October 5, 2017

Celebrities, WiNKs, Taboos and The Childfree Apology

Rosie O'Donnell at the premiere of I Am Becaus...

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Many childfree celebrities keep their choices to themselves. Perhaps they’d rather let the press and public wonder about their sexuality than risk offending the mommy constituency? Others admit their choice apologetically. “I love kids but….”, begins the required apology. Even Chaz Bono and his girlfriend didn’t dare say they don’t want babies. For Becoming Chaz they filmed every day of a difficult decision and taboo sexual transition, but when Rosie O’Donnell asked them about kids, they responded sheepishly, of course, apologizing for even thinking about staying childfree.

Wow. Even gay and transgender couples have to do this dance these days? O’Donnell, mother of many, didn’t push them or suggest they might end up regretful or lonely. She said that her advice to anyone who has any doubt is not to have children. Don’t do it. Something like that. Refreshing? Surprising? To me at least.

So when Roseanne Barr said, “Don’t have babies. Don’t get married and have kids. Have a larger life than that.” on national TV, I was among the many, including her own children, who found it shocking. Not because of the content of her message. Not because I doubted her sanity, but because it isn’t something mothers say. Is it something mothers are allowed to even think in our society? Is a mother that fantasizes about what her life without children could have been or could be committing an unspeakable sin against her family and community? Yes. It seems. Because we know it happens, yet no one is articulating what they think.

And when a mother DOES speak out against mothering like Roseanne did on Roseanne’s Nuts? Is she inviting the hatred and judgment hoisted on Casey Anthony? (Also guilty of not wanting kids at the very, very least.) No. But she’s entering taboo territory, a place where people overreact and use the word “crazy”. Roseanne was bold. Because these are words that mothers aren’t allowed to speak. “Don’t have kids” or “I wish I didn’t have kids” are somehow heard as “I wish they weren’t alive” or “I hate children”. It seems. What do you think?

From where I stand, men are given much more room than Rosanne and other women to vent, admit, complain or translate their desire for silence and freedom and fresh air into advice or comedy. (See Louis C.K., Doug Stanhope, Aziz Ansari, Jason Jones and Drew Magary video links below.) Mothers seem to police themselves, vigilantly. I wonder if their own fleeting fantasies, and resulting guilt, might cause moms to judge women like Chelsea Handler and Roseanne Barr quickly and often harshly?

I also wonder if the same taboos, caution, guilt or misperceptions keep our families from acknowledging this site or our friends from clicking a little button that says “like”, even though much of the content, contributed by teachers and mentors, is about parenting, the environment, economics and psychology.

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Top 10 WNK Posts

Kids on the bus

Why No Kids? is just over six months old! Or in “parent talk”, we’re twenty eight weeks old… Isn’t that cute?

Starting with our first post, “Why no kids? Wino kids!” we’ve posted over five dozen reflective, provocative, silly, heartfelt and/or challenging blog posts. And we’re just warming up! Expect more investigative posts and more guest posts in the months ahead.

We’re taking inventory of our parts in order to better understand you, our readers, so that we can better meet your needs. What do you want to read? See? Hear? Jump into the conversation and tell us what you’d like to learn more about and what you’ve heard enough about. We’ll do our best to grow Why No Kids? into the community you want.

Take a look at our top ten most popular posts to date. (Note that three are two-way ties!)

  1. I’m not infertile. I Just don’t want kids.
  2. Video: Aziz Ansari Is Afraid of Babies
  3. Five Reasons Childfree Adults May Be Happier Than Parents
  4. Am I Selfish For Not Having Kids?  and Are you a DINK?
  5. Happy Un-Father’s Day?
  6. Video Vasectomy Shocker: A Survivor’s Tale of Survival
  7. Childfree? Really? Common Questions and Comments (Part 3)
  8. Dr. Suess Didn’t Have Kids  and Myths About Childfree Living
  9. Sexiest Reason Why No Kids? Sex! and Ann Landers on Childfree Families
  10. Childfree Vagina Monologue

I recently posted about the top search term which brings new readers to Why No Kids? And it’s worth noting that even more than organic traffic from search engines, the Facebook Why No Kids page connects you to the blog posts you read and froward. In other words, our Facebook friends are largely responsible for spreading the news. Thank you!

Where from here? You tell us!

2 Videos: Childfree Chelsea Handler

For those of you that saw our previous FB post of childfree Chelsea Handler and asked for more, we borrowed this one from Alvaro and our friends on “Happily Childfree“.

Ms. Handler is one of the few female comics (that I know of) with the balls to twist her own taboo baby bashing into thought provoking and funny. Louis C.K.’s “Kids Suck” rants are touching and funny and Aziz Ansari’s take is hilarious too, but the first is a parent and neither would seem to risk the wrath of mommies like a female comic does when she says

“I could have been a mother too okay, three times, but I made the right decisions.”

What do you think? Do you have examples of other women doing this kind of comedy?

Here’s Chelsea Handler’s interview that we posted on Facebook in May:

I’m not sure if the interview occurred before or after the Laugh Factory routine.

1) Video: Aziz Ansari Is Afraid of Babies

2) Kids Suck?: Deadpan and Deadspin Daddies are FUNNY

3) Video: Amy Poehler’s Tip For Traveling With Children

4) Video Vasectomy Shocker: A Survivor’s Tale of Survival

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Video: Amy Poehler’s Tip For Traveling With Children

Amy Poehler 2011 Shankbone 3
Image by david_shankbone

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO of Amy Poehler’s Tip For Traveling With Children.

SNL alum and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler has an effective strategy for traveling with babies. DRINK! This one is from a direct post to our “Why no Kids?” Facebook page, where you can find more compelling clips and stories that have not (yet) appeared in the Blog.

Poehler’s P&R co-star Asiz Ansari also chimed in about his own baby strategies earlier this week. And check WNK archives for comedy clips and print from the likes of Louis C.K., Jason Jones and Drew Magary.

 

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Video: Aziz Ansari Is Afraid of Babies

 

Aziz’s Friends: “Aziz! You’re not going to believe it! I just had a baby!”

 

Aziz: “Hahahahaha! That sucks! Oh man, you’re going to have to take care of that thing for18 years and make sure it doesn’t murder anyone! I’ll talk to you later. I’m going to go do literally anything I want.”

And if you want to keep laughing or prefer conversation staring comedy from daddies, have a look at Louis C.k. and Drew Magary on WNK here.

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