I recently talked about the childfree choice on Reproductive Left, an awesome podcast produced by Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center right here in River City (Bangor, Maine, that is). It was a fantastic experience, made even better by the fact that I was interviewed by a former student, Abbie Strout, who is now Mabel’s Education and Outreach Coordinator. I couldn’t be more proud. 🙂 But I digress.
The interview was a wonderful experience. Abbie asked great questions and it was clear she’d done her homework; something that can’t be said for everyone who calls to ask for an interview.
At one point in the interview, I had the chance to address some of the most common myths of the childfree. The stereotypes that abound about us childfree are one of my own pet peeves so I’m happy to take the opportunity to help dispel these myths. And, thankfully, there’s lots good research out there that can be cited in that effort.
I was grateful for the chance to dispel myths but I wish I’d been clearer in addressing one myth: the myth that the childfree hate kids. While there’s plenty of evidence to show that this is indeed a myth, I was recently taken to task for not clearly indicating that some childfree “have no use for kids whatsoever.”
While I will go out on a limb and say I was clearer in this podcast, I recognize that some childfree might argue that I doth protest too much. A few thoughts about that:
1) Of the childfree women and men I’ve interviewed, the vast majority do not hate kids. Sure, some prefer not to be around them but hate? That’s a mighty strong word. And there just isn’t empirical evidence to support the claim that, on the whole, the childfree hate kids.
2) Some childfree actually (gasp!) like kids. There. I said it. Enjoying kids’ company doesn’t make a childfree person a traitor to the cause. It makes them a childfree person who enjoys kids. Nothing more, nothing less.
3) Hating anyone on the basis of age is ageism. And that ain’t right, IMHO.
4) Wishing for your choice to be recognized as the legitimate choice that it is, wishing that more people would more carefully consider the consequences before plunging blindly into parenthood, and wishing for more childfree spaces and fewer child-centric ones is not the same as hating kids. It is simply wishing for the respect and equality that we childfree deserve.
Now that I’ve fully disclaimed, please enjoy the podcast. And leave a comment to let us know what you think!