December 24, 2005

An Adult Christmas

I've been staying up late, meeting friends on school nights, ice skating, attending mid-week parties...all but skipped shopping this year. I wonder what other Purple WomenTM are doing for Christmas? Travelling to exotic destinations? Something a little more x-rated?

We just moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada -- a company transfer -- all the way from San Francisco, California, U.S.A. I have not wrapped a single gift and today my husband and I are heading to the local mall, by subway of course, to buy our gifts for each other. We may take in a matinee as the few gifts that we did send this year were ordered online through our Shutterfly account!

I will miss seeing my nieces and nephews. Gosh, they will seem so much older when I next see them. I love being an Auntie. I shall write more about these pleasures in the new year. I resolve to write longer articles and attempt to publish them here and in other mainstream media. I've already written the first one about "The Question" that the childfree fear most: "Do you have kids?"

Photo: Two guys promoting Swatch Watches at the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.

December 22, 2005

What I Want for Christmas... have one or two childfree women join the Purple WomenTM Team Blog.

Do you like to write? The subject matter is focused on all things related to childfree living. Share your reflections, a book review, your musings, a good story and your sense of humour and/or outrage on the subject.

If you are not having kids, what are you doing with all your creative engergy? Consider sharing the experience with others. If you are interested in joining our blogging team, please send an email our way.

To learn more, please visit the Purple Women website. Thank you!

December 18, 2005

Baby Not On Board

Need a Last Minute Gift Idea?
I found this book by Jennifer L. Shawne in a neat little store (there are so many unique shopping neighborhoods in Toronto!) on Queen Street West. The title really caught my eye. This is a humorous take on the childfree lifestyle. Consider it for the Purple Woman in your life (one for yourself possibly?)

In particular, I liked the quiz on whether or not you are ready announce your decision to be without child on page 12. I scored a 19:

"You're clearly ready to become an unparent. Make preparations to let everybody know. Start dropping hints, and in a couple of weeks share the big news!"

The illustrations by Anoushka Matus are precious and would make even parents LOL! The food groups pyramids were particularly amusing and I loved the novel idea to hold an unbaby shower.

Personally, I have resolved never to go to a baby shower again -- of course rules are made to be broken. I organized one for my friend in Seal Beach, Calif. before I moved to Toronto.

December 07, 2005

Book Review: Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood from Female Identity

Most childfree women I know cringe when I refer to us as having an alternative lifestyle. Gays and Lesbians and Transgenders seem to have the lock on this term. But the truth is that ours is an atypical adult female identity.

In Reconcieving Women; Separating Motherhood from Female Identity, Mardy S. Ireland dealves into the possibility that one can have a "healthy personality that (does) not include the role of parent." To get a feeling for how outside the mainstream our lifestyle really is, Ireland points out that all psychological theories suggest that in one way or another...

"a woman's reproductive capacity shapes her life."

A researcher and a psychoanalyst out of UC Berkeley, her book is based on a study she conducted. At the time her book was published, I had moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area. This was in the early 80s. Perhaps it was then that I set out to the library to look for a good book on the subject of childfree lifestyles and found none. Zero. This has improved much and I think there is room for more.

Ireland neatly presents the case for dividing the childfree adult women into three categories: traditional, transitional and transformational. Respectively, those who wanted children but couldn't or didn't for whatever reason, those who waited too long and experienced a healthy dose of ambivalence, and those who always knew being a mom was not for them. I think they are Purple WomenTM all!

November 19, 2005

Purple Women Project Update: Official Launch Jan. 2006

It took a little longer than I was hoping to launch the web site and the blog. Given that it's not a good idea to try and drum up support and participation during the busy holidays, the survey and major effort to promote the concept of Purple WomenTM and participation in the project will be delayed until January 2006.

In the meantime, I will attempt to blog consistently and well. Also going to try my hand at writing articles for publication on the subject of childfree and other related topics (any that I can write about and get published!)

Some of these articles may show up here in blog form if I can find a good way to do it. I'll be consulting my webmaster about this. (There is the Cardinal Rule of blogging -- that no blog post should be longer than three paragraphs -- to keep in mind.)

November 16, 2005

What is Our Role?

We the proud, the purple, the childfree......What is our role?

Do Purple WomenTM have all the perks and none of the responsibility? Well, maybe on the surface. Shoule we be leaders? Artists? Perhaps the childfree should be the ones to charge into battle, or the first responders in a crisis.

Elinor Burkett wrote a book about the burdens that the childfree adults shoulder in the workplace (The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless, 2000). They don't have to pattern their lives around soccer season or the school year. Perhaps that is as it should be, just as teens and grandparents help parents in childcare and rearing.

We should all invest in the future, right? Whether it be by paying taxes into our institutitions and systems or influencing young minds.

November 15, 2005

What's a Purple Woman?

I get this question a lot when I mention this project. I am determined to add to the small but growing collection of books and other published material (electronic or otherwise) on the subject of childfree by choice adults.

To answer the question, I believe that a Purple Woman (PW) is a woman who on some level recognizes and accepts her decision to lead a childfree lifestyle. The loaded words are "accept" and "decision" and it is true that not all women without children identify with this. I propose that even women who are childfree by circumstance, whatever they may be, can still on some level acknowledge her acceptance of her role or path in life.

What say you?

November 13, 2005

Penguins and Childrearing

By now, almost everybody has either seen or heard of "March of the Penguins," a stunning documentary which takes an intimate look at what Emperor Penguins go through to procreate.

I saw this movie with my niece and nephew in tow so their moms could shop the toney Yorkville district in Toronto. The people behind me had a good snicker when during the scene in the movie where the actual deed of fertilization took place -- larger than life on screen -- my precious niece asked loudly "What are they doing?" Purple WomenTM will appreciate my answer: "Go ask your mother"!

One could make the case for what a bunch of trouble it is to raise kids, using penguins as proof, but I rather agree with Mr. Emerson's opinion on some of the parallels that people have drawn about this movie in his post on the movie review blog
Queer, Unfaithful Penguins for Jesus

Double the Trouble

I just couldn't help sharing this to reaffirm the childfree choice. Other people's children (O.P.C.) will from time to time be a subject of ours. This humourous article about two toddlers on the lam was featured in the Edmonton Sun:

Toddlers Run Amok
Edmonton Sun, November 9, 2005

November 01, 2005

Why Purple?

When I saw this restaurant sign on Yonge Street in North York, I knew the name of my project. It made me so curious, I knew I would have to try it. It is thrilling to create something new, and the domain name for Purple WomenTM was not taken, so boldly I move forward to define it.

Purple WomenTM is a website and team blog as well as an independent study and a book in progress -- in that order. I figure if folks have the same reaction to my project and book, well, that would be super. The online study will be launched in January. That will give us a couple of months to get bloggy with it and develope a voice, some participation and anticipation!

October 28, 2005

Purple Women Koan

What is the question?
That is the answer.
The question I ask is,
What lies in between
Career Women and Mothers?
I propose there are Purple Women™.

September 19, 2005

Getting Started

What do you see as the goals of this blog? Are you wanting to talk about the issues and priorities of Purple WomenTM or are you looking for more discussion around common characterisitics?

September 02, 2005

First Post

Purple WomenTM unite!