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Monday, June 15, 2009

WOMB WITH A VIEW 

In the past few days there seem to have been a few of those articles that regularly appear in newspapers by female columnists who "confess" that they don't want to have children.

These have been written as a response to a throwaway remark made by Cameron Diaz. She said that she wasn't sure if she would have children or not, and that she thought that the world didn't really need any more children. The sort of off the cuff thing that was probably said at a press junket, and isn't really worth all the fuss and attention it's been given.

It's odd that the fact that a woman decides not to have children should still be an issue today, or to be considered a controversial subject ... or that women who are childless should often seem so apologetic about the fact.

After a woman has said she doesn't want to have children, she often seems to qualify this with the words "don't get me wrong, I LOVE other people's children - I've got thirty thousand god children that I love to spend time with, and millions of nieces and nephews that I dote on," as if to suggest that, as a non parent, she must give the impression of being a cold hearted, bitter old witch with no love for humanity or the joyous enthusiasm for life that only children have. God forbid that any woman would be seen as *unfeminine* or *not NICE*.

Well, I'm here to tell you that as a childless woman I am a cold hearted bitter old witch with no love for humanity or the joyous enthusiasm for life that only children have. Keep your kids away from me and we should get along famously. Alright?

Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it, smug parents.

Hmm, I might do a follow up post on this subject - not justifying why I'm childless but looking at all of the cliches that the issue of parenting/non parenting can throw up. OoooOOOooh, bet you can't wait.

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Comments:
I was once called 'selfish' for choosing not to have children... erm... I haven't quite figured that one out yet...
Sx
 
I think I should be cloned.

Say 300000 copies of me or thereabouts should be sufficient to give a major boost to the beer 'n' fags industry.
 
I ahve kids, I wouldn't wish them on anyone, hahaha
 
"...not to have children should still be an issue.."

word play extrordinaire Betty!
 
Yes, I'm looking forward to it. Still not even sure how not to sound defensive when people ask 'are you seeing someone?', so a good way to deflect the topic of kids would be welcome...
 
"...and you. With no one to worry us, no one to hurry us, to this dream we found."

This is probably one of those things we can file under "no one would be making any kind of fuss about this if journalists didn't have column inches to fill."
 
Me too Betty!

My friends' children are all right fucking boring.

(Though if I was writing about the joys of child-free-ness in a paper they might actually see I'd probably trot out the old "oh, I adore them" line as well.)
 
I would rather shoot myself in the foot than have children.
 
One thing I've noticed is that they don't make a similar fuss if a man were to say he wasn't interested in having children.

Can't think why.
 
I am a cold hearted, bitter old witch with no love for humanity because I am also a mother.
 
I would rather shoot MJ in the foot than have children.
 
I've thought about what you've said, Kaz... and I don't think MJ is going to have any feet left...
Sx
 
Scarlet - yeah, after all, deciding to have a child is done out of the selfless desire to "give something back to the world" and has absolutely nothing to do with maternal instinct, you know?

Garfer - doesn't sound like a bad idea. Anything that riled the health Nazis would have to be a good move.

Anon - ha ha, good thing you've decided to stay anonymous then!

Rog - I'm not sure what my extraordinary wordplay was, but it certainly wasn't deliberate because I'm not very intelligent. The post was written in an antihistamine haze.

Annie - ah, the old "are yer courtin' yet?" question. I used to get that from my gran when I was 19. "I'm worried that you won't find a man to cook for" she used to add.
 
Boz - too true, there are too many sections of newspapers these days and too many columnists.

Spinsterella - you could try to avoid mentioning them altogether, therefore annoying them without meaning to (you can tell I'm a complete bitch, can't you?)
MJ - at least if you had one foot you'd still have a relative amount of freedom. Having children is a complete loss of freedom for at least 20 years and possibly longer ...

Billy - actually, loads of women would probably slag him off, saying he was "a bad catch" "too immature to cope with the demands of fatherhood" and "not a real man", etc. Men would be completely indifferent to what he said.

Ziggi - how can you say that? All mothers are happy and fulfilled! It must be true!

Kaz - that's the problem with childless women. They're always so selfish and cold hearted.

Scarlet - well, I suppose she'd be footloose and fancy free. Or something like that.
 
*sound of wheelchair rolling into room*

I'll get you Kaz!
 
MJ - look on the bright side. In this day and age there are a lot of attractive prosthetic feet to choose from. No more corns, no more bunions or verruccas. No more hammer toes or rampant toe fungus. Goodbye to those wide, masculine, hairy MJ feet that you were so ashamed of. At last you can wear strappy sandals!
 
By the way, MJ's original feet are the ones on the right in this picture: http://tinyurl.com/lbac2q
 
I've no idea where it comes from but I'm a complete pushover for babies. Lose all interest when they start to walk and talk, however, so it's just as well I didn't have any of my own. Sometimes I think it would have been fun to be a mother but then I remember how marvelous it is not to have to fill the back garden with bright blue plastic stuff. And not have to go to really boring places. And not have to make the poor bugger go to school.
 
I ceased to justify my reasoning when I realised that it made the questioner feel better than me and gave them the upper hand. Depending upon the person who asks, I can be really nice, or exceptionally cutting.

It's not a life choice anyone should be made to justify. I don't ask parents why they chose to have children. When I've tried that one, they've never been able to come up with a satisfying reason.
 
*rolls wheelchair over Betty's double-wide feet*
 
hear hear
 
By some happy coincidence, one of my readers has published a photo of someone who shot themselves in the foot.

