Features, Women

Glamourising the ‘Childfree Life’ Ignores Reality for Most Childless Women

Twenty-five years ago, I made the decision to marry the man I love. I was 23 when I packed up my life in Montreal and moved to New York City for him. I had yet to actually meet this man, but as I drove down the I-87 to my new home, I was confident that I was headed exactly where I always expected to be: in love, married, and a mother. And on my first job interview in New York City, I even inquired about maternity benefits. After all, I was expecting twin girls.

To clarify, I wasn’t pregnant. But since I was 10-years-old, I imagined that one day, I’d have twin girls – despite no familial history of twins.

But as the years in New York went by and I remained single, I eventually let go of that dream. I didn’t care if I had three boys. I just wanted to be a mother.

Ultimately, I let go of that dream, too. I’m now 49, still single, and on the other side of hope for motherhood.

I’ve been in love. I believe in love. I’ve loved men who didn’t love me back. I’ve loved men who weren’t ready to love me—or anyone. I’ve met men whom I wanted to love, hoping so deeply to fall over the edge into love with them that it ached. But in the end, I found myself single and unwilling, unable, to settle.

Over time, I’d lie in bed, wondering where that man I moved to New York City to meet and marry was. And where were my babies? Those lonely nights spun into a dizzying cycle of hope and doubt and grief and around again. But it was a grief I learned to keep to myself.

My Circumstantial Infertility—the term I would later create to describe the pain and grief over remaining childless when one does not have a partner — often went unacknowledged, as if my pain was invalid because I wasn’t married. Only married couples dealing with infertility seemed due the pain of their childlessness.

In 2008, as I reached my late thirties, I shifted my career to focus on my cohort, the rising demographic of childless women and discovered how large and undervalued this cohort is. There has been a steep rise in childless women from 1976, when the U.S. Census first began recording fertility rates. Then, 35 percent of women of fertile age were childless. Today, that number is 49 percent.

Still, it’s often assumed that all adult women are mothers, as if we’ve inverted the “W” for woman to the “M” for mother. And while the majority of women do eventually give birth, it’s later than ever. For the first time, more than half (54%) of American women aged 25-29 are childless, as are nearly a third (31%) of women aged 30 to 34. By the end of our fertile years, about one sixth of women (17%) are childless.

Survey data indicates that this group is likely to want to have children in the context of marriage, or at least long-term co-habitation. And when they do finally have children at late-fertile age, they are likely to bear more children than the average mother.

According to Gladys Martinez, author of the 2012 National Health Statistics Report Fertility of Men and Women Aged 15-44 Years in the United States: National Survey of Family Growth,” 80 percent of unmarried women are childless, and of those, 81 percent plan or hope to have children one day.

TIME Magazine cover August 12, 2013

This is not how the phenomenon is portrayed in the media. Magazine cover stories and news articles tout the so-called “childfree” life, assuming all childless women have chosen this fate, waving some sort of feminist flag. But the truth is, these women are not “free” of the children they yearn for. Motherhood is a burden that we would give anything to bear.

In the meantime, the women of this cohort which I went on to dub “Otherhood” in my 2014 reported memoir of the same name, are facing a dating market in which finding a match is more challenging than they expected. American women are now more likely to graduate from college than men. And young women with college degrees are out-earning their young male counterparts. A 2012 Pew Research study found that while two thirds of millennial women say that “being successful in a high-paying career or profession” is of high importance to them, the same is true of only 59% of their male peers.

But don’t call us “career women”—an anachronistic label for when working women were outliers. Today, even most married mothers work. Moreover, Pew reports that young women are significantly more likely than young men to say that a successful marriage is “one of the most important things in life.” Likewise, nearly 60% of women rate successful parenting as one of the most important parts of life, as compared with less than half of men (47%). It’s no wonder why it’s becoming more and more challenging for women to find men who want to commit to the next stage of life.

For this cohort, feminism was never about forsaking love, marriage, and children for a career. Career is additive to, not in lieu of, family. As Betty Friedan wrote so eloquently in the epilogue to the The Feminine Mystique:

The more I’ve become myself—and the more strength, support, and love I’ve somehow managed to take from, and give to, other women in the movement—the more joyous and real I feel loving a man. I’ve seen great relief in women this year as I’ve spelled out my personal truth: that the assumption of your own identity, equality, and even political power does not mean you stop needing to love, and be loved by, a man, or that you stop caring for your kids.

