Why does society still view childless women like me with suspicion? by E. Day

Why does society still view childless women like me with suspicion?

(Link): Why does society still view childless women like me with suspicion? by E. Day


  • Remarks like Leadsom’s go far beyond the usual cut-and-thrust of the political arena and reveal how (Link): childless women are still viewed with innate suspicion. This, in spite of the fact that women in their mid-40s are now almost twice as likely to be childless as their parents’ generation. One in five women born in 1969 is childless today, compared with one in nine women born in 1942.
  • But there remains a taboo, a retrograde belief that (Link): we are in some way unnatural for not fulfilling our biological destiny. How else to explain the fact that the first question many people ask when I meet them is whether I have children, followed by an uncomfortable pause when I say that I don’t. “But why?” I can see them thinking. “What’s wrong with her?”

  • ….Because the truth is I don’t have children, but it’s not for want of trying.
  • It’s not anyone’s business is it? But then stuff like this happens and you think, well, if I don’t talk about it, it just perpetuates that unspoken sense of shame – the curse of childlessness hanging around your neck like the Ancient Mariner’s albatross.
  • In 2014, (Link): I had IVF after trying – and failing – to get pregnant for two years. I had two rounds. It was invasive and painful and emotionally draining.
  • ….[After attempts at using IVF] In fact, I got pregnant naturally a few months later. I had a scan at seven weeks that showed the baby’s heartbeat and was told the risk of miscarriage was now below five per cent. But I was one of the five per cent. I miscarried at 12 weeks. I spiralled into a period of numbness that I later realised was grief.
  • …Not being able to have a baby when you desperately want one gives you a profound degree of empathy and insight into other people’s lives. It’s an empathy distinctly lacking in our modern-day political process and it’s a quality I feel would serve any prime minister well.
  • But I’ve lost count of the number of times people have insensitively assumed I don’t want kids (“Oh, I thought you just wanted to focus on your career,” is a regular refrain) or that I’ve been told I’m somehow a lesser person because of my inability to procreate.
  • …To say that I or any of these other women [who are child free or have biological problems conceiving] are less invested in society or are somehow lacking is incredibly insulting and why Leadsom’s comments became so toxic, so quickly. Yes, having and raising of children is a major life event. But so is divorce. So is the death of a close friend. So is being made redundant. So is dealing with cancer. We are all shaped by events. There is no hierarchy of experience. We cannot measure how much our life has been altered by one thing and not another.
  • ….And what about fathers for that matter? Why isn’t their childlessness perceived as a bar to the top offices of state? (Link):  When (childless) Chuka Umunna put his name forward to run for the Labour leadership last year, I can’t recall anyone even asking the question.

Related Posts:

(Link):  A Woman’s Fertility is Her Own Business, not Everyone Else’s by L. Bates

(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):  Actress Jennifer Aniston Responds to Media’s Constant Fixation on her Reproductive Status

(Link): Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world by Catherine Deveny

(Link):  The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language (How churches exclude singles and the childless) by E A Dause

(Link): Mother Entitlement – Selfish, Self-Centered Mothers Complain that They Are Not Getting ENOUGH Mother Worship from Culture, Church, or Family on Mother’s Day and Some Moms Complain About Churches Showing Compassion to Childless Women

(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): Do You Rate Your Family Too High?

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

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

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

(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): 26, Unmarried, and Childless – by A. Mast

(Link): Are Older Men’s Sperm Really Any Worse? (study) Also: article author assumes men single and/or childless until their late 30s and older are probably autistic, retarded, or drooling simpletons

(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): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

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

(Link): Totally Obnoxious Parent: Childless Couple Who Donates to Childrens Charities Lambasted by Snotty Adult Sister for Not Showering Her Kids with Christmas Presents – Parents Who Discriminate Against the Childless or Childfree

(Link): Prejudiced Writer Stupidly Blames Slutty Halloween Costumes and Societal Ills on Childless the Childfree, and Unmarried Adults – but Married people and parents are not perfect either

(Link): The Fruitful Callings of the Childless By Choice (editorial)

(Link): Bearden: Staying childless right decision for many women

(Link): In terms of childlessness, US ranks near the top worldwide


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