“Childless” seems to be such a taboo subject in American society today that people don’t even talk about it–especially outside of major metropolitan areas. Often, a heavy silence pervades the air around a “childfree” person. I have even experienced [sill to my surprise, every time] a type of “-ism” historically directed at many other basic human characteristics in this country (race, sex, etc.) I think “class” might even be uttered aloud today with more candor than “childfree-ness,”
As with every other instance of tunnel vision and absence of empathy towards one’s fellow human being. Stretching, opening, and releasing one’s mind — especially from false assumptions — permits a potential opening of opportunities, experiences–often joy–in one’s life. Imagining oneself in the ‘shoes’ of another can be a liberating experience for all.
Selfish, decadent, irresponsible are just a few of the words sometimes used to describe those of us who have chosen not to have children. Oftentimes these charges are nothing more than a kneejerk reaction to an emerging lifestyle choice that is at odds with longstanding tradition. It’s common for such criticisms to be levied at people who buck convention. But that fact alone doesn’t prove the accusations untrue.
So when we saw that Time Magazine had titled this week’s cover story The Childfree Life, we hoped it might address these charges. And while the article takes a sympathetic stance regarding childless women, it ducks the central question. Are we and others like us selfish for not having children?
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