June 30, 2006

Two Ways to Subscribe

You can now subscribe to Purple WomenTM in one of two ways.

Option 1 - Email: Notices including the first two lines of each new post sent directly to your email inbox. Click through to view full text. Batched to go out once a week, so you can read them when you want. No registration required, just enter your email in the box found in the right column of the blog. This service is offered by Feedblitz, no fee.

Analysis: You cannot see same day posts or previous posts when you follow the link. You will only see posts published within the last 7 days. The navigation is a little awkward but you know when to visit, or not.

Option 2 - Mobile Device w/internet: Blogcasting at it's best via your mobile phone or PDA. You must of course have a mobile device that can access the internet, and sign up to be a member of SMS.ac to subscribe to the blog pod.

Analysis: Not free, but highly mobile and a snapshot of cutting edge personal technology. Monthly rate to subscribe this way is $1.50 US, plus $.025 per alert (weekly). We post 3-4 times per week. This service is offered by SMS.ac out of San Diego, California. A mini version of the blog will appear on your device. You’ll never be bored waiting for your transit connection again.

You still have the option to simply bookmark my blog as one of your favourites and check back whenever you get the urge. You do have a computer and an internet connection, don’t you?


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Childfree Dating

by Guest Contributor
Gloria MacDonald
Perfect Partners – the personal relationship executive search firm

The desire and decision to have children or not have children is a huge issue in the dating and relationship world. I speak from a very significant amount of experience on this from two points of view: first, as a woman who is childfree, and who made a conscious decision to be childfree, and has been through the mid-life dating experience. And second, as the owner of a dating service that caters to 40+ professionals, who has interviewed literally hundreds of single men and women, both with and without children; some wanting to have children and some not wanting to have children.

I’m amazed at the number of divorced people with children, who don’t want to meet someone because they haven’t had children. I often meet single parents, who are looking for a new partner, who tell me that they feel someone who hasn’t had children just couldn’t relate to their lifestyle and wouldn’t be able to relate to their children. Fortunately, I have plenty of personal experience, and experience with clients, to know this doesn’t have to be the case.

I’m thrilled to be in a relationship with a wonderful husband and an 18 year old step-son. My husband’s son was 15 when we first met and we’ve had a fantastic relationship from day one. We’re good “buds”. Sometimes we even gang up on his dad together. I’ve always loved kids and related to them really well. I’ve also had a very successful, demanding career, which I’ve loved, and I’ve never had that burning desire to have my own children. In fact, I’ve always known that I really didn’t want to have my own children. Being a step-mom to a teenager, who spends every weekend with us, is absolutely the best of all worlds to me!

I have a couple who got married just four months ago. I probably spent at least 20 minutes on the phone with him, talking him into meeting her. He was terribly concerned that she would never be able to understand him and his lifestyle because he had two teenage daughters, and she didn’t have any children. Here they are two years later very happily married.

Obviously, not every situation is the same. I also have plenty of childfree clients who feel that they really don’t want to meet someone with children, or at least with children who are not grown and out of the house. In these cases the childfree person usually feels that they wouldn’t relate that well to kids, and/or their lifestyle is such that it would have to change too dramatically to accommodate a family with children.

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of to have children, or not to have children. Whatever the person’s desire and decision is, it’s critical to take this into account in the dating and relationship process.

At Perfect Partners we take these personal preferences into account in our matching process. Our service is patterned after the model of an executive search firm. Each client is unique. Therefore we offer a personalized service and take a proactive approach to finding your Perfect Partner. Instead of just relying on clients in our own database, we search through a wide web of contacts, referrals and resources, including specific advertising for individual clients. We’re committed to finding your "perfect partner".

The desire for companionship and love are basic to our natures and fundamental to our well being. I believe that the "perfect partner" is out there for anyone who has a sincere desire to find him/her.

I do believe that the "perfect partner" is out there for you - that unique match that feels like your favorite pair of old slippers, that special someone who fits like the piece of a puzzle. My goal is to help you find your special someone to share your laughter, joy, adventure and special moments with.

