27. “I used to judge child-free women…

by Belle

… Some people just don’t want to have children – how could I not see that?”

The title of Eleanor Tucker’s article in the Guardian yesterday say’s a lot and not much at all.

Do the procreators out there really sit around talking about those who don’t procreate. I for one don’t have time for that, maybe because 1. I have a life and 2. I don’t have kids. Glib.

As for the comments that followed, is there anything new in there?

For starters, I can relate to Tania26’s comment. She doesn’t have children. She can’t conjure them and a solid relationship out of thin air. She does believe children come from a solid relationship. Her life is somehow ‘lesser’, or at least considered lesser. And she does have a family, she wasn’t hatched out of the side of a rock. Well put Tania26. That all makes perfect sense to me.

As for the idiotic “You shouldn’t judge child-free women as you don’t know if they CAN have children…” What a crock. Don’t judge, full stop. The idea of a tip-toeing around a quiet tragedy, whether or not there is a quiet tragedy, is infuriating. Pity, with no exceptions that I know of, is insufferable and often offensive.

Do I have to state the obvious? Choice or otherwise we all deserve respect, recognition etc.

What if we child-free women (or men) judged and commented on those with-children. Should we dwell on their reasons for having children? Or, their parenting skills.

Some of the other comments following the article include observations like – “As a mother… condescending insight.” Or highlighting the “You’ll change your mind when you get older.” And “You obviously haven’t met the right man yet” nonsense that I hear far too frequently.

It’s good to see a few comments from men too. Auraboy’s “There is some pressure on guys to father children – but it doesn’t extend to outright questioning of your fundamental masculinity. About the only challenges I get are to explain that it’s not me ‘withholding’ children from my girlfriend – as if she must be desperately begging to breed and I am cruelly stringing Her along. About the only difference to our lives are friends with children don’t tend to invite us to play dates or events dedicated to children – but I think that’s just simply respecting that we have nothing to offer in that arena and would be endlessly bored. Luckily I guess we have better friends than the article writer – but then people who judge their friends so harshly probably aren’t really friends are they?” rings loud, clear and true.

I noticed recently that a very sincere ex colleague (male) has replaced asking me “So, isn’t it time you had kids…?” with “So, how is work?” As if that is all I do. He follows that by asking my friend “So, isn’t it time you had kids…?” She is in her early 30’s.

Biology, genetics, circumstances etc. are a part of life. The preconceptions, condescending judgements and disrespect we could all do without.