These strong, determined women are not swayed by late 1960/1970s feminists to change our evolutionary nature to do anything in our power to become mothers. Many of these same women invest tens-of-thousands of dollars in fertility preservation and treatments, sticking themselves with needles, going through painful procedures, hoping they will one day be rewarded with a child. Marc Kalan, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist whom I interviewed for Otherhood told me that no patients of his are more compliant than the women who come to him in their late thirties and forties, who have not found a partner, and want to have a baby. Even those with a less than 5 percent chance of conception are undeterred.

Still, some on the right assume that feminism has tricked us into believing that we could have it all, leaving our wombs bereft of life and our lives bereft of meaning. On a recent episode of his podcast, even professor Jordan Peterson, for whom I generally have great respect, has opined that only motherhood, and the sense of responsibility it imbues, can enable women to development into adulthood. But this implies that childless women live in a kind of existential limbo, seen neither as children nor adults; neither cared for nor caregivers; neither fully formed women nor life-informed adults.

But we are not a second sex within our own sex; we are not other to mother.

In a 2012 study I partnered on with the communications firm Weber Shandwick, we found 23-million PANKs, or Professional Aunts No Kids, the term I coined to describe child loving, childless women. That’s one-in-five North American women. These generous aunts contribute to the development of our nieces and nephews by relation, our friends’ children, and children around the world. This tribe understands that while babies are born from the womb, maternity is born from the soul and there are many ways to mother.

While my dream of twin daughters did not come true for me, it turns out my intuition wasn’t completely off. As the Yiddish proverb goes: “We plan, and God laughs;” I am blessed with not one, but two sets of twin nieces. My dream came true for my brother and sister-in-law, twice, and I could not love all my nieces and my nephew more if I tried.

It’s not the life I expected, but in many ways, it’s a life beyond my expectations.

 

Melanie Notkin is the founder of Savvy Auntie and the author of Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness. Follow her on Twitter @SavvyAuntie

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144 Comments

  1. Women are not the only one’s who dream of finding the right person to have children with. I blew my chances when I was younger and ended up marrying a person I should not have gotten involved with.

    I became the father of two children and we separated when they were young, and sadly their lives were not the life I would have chosen for them,

  2. Brandon says

    I am naive, but i suspect that the contraception pill has negatively affected society for the long run. Manipulating the female ovarian cycle must have detrimental effects that damage women then men. Perhaps as a result the heterosexual relationship is falling apart….pouring over into marriage and ultimately children.

    thanks

    • AuxPart says

      I’m not sure there the evidence is there to blame this on chemicals in the pill, but in any case the option for a male pill cannot come soon enough.

      • Before the pill, for couples to avoid a pregnancy required deliberation. After the pill became widespread and routine, avoiding pregnancy became the default, and getting pregnant was what required deliberation. This unprecedented order of things is something unforeseen by evolution, and it has prevented millions of pregnancies that would have been welcomed had they happened by accident. The male pill, if and when it arrives, will not solve the problem, but will make it far worse, as women will no longer be able to “trap” men with an unexpected announcement. The birth rate would plummet even further than it has done already.

      • Northern Observer says

        It amazes me that liberalism has come to embrace population contraction and the fall of the traditional family.
        If that is reactionary then one may ask, what is a name?

      • The bitter tonic of schadenfreude, balanced with the stinging nectar of “I told you so?”

  3. Anon says

    Read “Better to Never Have Been” by David Benatar and you’ll feel like a hero!

  4. Ben says

    Ive heard Peterson state that he believes people (male and female) are not grown up until they have children. While the above quote may have been referring to Mother’s he has on other occasions included men in that. I believe he was also referring to himself, he didn’t feel like he was an adult until he was a parent.

    Good read though.

    • Was going to write basically the same thing. Boy, Peterson’s name sure gets brought up a lot. I guess it’s a sign of his influence that it often seems like his ideas (often straw men versions) are often being used as yard sticks for other ideas.

      • markbul says

        The entire nutrition research industry is a fraud, filled with utter incompetents without the slightest understanding of proper statistical, never mind scientific methods. So correction – his daughter is unlicensed.

      • Garth Stiebel says

        oh well then, that says it all – he’s obviously bankrupt intellectually.

