January 31, 2007

Childfree Pur-spective

I just had to create a post to go with this amazing photo. Purple has many shades, and this one may arguably be fushia (a favorite color of mine) but it does lend itself well to an abstract post about perspective, or pur-spective.

As Purple WomenTM we view the world differently than our parent counterparts. We make different decisions, from the decision not to become a mother, to the things we buy and the people we vote for. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) created a huge guffaw earlier this month with her comment about how U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's childfree status as a woman affected her judgment about the U.S. war in Iraq. I think Barbara got caught saying what a lot of people really do think about intentionally childfree adults.

Do childfree women value human life any life less because we do not have children?
That's just silly thinking. Consider for a moment that this kind of thinking is backed up in the highest places in our institutions, church and state. Apparently, no one came to Condoleeza's aid at the time of infraction. After all, she is a woman who can defend herself. She chose not to get defensive. Real classy, regardless of what you think of her politics. The childfree choice found unexpected defenders on the conservative side of the page as Jennifer L. Shawne, author of the book Baby Not on Board, details nicely on her corresponding blog (January 14 post).

Barbara's comment sheds light on how childfree individuals are viewed in society. Compare it to the status of the home-owner vs. a renter.
Childfree men and women are viewed as short-term tenants in this life, however far from the truth that may be. Parents are viewed as more committed for the long haul, that next generation.
I don't think an apology is coming at this point, so Barbara got away with "her bad" and will only benefit from the press. As they say in show business, even bad press is better than no press. Beth over at The Blue Star Chronicles does a nice job of summing up the buzz this incident created on the Internet.

This is just politics as usual. If you cannot handle the personal attacks, don't get into politics. I am glad Condoleeza didn't give the press the cat fight they were looking for.

Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on August 4, 2006 by Steve took it

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January 29, 2007

Life by Chance

by Sharon Mollerus, Guest Contributor
Blog Author, Educator, Parent & Grandparent
Blog: Clairity

Teri has graciously invited me to offer a guest post to this childfree blog, and I am honored to be the first parent to write here. Our "meeting" was by chance. She chose to include a photograph of mine to illustrate companionship, a lovely scene of an older couple that I caught as I was walking by. After learning of the context of this site, I gave my snitty reaction to the word "childfree" on the post titled Childfree Senior.

The term "childfree" is more deliberate, I think, than the word "childless". A couple we are very close to is childless, by circumstance rather than choice. I have often felt pained when in my friend's presence someone asked a pointed question about her family status. People can be particularly rude about personal issues of parenting, whether asking invasive questions about a pregnancy, offering some condescending advice on childcare or commenting on how many children one has. Couples without children are also often subjected to some judgment about their ability to parent.

Women in particular are tired of being valued for a role rather than for themselves. The word "childless" emphasizes the lack, as if having children were necessary to complete a person.
However, the word "childfree" to my ears is a pejorative of a different kind. It reduces children to the category of burden. For a parent (even on our worst days), the idea that a kid is no more than some category of trouble is the flip side to the insult that women can be valued only as breeders. I don't have an alternative to offer for this term designating family "status" (even that word "status" is a problem) which would offer full respect to both women and children.

I have been married 25+ years and have had three children and two grandchildren. My first daughter Claire was premature and died after fifty days. Our second daughter is adopted. In answer to prayer, an unforeseen opportunity arose, and we said yes on very short notice. Our third daughter was born to us a year later just after my husband started medical school. I would never answer those questions and assumptions about which were "planned" and why we had "stopped at two". Each person’s life is too mysterious for such calculations.

As a writer, I love schedules. I have times for teaching, housework, prayer; then I guard those blocks for solitary writing. There are quiet evenings with my husband (we are just now empty-nesters) and noisy ones with friends.
Still, I find that the real stuff happens in the margins and spills out of bounds. I would have nothing to write about if it were only what I had planned for my life.
From hard experience I have learned that easy relationships are not always the most valuable. Naturally we pad our lives with comforts and bar the door against misfortune, but we can also risk to miss the best part. I like to leave something to chance.

[Photo above: Originally uploaded to Flickr on November 30, 2005 by kool_skatkat.]

[About Sharon: Sharon Mollerus is an English instructor at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She is a poet and photographer and blogger. She has two children, two grandchildren and a husband of 25+ years.]

