Each year on International Childfree Day (today!), the winners of the Childfree Man and Woman of the Year are announced. Here are this year’s winners and their nomination submissions. Ladies first:
2016 Childfree Woman of the Year
*Nomination by Mike Jacobs
Crystal Money is an outstanding person who has made the conscious decision to eschew motherhood and focus on making the world around her a better place. Her ceaseless work with Kennesaw State University and the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics & Character (which includes the annual Phenomenal Women’s Conference) makes her an excellent candidate. She is constantly learning and teaching new and engaging ways to deal with difficult ethical situations and scenarios. As such, she is well poised to deal with our increasingly complex world in a manner that is fair and equitable for all involved. In addition, Crystal’s work with research students is exemplary and she is showing an entire generation of learners how to be better people and, in turn, make the world a better place. Her impact is exponential, as she not only strives to make changes herself, but is showing others how to make their own positive impact.
Crystal has also shown much devotion to the cause of making the decision to be childfree more socially acceptable. Beyond the standard means of talking to others and informing them of the reality of childlessness, she also has taken a strong personal stance on the subject of reproductive rights and the ability for a woman to choose her path in life.
When looking into the process of undergoing sterilization, she was met with many hurdles. Most doctors think that women cannot make this decision for themselves and will not proceed with any permanent procedures due to this mindset. Meanwhile, men can get a vasectomy, regardless of parental status, with almost no resistance. Crystal worked hard at letting the doctors know that this is an absurd notion and refused to continue seeing any doctor who took this position. She strives for equality between men and women when it comes to reproductive rights, which makes her a champion not only for the choice to not have a child, but also for gender parity in general.
Crystal is a constant inspiration for everyone around her, and for the childfree movement in general. She is an ideal candidate for this award and is absolutely deserving of recognition for her efforts.
Crystal also nominated herself:
Being childfree is such a monumental part of my life. What makes me a great candidate for the Childfree Woman of the Year is my perseverance in living my life the way I want, and breaking the chains of expectations coming from a rural North Georgia town. Since I turned 16 years old, my father has been asking me when I was going to give him his “grandbabies,” and much to his dismay, I have always replied with “never.”
I have known since I was very young that I did not want children, and even now people from my family and hometown laugh it off, as if I am talking nonsense. Even though I knew I did not want kids as a teenager, I honestly thought I did not have a choice for a long time, because that is what I was taught. It wasn’t until I got to college that I really understood that I have rights when it comes to my body and my life. I am proud to be a first generation college student for my whole family, but it has also meant that from age 18 on, I have drifted further and further away from my family.
Once I understood my rights as a woman, I began seeking out ways to protect myself from ever having children. When I was about 24 years old I started seeking a tubal ligation. I changed doctors frequently with the hope that I would find one open-minded enough to respect my wishes for my body and life. I was laughed at, talked down to, and chastised for being selfish by more doctors than I want to count. It wasn’t until this year that after much research I found a doctor that agreed to give me a tubal ligation. The doctor wasn’t happy about it, but she respected me and my wishes. My mom even took me to the surgery center, which meant the world to me. She supports me and my wishes to live my own life. I plan to share this story at a TEDx event early next year, with the title, “The Un-Reproductive Rights of Women.”
2016 Childfree Man of the Year
*Nomination by Laura Ciaccio
I would like to nominate my husband, Dr. Vincent Ciaccio. In 2015, Vincent completed his social psychology dissertation on stereotypes regarding childfree persons in comparison to childless people and parents, including how those stereotypes may affect those persons in the workplace. This is the culmination of the long academic pursuit studying the childfree, including a Master’s thesis in 2002.
Vincent has made television and radio appearances to discuss the childfree, and has been featured in many newspapers and magazines to promote acceptance of childfreedom. He discussed his own decision not to have children, as well as his research, in media ranging from Sally Jesse Raphael to Anderson Cooper.
His career has been marked by service to the non-profit community in general. From 2002-2005, he was a research assistant at Lighthouse International, an organization for the blind and vision impaired. He also has worked on research at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and for the Schepens Eye Research Institute. After obtaining his Ph.D., Vincent decided to seek employment in the non-profit sector. He is now working as a data analyst at the Legal Aid Society, which provides legal representation for low-income New Yorkers.
Vincent recently presented part of his dissertation at an academic conference, and is continuing to work on potential conference and publication opportunities. He is assisting other researchers with presentations based on his work. I believe Dr. Ciaccio has done a great deal to advance the cause of the childfree, and especially to advance academic research concerning the childless by choice.
The Childfree Man and Woman of the Year awards and International Childfree Day are such great ways to celebrate amazing childfree people and their lives!