    • Oh, that silly Dr. Peterson! Is he still attempting to promote this outdated concept of just two sexes?
      He still does not grasp the concept of 21st Century biologogy.

    • Jean says

      To be a parent is to take on un-relenting, non-retractable (24 hours a day, 365 days a year for decades) responsibility to protect and ensure the life and growth of a child. It is an arduous, daunting, humbling yet joyful task that fulfills both men and women in a way that nothing else in life does.

    • Mike van Lammeren says

      I have been saying for years that one does not become an adult until one becomes a parent. Recently, I have broadened this definition to include women and men who want to have children but cannot. It is a tragic route to adulthood.

      • Luckily, not everyone agrees with you. I have absolutely no desire for children and I’m definitely an adult.

  5. Yitzhak Klein says

    Makes one think.

    Yes, every woman, with or without children, is her own story and her own life. But for some women – for very many, it seems – remaining without a partner and without children of their own womb is a source of pain and grief, perhaps secondary only to bereavement.

    Would it have been better to have a child without a father in the family? So many children grow up that way.

    When bigamy was legal, would that – sharing a man’s love with another, if such a thing is humanly possible – have been preferable to reaching the end of life without spouse or child? I can’t imagine it but we know that many many people in history made that choice. Should people be deprived of the ability to choose that course as, for them, the less painful choice?

    • Tonya says

      Interesting response because it assumes the centrality if the man to the project. I know very good mothers w/ highly successful children who used a sperm bank. Better to have one parent and a co-parenting village of friends and family than toxic masculinity / patriarchy calling the shots. Polygamy? Haha.

      • 1dyllic says

        Not that I’m a proponent of polygamy (which correlates very strongly with levels of violence within a society), I wonder how much attitudes such as the above comment regarding “toxic masculinity/the patriarchy” are contributing to women’s childlessness and unhappiness. I imagine quite a lot.

        • marms says

          Toxic masculinity is a fact, not an opinion. 88% of women (Stats Canada) report physical abuse and violence from their intimate partners. Are you suggesting women should tolerate a little rigorous skull splitting in order to be a mother? I don’t know any mothers who left their husbands until it was obvious he was destroying their lives, too.

          • Marie Antoinette says

            Are you out of your mind? Out of every 100 women I know, (I live in Canada) only 20 of them aren’t being beaten by their husbands/partners?

            The nuance in that stat is that at one point in their life they experienced this. The Pareto distribution would predict this- very few men doing a lot of abusing- but even then, its just bullshit to equate that with children being better off without fathers at all. They’re not. That’s a fact. Yours is an opinion, serving an ideology backed by twisted statistics.

          • pete says

            Wait what? Where did you get that insane statistic? 88% of women (Stats Canada) report physical abuse and violence from their intimate partners. seriously???

      • augustine says

        Well, the man is central to the project, and the woman is no less central to it. In marriage the two are not vying for supremacy, they are working to establish a compact, a covenant to serve one another and their children (if so blessed), and to serve God.

        If you are content or perhaps tickled pink to reduce a man’s role of bearing children to a sperm bank then you will probably get just what makes you happy. Unfortunately, as this mentality propagates, we will end up with a society that none of us deserves.

        • kris says

          Well said. I dont agree with the God part as i am an atheist but I appreciate the sentiment and the style.

          • augustine says

            Thanks for your comment, kris. You have said out loud what seems to be a common sentiment on this website– atheism as a given, but without intolerance toward theism.

        • marms says

          It’s men’s idea they are sperm banks. Few will even use a condom let alone get a vasectomy when they don’t want children or a relationship. By the time most women are able to support a child, their reproductive health is destroyed by taking full responsibility for their and their partner’s sexual desires.

      • kris says

        Typical feminist misandry. As if you havnt done enough damage to society already with your ever increasing demands for the world to play to your drum. Now you want women to raise fatherless children when all the stats show that such kids have all manner of problems in later years and have lower life expectations. Just because you know someone who did it doesnt mean anything, you are the same breed of animal as Simone de Beauvoir, no doubt your hero, who claimed that women could never be free until we get rid of the institution of marriage .

      • Kelly Anderson says

        Agreed, Tanya… consider me, a married woman who couldn’t have children, so we adopted 2 foster kids, and then ~ surprise ~ we divorced! I learned, through much adversity, that I didn’t need the wrong man to be the right mom for my kids. Motherhood is the most beautiful and heart-wrenching challenge you face as an adult. If you think you need a man to do it, you’re wrong. There are no guarantees men will stay. So if you want to be a mom, go for it!

