The decision to have a child or not is a private one, but it takes place, in America, in a culture that often equates womanhood with motherhood. Any national discussion about the struggle to reconcile womanhood with modernity tends to begin and end with one subject: parenting. If you’re a woman who’s not in the mommy trenches, more often than not you’re excluded from the discussion. But being sidelined doesn’t exempt childless women from being scolded.
If there were no more children, nothing we do would matter. Nothing.
The greatest achievements would be irrelevant.
And, of course, there would be nobody to take care of these people when they’re old.
So why should we feel guilty for not celebrating their choice? They opted for money and free time. That’s their choice – but what has it to do with the rest of us? Why do they imagine anyone else owes them anything at all?
The hypocrisy of it all is probably obvious to everyone but Time magazine and its subjects: Many of the “child-free” couples mentioned in the Time magazine article lament that others are proudly parents and wish other people were parents, too. Yet, these very women are proudly child-free and wish more people would be child-free, too.
It all boils down to this: People make choices — different choices — but Time insinuates we are supposed to celebrate only the decisions that transgress the norm … whether it’s non-traditional marriages, being tattooed from head to toe, or childlessness. And the people who take the non-traditional paths are free to act persecuted when the difference is noted. Or, even more subtly, when they are simply reminded of their differences.
Sadly, the Time article points out what most already know. In today’s American culture, if you aren’t being constantly validated, you’re being persecuted.