Thrilled to have a feature article in the 1st issue of Childfree Magazine!
A big thank you to Tanya Williams, author of A Childfree Happily Ever After,
for spearheading this effort.
Get your digital copy today!
What a year. Like in years past, I have closely watched childfree trends in 2020. To start off my latest end-of-year childfree trending piece, how can we not start with the pandemic.
The impact of the pandemic has spurred talk that relates to the childfree choice in a couple of ways. The first has to do with whether the pandemic will result in less judgment of the childfree choice. We’ve seen a good deal of post, forum and article discussion this past year on this reason not to choose to bring a child into the world. One of my top picks that captures the themes of discussion is Samhita Mukhopadhyay’s piece in The Atlantic.
My take — the jury is out on the answer to this question. In our pronatalist world, it may very well be more that the pandemic reinforces reasons to delay having children, or wait to have another. We will get more of a sense of whether the pandemic might have had a positive impact on how society views the childfree choice once we’re not in the midst of it.
The second has to do with an issue that has been with us in the workplace for a long time. Even more than in ‘normal’ times, during this pandemic, we’ve seen a good deal of discussion out there regarding how those without children end up picking up more slack for employees who are parents. While many people weigh in that, as labor and employment lawyer Domenique Camacho Moran, states, “Employers need to be consistent — the best plan is to know what your business can tolerate, so you’re not treating any group better than the other,” the situation during the pandemic continues to put a special type of strain on people juggling their parenting and professional lives under one roof that those without children don’t have. That is not to say those without children don’t have stresses of their own. The pronatalist default, however, all too often still reinforces priorities of parents in this difficult time.
I have loved seeing even more talk about the childfree choice in different countries this year, especially in India, Asia, and Africa. Here are just a few highlights:
I’ve also seen even more of an increase in global tweeting with the childfree hashtag than ever before this year! My latest follow: @ChildfreeMalawi.
Speaking of global, like last year, more people continue to chew on how the climate crisis is influencing the childfree choice. Two years ago I put this topic in the “worthy of mention” area in my trending piece. In 2019, it made the trending category. And it does this year as well.
One piece in The New York Times, “How Climate Anxiety Is Shaping Family Planning,” takes on the idea that “forgoing children as a means of fighting global warming is entering the mainstream.”
I have pondered whether I think this is the case. In 2020, a good number of articles have addressed angles to answer this question. Here are just three:
More and more people have talked about this topic each year, and increasing numbers in younger generations are considering the childfree choice in relation to it, but entering the ‘mainstream’ would connote it’s starting to be seen as a widely accepted choice. My take — a little more time will tell.
In years past in my childfree trending pieces, I have bemoaned the various ways the word ‘childfree’ is used. In 2020, in the twitter world, I have seen more of a trend of parents using #childfree to mean they are ‘free of their kids’ at the moment, and in more general narrative usage of ‘child free’ and ‘child-free’ to mean the same.
However, childfree and child-free continue to be used to reflect people who don’t want children as well. At least in my online reading travels, I tend to see these two terms used most this last year, and less of ‘childless’ and ‘childfree by choice.’ For parents and not, the odds are these patterns have their roots in algorithms that have higher search strength for given audiences. We also still often see many of the possible terms used in one piece for what I surmise is the same reason.
This year I have observed a bit of a downtick in what I will call more ‘general’ childfree articles, e.g., how to respond to why you don’t have kids, 10 Best Things about the Childfree Lifestyle, and the like. I’ve seen a bit of an uptick in more in-depth and specific examinations. Of note is The Guardian’s childfree series, which included inviting childfree women to write in and share their stories and experiences.
We’ve seen continued features on the childfree choice in major publications, but of note are more stories of the problems childfree women experience when they want to become sterilized as a permanent form of birth control. This past year I have seen more discussion threads, posts and articles lamenting a variety of ways medical paternalism manifests and prevents women from exercising this reproductive right. The pronatalist notion that doctors know better than women themselves do about their motherhood decision still has way too much of a hold on controlling this facet of women’s reproductive lives.
While social and cultural challenges surely remain, when I look in the 2020 childfree rear view mirror, my biggest takeaway brims with gratitude. Thanks to the ever growing global childfree community of voices, in 2020 even more of the world has been talking about the childfree choice, which continues to foster its path to societal acceptance. Having been on this mission for over a couple of decades now, this makes me happy.
Here’s to more global expansion in 2021!
Guest Post by Brit McGinnis
“There will be a baby boom after coronavirus, and they will all be first children.”
This quote has been circulating the Internet since mid-March, and unfortunately the source has been lost in the ether. But parents and non-parents alike have echoed this sentiment: quarantine with children in the mix is a friggin’ nightmare.Continue reading “COVID & Childfree Does Not Mean Stress-Free”
Check out my latest guest appearance on World Population Balance’s excellent podcast Here!
World Population Balance is in the midst of fundraising for a campaign called One Planet One Child, which seeks to educate and promote smaller families as a powerful strategy toward a sustainable population. In this podcast episode, we focus on One Planet, NO Child as an important strategy to this population stabilization goal.
I encourage you to help support this endeavor!
As this year comes to a close, it’s time to talk 2019 childfree trending!
I’ve researched and tracked the childfree choice and those who make it for 20 years now, and can say that in the past year, online and everywhere the childfree community has continued to grow. This choice continues to be talked about more than ever before. Childfree trends we’ve seen this year include:Continue reading “Looking Back: 2019 Childfree Trending”
Postscript to my post on the November 18th screening:
It was a Great Night!
Great news! Maxine Trump’s documentary film, To Kid Or Not to Kid, is opening in theaters this month! In the LA area? Starting November 15th, the film will be at the Laemmle NoHo7 theater for a week! On November 18th, I will be there moderating the post screening Q&A. I am on the Advisory Board for this film and must say, don’t miss the chance to see it!Continue reading “November 18th LA Theater Screening of the Film, To Kid Or Not To Kid ~ What a Great Night!”
I sure remember loving Halloween when I was a kid. I loved figuring out my costume and carving a scary pumpkin.I had no clue of the roots of this holiday, and I bet that’s the case for most kids today. Of course I loved being able to run around the neighborhood with friends, stopping at every house to add to a growing bag of candy. It was rare for a house to be dark – as in no one was home – so we would not ring the front door bell, and yell “trick or treat!” there.
Rebecca Traister’s recent piece on The Cut, “Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical,” hits hard and directly as what we must do to fight for our reproductive rights in this time of aggressive abortion ban attempts, which ultimately seek to overturn Roe v Wade.Continue reading “The Childfree, Rage, and the Fight to Keep our Reproductive Rights”
As Mother’s Day rolls around each year, I find myself of mixed minds. Don’t get me wrong; even more since she passed in late 2017, I love my mother and would celebrate her and how she raised my brother and me any day of the week. But as a childfree person, I have problems with Mother’s Day as a national holiday. Why? Here are two reasons: