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)
- 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!”
(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): 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): 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