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January 26, 2007

Compliments on a Childfree Choice

Several weeks ago, my husband and I went to lunch with some friends after church. This has become somewhat of a regular routine, particularly with one couple whom we have gotten close to. This particular Sunday there were 3 other families involved and we met at a Wendy's/Tim Horton's. The guys sat at one table, the ladies at another, with the kids in between. Most of the kids were school-age while the youngest sat with her dad (she was under 2 years old). When the mother of the 2 youngest kids sat down with us ladies, she looked at me and said,

"You're the smartest woman at this table." We looked at her curiously for what she meant and she responded, "For your decision not to have kids."
I was a bit surprised as it's quite unusual for a parent to make a comment like that. She didn't mean at all that she didn't love her own children. Rather she was acknowledging that having children can be difficult at times and making the choice not to have them is valid. Situations like these seem to be rare and it was encouraging to be complimented on the choice I had made.

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January 25, 2007


Last week, I put up a post flogging myself publicly for deleting a dissenting opinion comment that had initially annoyed me. Today, I found it intact. I had not deleted the comment at all!

Not only am I Purple, I am human and I make mistakes. Here is the comment I could not find last week:

"Creative Commons is about sharing. So is having children, by the way, although some suffer for the loss of that gift. I don't subscribe to your negative message, but I share regardless, as God does with us his creation. *clairity*"
This comment was left on the post titled Childfree Senior by LauraS (September 2, 2005), not on Friendships by Twiga92 (November 18, 2005)!

I have invited Clairity, whose lovely picture I found on Flickr and used to illustrate the original post, to contribute a Guest Post. She would be our first parent to do so. Let's see if she is willing to share further.

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Language, Language

Our language is male-centric. Our society is child-centered. Mardy S. Ireland, PhD, sociologist and author of the book: Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood from Female Identity, believes that the female experience and unconscious are not fully represented in our language. No duh!

She further believes that...

"...only through writing, can women claim their own destinies."
Purple WomenTM and their friends are doing it right here. That's what this blog is for. Creating our own definition, our own color nomenclature, is empowering, and so is writing about our experience. Perhaps that's why there are so many women bloggers -- mommy or not.

Childfree women have a challenge or two in carving their own niche. We are all so different in our interests, our hobbies and our pursuits. This fact always amazes me when I get together (yes, in person) with a group of childfree women. I'll give you this: we are not boring. We are the rebels, the third wave feminists (intentional or not), exploring the outer reaches of what it is to be female.

In what way are you a rebel?

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January 24, 2007


By AlphaGirl, Guest Contributor
Blog Author: Childfree: Uncut. Unedited. Uncensored.

I have always been aware of and sensitive to my environment and setting. As a child, my friends and I would build forts and tree houses, where we would role-play, draw, read or just hang out away from adults. We all loved the way the setting and the environment supported us as we made our way in the world. It was our retreat, hideaway, gathering spot, and its walls held many of our stories and secrets. As adults, my friends and I have turned our individual homes and apartments into our own sanctuaries.

As human beings, we all want to create environments and settings that support who we are now, as well as who we want to become.
The office space decorated with personal items to remind us of life outside of work, the personal items in our cars that turn it from an impersonal vehicle to our very own sweet ride, the home our apartment decorated to meet our individual needs for noise level, light, and activity.

Let’s look at some other environments that are not of our making. The waiting room at the Dr.’s or OB-GYN’s office. Our neighborhood or townhouse/condo/apartment complex. Our favorite food joint. The waiting area and consult room at the shrink’s office. What are the messages that are conveyed in these environments? Are they welcoming, judgmental, neutral, or ambiguous? Specifically, what do these and other settings say to you as a childfree person? Are you welcome there, or do you find yourself wondering what the heck you’re doing there, and wondering whether or not you are “seen” in that environment.

Two personal examples: A friend of mine switched OB-GYN’s after many years of seeing the same doctor. She got fed up with the cradle-laden, baby-photo decorated waiting room and exam rooms. D was childfree before the term was invented, and she got sick of the very pro-baby messages in that setting. She saw her OB-GYN quite a lot for various health problems, so her alienation was understandable. She also wondered how a childless woman would feel in that setting. “Do we not count?” D asked me one night on the phone.

