When Your Personal, Private Choices Enrage Others by Bella DePaulo (Regarding People Who are Single and/or Childfree)

When Your Personal, Private Choices Enrage Others by Bella DePaulo (Regarding People Who are Single and/or Childfree)

(Link): When Your Personal, Private Choices Enrage Others by Bella DePaulo (Regarding People Who are Single and/or Childfree)

Excerpts:

  • Recently, I was asked to address, very briefly, the question of why women who do not have children are still stigmatized.

  • My response, and those of four others, were published in (Link): Time magazine (link is external) and in the Up for Discussion (Link): forum (link is external) at Zocalo Public Square.
  • …Laura S. Scott, director of the Childless by Choice Project, picks up on a theme I have been ranting about for quite some time – that research studies we read about most often are not exactly a representative sample ((Link): nor, I would add, an accurate one (link is external)):

    “Everyone chooses to ignore the multitude of studies that point to happy, socially connected, regret-free childfree seniors who are living their dreams and contributing in many creative ways.”

    …Bill McKibben – you might know him for his contribution to environmentalism – said:

    “It’s time that we learned to accept that people, and families, come in many different shapes and sizes; that they face different circumstances and want different things. It’s time, that is, to stop with the judging.”

  •  Here’s my answer:

“As long as women bounce around kidding themselves that life is full when alone, they are putting their hedonistic, selfish desires ahead of what’s best for children and society.”

That was one reader’s response to a 2002 cover story inTime about women who were choosing to stay single and not have kids.

At the time, I was just starting to research my first book on single people and I was perplexed. The reader had no relationship to the women in the story – they were strangers. Plus, they weren’t complaining – some explicitly said they liked the lives they chose. So why was this guy so angry?

“I hadn’t yet recognized the power of people’s views of the world. With regard to marriage and family, one of the most fundamental beliefs is that women are supposed to get married and have kids. If they follow the prescribed path, this worldview holds, then they will be happier and healthier than everyone else – and morally superior, too.

“Worldviews help us make sense of the world. They can boost our self-esteem, enhance our good feelings, and keep our bad ones at bay. We want other people to share the worldviews we care about the most. The “problem”, then, with women who do not follow the culturally valued life course of marrying and having children, is that they are threatening beliefs that people hold dear.

“What’s more, it is even worse if they choose not to marry or have kids. For example, (Link): research has shown that single people who want to be single are judged more harshly than those who want to find a partner. They are seen as lonelier, colder, less sociable, and more miserable.

Even more tellingly, other people express more anger toward them. That irate reader of the Time story was not angry at the women despite the fact that they were happy, he was angrybecause of that. How dare they claim that life without marriage or kids is a good and happy life – a life that someone would actually choose!”

———————–

Related Posts:

(Link):  More Criticisms of the Pope’s Anti Childless Anti Childfree Comments

(Link):  Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

(Link):  A Teen Tried To Kill Three Women “In Revenge” Because He Was A Virgin

(Link): I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M Notkin

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link):  Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

(Link):  Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link):  No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Nor Do They Support Adult Singleness – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

(Link):  False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): “God’s gifting of singleness is rare” – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage -and- God gifts only the rare the exceptions the few with the gift of Marriage

(Link): On Being Circumstantially Childless by A. Pearson

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Is The Church Failing Childless Women? by Diane Paddison

(Link): Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians including MEN Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

(Link):  Christianity Should Be Able To Work Regardless of Culture, Childed or Marital Status / Article: Unlike in the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family today by B. Shulte

(Link): Singleness Is Not a Gift

(Link):  “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link):  Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States

(Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo

(Link): Another Too Long, Too Strict Suitor List by a Christian That Will Keep A Single Single Forever: “The Man Who Will Marry My Daughter” by Tony Miano

(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

(Link): ‘It’s a break from the kids’: Why parents cheat more than childless couples

(Link): Study: Couples Without Children Have Happier Marriages / Study: Having Kids Ruins Your Life

(Link): Why Singles Belong in Church Leadership by L. Ferguson

(Link): Misapplication of Biblical Verses About Fertility (also mentions early marriage) – a paper by J. McKeown

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

(Link): Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be

(Link): “You’re not a real man until you have children” by G. Proops – women should be able to relate to this too

(Link): Male Entitlement and Adult Virginity: Who has it worse, Male Vs. Female? (critique of post at other blog)