
2021-05-05 19:08:56 UTC
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Quote:

"In the 1970s, one in ten women reached menopause without giving birth to a child. But by 2010, it was one in five, according to data gathered by the Pew Research Center, and one in four for women with a bachelor’s degree. A quarter of educated American women are getting through life without ever having children."

(Trouble is, of course, that does not take adoptive mothers into account! While some such mothers have also given birth, many have not.)

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/04/why-women-arent-having-children/390765/

Here's the on-topic part:

(Critic Laura Kipnis) ponders the value of equating motherhood with “such supposedly ‘natural’ facts as maternal instinct and mother-child bonds,” which, she writes, “exist as social conventions of womanhood at this moment in history, not as eternal conditions.” The concept of profound maternal affection, she argues, was invented in the 19th century after both birth and child mortality rates started to decline. Before that, women couldn’t afford to get attached to infants that had a 15 to 30 percent chance of not reaching their first birthday. Ditto the concept of mother-child bonding, which coincided with the rise of industrialization, “when wage labor first became an option for women” and it became important to impress upon them the significance of staying home. The reason why fewer women are giving birth in Western countries, Kipnis says, is education.
Lenona
2021-05-15 17:10:30 UTC
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And, can anyone locate any letters in response to this May 3rd article? It apparently got a good deal of attention - but when I searched online, I couldn't find LTTEs. (Also, since I can't see the comments, how many were there?)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/style/childfree-women.html

Two of the three short interviews are pretty good. Example:

"...People think that women without kids will die alone. Actually, there’s no guarantee that your children will care for you when you’re old. And nuclear families are claustrophobic. This 'us against the world' thing leads to that American individualism where you have your little biological pod and everyone else be damned. I think 'Golden Girls' is a pretty good alternative model to that..."

(Oddly, even though it's based in Berlin, there were no quotations from German childfree women - and it's well known there are PLENTY of such women, just as there are in much of Europe. But then again, even in nations that used to be known for big families, like Italy, many or most couples simply can't afford more than one or two kids anymore.)

Elsewhere, it was mentioned that some male comentators at NYT said "nobody cares anymore if you're a CF woman or not!" Well, maybe the MEN don't care - but it's easy enough to imagine how MOTHERS might feel jealous or threatened. That is, if a father gets tired of fatherhood and tired of his wife, who puts her children ahead of her husband, he could start looking for a woman who will never want children. Not to mention those single men who might start moving away from wanna-be mothers/housewives.


Lenona.
Lenona
2021-05-15 17:26:58 UTC
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Post by Lenona
And, can anyone locate any letters in response to this May 3rd article? It apparently got a good deal of attention - but when I searched online, I couldn't find LTTEs.
(I'd be just as glad to know on which day such letters appeared in the hard copy.)
Lenona
2021-05-15 17:34:18 UTC
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Btw, for any young CF types here, I spotted a clever, subtle dating tip elsewhere. Simply ask your date "where do you see yourself in ten years?" If your date mentions parenthood, you know it's time to withdraw politely without giving any explanations. (He/she will likely try to argue, after all.)
Topic Cop
2021-05-17 01:55:05 UTC
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Post by Lenona
Btw, for any young CF types here, I spotted a clever, subtle dating tip elsewhere. Simply ask your date "where do you see yourself in ten years?" If your date mentions parenthood, you know it's time to withdraw politely without giving any explanations. (He/she will likely try to argue, after all.)
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