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June 29, 2006

Project Update: Survey Closes, Team is Full

Dr. Wendy was our first contributor at Purple WomenTM and she posted this on September 19, 2005:

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

She asked the right question. If I am doing it right, anyone visiting this space can discover the answer without entering navigation hell.

The survey closes tomorrow, with more than 200 to review. Results from the first half of the survey (multiple choice) will be shared here, one question per day on consecutive Mondays, starting Monday, July 3rd. The essay questions will be addressed in Purple WomenTM -- the book.

Our blog team feels full at nine, however I have extended some invitations to Guest Contributors where they have particular expertise or experience. We have great diversity on the team, (same gender of course) and we have the right number of writers to meet the content goal of daily posts. New posts inspire other posts. There’s a wealth of topics even in our narrow focus of being childfree.

If a contributor drops off the grid for a while, it’s no big deal.

What’s next: write the book, continue building great content and the audience will follow!

My Next post: Two Ways to Subscribe

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Peace and Quiet

I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to have her space and to be left alone a good portion of the time. Needing my space has been a major reason behind my need to stay childfree since I rarely even let my own boyfriend into my quiet space.

People tell me that once you have a child you find yourself willing to give up your free time for them and basically your life belongs to your children. I just can’t imagine giving up my peaceful and relaxing free time to taking care of someone else full time.

I believe some people are just naturally nurturing people and like to take care of other people. My boyfriend actually is in the category of thriving off of taking care of others (including his daughter) but I don’t believe I am one of them. I have moments all of the time that I feel I will lose my mind if I don’t get some space and there is no guarantee of that once you have children.

So above and beyond all my other reasons to stay childfree I know that right now in my life (and I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember) I need to have room to breathe and just be with myself when the moment arises. Once I have a child I become responsible for another person, who needs a lot more than I do, and sometimes just taking care of myself is hard enough.

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Purple Men Do Exist

Purple men do exist. I am married to one, but I don't think I'll trademark the term Purple MenTM anytime soon.

Somehow it just doesn't have the same appeal for menfolk. That doesn't mean that their thoughts and opinions are not welcome here. Parents (we all know one or two) and those on the fence about kids are also welcome.

I found this gem of a post on a new blog and I think we should all encourage him to write more on the subject and visit us often. (I can't help but say I know a few single childfree women who would just love to meet him!)

As of today, we have had exactly two brave men leave a comment here.

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June 28, 2006

When Is a Childfree Woman a Mom?

I’m 44 and childfree, but when I go to the car dealership, I’m a mom. Dropping off my husband’s car for a recall service, a salesman tries to sell me on a new SUV.

"Lot’s of room for mom and kids," he says. "You can seat seven comfortably."

No, thanks.

In the doctor’s office, I’m a mom. I’m asked:

"Who’s your OB/GYN?"

She’s shocked when I tell her I’ve never had one.

In the library, I’m a mom. The librarian says:

"Your daughter can get her own card now."

She’s referring to the kid standing behind me in the line, with an armful of books. The kid disowns me immediately.

In my U.S. immigration interview, I’m a mom. The Homeland Security agent who interviews me looks up from my thick dossier, questioning:

"No children?"

No, I respond. But to no avail. I leave interview with a sheet of paper with with my name and file number on it that says that I have a minor child in Ethiopia.

I’m reassured. If they they can find a child of mine in Ethiopia, maybe they can find Osama too.

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Diversity & New Contributor

One of our contributors is an expert in diversity. She gets paid for her counsel to bring it about in a corporate setting. Two of our contributors are professional writers and I suspect all of us could be. One is a banker, and more than one of us has worked in the nonprofit sector. We also have an entrepreneur.

Our contributors are a most diverse and interesting group in terms of age range, current location, places we've lived, profession, married vs. single, ethnicity, and religious practice. We are all either Canadian or American, and two of us are dual-citizens, British and Columbian. (Don't worry there won't be a quiz later!)

I suspect that if we were all in the same room together we would never run out of things to talk about!

Now, Robin joins the mix. She is 20-something, a non-practicing Jew, dating a man who may make her a step-parent and admits she is on the fence about children. She lives in Massachusetts and is already an avid blogger.

Welcome Robin. Purple WomenTM readers look forward to your first post!

