April 17, 2017

Childfree Chicks

Childfree Chicks is a Facebook group set up by Tasmanian Tori Hodgman for “women who have ended up without kids” for various different reasons including:

  • childfree by choice (couples who decide not to procreate)
  • childfree by mistake (couples wait until its too late to procreate)
  • childfree by biology (baby making bits and pieces compromised, etc.)

The popular group is open to “blokes” as well as chicks, and it provides a place to connect with other childfree couples. It’s absent the vitriol and activism often present in other childfree forums and childfree blogs, offering a refreshing place to share stories among kindred spirits.

In a family-oriented community like Tasmania, not having kids can present social, emotional and professional challenges. Tori Hodgman and friends founded Child Free Chicks, a Facebook that has over 300 members, including some passionate blokes. Here’s what she had to say… (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Despite the fact that Childfree Chicks welcomes men, the catchy-if-somewhat-risque name of the group highlights the fact that so much of childfree discourse is woman-centric. Undoubtedly this is due to the disproportionate bias against childfree women, but I’m curious to understand why this imbalance exists. Men often flaunt their childfree status as a badge of honor, but women are frequently derided. It’s as if society expects women to procreate, but willingly allows men to shirk responsibility.

The decision to have a child with a romantic partner isn’t one most adults take lightly. There’s usually quite a bit of discussion involved, and generally both parties have to be into the idea of procreating before they try to conceive together. However, a Daily Mail article published this week suggests that in many cases, one partner — the driven career woman, specifically — is making the decision for both people involved, and she’s deciding to deprive her husband of the joy of fatherhood. (Huffington Post)

Perhaps this disproportionate emphasis on women’s responsibility to procreate is echoed in the disproportionate numbers of single mothers versus single fathers. Now that I’ve wandered well into wild generalization, it’s worth noting… No, I’d better rein it in. Another time, perhaps.

If you compare the terms “childfree chick” and “childfree bloke”, the former sounds vaguely derogatory or dismissive and the latter sounds practically complimentary. Or at least lighthearted.

Just because a woman has a womb, doesn’t mean she should have to use it. That is the opinion of former Waikato University masters student Theresa Riley… who interviewed 10 childfree couples in the course of her year-long research, said people did not have to justify the decision to have children, but couples who chose not to have children often faced cruel judgment for their decision. (Stuff.co.nz)

I agree with Ms. Riley that women’s biological endowments shouldn’t obligate them to procreate, and yet I’m becoming increasingly conscious that society’s expectations and behaviors don’t always agree.

 

About virtualDavis

G.G. Davis, Jr. (aka virtualDavis) is a writer, storyteller, unabashed flâneur and eager-beaver uncle. Despite two whiz-bang nieces, two superstar nephews, and rewarding teaching/coaching stints at the American School of Paris and Santa Fe Preparatory School, he remains willingly, enthusiastically and happily childfree. His WNK posts are part of an ongoing attempt to understand why. Rosslyn Redux, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks, offers a more ironic twist on his childfree adventure. He also blogs at virtualDavis.com and EssexonLakeChamplain.com. Connect with G.G. Davis, Jr. via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Comments

  1. Damrite says:

    Hodgman – not Hodgeman.
    And surely you mean ‘complimentary’? For the ‘childfree blokes’? Not complementary?
    Great article, putting some light on an issue usually swept under the carpet . . . 

  2. Thanks and thanks! Changes made. 🙂

  3. “It’s as if society expects women to procreate, but willingly allows men to shirk responsibility.” Well, yes. All it takes to recognize this is a comparison between reactions to a) a woman leaving her family and b) a man leaving his family. We as a society don’t expect much of men at all in terms of parenting. I’m surprised you don’t all feel largely unnecessary.

Trackbacks

  1. […] a private Facebook group, which now has over 5,000 members from all over the world. “By starting Childfree Chicks and then the sister group Childfree Chicks Confidential, I wanted to provide a supportive space for […]

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