      • And here is why marriage is declining and so many middle aged women find themselves unmarried and childless. Toxic masculinity is not a concept that is helping us. The idea that single mothers are raising great kids without fathers is proven wrong by all the statistics. Men and women are miserable in this culture and they are refusing to get married. With toxic masculinity on one side and incels on the other, what is the breaking point?

      • Bob says

        Talking about toxic masculinity in the context of women not having the children they so desperately desired is just silly. In fact, under the now defunct patriarchy women did have the children they desired. What you want to focus on is toxic femininity. Specifically for the article, the toxic femininity characterised by passivity and unwilling to accept responsibility (“But in the end, I found myself single and unwilling, unable, to settle” – no you didn’t “find yourself” there. You went there deliberately.), and the toxic femininity characterised by always wanting a man who is similarly / better educated than yourself and having similar / better earning than yourself, etc. (thus all the otherwise irrelevant talk about women getting higher education / earning more than men).

      • Vicky says

        certainly it could go either way? What if you’re the sort of woman that doesn’t have a “co-parenting village”? In that situation wouldn’t it be practical to look for a single partner rather than a multitude of “co-parents”, if you were not already privy to same?(and this is leaving out the potential financial burden of IVF) the statements you responded to don’t assume the centrality of the man anymore than your response. it’s not all one thing or another thing

    • Rick says

      Purposely becoming a single parent (or choosing to raise a kid alone with not partner as a goal) is functionally child abuse. The stats are fairly clear that kids need two adults in their life or basically everything that could go wrong in their life goes up by orders of magnitude.

  6. Ernie says

    Nice article, but I highly recommend you get a dog, next best thing to a child, and in some ways better as they give you unconditional love.

    • deb says

      Until you have a child and then you realize a pet isn’t even in the same stratosphere. I feel like I was this rare case where I was completely in love with my cat until my son was born and slowly I started distancing myself from her, it was the weirdest feeling ever, like a relationship ending, I cried over it and felt guilty, but that was that, I don’t know what happened there. Also, she is a cat who acts much like a dog, she comes when you call her, follows you everywhere, gets along with dogs, but not other cats. We gave her to my sister in law where she is getting more love.

      • Lisa says

        I was madly in love with my dog. She was absolutely a child substitute though I didn’t realize it at the time. My son was born a few years after she died but looking back I realized that she was just a dog. But now that my son is a teenager I kind of long for a dog again and the unconditional love and no back talk!

        • Kerri says

          LOL…I had to laugh at this one Lisa. Same story here except I still had my “dog child” when my son was born. He had to be rehomed as he would not accept my real baby taking over his place in my life. My teenage son grew up thankfully which yours will too!! So glad I was able to have one child before it was too late for me. I was brainwashed by feminism as a young woman but I woke up before it was too late for me to have at least the one child.

      • Doug says

        TIL there is more than one stratosphere.

  7. Ted says

    It’s good you have some nieces and nephews, but remember some of us don’t even have that, but we have managed to get by anyway,

  8. Rob says

    Lol if you not married with kids by the time your 27. Then goodluck

    • Well, your mileage may vary. I married at 28 and had two kids, one at 35 and one at 37. No medical interventions necessary, got pregnant with both first time trying, and I took the pill for decades before that. My health is good enough that I could probably have another right now at 48 no problem.

  9. Akiva Goldman says

    A very interesting approach to a complex problem…

  10. wtf says

    the most ego-centric article i’ve read in a while…if kids are going to fulfill you, then make/adopt some babies. sounds like this author has some first-world problems (hint: no one is oppressing you)

    • Mark says

      and raise them without a father presumably?

    • Well said! “Childfree” means making a CHOICE not to have kids. This author could go to a fertility clinic and get a sperm donation, or if her eggs won’t implant, she can use a surrogate. However, she makes a CHOICE only to have children if she is in a long-term relationship. That’s a CHOICE. She is childfree, not childless.

  11. How ironic that the author decries magazines assuming that all childless women are childless by choice, while simultaneously assuming that all childless women – secretly, deep down somewhere – long for children, just because she does. I’m sorry that the author doesn’t have the children she wanted, but for every woman like her, there is also one like me – child-free by choice, and blissfully so.