There are a lot of negative spaces out there where the childfree gather online and use derogatory terms for parents. It was my intention to create something different, something more respectful and deserving of respect and consideration by a broader audience. Social change is a lofty goal and it takes time. Contributors and commenters here are part of that change. (Chase totally gets it.)

Putting something in writing makes it more powerful. If someone reads it -- even better. If they tell their friends about it, the concept can improve, evolve…influence others.

Ideas are the commerce of progress and change.

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June 27, 2006

What did you do last weekend?

-On Friday night we went out for dinner to celebrate our friend's birthday. We went to a nice Mexican restaurant and then to the little bar next door. Came home really late.

-Saturday was a lazy day. We slept in. Went out for lunch. Went for a long walk with the dog. Came back home and took a nap. Thank God we remembered to feed the dog. Read a book. Watched TV on the couch. Went out for dinner. Stayed up late sipping some wine and talking. Went to bed really late.

-On Sunday we slept in again. Went for a romantic, relaxing walk (the dog was there too). Took off my shoes and quietly sat on the grass to meditate. Went for a nice drive. That's it for Sunday.

We are childfree.

Opting Out

If you opt out of a family, will you have to defend it your entire adult life? Can you be a happy, fulfilled contributing, completely functional person? I think we have answered that here within our safe online community and within our childfree circles of friends, but more work is needed, because most people don't seem to know that. We're not really purple, we look like everyone else and it would be better for the goal of social change if we didn't blend in so well.

More accurate exposure is needed in popular media and books, fiction and non-fiction, as well as more published social studies, before others will catch on. This will take time. I believe we are developing a collective voice here and that we are creating a meaningful dialogue -- if our blog audience continues to build, we will be hard not to notice. I will be attending a conference on blogging end of next month to learn how to do this, but by all means…

...tell a childfree friend about Purple WomenTM!

When the childfree are cast in the light of dysfunctional, it perpetuates the myth that becoming a parent is the end-all and be-all, the assumed goal of adulthood. This is why I created Purple WomenTM the independent study, the blog and the book I plan to write. To date, more than 200 women have taken the online survey. I will close it at the end of this month and begin to compile the data. The quantitative results will be debuted here in July.

All this writing, blogging, connecting and sharing of what's on other childfree women's minds has been very inspiring and keeps me feeling like I am on the right track. My thanks to you all, contributors, bloggers, regular blurkers and the occasional reader a like. You inspire me to the task at hand!

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Being Childfree in a Baby-Centric World

Recently our church had a baby dedication. This was the 6th child for the family. We weren't actually there that day but got a copy of the service since the sermon topic was one that interested us. The whole service was on the CD. The elder doing the baby dedication started off with a statement about how nowadays kids are considered "burdens". He countered that by saying that children are blessings. It does say in the Bible that children are a blessing. And I agree with that statement.

"It's hard to live counter to the culture that we live in."

However, I also don't think that everyone is cut out for that type of blessing. Having good health is a blessing, having money is a blessing, and numerous other things are blessings. But not everyone is going to have every blessing. This type of thinking seems to me to lead down a road of "everyone should have children" mentality.

It's hard to live counter to the culture that we live in. It's hard to go upstream when everyone around us is going downstream. It makes me wonder how many people have had children just because it's expected. How many wish they had chosen not to?

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June 26, 2006

It Stays With You

My husband and I were invited to join friends at their cottage last weekend. Their kids are mature and responsible teenagers (not an oxymoron) who had independent plans of their own, so we had a couple's weekend.

If you are from Canada, or know anyone from the province of Ontario in particular, you know that Cottage Country is a big deal. Out in these parts they have trees and water in abundance. Cottages can be simple -- or second homes for the wealthy. The pontoon boat is optional.

"...our hostess said they have an uncle who is childfree. She said he is in poor health now and all alone."
We cooked great food, stayed up late talking, swam and cruised around their picturesque lake and hooked lots of fish from a paddle boat. Heck, my husband even got a pull from a neighbor and re-lived his water-skiing glory years.

Our friends know we are a childfree couple. They know about my project, Purple WomenTM. We danced around the subject when our hostess said they have an uncle who is childfree. She said he is in poor health now and all alone.