Warning: Not for the squeamish.

And yes, having seen the evidence I would still rather shoot myself in the foot than have children.
 
Arabella - surely a lot of women go into motherhood because they love cute babies though? They don't really see ahead to the toddler tantrums, or the expense of schooling, or the moody teenager or the grown up child who falls out with them and abandons them or has an on running feud with them ... er ... perhaps I'm being a bit cynical here, but things like that *do* happen.

Anonymous - yes, it's curious the way that parents always presumptiously ask "why don't you want/don't you have children?" as if you're in the wrong. I actually saw a mother of four being interviewed on TV the other day who said "when women say they don't want children I just feel like wheeling my own kids out to prove to them how they've got it wrong". Talk about over inflated egos, eh? Still, the best thing to do is to be blunt with them rather than give millions of excuses that make you sound as if you're justifying being in the wrong ... a simple "because I don't like children or parents" should be enough to shut them up and offend them, ha ha.

MJ - no, no, I have slim, elegant feet and beautifully manicured toes (coral red nail polish) so move your bloody mobility scooter out of the way.

Anne - nice to get positive feedback!

MJ - some people would say that you're shooting yourself in the foot by having children. Anyway, I've seen worse things than that on Embarrassing Illnesses or whatever it's called on the telly.
 
And let's not forget that children bring home head lice.

And they are hot beds of GERMS!
 
what they don't bring home is any bloody money

and they don't share their drugs

and they borrow your stuff and then lose it or ruin it

and they break your car

and they have horrible, just horrible boyfriends with nauseating piercings that you really don't want to know about

and they eat everything in the house in 30 seconds

ditto drink

not to mention the damage they did to your important little places when they were born

and they WILL PAY FOR THEIR MOTHER IN HER OLD AGE

ha ha ha ha ha ha bloody ha

Other than that they're a delight
 
And their loud annoying screeching voices and their whining about every damn thing.

*shoots self in other foot*
 
Evan do da gud Lard blassed me wif enuff sperm to impregnate avry woman on da planet...
I only az 4 kids. :)

This world is so annoying because most of the fantastic charming people who should be multiplying can't, don't, won't, or severely restrict the production of progeny ....

while "others" who should never under any circumstances be allowed to keep the shallow end of the gene pool gurgling over the sides breed like f*cking rabbits on speed and make us pay for them!

There I said it...
and believe it or not I have never voted Conservative. The danger of being Passive/Aggressive is letting your self righteous indignation fester and simmer for a few decades before your brain explodes and you become a Tory MP.

btw: I'm wasn't even drunk when I made these Godlike pronouncements?
 
It is fate; last time I graced the blogosphere with my presence it was to foam at the mouth about the subject of womb issues. And as I return so the topic raises it gurning head again.

Krust I've missed this.

x K
 
Betty, did you see the thing in the Daily Mail about women who don't want children being "cold", "odd" and lacking in something they're calling "essential humanity"?

Sorry, I've totally forgotten how to do links in comments, but it's here - read, and feel your blood boil....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1185128/Why-bosses-right-distrust-women-dont-want-children--VERY-outspoken-mother-ex-boss.html
 
Erm, I'm obviously a bit of a freak because I rather like my 'children'. Never had any interest in babies but really enjoyed the bit up until they went to High School, because it meant I never had to justify why I didn't have a full time job. Yeah...thinking about it, I'm just a work-shy scrounger. The mistake I made was not having more than 2 of them...
 
MJ - people who have young kids always pass their illnesses on to everyone. As young kids have infectious illnesses every few weeks, that's a lot of germs.

Ziggy - I still behave exactly like that and I'm forty five years old. I'm not paying for you in your old age though.

Donn - yeah, I suppose people who don't really *think* about having kids are the most likely to pro-create, with inevitable consequences. Mind you, I haven't put much thought into not having kids - just something I've never wanted to do. Mind you, I am at the shallow end of the gene pool myself ...

Krusty - good to see you back! Probably a sign that I'm recycling the same tired subjects that just go around and around maybe. Still, it proves that you've not missed much in the two years you've been away.

Spinsterella - jeez, how did I miss such a splendidly ridiculous article? Oh, because it was in the Daily Mail, that's why ... funny that she says that the bitchiest women in offices are the childless ones. Out and out bitchiness with a side order of smug self satisfaction just oozes from her writing.

Beth - ha! So you are one of those women who bred just to live off benefits and get free housing! I can feel my Daily Mail hackles rising! I bet they grew up to be drug addicted layabouts as well!
 
Good on yer Betty!

Mind you most meat eaters tend to get all defensive on hearing I'm a veggie with the 'Oh I hardly eat any meat' line (so that explains all the chickens hobbling around with a wooden-leg!), so I guess we all justify ourselves one way or another.

As a twenty-something I categorically did not want children. Now I take the view it would take a hell of a man to persuade me! (or do I mean heaven of a man?).

Tis a bloody cheek to insinuate a woman is some sort of freak for not having them and being quite happy about that, thank you very much. Demonstrates an insecurity on the part of those *with* the little tykes if you ask me.
 
Laura - I think vegetarians tend to be even less impressed by the sort of people who say "ooh, I only eat white meat and fish" than out and out carnivores.

Yeah, there are some (nb: NOT ALL) mothers who are absolutely convinced that women who don't want children must be deluded and unhappy. Still, at least they can hang out with their like minded mum friends and talk about their kids without having to subject anyone else to it ...
 
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