I had scheduled a series of counseling appointments after being knocked silly by a string of personal setbacks. The counselor was competent enough, but the consult rooms at the counseling center were decorated like a child’s bedroom: Toys, blocks, rocking chairs, teddy bears, dollhouse figurines, and stuffed animals. I half-expected a pig-tailed, shrill little girl to burst through the door at any moment and demand that I get out of her room! “No grown-ups allowed!” The setting’s message was quite clear. I just could not get comfortable there; I don’t particularly enjoy being in child-centric settings anyway, (Well, OK ….not at all) but especially not while airing my dirty laundry. So I reached for my bootstraps and beat it out of there. I did, of course, explain my trepidations before leaving.

What settings do you find yourself in?

Are you comfortable there?

What steps are you willing to take to make sure your environment supports you in living a full, happy, childfree life?

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January 22, 2007

Children Before Lovers

I was in my boss's office the other day when I saw she had what must have been 20-30 framed pictures of her children across a cabinet but I could not find one picture of her husband. After a sarcastic comment about "have enough pictures" I asked why there wasn't one of her husband?

She showed me a picture of him on her desk that was smaller than any of the other pictures of her children and was from their wedding twenty years ago. To me this seemed as if her children were more important than her husband and that was depressing to me.

This is a man she married and decided to make one of the biggest commitments with by having children with but once they were around he was pushed aside. Maybe I'm making too big of a deal about this but to me I don't see why it has to change everything.

Obviously a child needs more attention than an adult but to keep a happy union it can require a lot of work and maybe that's why so many marriages don't last after they have children. My relationship is one of the most important things in my life and I'd hate for that to fall by the wayside. Maybe it's selfish but I don't want to sacrifice the very best thing in my life.

[Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on January 17, 2007 by Tixu Oty]

January 18, 2007

This Just In

Chris Hernandez and Josie Vickers have put up a new site, complete with bookstore, forum and blog. I look forward to reading future posts, and the possibility of collaboration on the topic of being childfree.

Their site,
ChildfreeChoice.com, was launched on New Year's Day.

Please pay these Purple WomenTM a visit. Drop us a line and let us know what you think of the new entry into the childfree space online! (I am sure they'd love to hear from you too.)

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January 17, 2007

The Sandbox

If you are going to play in the sandbox, you have to play by the rules.

Madame M posted recently on the art of disagreeing, as it applies to the blogosphere:
If You Have Nothing Nice to Say. One of her commenters felt that opinions were open game but criticizing lifestyles was off limits. This team blog is by, for, and about women who are childfree.

The whole underlying point of our blog is that our lifestyle is acceptable, despite the reactions we get in a child-centric society.

M eloquently writes:

"...as adults, the ability to think critically, criticize, form your own opinions, and try to influence or create awareness in others is a prized and necessary, not reviled, skill."
So, when is it okay to delete a comment as a blog administrator/owner?

A woman left a comment on Twiga's November post titled Friendships saying that she did not approve of "our message". It made me wonder what she thought our message was. Did she think we are recruiting others to be childfree? Maybe she thinks all women should be mothers.

I had used this woman's Creative Commons-licensed image to illustrate the post, properly thanked and attributed. I deleted her comment. Its condescending tone annoyed me, perhaps because she was criticizing our lifestyle. Perhaps it was her additional, and unnecessary dig about how "having children is all about sharing", and that she begrudgingly agreed for me to use the picture despite disapproving of "our message". I offer her a public apology.

Her comment made me reflect on what our true messages are, and whether or not you can decipher them when you land on our front page. They include:
  • Woman does not equal mother.
  • I'm okay, you're okay.
  • Think it over (parenthood is a choice).
  • Infertility does not have to end in misery.
  • Childfree adults are an important part of "the village".
The Ground Rules of engagement are in the sidebar, yet I always feel I should let readers know why a comment was deleted. I may have erred in this case. It would have been interesting to see what dialogue flowed from her comment. Creating dialogue is what blogging is all about.

[Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on November 25, 2006 by joguldi.]

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January 16, 2007


Pediaphobia is the fear of children and I wonder how many people that are childfree have a similar fear? When I first saw this term when putting together a post for my blog on "phobias" I couldn't help but consider the fact that I may have some kind of trepidation when it comes to children.

I suppose a big part of it may be because I haven't spent a significant amount of time with a child since my brother was one and he's 22 years old now. All my little cousins live thousands of miles away from me and none of my local friends that I see regularly have had children.

When I see a child in a store I tend to avoid the kid as much as possible because I figure I might accidentally run into then since they tend to be in a blind spot. I rarely pick up babies because they are like a foreign animal to me. In fact, the only small creature I am comfortable around is a cat, not even a dog.