I will remember catching the biggest bass of the weekend, and the mosquito bites still linger, but her words will stay with me longer.

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June 22, 2006

Sick and Hearing Cryin'

I understand that when you live in an apartment building, you have to put up with some irritations and annoyances. There is a couple who lives down the hall from me who have two small children, one of whom is about 1 years old. I don't hear either child making noise, perhaps because they are far down on the other end. However, I have become aware of another child, an infant, in an apartment two doors away from mine.

It's summer, and people's windows are open, including mine. Lately, I have heard that particular baby crying all the time. I've been home sick on and off this week, thanks to a cold I caught from my boss, so I've been hearing the kid practically all day and night. It sounds like they have him or her positioned right next to the window, so the sound carries up and down the gangway.

Sometimes, I'll come out in the hallway and find a baby stroller parked there. The couple also lives in a studio, like me, and with a kid, there's less room to move around. I just wish they'd do something more to keep the kid quiet. For a long time, there were zero kids in the building, due to the majority of tiny studio apartments. The quiet was amazing. Now I see families just squeezing more people than there should be in spaces. I know the economy is not that hot, and people struggle, but a kid in a studio apartment? There oughta be a law against it.

Seeking Childfree Brits

Purple WomenTM (childfree) living in Britain are being actively sought by a freelance reporter writing a story for a UK womens magazine called Essentials. Her deadline is one week out.

If you live in England currently, are a British citizen, and between the ages of 25-45, please get in touch with Kate ASAP by email if you'd like to weigh in on your childfree views.

She promises a positive spin, so please get in touch if you fit the criteria!

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June 21, 2006

Childfree Advocacy vs. Awareness

A spontaneous strategy meeting was instigated by Jerry, the founder of No Kidding! last weekend at the child-free festival in Toronto. I could be found poolside at about 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, but I did catch the tail end of what looked like a very productive discussion about how to make chapters better and where the organization is going.

The people from places as far as the United Kingdom and California were at the table, plus at least one person from the Toronto chapter of this international social club for childfree adults. About a dozen people in all.

The founder and the couple acting as spokespeople and strategists for the five-year-old organization are absolutely adamant that No Kidding! is not an advocacy organization.

It's a social club, plain and simple. However, given the number of interviews that Laura and Vinny

have done, I'd say they feel it is important to enlighten others about being childfree.

This couple represents a moderate voice and they do a good job of portraying a childfree couple that has made a conscious choice about having children. However, the character of this organization and what Laura and Vinny, as the NK! spokespeople, stand for is not advocating a childfree lifestyle. They do not promote it to others, they simply tell their unique story.

It's a very "live and let live" philosophy. That makes it very comfortable to be a member. It doesn't matter what your reason is for being a childfree adult, or whether you are single or married. If you want to meet other adults who want to do fun things (and don't need to line up a babysitter first), then you now have an avenue to do so. That's why there are 90 chapters around the world. It's a very successful model, and a volunteer-lead and volunteer-run organization that is still in its infancy. The internet as a social tool has really made it all possible.

It can be a fine line between advocacy and the goal of awareness. Extreme examples would be population control and pro-choice advocates. The pro-natalist extreme is represented by the religous right as Purple WomenTM contributor Twiga wrote about in her recent post. It seems to me that when we, the childfree, are portrayed in mainstream media we are often reduced to unflattering sound bites. I am glad to know that people like Laura and Vinny are out there to balance the often negative stereotypes.

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June 20, 2006

Child-free Festival Fun

Souvenir t-shirt from a previous festival.
Dinner cruise around Toronto Islands.

Outside the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Touring Toronto and the CN Tower.

Souvenir bottle holder and a Purple Woman button!

Pictures really tell the story of the child-free festival in Toronto last weekend. More pictures from our weekend here.

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June 16, 2006

A Little Extra Money

Boss surprised me yesterday by telling me that I was not only going to get the regular 3% cost of lving raise, but an extra percentage that he requested for me, as well. Guess he didn't hold being childfree against me after all (smile).

