childfree dot com: some childfree online communities you might want to join or visit

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Loads of online communities to choose from!

If you’re looking to connect with other childfrees, there are loads of online communities. Here are some we saw recently:

  • There’s a new facebook group called The Childfree Choice–we like the name! ūüėČ The page is also part of a research project. The owner says:¬†

This page was created as part of a research project. My focus is mainly women although I understand there are men who also wish to remain childfree and welcome them to participate. The reason I chose to focus on childfree women is because of the challenges we face continuously for making this decision.

  • Another new Facebook group is we’re {not} having a baby! run by Amy & Lance Blackstone.¬† It¬†features “childfree¬†adventures in a child-centric world” and bills itself as offering “a fresh perspective on the childfree life”. In addition they state:

“We aim to entertain and inform, serving up camaraderie and support for other childfree¬†folks like ourselves. We also offer a glimpse into the childfree life for those who might be considering it for themselves or curious about why others do so”.

We also like The childfree life, which is a big online community that has discussion fora aimed at curious¬†‘non-childfree’ (parents and child-anticipating)¬†people, as well as childfree visitors and members. (We also have a few discussions running there for our research, if anyone’s interested.)

Let us know about the ones that you like!

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Something more light-hearted

The joys of parenthood?

The joys of parenthood?

Our society tends to glorify parenthood, but research indicates that a significant number of people would not have chosen to parent if they had known what it entailed.

This banned advertisement for condoms takes a more light-hearted, and honest, look at the down-side of parenthing.

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CHILDFREE in the media

Look out for a piece by Carrie Anton in the March 2013 issue of Women’s Health called “What to expect when you’re NOT expecting“. One of the team provided Anton with information.

expecting_image“You know you don‚Äôt want a baby, but everyone and
her mother (and likely, your mother) is second- guessing your choice. Here‚Äôs how to stay sane,”

Writes Anton. See what you think!

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Childfree stuff

Our first post for 2013 features some childfree-related resources and articles. We hope you will find them interesting.

1. Have a look at The #Childfree Times

2. Watch an  interview with Laura Carroll on Childfree Myths 

3. Read about why childfree couples have it all (an article also by Ms Carroll).

4. Check out this great pinboard on choosing to live childfree.

Enjoy the posts and keep an eye out for the next one from the team.

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Here is a piece one of our team members posted on Feministssa.com earlier this year.

FEMINISTS SOUTH AFRICA

By Tracy Morison

‚ÄúWhere there is only one real option and no genuine choice there is no autonomy‚ÄĚ (Diana Tietjens Meyers)

As feminists we often speak of reproductive choice and freedom. Most would agree that reproductive rights are central to the advancement of women‚Äôs rights. Of course, the issue of women‚Äôs reproductive rights are by no means a neatly sewn up issue‚ÄĒwhether we cast our eyes West or East‚ÄĒbut most people would, in principle, support the idea of choosing not to have children (in Westernised contexts at least). Yet, when presented with the idea, most seem to be incredulous and defensive, some even hostile. Examples of these kinds of reactions appear in the Facebook posts below, responding to a link from my research group‚Äôs blog and an article about the normality of not wanting children.

[A] I think that with the way the world is at the moment, bearing a…

View original post 839 more words

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Are parent-friendly policies unfair? A tricky question

It has been argued that parent- or family-friendly work policies are pronatalist.  Alena Heitlinger, for example, has said:

Parental leaves,  childcare services, flexible  work arrangements,  re-entry  training  programs, and  social  security  and   taxation   policies that   do  not  penalize women   for  motherhood  have  been   promoted  as  measures  of equal opportunities for  women,   but  they  can  be  also  seen  as  having  a  pronatal potential, irrespective of the  increase in the  birth  rate  being  an explicit  objective.

Is Heitlinger suggesting that making it easier for people to parent inadvertantly encourages, or at least makes it easier, for people to have children? Likewise, Laura Carroll maintains that government policies are rewarding the wrong people. Instead, of giving tax relief or financial assistance to larger families, for instance, people should be rewarded for not reproducing or for having smaller families. Carroll suggests, by way of example, parent carbon tax and that adoptive parents could recieve significantly larger tax exemptions while parents with only one bio-kid should receive a nominal exemption.

As Heitlinger points out, however, most family-friendly workplace policies emerged in response to women’s entry into the workplace. Motherhood¬†has often acted as a barrier to paid employment, particularly when¬†women in partnerships with men are expected to fulfill the¬†traditional caregiver role and were forced to choose between a career or parenthood.¬†¬†Would cutting these out mean re/marginalising women?¬†¬†Many women in heterosexual partnerships, in South Africa at any rate, still¬†do the bulk¬†caregiving.¬†How would¬†sole or¬†gay parents be affected? Or, have we moved beyond these kinds of gender politics?

Some¬†say that we have. They¬†argue that benefits and policies–like paid parental leave or¬†flexi-time and telecommuing for parents–are fundamentally unfair, especially when¬†others at work are required to pick up the slack. For example, in a forum discussion someone maintained that “You [as a childfree person] should not have to experience different treatment because you made a different choice” (Personal Communication, 2012). An article from BBC News quotes ‘non-parents’ responses to a survey about family-friendly policies:

One manager told the [researchers]: “I do not have children and sometimes resent the emphasis put on people who do being the only ones who want more time at home.¬† I have commitments and a life too, and I would like family-friendly policies to be home-friendly policies instead.”

A woman manager … said: “People who don’t have children resent the things they miss out on, such as maternity/paternity leave, and sick leave taken as a result of problems with children.”

Another manager said: “People who choose not to have families do so for good reasons and it is unfair to burden them with additional work so others can have additional benefits.”

What do you think about family-friendly workplace policy?

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Interesting fertility stats in SAs latest census – Where are the childfree?

Where are the childfree South Africans?

According to a report in The Sunday Independent, the latest South African census results, and other demographic studies, indicate that access to education and opportunities has resulted in women having fewer children and getting married later in life. You can read the article below. What struck the research team was:

  • the lack of commentary on people choosing not to have children at all – the pronatalist assumption that people want to and will have children seems to be alive and well
  • the observation that people are postponing childbearing until certain conditions are met – the implication is that people would have children if they could–voluntary childlessness is not considered
  • the link between education and having fewer children
  • the marriage-procreation bond (see The Baby Matrix)the issue here is not that people reproduce within marital unions, but rather when it is assumed that married people will inevitably have kids (so that procreation becomes the purpose of marriage) married people find it difficult to choose otherwise and those without children face much stigma

What are your observations and thoughts?

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