I had a party over the summer that my friend brought his 2 young boys with him. I was so nervous the entire time that one of them would get hurt or something. In fact, the 2 year old ended up tripping on the still not finished hardwood flooring and started wailing. That instance only heightened my nervousness and I had my eye on him the rest of the party.

So whether it's something I was born with or just the fact I have such little interaction with the small people I'll just continue to avoid them as much as possible. I know, easier said than done but we do the best that we can.

[Photo: Originallly uploaded to Flickr on December 27, 2006 by Gizmo_Gun.]

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January 15, 2007

Blazing a Purple Trail

Thus far, more than a dozen Purple WomenTM and one man have put up 264 posts since the inception of this blog.

The blog founder (that's me, The Purple Woman, as I shall be known going forward) has endeavored to keep it interesting and topical, serious and polite, and to network and fiddle as much as she can to improve the readability of this offering. The rewards are in the comments alone, and the readership is growing.

MyBlogLog just announced that they are being bought by Yahoo! It will just get bigger and better. It's a great way to get to know the readers of this blog and discover what other blogs they read.
(See the Recent Readers box in the sidebar.) The goal of this site has never been to make money; it was designed as a platform to launch my book project. First we are building readership and a purple community.

Contributors Wanted
Here, we encourage dialogue, and diversity in perspective and voice. Currently, our Regular Contributors are all Americans. Due to the global nature of this publishing medium we have an international readership. We need to open up the dialogue a little, culturally speaking.

Purple WomenTM from our readership, who have an idea for a story, are invited to contribute a Guest Post. Please email Teri . We'd love to hear from you, regardless of where you hang your purple hat.
You can remain anonymous, of course, and you can also use it as a platform to promote your own blog. Pretty neat, huh? Let me know if you're interested and I'll forward the guidelines. In particular, I'd like to hear from my Purple sisters abroad and from a parent.

Recently, I had the priveledge of meeting
M, as she goes in the blogosphere. She wrote an excellent post on her personal blog this week called Bowling Alone, but Blogging Together. She will be our next Guest Contributor.

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January 14, 2007

Vegas or Bust!

Thinking of getting away? The site of the 6th annual Childfree Convention will be in Las Vegas. Purple WomenTM will not regret attending this fun weekend with new friends. It's always nice to have a local host and the members of the Nevada chapter of No Kidding! have invited us back.

Halloween chills and thrills are promised on the dates of October 25-28, 2007. Activities usually include a welcome reception, small group dinner outing sign ups, and a dress up night. I'll be bringing my golf clubs and staying off the Strip.

Registration will open in the spring, but save the date.

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January 12, 2007

Just Purple

Now that I am going by the honorific, The Purple Woman, people often assume it's my favorite color. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I have had to work very hard to find a purple that I look decent in (for the book tour of course). There are many shades.

Since I lived in San Francisco, there is an inordinate amount of basic black in my wardrobe. I am definitely not a lavender gal. I like neutrals, as well as big bold splashes of color. I dress to how I want to be treated. And sometimes I just don't care.

Purple is a fun color, with many associations. Mostly, I thought that calling my blog and book Purple WomenTM
would make people curious. If someone is curious, they'll pick up a book and read a blog post. After attending my first ever blogger conference last summer, [picture at left] I changed the name to Purple Women & Friends to encourage broader audience participation.

"Friends" could be parents and they could be men, and they could be young adults on the fence about whether or not to have kids. The important thing is to think about it.

Recently, a friend treated me to an artisan fair featuring native American works, including pottery, silver jewelry with turquoise and other semi-precious stones. I was surprised to discover a purple stone called sugalite. It's from the cradle of Africa. Simply gorgeous shades of purple stones. Some day, I plan to own a piece made with one.

I also met a painter named John Balloue. The Waxlander Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico features his art. It was fun to speak to the artist about his work. He reminded me that colors also represent emotions and energy. His modern pieces really capture this.

So, no, purple is not my favorite color...but it is a useful one.

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January 11, 2007



There have been people in my life who believe that I will someday regret my decision to remain childfree.

I’m forty-five and I have yet to feel even a tinge of regret. So it seems unlikely, but who knows? Perhaps at sixty or seventy I will regret not having children, but I suspect it will be the same kind of regret that I feel about the fact that I did not take some time off after graduating college to tour Europe.
Last night in a small group of non-parents, we were joking about how we’ve come to regard our childfree states. I said I still describe myself as childless, by choice. Laughing, he said, "I’m childless, by lucky."
At the time, I didn’t have any money to spare and the prospect of Europe on $10.00 a day, hitch-hiking and bedding down in tents and hostels, didn’t appeal to me.