When I left for work yesterday morning, I ran into a neighbor from down the hall who has two children. She, her husband, and the kids live in a studio apartment. They are immigrants from Africa. I know she and her husband work, but it seems they don't make enough between them to afford a bigger apartment. When I first met them, their youngest child was not walking yet. Now he is, and both he and his sister are in day care. They're growing fast, as kids tend to do. There are other support staff people at my job who make approximately the same that I do, some a little more, and some a little less. I know I could not afford kids on what I make. Of the support staff that do have children, I don't know how they manage, especially the ones who are single parents.

It galls me that so many men go around dropping babies everywhere, further swelling the population unneccesarily, then stand on the corners, bragging about their kids, who they do not help.
For some reason, one of my relatives who has seven kids he's not taking care of, crossed my mind. This particular relative dropped out of high school after a couple of years, having never made it out of freshman class due to not studying and doing the work. Most of his life has been spent having run-ins with the law, which have resulted in stretches of time being locked up. In between, he'd take on jobs, mostly low-paying ones. Even if the moms of his kids pressed for child support, he couldn't pay. From what I see, it appears he never spends time with any of his children. He's lumped in with what a local radio personality here called "sperm donors".

The radio personality will appear at a Father's Day function. He does commentaries, and in the last one, he really let irresponsible dads have it. "I let my emotions get the best of me," he said, during an apology some time later. I felt that he had nothing to apologize for. It galls me that so many men go around dropping babies everywhere, further swelling the population unneccesarily, then stand on the corners, bragging about their kids, who they do not help. When the moms attempt to force them into responsibility, i.e. taking them to court for child support, the deadbeat dads have the nerve to accuse the women of being "golddiggers". It's simple. . .if they don't want the responsiblity, then they need to stop making excuses about why they won't wear condoms.

June 15, 2006

New Festival in Toronto

The 5th Annual Child-free Festival hits Toronto, Canada today. This is the annual event of No Kidding! the international social club for child-free adults (married and single). It's the first time this festival is held in Canada.

The planning committee has been working on this event for more than a year and we are ready to par-teeeeey -- and make new child-free friends from 15 different cities and 3 countries.

Purple WomenTM attending the festival are invited to take the survey. The survey will close end of June so I can begin working with the data.

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June 13, 2006

The Rub

There's a woman in my church who rubs me the wrong way. I shouldn't be that way, because she does have mental issues. However, her loud outbursts during church services and functions, incessant questions, and her snapping at other church members over the slightest things sets my teeth on edge. During a recent choir picnic, I overheard my pastor complaining about how she will stop by the church at all hours of the day. He is a full-time pastor, and has his hands full with work. Also, a couple of Christian college students are living in the upper spaces during the summer. If he makes the mistake of allowing her in the building during hours when church is not in session, she follows the pastor around and doesn't give him a chance to breathe. What does this have to do with being childfree you may ask? I have not seen her mother, but I've beginning to wonder what kind of parent would allow their mentally disabled child to roam the streets at all times of day.

My youngest brother was born mentally disabled. My mother would say she was glad he was born a male. I knew of too many females I grew up with who had mental and/or emotional disabilities who had been taken advantage of on the streets. A few of them ended up pregnant. Having to deal with a child is hard enough, but having to deal with a child with a disability is an extra challenge. That is not to say some parents of such children do not rise to the challenge and meet it excellently. I remember meeting an older gentleman on the bus who impressed me by how he spoke of his disabled daughter with a twinkle in his eye. It was clear that the child had always been in need of extra care and extra trouble, but he did not regret a moment of it. That child was still a wanted child to him. I worked with a guy who always spoke of his daughter as if she was just like other children. It wasn't until his funeral that I realized his daughter had a disability. It said something about him that he never though of her as being less than.

Unfortunately, some parents choose to push their kid off on others because they don't know how to deal with them and don't want to learn how. I was happy to hear that one of the more problematic kids at my job had been transferred elsewhere, due to the fact that they had "aged" out of the program. I got the impression that the kid's custodial parent had been a pain the entire time, blaming staff for allegedly "agitating" their kid, but refusing to work with staff on the care plan for them. I don't fault parents for wanting to get help for their children who have disabilities. I do fault those who throw up their hands and expect society to take on the full brunt of their care without any input from the parents. It also doesn't say much for what they think about their kids.

