…, I suspect many of us (feminist or not) are still uncomfortable with singleness and childlessness. Both seem to be something we feel we need to “fix” somehow — that being in these circumstances is just something to ride out until we finally walk down the ai…
I think we get this weird feeling only because it is social programming. We’re expected to want to get married and have kids because that is the social narrative women are told they should want. Anything else is “abnormal.” But what if I don’t want to get married and have kids? It is called choice. Everyone has it.
I never had kids of my own, by choice, nor am I married. I’m part of the 15%. I never regretted it. I didn’t change my mind. And while my significant other has kids, college-age now, they have a mother and father. I’m dad’s long-term girlfriend; another adult figure in their lives.
And while I’ve never given someone hell for having kids, I sure have taken a nasty amount of criticism for not having them. Wait? So you’re not going to come to my house and deal with the whole of the emotional and physical labor or cost associated with me getting pregnant, birthing, and raising this person but you are going to treat me like a monster because I’d rather do something else?
People will also throw countless reasons at you, telling you why you are so wrong for not taking the parent route. Look, it’s great for you. I know it is a lot of work, sacrifice, and for many, it can be very fulfilling. It just isn’t for me. Never was. That isn’t a slight on anyone who is a parent. So please don’t be ugly to me simply because this is one place where we differ.
I do feel child-free by choice women are underrepresented and never painted out well in culture/media. As you said, they’re always villains, frosty types who must hate kids, or just haven’t hit the stage of being bathed in marriage and offspring. What about those of us who had no interest in marriage and having kids? That is feminism too. Yup. Shocker, I know. We chose to do something else with our lives. Not any better, or worse, just different. We’re not spoiled or selfish because we elected to try something else with our own lives. Parenthood just wasn’t something we wanted. Even as a child myself, I never ached to be a parent. I think it is better to accept people who don’t want to have kids with the same consideration and respect as we do for people who elect to be parents.