Archive for December 19th, 2010


In case anyone was wondering, this is what happens when I let my hair air dry, THEN brush it, instead of brushing it when wet. XD

I may have stated, once or twice, my general feelings about kids. But I don’t remember if I made an actual blog post about it, and so here is one for you.

A while back, I posted a link to a very good blog entry about Bolivia. That is, the entry was really about what it’s like to be a woman who has never particularly wanted children, and doesn’t even think about children that often, and yet the subject is such an insanely incendiary one for so many people that the blogger used the euphemism of “living in Bolivia” to mean having children. And it was a very clever choice, because it illustrated just how ridiculous the subject of having children has become, for those of us who have no inclination to do so.

It’s ridiculous that those of us who are Childless or Childfree By Choice (as opposed to the many people who would adore having their own children but are incapable for various reasons) feel the need to put disclaimers about how “we really don’t hate all kids” on our Facebook walls or forum posts because otherwise we get a barrage of insults, questions of our humanity and other ridiculous verbal assaults from people we barely know. You know what? I really don’t like most children under the age of eight or nine. There are very few children I like between the ages of nine and eighteen, although I tolerate them better when they’ve developed rudimentary conversation and logic skills. There are very few adults I choose to spend copious amounts of time with, in fact. Call me an inhuman monster if you want, but I can tell you right now that the thought of holding a newborn baby does not fill me with joy or anticipation. It fills me with terror. Not just terror that this proto-human I’m hypothetically holding might erupt in some way (noise, fluid, solid, whatever), but terror that I might harm its delicate body somehow, and THEN it’ll erupt and it’ll be my fault.

I’ve often wondered if there’s something wrong with me. The women in my general family all treat babies as gifts from heaven, especially my aunt (my mom’s older sister). She’s been fostering babies for decades, and every time one of her kids has a new baby she’s in heaven. My mother, when she comes to visit us, also generally enjoys the babies, although she isn’t as rapturous as her sister, she still cuddles them and feeds them and otherwise loves on them a lot. And I watch this behavior, and I wonder why it’s never been something I felt inclined to do. Both my parents adore children. My father is a pediatrician, for goodness’ sake, he spends his entire job taking care of very sick kids, and he often invites friends with young children or grandchildren to his house because he enjoys the company of kids. My mother has worked in the education field for most of my life (she’s not a teacher, but she still spends quite a lot of her time working with kids) and also loves kids. You’d think, with those genes and that influence, I’d be the most kid-loving person in the entire world. But I can’t stand the grand majority of kids.

This isn’t exactly a new development in my life, either. When I was a kid myself, most kids were mean to me, or ignored me. I have many memories of being told I was “too weird” to be friends with, or some other excuse. This didn’t exactly engender a feeling of goodwill toward other kids in me, and I spent a good deal of my childhood playing by myself, or, if I managed to get a friend, I would practically smother them with my attention (because invariably they were the only one I had at the time) until they fled from me. By the time I was a teenager, I was generally of the opinion that children were nasty little beasts who hated me as much as I hated them, and nothing could convince me otherwise. I think I babysat exactly once the entire time I was growing up, and it was such an unpleasant experience for me (the child was fine, I was just anxious as hell the entire night) that I never did it again. Anyone who made comments to me about watching their kids when I was in high school was swiftly informed that I was not a babysitter, knew nothing about kids and didn’t feel inclined to learn.

As I grew up, I began to understand that children weren’t all horrible, just like adults weren’t all horrible. There were good ones and bad ones, and for the most part I didn’t understand them, so I stayed away from them, and it worked for everyone. I think part of me was still sort of assuming that one day I would grow up, get married and have kids, because That’s What People Do (especially women, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate, apparently). I don’t think it was until a few years ago that I realized that no, I didn’t ever want to have children. Ever. EVER.

I don’t despise people who have kids. I do think that as a whole, we really need to stop having so many, because we’re crippling the planet and we’re going to run out of resources much sooner than we think. But I don’t walk down the street and tell pregnant women to get abortions. I don’t tell my friends and family who reproduce that they really shouldn’t have. It’s their life, and much like I don’t tell everyone to stop eating meat just because I’m a vegetarian, I don’t tell them to stop having kids just because I’m not having any. My opinions are my own, and if asked (or if I’m blogging) I will share them, but otherwise, I’m not an Evangelist trying to Save Parents from the Evils of Reproduction. If you want to have kids, then by all means, have kids. I mean, I’d prefer you only had like one or maybe two, for aforementioned environmental reasons, but again, it’s not my choice, and unless you ask, I’m not going to tell you to stop reproducing. Part of being a pro-choice person is being aware that reproductive freedom means that some women are going to have way more kids than I think prudent, just like free speech means people I despise can go around shouting about how evil homosexuals are and how all women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. You can’t accept one without accepting the other, and so I do.

I don’t want to have children. At some point, much later in life, I may mentor a teen or two (I would especially love to be able to do some outreach for LGBT teens who feel like they have nowhere else to turn), but I’m never going to get involved with young kids. I don’t feel any sort of void over that. I don’t feel empty without a child in my life. My life is so full of things right now that I can’t even imagine the chaos introducing a human being who is entirely dependent on me for every single little thing would cause. Even if I had someone else to help me, or a bunch of someones to help me, I would feel overwhelmed and resent the poor defenseless thing.

It makes me angry that there are so many women (and a few men) out there who seem to think that my opinion in this matter is grounds for attack. It also makes me very angry that the lack of a maternal instinct is something that makes them believe I am less of a woman. Look, I am a woman because I feel like one. It has nothing to do with biology (as my transgender friends can attest) or whether I’m “feminine” enough or not. I am a woman because I identify as one. Yes, I was born with a vagina and a womb and ovaries, but that doesn’t mean a goddamn thing, and just because I have them doesn’t mean I’m obligated to use them. I was also born with an appendix and a gallbladder, and both of them attempted to kill me, so they were removed. If my ovaries did the same, they’d be gone just as fast. And the fact that I don’t want children doesn’t make me any less of a woman. Just because we’re the gender with the function of harboring the young inside us, that means we’re somehow obligated to feel like we must do so? And how exclusionary, for women who are incapable of having children, to, in essence, say that a working uterus is the yardstick by which we measure your female identity?

My choice to not have children is just that. A choice. It is a choice I am free to make, and it is a choice I will defend with every ounce of my being. It doesn’t mean anything else than what it is, and I will thank you all to remember that it certainly doesn’t make me less of a person, or less of a woman.


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