Book Review: Maybe Baby

Maybe Baby, edited by Lori Leibovich, is a collection of essays from those who have chosen not to have children, those trying to decide, and those who have kids. The essays take us on the various journeys that the writers have taken. This book was not really what I expected it to be. It seemed to have more weight towards having kids as there were quite a few more essays on that than the decision not to have children. I would recommend this book for those who are trying to make a decision or who are still unsure about whether or not to have kids. For those who are already childfree and firm in their decision, this would not be a book I'd recommend.

"The fact that she was painstakingly examining her decision to have children...made her far more responsible than those who have kids simply because they feel they should."

"Why have children, anyway? And should you have them if you don't feel a biological or emotional urge? If you don't, will you feel those urges later, and regret it? Does choosing not to have children mean you're selfish? Or are those people who choose to have children to fulfill themselves, or to ease loneliness, or to take care of them in old age, the really selfish ones?"

"...why do so many parents preach the procreation gospel to their non-parent friends?"

"...not one part of me thinks you need to have children in order to be whole, or that there are parts of yourself that cannot be revealed any other way." -Anne Lamott
"The notion that different people have different desires shouldn't be a difficult one, but when it comes to motherhood, many people can't get their hands around it." - Michelle Goldberg

"Yet the assumption that women are biologically programmed to conceive refused to crumble. The right to choose seems to have bypassed the childless." - Elinor Burkett

"You're not being selfish. Your life won't be empty. And you're certainly not destined for a sad, lonely end. People can find meaning in their lives in ways that don't include progeny.
"So, the next time some well-intentioned parent harasses you about your decision not to have kids - or at least not to have them yet - just let yourself off society's hook, go out, and live the life you've chosen with no regrets. Find fulfillment by climbing a mountain, jumping out of an airplane, taking a job in Asia or, hell, reading the Sunday paper without interruption. Then tell us breeders about it.
"And feel free to gloat." - Amy Reiter

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June 10, 2006

Purple Women: Mission Statement

The purpose of the Purple WomenTM team blog is to...

  • create a community of online friends
  • manifest a socially significant dialogue about being childfree, and...
  • unite Purple WomenTM in an effort to
  • clarify who and what we are in society, our institutions and families, and
  • influence others beyond the blogosphere.

Yes, occasionally there will be a call to action.

Participation (i.e. sending an email, starting a petition, contributing a post or comment, establishing or becoming active in your local childfree social club, or reading this blog) is always optional!

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June 09, 2006


1. It’s part of nature.
2. Your parents would love to have grandchildren
3. Somebody has to carry your blood
4. You are a woman (isn’t it natural to you?)
5. You’ll have somebody to take care of you when you’re older
6. The house would feel empty without them
7. Don’t you want to see what they would look like?

I am sorry, but to me, the above are not good reasons to bring children to my life. I would need a more powerful reason. First of all, I would have to want to have children and after wanting to, I would have to find the reasons why I believe I can handle the responsibility of motherhood. Other than that, I am more than happy to watch my friends deal with it.

My husband always says if it was up to him, people would have to apply for a license to have kids only to make sure these people are good for the job. I agree with him. It’d be like a job interview but a lot more intense. If you want to be a parent you have to prove to the committee why you will be good for the job and the above reasons won’t even be considered. You’ll have to prove why the world will be a better place if you had the chance to raise and educate one of its inhabitants. You have to prove why you should be chosen for the job. And you better have a darn good case. You can reapply two years later in case you are rejected the first time and start all over again.

Wouldn’t the world be a more pleasant place if we did that? Only people who can be great parents would actually become parents. Only those who can handle the job will be given the privilege. Only those who are mentally, emotionally, psychologically and financially equipped will procreate. And if you don’t get your license the first time, you will work to excel at the interview next time, so you can too, be a great parent.

Why do I choose to be childfree? I won’t pass the interview. I am just not interested in the job.

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Purple Haiku

I am Purple
that is me
all the books I haven’t read
lazy Sundays in my bed…
…I’m not dead

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Breaking News from North Dakota

Author Jennifer L. Shawne (Baby Not on Board) pioneered the idea of the un-baby shower, but this article from the Bismark Tribune is over the top: Cat Shower. Thanks to new commenter to this blog (kT) for sharing it.

