July 14, 2006

Taking a Stand

“What is your book about?”

The working title is Purple WomenTM and it’s about women who are childfree.

“How will your book help someone who reads it?”

It’s part myth-buster and part validation, hopefully educational and entertaining all at once. We’ve been exploring a lot of issues on a team blog I created. (Blah, blah, blog, then back to the book...)

“What issues?”

(Did you hear that can open?)

Well for example, childfree women, whether they like it or not, find themselves at the center of controversy. And, I am not just talking about the religious right.

In many European countries, such as Italy and England, populations are in decline and the governments are starting to take notice. So is the media. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed nation that does not have a declining population replacement rate. This is not just a women's issue, that’s why everybody makes it their business.

Our status as childfree adults in the modern world is controversial socially, morally, and economically, depending on who you are talking to - pick an institution.
The family. Parents can be heavily invested in becoming grandparents. The church. Is “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:1) an ultimatum or a blessing? Big Brother. Government depends on a steady tax base. Hmmmm. Are you getting the picture?

Don’t even get me started on how we are portrayed in the popular media. We are so often portrayed in a negative light, I don’t even notice anymore. Purple WomenTM are the forgotten women. We’re not really purple, we look just like everyone else. We blend in just fine until we open our mouths. And that is what we must do, even if we don’t agree on everything under the sun. This book will help childfree adults do that. Men need to step up to the podium too.

I don’t expect the childfree to form a new political party or vote the same way, but I’d like more people to know who and what we are, what we contribute and the thoughtfulness and thought processes that we should be given credit for. I don’t want my life prescribed.

“Who is going to read your book?”

It’s for younger women who need know more about the option to remain childfree, women who are surprised to find themselves childfree (circumstances, not choice), and it’s also for the trail blazers who’ve already been down this path.

The most important audience is: the people who know and love them (childfree women), not to mention the clueless people you meet at backyard barbeques and baby showers, and your ex-friends. The ones who make assumptions. My book will help both sides of the conversation. I envision helpful tips in each section, and portraits of Purple WomenTM who are inspiring. Lots of quotes. Maybe some interesting hypothetical dialogue.

“What are your key messages?”

Adult does not equal parent.
That would be one.

Last month, I completed a study that 213 childfree women living in Canada and the U.S. participated in. There's a lot of wisdom there.

“You’ve got to take a stand,” said the smart lady, who later revealed to me she is purple.

I’ll be keeping her words in mind as I read, research and write. Feel free to weigh in on a subject you feel strongly about.

Next post: Selfish or Focused?

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Robin said...

Sounds fantastic and you have some great focus there. I especially like the part about adult doesn't equal parent!

Teri said...

Hey, how about a bumper sticker:

Adult ≠ Parent
Think it over, don't assume.

kT said...

Or, as someone I know put it, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Personally, I'm annoyed by all of the assumptions, but I keep quiet too often because I just don't want to get into the debate. I spent a few hours in a car with a group of people this weekend -- educated, intelligent, thoughtful, and kind people -- who assumed that I was looking for a husband with whom to have children. And I feel bad that I didn't correct them.

I look forward to the book.

CarpeWritem said...

Great blog! Sounds like taking a stand is exactly what you're doing. It's certainly not a complaint, but a good way to help the media and society navigate the long road towards the realization of a simple choice. Stand firm, be proud.