    • Nick Ender says

      I’m guessing you didn’t read the statistics. Or your unfamiliar with statistics. It isn’t true to say for everyone one of her there’s one of you. The statistics show that there’s four of her to every one of you at most. According to the statistics the author provides you may represent less than 17% of the population. To be clear, I’m perfectly willing to take you at your word; that you are happy, and fulfilled. It’s just completely untrue to represent your choice to remain childless as a viable alternative to having children. I’m pretty sure that was the entire point of the article.

      • Are you referring to “80 percent of unmarried women are childless, and of those, 81 percent plan or hope to have children one day”? Well, take a look at that survey. It was done with women from 15-44. So it’s completely incorrect to call 15-year-olds (or indeed anyone under 35, which is the maximum ) “childless”, unless they are child-free by choice. So if we did the survey with women 35+ who have not had children, I am quite certain you’d find something like 50% being satisfied with the choice, and 50% not. Before you accuse me of not reading or being unfamiliar with the statistics, you should look at them again yourself. 🙂

        • 35 is the maximum age for motherhood without incurring unnecessary risks to self and child, I should say.

          • Lisa says

            Had a healthy child and pregnancy at 42. Although statistically the risks go up. But that’s no reason to scare women

    • I didn’t need a crystal ball to know I’d find at least one response like this.

  12. Mabel says

    I think the title of this article is unfortunate. I was just on a thread full of women who weren’t able to have children, and wanted to, and the pressure they feel doesn’t come from some sort of glamorization of the childfree life, but from our society’s over-emphasis on motherhood.

    • deb says

      This is quite interesting because I feel like it’s the opposite. I feel like society is putting pressure on women to be leaders, to work as much as men, to be competitive with men, while our own biological need to nurture is screaming otherwise. It’s unfortunate we only have such a short time frame to really give it a good shot, getting financial situation in order, a good partner in order, these are all hard things to achieve within the age time frame. We are the tougher sex when it comes down to it because we carry the burden of making new life, and making sure they grow into good human beings, this job is harder than any other. So I do think it’s confusing to women when society says no, you don’t need a man, you don’t need to be married, you don’t need children to be happy, because it’s in our code, it’s what our organs are made to do and theres no debating that, but society planting all their ideas into our heads, that is just influence.

      • kris says

        It is not society but modern feminists who are pressuring society and telling women how to live their lives. I say stand up and be counted. Do what you want not what they want.
        “Raising good human beings, is a harder job than any other”
        Absolutely true and if you feel that you want to devote more time to that job rather than a career job competing with men just to show how good you are then do it. You will get a lot of flack but by doing what you feel is important to you will give you a lot more satisfaction and fulfilment in the long term than giving in to the expectations of your peers

      • Northern Observer says

        So True. The dominant narrative is anti-natalist and shames women for not working. This can not continue for long.

  13. Rachel says

    In my unique situation (30, happily married, infertile due to ovarian cancer as a young girl), I just want to say that I’m happy that you are happy. Children were never an option for me, and adoption is financially impossible for my hubby and me at this point. I know it’s not really related, but I just wanted to say that thanks for writing this thoughtful perspective.

  14. Sometimes I wonder if I accomplished anything during my 30-year marriage to a brutal abuser, but then I remember a spectacular success – that I did not have children with him. Those potential children would have led horrible lives, and I’m glad they were spared.

    After the abuser killed himself and I started to recover from his death and the abuse, I was no longer in my fertile years. On Mother’s Day, I contemplate life had I found a loving partner in time to bear children. Would I have been more fulfilled? Would I have faced challenges I don’t now see? I conclude that the answer to both questions is yes.

    But, my past only makes sense when I decide that it was meant to be. If I rage at my misfortune at matching up with an abuser, I am stuck in the past. If I decide that the past prepared me to be precisely where I am at this moment, I am peacefully living in the present. I think the author of this article is making peace with her past, which resonates with me.

    • Andre says

      Thank you. I appreciate what you wrote.

  15. P Rossi says

    Very interesting article, thank you. I appreciated the data on childlessness (or childfree-ness), none of which I had seen before.

  16. Ann says

    “I’ve loved men who didn’t love me back” as Ben Shapiro aptly explained, men always wanted to have sex with women without “strings attached” so, what has changed….men still want to have sex without strings attached and these days they can, no marriage required.

