From time to time, I hear from a Purple Woman. I have been encouraging women to connect with me by sharing my email, with promise of a PW button mailed in return. One reader inspired this reply:
Thanks for writing to me. I really enjoy hearing from a reader directly. It motivates me. You are lucky to have found a Purple Man, of course, I assume. He could have children from a previous marriage. You mention that your retort to those who ask The Question (Do You Have Children?) is an innocent, "I was blessed with infertility!" That is a very safe response, and can engender pity. I too discovered myself unable to have kids in my early 20s. I didn't want to travel that path, but it took me a long time to embrace the happiness that can be found in walking the less traveled childfree path.
When there is not a reason, like a fertility issue that childed others can get their minds around, it is difficult for them to grasp the idea that an adult would choose this life. The mainstream media has focused on these individuals first, but now the coverage is starting to broaden. Their questions are getting better. I was contacted by a grad student reporter who claimed to be doing an article for the New York Times and he wanted to focus on those who we call the early articulators. I tried to tell him there is way more to the story than that. We didn't do the interview.
Such a foreign idea, that one who is able to have kids and does not wish to do so, can make a person of strong faith, regardless of denomination, defensive of their scripture. Not everyone has the same grasp on religion; interpretations can vary. There are childfree church-goers, to use a convenient Christian term. We have had two bloggers associated with our blog who have covered this religious aspect of our existence. In fact, Shelley, our Regular Contributor, leads a bible group for childfree couples at her congregation.
The misunderstanding is not just founded in religious belief. The concept that an adult can and would choose to take a step away from "what we were put here to do," as one relative put it to me, goes against their personal belief in the rightness of their actions, and reveals that they believe their "truth" applies to all others.
I did not mean to write so much. But, in truth, there is so much to talk about. That's why I started this blog two years ago!
P.S. I really only meant to say, yes, we still have more Purple Woman! buttons and I am mailing yours today.
Technorati Tag: Childfree