This is just the kind of "pets instead of babies" negative stereo type I've come to expect the major media outlets.

What say you Purple WomenTM?

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June 06, 2006

Graduation Day

My niece graduated from high school this past weekend. Her parents, her adoptive mom in particular, was rushing around to make sure everything went well. Parents have to go through a lot to get their kids through high school and college. It was nice for me to be an observer, as opposed to being the planner. Dresses had to be brought, bouquets of flowers and candy had to be ordered, etc. It's not over yet. The graduation party is later this month.

What of the parents who have to suffer the disappointment of a kid who doesn't get to march across the stage for whatever reason? Think of the money and time spent only to be let down because of low grades, being suspended near the end of the year (that happened to my niece's ex-boyfriend), the kid having been arrested for something, the kid having dropped out, etc. That's another downside of being a parent, seeing the dreams you had for the kids being derailed. Yes, I'll help my niece out in any way I can throughout her time in college beginning later this summer. However, I see that having a child in school is not an easy thing.

Commemorating World Childfree Day

I celebrated World Childfree Day with a Starbucks Coffee, wearing my "Proud Parent of an Eight Paw Household" T-shirt and writing a poem.

No desire, by design
Am I crazy in my mind?
Choosing no, to be kid-free
All of life awaits for me

I like others' kids okay
But don't want my own today
I am childfree, you see
Childless my choice to be

Am I selfish? Maybe so
But I don't regret it though
Choose or not, God's will for me
Him I'll follow faithfully

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June 05, 2006

The One Where I Touch You

There's a great three-page article by Jennifer Liss in Bitch magazine (Summer 2006, issue #32) about defending our childfree lifestyle. It's funny and thought-provoking and downright maddening. It makes even me, an I'm-sorry-I-love-you-I-won't-rustle-any-feathers pushover, want to yell about my rights as a woman and protest and burn my bra.

Wait. Not the bra thing. Got a little excited, there - sorry.

A part of the article tells the story of a woman who was trying to simply get her tubes tied and was, instead, faced with doctor after doctor telling her they wouldn't do it, advising her to get mental help, and even telling her, not until "you have had at least one or two children."

Medical doctors were saying this! Makes your head want to explode a little, doesn't it?

I found the mag at Borders, but you can also find them on the web here. I highly suggest you seek it out.

And, because I always care about my readers, I've created a lovely haiku for you guys. Grab your tissues. This one's deep, yo.

Hey, nosey people
You have your own vajayjay
So don't bother mine!

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Is Motherhood Our Patriotic Duty?

In the month between Childfree Day and Independence Day, this question begs an answer. In her book Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and Their Pursuit of Happiness historian and author Elaine Tyler May asks:

Why this lingering obsession with reproduction?

I recently spoke with Elaine to get a historical perpective on voluntary childlessness for a chapter of my book. She pointed out that in America "family is revered—it’s where citizens are born and bred." And mothers—not the village—continue to bear most of the responsibility for raising the next generation of citizens.

As NikkiJ documented in a recent post, childfree women still experience stigma over our choice to remain childless. Why?

Elaine Tyler May believes that politics has a lot to do with the obsession over reproduction. In a pronatalist period of our history, she observed:

"Americans care more about each other’s reproductive behavior than they care about each other’s children."

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June 04, 2006

My Answer To The Question

This is my first post here at Purple Women™ and I wanted to introduce myself and my writing style by starting off answering one of the questions Teri posed in her intro email : how do you answer the question, ‘ do you have kids?’

Really, there are only so many ways you CAN answer that, right? However, when I’m feeling snappish and want a fun reaction (which, honestly, is quite often), the way I like to answer it is to wrinkle my nose and gasp, “Oh GOD no…no way…not ever…nuh-uh!!” like they just asked if I liked to stick cute puppies with forks.

The reactions I get are priceless. Some people think I’m kidding. Some probably think I’m drunk. Most people are scared and have expressions mixed with confusion and sheer horror - especially women holding the hand of a small child. You can tell they want to whisk their little lamb away from me, covering their ears and shielding them from the spitting baby-hater. Run, before she eats your child!

