First Comes Love. Then Comes Sterilization. by Suzy Weiss
Disclaimer (if you’re new to the blog): I am not “anti-family.”
If people, of their own informed volition, decide to have children, that is fine by me.
But I am opposed to the guilt tripping or shaming by some adults (who are usually religious or conservative) to pressure other adults (and it’s usually women who are the targets of pro-natalism propaganda) into having children.
I found some of the reasons the young, childfree or anti-natalist people cited in this article below for not having children to be strange or idiotic, but it’s not my place – or yours – to dictate to them if they have children or not.
Inside America’s Baby Bust. Meet the young women who never want to have kids.
… Americans are making fewer babies than we’ve made since we started keeping track in the 1930s. And some women, like Diamond, are not just putting off pregnancy but eliminating the possibility of it altogether.
Last year, the number of deaths exceeded that of births in 25 states — up from five the year before. The marriage rate is also at an all-time low, at 6.5 marriages per 1,000 people.
Millennials are the first generation where a majority are unmarried (about 56%). They are also more likely to live with their own parents, according to Pew, than previous generations were in their twenties and thirties.
They also aren’t having sex. The number of young men (ages 18 to 30) who admit they have had no sex in the past year tripled between 2008 and 2018.
Cities like New York, where young, secular Americans flock to to build their lives, are increasingly childless. In San Francisco, there are more dogs than children.
It used to be that people wanted to make babies. Women, especially, but also men. That was a healthy young person’s default position, and our existence depended on it.
We wanted to do other things, of course, and the great post-feminist challenge was how to have it all — the proper work-life balance, the career and the baby, the supportive husband and the adventurous life.
But now, for an increasing number, the question isn’t how to have it all. It’s: why do it at all?
This psychological reversal didn’t just happen. It took place inside the hurricane of spiritual, cultural and environmental forces swirling around us. But the message from this young cohort is clear: Life is already exhausting enough.
… A nationally representative study of adults in Michigan found that over a quarter of adults there are child-free by choice. And new research by the Institute of Family Studies found that the desire to have a child among adults decreased by 17% since the onset of the pandemic.
… She [Darlene Nickell] first set out to get sterilized at the age of 21 and was told by her doctor that she needed written consent from her male partner or to have already had two kids.
Meantime, her childless male friend from high school had successfully gotten his vasectomy a year before. “That felt like an attack on me.”
… The child-free find each other on social media, mostly on Reddit. There’s r/childfree and r/antinatalism and r/fencesitters — as in, “I’m on the fence about this whole kids thing.”
You can also find doctors who will sterilize you, and how-to guides with tips and frequently asked questions like “Can you trust a fence-sitter boyfriend who doesn’t want a vasectomy?”
… Child-freedom — and Diamond and Gilkes are child-free, not anti-natalist, in that they don’t think it’s necessarily wrong for other people to procreate — comes with its own lingo. “Brant” means “breeder rant” (as in, the annoying things people with kids tell people without kids about how great life is with kids).
“Mombie” is a haggard mom-zombie, lost to the land of breast milk and binkies. “THINKER” is an acronym standing for “Two Healthy Incomes No Kids Early Retirement.”
“Bingo-ing” refers to the questions the child-free get asked by the child-full: “What if your kid cures cancer? What if you regret it? Who will take care of you when you’re older?”
The dating apps have taken note. On Hinge for example, under the “My Vitals” section, there’s also “Vices,” like if you take drugs, and “Virtues,” for religious and political affiliations, you can tick off whether you want children, if you don’t want them, or if you’re “open” to it.
If you’re child-free, you can eliminate future breeders from your feed using a premium plan starting at $29.99 per month.
The child-free have many reasons for not wanting babies: fear of pregnancy, fear of authority, fear of preeclampsia (a pregnancy disorder that can lead to undesirable outcomes for the mother and baby), fear of postpartum depression. And, in Diamond and Gilkes’ case, racism.
(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): Hypocrisy: Conservative Christians / Catholics Pressure Women To Feel Their Only Worth is in Becoming Mothers, But If Women Try to Use Medical Technology to Get Pregnant, the Women Are Condemned by The Same Groups