November 14, 2006

The Invisible Childfree

Earlier, I posted about how the childfree by choice are missed on the U.S. Census. I invite you to start noticing the categories in your local newspaper, either online or the messy newsprint version. If you had a regular column about your Unscripted (also the name of the newest childfree ezine) childfree life, what category or section of the publication would your article appear in?

I’ve had the same problem trying to get women-centric websites to include our flavor of the month. We just don’t seem to fit. Woman = mother, right? Wrong.

I tried to fit Purple Women & Friends, a team blog by, for, and about women who are childfree, into these limited categories recently:

Arts & Entertainment
Food and Wine
Health & Fitness
News and Opinion
Shopping and Style

The vendor’s name is withheld because they are providing a free service and all this blogosphere stuff is so new, they need some time to work out the inefficiencies. I did send them this email:

“Thanks in advance for your assistance with assigning categories for our team blog. I am sure this will help us with our…stats.

Selecting the appropriate categories has proven more difficult than I expected. We are a childfree blog, so I was hoping for something like Lifestyle or Family. In my mind Parenting would fall under this more inclusive heading. In lieu, I select the following categories that you offered:

Health & Fitness (we cover women's health issues related to contraception and reproduction)
News and Opinion (we track childfree portrayals in popular media and in the news, and of course offer our opinion)
Travel (childfree travel tips will be a new feature going forward, against the flow, off-peak tips, etc.)

If I could add a category or two these would help editors find our blog which is very women-centric and topic-focused. If I understand correctly, they are rather limited for now and also restricted to three categories, yes?

Women and Women's Issues
Book Reviews
Family & Lifestyle

Fitting in is really at the core of our experience as childfree in a world where everyone assumes you are a parent. Thanks again for your help, and you make me feel that I did the right thing in alerting you.
Teri Tith”

We’re not really Purple, we look just like everyone else, but for crying out loud – we are not invisible!

[Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on
November 2, 2006by Dan Kamminga ]

Technorati Tag:


AlphaGirl said...

For me, it isn't about "fitting into" a rigidly-defined category as much as it is about feeling content with myself, my life and my choice. I have no control over how others/the media choose to categorize my lifestyle, so I don't pay any attention. The goal should be to have our voices heard, regardless of how we are sorted and labeled.

LauraS said...

None of these categories are a perfect fit for the childfree. I resist the idea that my choice is a "lifestyle" choice. I remain childfree not because I want to live a particular lifestyle; more accurately, I am childless by choice because it's a natural expression of my being.
Maybe they should add a category titled "Humans Being."