But I’m really not a baby-hater. I like babies. I’ve even worked at two different daycares – on purpose! I’m a genuinely good person with a big heart, and, in general, kids like me - I’m a great play pal. The difference is, I don’t want one cramming their head through any of my orifices or sticking their chocolate-covered fingers on my television screen every night. (I do that one enough, myself.)

Since I was a child myself, I’ve known that I want to remain childfree. I have emotional reasons. I have societal reasons. I have drool, poop, and booger reasons. It’s just something that I know about Myself. It’s something I’ve always known about Myself.

And, ya know, I kinda like that ‘Myself’ person. She’s a pretty neat gal.

I think I’ll take her word for it.

New Childfree Contributors

This month, we welcome two new contributors.

Chase recently discovered our blog and has one of her own called Taste the World. She hails from the mid-Western part of the United States. So we now have women spanning across North America and a two duo-citizens offering a British and Columbian perspectives.

Isabel has been super busy with her business. She is a dual Colombian-Canadian citizen, this entrepreneur has combined her passion with her business acumen in establishing Ethnia Imports. The proceeds from the sales of her hand-crafted accessories support South American women, who are often single, sole-support mothers. Women helping women is a good thing.

I am thrilled these Purple WomenTM will be adding their unique voices and perspectives to the mix here, and we look forward to their introductory posts.

Some of our contributors are simply new to blogging and the blogosphere. It is not for everyone, so naturally we will have some turn-over. Some will be more prolific than others, and that's okay. All voices are valued here. My thanks to everyone for giving it a try!

I recently added a tool for contributors and readers alike. You can subscribe to Purple Women! Simply type your email in the box located in the sidebar. New posts will go directly to the email you designate -- batched once a day. It's a great notification tool. You still have to check back at the blog to read comment acitivity.

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Happy Childfree Day!

Please enjoy this prose in honor of World Childfree Day; some fine words for us all to reflect upon: a poem, a limerick, a kone and a haiku or two for you!

In the cradle
my lap
Big Cat
-- Teri

There once was a woman who declared,
Motherhood? I'd rather be paired
with a man who could see
the person behind the belly
and value of what we have shared.
-- LauraS

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 WomenTM.

-- Teri

My daughter
Not a mom
Still a woman smiling

-- Anonymous

A quiet house
Me time, Us time, Grown-up time
The sweet silence
-- Tiara Lynn

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June 01, 2006

World Childfree Day - A Reminder

World Childfree Day is always the first Sunday in June. What are you doing this weekend to celebrate?

This holiday won't get you a day off work and you aren't going to see it on calendars anytime soon, but it does give one cause to pause. That's what holidays are for. To make you stop and think. You can thank our like-minded friends Down Under for coming up with the idea.

On May 1st, I challenged Purple WomenTM to write a haiku (form of poetry from Japan, but any kind, even a limerick, will do!) in honour of the holiday. If you'd like to participate, send it directly to me in an email so I can compile them and post them together on Sunday, June 4, 2006!

Here is a sneak preview of a haiku shared by blogger Tiara Lynn:

A quiet house
Me time, Us time, Grown-up time
The sweetest silence

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Purple Women: Mission Statement

This month marks the first anninversary of Purple WomenTM. The first blog post was on June 30, 2005.

Our focus has crystallized over time. It's been quite a learning curve, with some successes and mistakes along the way. There is so much to learn about blogging, and it evolves daily. It's getting better all the time, as is our blog -- and it's great to be a part of this team!

In the process of learning how to recruit and motivate new contributors, Ground Rules were established (these apply to visitors and contributors alike and can be found at the top of the sidebar), and a Guidelines of Participation document was created for use as a recruiting tool. I'd like to share the Purple WomenTM mission statement:

Our mission is to. . .

  • create a community of online friends (that means keep it friendly!)
  • manifest a socially significant dialogue about being childfree, and. . .
  • unite Purple WomenTM in an effort to
  • clarify who and what we are in society, our institutions and families, and
  • influence others beyond the blogosphere.
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