More on childlessness
I really don't see the need to call it being "childfree". Anyway, the National Center for Health Statistics has finally realized that men's feelings about having children have some bearing on the actual practice of having children, and have decided to collect statistics on men's reproductive choices after having done so for women for 30 years. Salon is taking this as an opportunity to write about one of their pet topics, the choice to be permanently childless. In this case, the article is about men who decide to get vasectomies without ever having children, which is hands down the best choice for a single man or a couple who wants never to have children.
One thing I thought was odd about the whole thing was how the men who did this faced protests from people not because they were afraid that these men were robbing themselves of fatherhood, but because they were afraid that these men were somehow robbing women of motherhood. One man said that people told him he was hurting his future wife. Another's girlfriend actually argued that he was taking choices away from her. It's a good reminder in any case what reproductive choice means, which is the choice to maintain bodily intergrity. If it's a man's body and he doesn't want to be making sperm, that's his choice. If it's a woman's body and she does or does not want to be pregnant, that's her choice.
Anyway, one thing that bugged me a little about the article was the "childfree" people they interviewed. There is so much pressure to have children in our culture that those of us who wish not to feel like we have to come up with really extreme arguments to justify ourselves. And you get a big dose of that when they interview some of the people from No Kidding.
When they are out together and hear screeching kids, they give each other a knowing look and feel a sense of relief. Still, as the wedding approaches (where no kids are allowed, of course) Moran is all about keeping an open mind.
I sympathize with the desire to be aggressively anti-child in a world where it seems sometimes that everyone is turning gaga for the babies. When you're the weirdo, it's tempting to justify yourself by claiming some sort of superiority. But I flinched to read about the knowing looks (much less the wedding ban). I don't want other people to think I pity them for having children anymore than I want other people to give me a fakey pity for not having them. So let it be known that some of us deliberately childless people don't hate children. You can show us pictures of your baby and we will make coochie-coo noises.