Perhaps you’ve noticed that our tagline for Why No Kids? is “Childfree by choice and happy! Here’s why…”
Childfree. Choice. Happy. Our vision for this site was born out of those three powerful, empowering and surprisingly complicated words and the inevitable questions they provoke when conjoined.
Why would you choose to be childfree?
How could you or anyone be happy about being childfree?
We believe that a happy, rewarding, truly intentional life is in many respects made more feasible when the often difficult choice not to procreate is made and maintained.
Our personal reasons and answers are merely the springboard for a much broader conversation. Just as we bemoan (or mock) the myopic Breeder Bingo exchanges we encounter, we don’t pretend that our individual preferences, biases and hypotheses are universal. We do not proclaim an antinatalist manifesto, not do we categorically judge or condescend to breeders. We do endeavor to cultivate broad reflection and conversation about one of the biggest choices humans make during their lives: to have — or not to have — a child.
For this reason, we’re thrilled to witness and participate in a steadily dilating childfree chorus. You’d have to be living under a well trafficked jungle gym slide in a busy suburb of babyland to have overlooked the mounting buzz from childfree advocates, nulliparity advocates, etc.
Madelyn Cain’s The Childless Revolution is one of the voices connecting the childfree choice with happiness. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the book,
but I’m intrigued by the perspective of this reviewer.
This book recognizes and heralds a new dawn for women, opening up their lives (and minds) to fact that one is not less of a woman just because one did not choose or happen to become a mother. This is the next step in women’s revolution: that women be able to choose for themselves consciously (and be accepted by the general population–those this has yet to happen) that it’s OK to be childfree and to choose not to be a mother despite having the equipment for it. (Niconica’s Pinpricks)
Reviews differ, and Jessa Crispin’s harsh criticism is altogether less encouraging.
Motherhood is the new divisive issue amongst feminists and women… The more you try to explain your position the more head shaking and sighing there will be. Which is why I could tell Madelyn Cain’s The Childless Revolution would be a mess by one simple sentence: “Cain lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.” She is a mother writing about “what it means to be childless today.” … She has chosen her side while pretending to occupy middle ground… In fact, the “childfree” as she calls them receive the least attention… This is a book about women who wanted children but didn’t get them… The only thing we know for sure at the end of this book is that Cain thinks motherhood is the greatest thing ever, even if she does envy the free time of the childfree. (Bookslut)
Childless women today are on the precipice of redefining womanhood in the most fundamental way ever. Entering the workforce was merely the initial step toward redefining women—and possibly the first toward childlessness. The advent of the pill, the legalization of abortion, and advanced education for women were essential adjuncts to this change. The move toward remaining childless, however, is more profound. For a society based on “family values,” this shift is historic. At its most fundamental level, the emergence of childlessness means that women are seizing the opportunity to be fully realized, self-determined individuals—regardless of what society at large thinks of them. (The Utne Reader)
Have you read The Childless Revolution? Would you recommend it?
- The Childless Revolution: Options Open Up (niconica.wordpress.com)
- Two is Enough: Childless by Choice (whynokids.com)
- Saying No to Kids in Britain (blogher.com)
- More NYC women are saying no to having children (whynokids.com)