So while my friends were touring Europe, I went straight into the work place and I was self-employed as a fashion sales agent by the time I was twenty-five years old. Financially, I was in pretty good shape. I took pride in the fact that I owned my own business, I had no debts and a car bought for cash. Only after my marriage at age twenty-six did I start to travel the world.

A part of me regrets not taking some time off to follow my friends to Europe or to work on a cruise ship and travel the world for a year or two. But, in retrospect, I’m glad I made the choices I did. They were the right choices for me at the time and I have reaped rich rewards from the experience of struggling as a small business owner.

I suspect the same will be true of any regrets I may have about not having children. Motherhood undoubtedly would have been an interesting and challenging experience too, one that I might have taken great pride and delight in. However, when I look back, there was so much I was able to do as a non-parent that I cherish. I can’t imagine my life any other way.

An acquaintance of mine is close to sixty. Many years ago, he and his wife had hoped to have a baby. She became pregnant and miscarried. Was there regret? Of course.

However, with time he’s come to see that, perhaps, it was meant to be. Last night in a small group of non-parents, we were joking about how we’ve come to regard our childfree states. I said I still describe myself as childless, by choice. Laughing, he said, "I’m childless, by lucky."

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Childfree News

Three items of note this week:

Purple Thins?
Interesting Forbes article about how parents eat more fats and tend to be heavier than those who are not parents. Well, if you consider what most kids eat, that's a no brainer. Aieeeee! They refer to us as childless instead of childfree. How tacky.

New CF Project
Childfree Issues is a new website underway by No Kidding! spokeswoman LT. I have joined its corresponding blog as a contributor. The focus is childfree advocacy. No - that does not mean "recruiting others to be childfree" as the pro-natal mindset might assume. Currently, the dialogue is about workplace compensation, specifically employee benefits packages.

Unscripted: The Childfree Life, the new ezine for people of the purple persuasion needs writers. I met the editor, Martha Kneib, at the childfree festival in Toronto last year. She is a professional and she will edit your story. She improved my editorial in this month's issue quite a bit: "Reproductive Choice or No Choice?"

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January 10, 2007

Bust Magazine

The gorgeous ladies at Bust have added our blog to their Girl Wide Web directory of cool things online. Look for us under the heading Women of Every Color!

They featured a stellar article on the topic of childfree in their January 2007 issue, the one with Parker Posey on the cover, written by Judy McGuire. Judy put together an intelligent, well-researched piece called Newborn Free. Story on page 66.

"Women who choose not to have kids are mad as hell at people continuously passing judgment on their lives and bodies, and they're not gonna take it any more."
-- Judy McGuire
The interview took place just before we moved home to California. I'll be honest. I had never even heard of this rag before I was invited to be a part of the story. Now I'm a subscriber.

My two pull quotes:
"And Toronto resident, Teri Tith, 41, founder of the politer, gentler childfree blog Purple Women says she started her site because she 'was on a personal journey and didn't want to feel alone.'

"Tith reports, 'About 10, 15 years ago I went to the library and looked up 'childfree/childless' and found nothing,' but these days the shelves are stocked."

A sidebar to the article featured www.BadButtons.com where you can get cheeky chilfree pins for your lapel. Founder Kate Black, 28, writes "Anything that encourages intellectualism in pop culture is a good thing." I think that describes Bust pretty well too.

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January 08, 2007

Meeting Other Purple Folk

It takes a little effort. They don't hang out a purple shingle. By now, you know that you are a minority. You don't have to watch daytime TV or shop at a discount warehouse to know you're out-numbered by parents.

At a certain age, you realize your friends are having babies and they don't have as much time to invest in your friendship, or they just aren't as much fun with toddler in tow. So, how to meet childfree people like you? It doesn't "take a village"; it takes an effort.

Here's a few ideas to start you off in the right direction for the New Year:

Purple WomenTM may want to look up the nearest No Kidding! (yes, it's appropriate to put the exclamation mark on the name, but don't ask me why) chapter. It's an international social club for childfree adults. There are 90 chapters around the globe. You can also start one near you.

