The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:10 am 
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One older family member is not thrilled about me being childfree. Her latest reasoning has to do with where she believes cf reasoning comes from.

She claimed for starters, that it is closely related to the 70s and the idea of being able to sleep with anyone/sexual freedom.

While there may be some cf people who sleep around, I would think to some degree the lack of desire for children or being in a relationship with someone who has children would cut down on the number of partners.

Also, this concept seems a tad foreign to me because most of the people I have met who have had multiple partners have children, if not different children from different partners.

The other claim she made was the link to women in the 70s claiming to not "need" a man in their life/declaring to be single for the rest of the days (particularly for the sake of career).

Um, while there is nothing wrong with going solo, enough cf women become married to men that I doubt this is the primary reason for people not wanting kids.

I get the link between the 70s becoming the decade when birth control became more mainstream and people deciding to be childfree, but tying it to mostly being an expression of someone's sexual freedom or declaring to be a purely "career woman" is a bit much for me to agree with.

Regardless of the "origins" of people becoming childfree, I think there is enough variety with those who choose this path for people's reasoning to not fit under the same two concepts.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:27 am 
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I don't think this thinking is exclusive to an 'older' generation, I know plenty of 'young folk' too who can't understand that it's not choice between A or Z but a whole alphabet in between.

The whole 'you don't want kids because .. career' has been levelled at me from people in their 20s right up to those older than me.

Trying to get people to understand the chasm between 'I had a successful career because I didn't want to have kids' vs 'I wanted a career so I didn't have kids' was virtually impossible for me.

Lawdy it's like getting someone to explain why they prefer coffee to tea, or watching baseball vs soccer.

The other thing is people have ALWAYS been CF, it's just in the past their were only limited ways to maintain a CF lifestyle e.g. become a monk or a nun.

The older family member is also ignoring the HUGE number of people with kids who didn't want them either, but ended up having them because of pressure, contraception failure, lack of contraception or just plain not wanting to be seen as 'different'.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:01 am 
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A lot of people seem to think that "Oh, you like your travel/free time/career so you didn't have kids". I was the opposite ... I decided very early that I didn't like or want kids, and that decision being made, then I looked around for something else to do. Sure, I enjoy travelling and going to the gym and sleeping in, but that's not the reason I didn't have kids. It's a pleasant byproduct.

Having kids doesn't stop you from sleeping with whoever you want. It might make the logistics a bit harder, that's all. Likewise, not needing a man has nothing to do with it either. It's the 21st century, women have kids without partners all the time.

I roll my eyes at people who try justify my CF-ness by thinking that they know anything about me, or what sort of person I am. I lump kids in the same category as brussel sprouts and house llamas. Do.Not.Want. it really is that simple. It has nothing to do with sexual freedom or childhood trauma or career focus or selfishness. Just because I don't fit in your box, doesn't mean that you need to make up crackpot theories about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:38 pm 
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It's a spurious correlation: association is not causality.

What happened with birth control becoming available is that women could enjoy sex without the risk of getting pregnant, and that meant they could have a life whose necessary outcome was not motherhood. Careers, multiple partners, childfreedom, etc. are simply the result of choice: for the first time in history women were not limited to the choice between madonna/whore/mother.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:31 am 
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JessicaRabbit, you have hit the nail square on the head. The Pill got FDA approval in 1960, was made legal everywhere in the US by Griswald v. Connecticut in 1965, and became truly available to one and all via Planned Parenthood somewhere around 1970. Roe v. Wade in 1973 was icing on the cake. Before this, the logistics of childfreedom were inconvenient, messy, and had dubious odds of long term success. So yes, in a way, it was indeed a product of the '70s, but not as the result of some sociological shift. Rather, it was because that's when the means to make it happen became available.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:44 am 
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JessicaRabbit summed it up well. Women, when given the option of separating sex and motherhood, will choose what they will choose.

I'd also add that having multiple partners was (and still is) going on with people who do have kids. I know poly people with and without kids. I know serial monogamists with and without kids. Their very existence disproves the argument.


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