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New First World problem: Whining about how nobody likes you because you don’t have kids

September 3, 2014

Maybe it’s because you’re wallowing in self-pity and no one wants to have you around:

Why is it still the case that childless women, particularly as they mature past routine childbearing age, find themselves dismissed as redundant, withered, lacking, in a way childless men would rarely – if ever – be dismissed? While a childless man remains just a man, the childless woman is too often perceived as having somehow failed. Medical difficulties aside, while male childlessness is generally perceived as a decision, a woman’s is viewed as anything from a punishment (careerist ballbreaker), a mistake (stupid, disorganised), an enforced state (unable to hang on to a man) or all these things at once.

Tellingly, however a woman arrives at childlessness, she becomes a “subwoman”, because she’s rendered herself subhuman – having flunked the most important test of her biological destiny. What’s that about? Why does the blank procreative score sheet of one sex continue to be so much more judgmentally charged than the other? Moreover (not that I want it to happen), why is there no equivalent culture of childless “submen”?

For starters, there’s no such word as “subwoman”–so why should “submen” be a word?

BTW, this article purports to be about Jennifer Anniston.'Life of Crime'  film premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada - 14 Sep 2013

“Flunked the most important test of her biological destiny”? Really?

 

 

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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2 Comments
  1. Lastango permalink

    Barbara Ellen writes in her article:
    “All this is going on when the reasons for female childlessness are usually complex and myriad, often going far beyond personal choice…”

    Weasely little “often”, that. Victim-y too. Perhaps it “often” IS personal choice. As one blogger observed about the closely-related topic of single women bemoaning their fate:

    “What happened to all the nice men? They’re back in your 20’s, where you left them.”

  2. False Rape Accusations and Made Up Numbers permalink

    I have a cousin who for years blogged about all about her desire for a family. She kept her blog audience entertained with each new boyfriend, giving updates on how the relationship was going, how his parents loved her, etc. Well, now she’s 40, single and no kids and she’s on some “child free” trip, posting “child free living” memes on her Facebook and talking about “discrimination” against people who CHOOSE not to have kids, like some activist.

    But she didn’t CHOOSE not to have kids. Circumstances are such that she never managed to get to the altar with any boyfriend, even the serious ones.

    So a lot of it is a false bravado.

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