This same organization holds an annual event, sometimes called a convention and sometimes called a Childfree Festival, but always a lot of fun and a good way to meet other Purple people. Not only did I attend my first one last summer, I helped to coordinate it as I was very active in my local Toronto, Canada chapter. The organizers just announced that the 2007 event will be in Las Vegas, October 25-28 if you want to mark your calendar. More details at www.nokiddingconvention.com. Hey, who needs an excuse to visit Lost Wages?!

Now that I am back stateside, I am taking my own advice and coordinating my first ever MeetUp group -- the SF Bay Area Childfree MeetUp. I am coordinating my own group to be sure it meets my own selfish (ahhhh, there's that horrible word applied to childfree people!) need to get out and discover places I've never been in the Bay Area. That's partly because I want to make sure that I am visiting cool venues, yet undiscovered by me, which are not located in the burbs where we've settled. Our first outing, a dinner at Jack London Square along the Oakland harborfront, was last night. I was thrilled that 14 people out of the 16 expected showed up. And, I got to meet The Fixed Kitty (The Adult Child-free Space poscaster) personally. Scholastically she is a biologist, and by trade she is a photographer...with a voice of honey.

[Why all the flattery? The Fixed Kitty is planning to feature me, the Purple Woman, on her podcast in the near future. Stay tuned!]

This is my first experience using MeetUp.com and the service is not free. It costs USD$45.00 per quarter for the use of their site and software, so it's a bit of an investment. So is the time to coordinate it -- as is any volunteer endeavour. I feel the investment in my social life and personal network is worth it.

At our first gathering, I learned about an adult-space movie theater in Berkeley, California: Parkway Speakeasy Theater, a "picture, pub and pizza" joint that is for those age 21 and over only. They serve real drinks. That tip alone was worth the effort! My husband and I plan to see a movie there soon.

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The Queen is Childfree!

Well, not really, but Dame Helen Mirren, the actress, who plays one on the silver screen was interviewed on 60 Minutes last night.

When asked if she ever regretted not having children replied, "Absolutely not!"
Helen is a Purple Woman; childfree and not apologetic about it. She plays Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen", currently being shown in theaters across the U.S.

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January 01, 2007

Media and Motherhood

According to a recent CNN report Angelina Jolie loves being a Mom, but she has no plans to marry Brad Pitt, the father of the most recent addition to her brood.

"We've both been married before, so it's not marriage that necessarily kept some people together. We are legally bound to our children, not to each other, and I think that's the most important thing," said Jolie.

Personally, I respect Jolie as an actress and I respected her decision to adopt rather than wait for the perfect opportunity to have a biological child. However, I can’t help but feel a bit puzzled by the fact that the media embraces famous women who chose to have children but choose not to marry, while continuing to negatively portray women who choose to marry but choose not to have kids.

The rumor that Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston because Aniston didn’t want to start a family was false but irrestitably juicy media fodder, forcing Aniston on her counter-offensive media tour to say, in a interview with Vanity Fair, “I’ve always wanted to have children.”

Apparently, it’s a crime for Jennifer Aniston to be married to Brad Pitt and delay the prospect of giving birth to the much-anticipated Hollywood Golden Child, but it’s okay for Jolie to be an intentional single mom.

As we enter 2007, the 35-year anniversary of the first edition of Ellen Peck’s controversial book The Baby Trap, the media continues to engage in what Peck called “Babysell.”

“…The media have built up a “motherhood mystique” that at times verges on the hysterical,” wrote Peck back in 1972. Her book influenced a whole generation of childfree folks in the early seventies by exposing the pitfalls of parenting and “The Media Trap.”

“…TV images continue to glorify children, to try to entrap those of us out here who are still free and if I seem to be emphasizing only the negative side of the picture (and I freely admit that this is the case) it is in an attempt to achieve a certain perspective in the face of all the overblown media glorification of maternity. If I am emphasizing only the problems, it is because the media, which should show the problems, do not.”
Over thirty years later this still seems to be the case. Oh sure, you can point to TV shows like Roseanne and Married With Children and and say, “hey, here are media portrayals of less than perfect kids and families,” and, yes, that is an improvement over the Opies and Beaver Cleavers of the past. However, I will point out that these less-than-perfect kids were raised by comically disfunctional, fictional parents.

The real life stories brought to us by reality shows like Nanny 911 and Super Nanny are closer to what many parents experience but the media continues to peddle the idea that Hollywood Moms like Jolie experience something so profound and fulfilling in their roles as mothers that the prospect of marriage to Brad Pitt can’t compete.

The Media Trap is still in business.

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