    • IVF says

      Maybe one answer for single professional women is to try ivf, or surrogacy if they have a partner but they’re infertile. If you’re smart and kind, the world is better off if you have kids, and these days it’s quite possible for (most) women to do it on their own. Having said that, there are always cases of infertility, and nobody should feel bad about that.

    • kris says

      “Ben Shapiro aptly explained, men always wanted to have sex with women without “strings attached” Of course. Any woman who is not aware of that timeless epithet would have to be very naive indeed.
      The obvious answer is to impress the man you are interested in with qualities other than your sexual attributes. You have to learn to flirt and display those attributes to get his attention but not give in until he is well hooked.
      Most women’s complaints are based on the fact that they are far too ‘easy’ and that is why they are taken advantage of – not because men are sex mad beasts.

      • To be fair to men, women also want sex with no strings attached. I don’t think men take advantage of women (obviously there are sexual exploiters and abusers, but I don’t think that’s what you were talking about). I’m a feminist- which plenty of people who read Quillette seem to think equates to vitriolic man-hating- but that’s not what feminism is at all. I prefer to see the reality and complexity of the world.

    • Chad Jessup says

      I believe that life is about work, love, family, and community. Shapiro’s no strings attached hypothesis says more about him and his circle than other men. Currently single, I engage in regular intimate relations (which I would classify as better than nothing) with three women, and after awakening in the morning with one of them, I always wish I had a compatible woman to love. Yes, the sex is always good; however, the loving spiritual fulfilling component is absent. I would gladly exchange my present alleged utopian situation for a loving, happy marriage or committed relationship.

      • Chad: I believe you are the majority. I peg it at ~ 85% but acknowledge that is a wild-ass guess. The middle of the binomial distribution of normal, heterosexual men want nothing more than to adore one sweet, joyful, loyal woman for their entire lives. The 15% at the extremes, many who experience effortless and voluminous sex when young, are those who want no strings attached. And probably those responsible for 85% of abuse, but that’s another topic …

    • Mlp says

      I’m sorry to hear that you lack the skills even into grown-ass adulthood to stand up for yourself, your wants, and your desires in a relationship.

      Instead of complaining like a little bitch, maybe get therapy and explore why you continue to date and have sexual encounters from and with men who do not respect you and “only want sex” – you’re a damn adult, act like it, have some agency, and stand up for your goddamn self. FFS.

  17. ga gamba says

    Still, some on the right assume that feminism has tricked us into believing that we could have it all…

    I didn’t know whether it was a Madison Avenue executive or a political ideologue’s placard slogan who created “women can have it all”. No one can, and such a claim should have been seen as preposterous from the start. Even Kim Jung Un, a dictator with what appears to be limitless power, can’t get a properly fitted suit and a decent haircut. If he can’t have it all, neither can you.

    If the New York Times is correct, credit (or blame) goes to the book Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money . . . Even if You’re Starting With Nothing by Helen Gurley Brown. Reportedly Brown disliked the title created by her publisher, and it should be mentioned Brown never had children and her book mentioned children only in passing – on six of the book’s 400-plus pages.

    Yet, this idea, the vagueness with which “having it all” specifies everything and therefore nothing, took hold and has led to ever more demands that employers, co-workers, and society contort to make the illusion, the impossible, real. Having it all requires others’ sacrifice to give it to you. That this injustice is deemed by its advocates “just” is perverse.

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  19. Eritheia says

    Is it only me, or is that headline picture really THAT fu**en sad!?

  20. JackbeThimble says

    In fairness to Peterson, I’m fairly sure he was referring to everyone, male and female, when he said that people only become adults when they become parents (if I recall correctly he was talking about himself when I heard him say that line). He wasn’t singling out women.

  21. Victoria says

    I’m grateful every day that I had my daughter before it was biologically too late. I opted for single-by-choice motherhood. It’s not ideal, but I have the resources to provide for my child and devote as much, if not more time to her than a married working-mother would.

    If only Jordan Peterson is wrong about parenthood instilling adult behavior. Jessica Valenti has a child and yet remains an exemplar of contemporary feminist immaturity and dishonesty. She’s far from alone among mainstream journalist-parents in exhibiting the excesses of identity politics and political correctness.

    Like many my ideological transformation (and maturation) begins with the mainstreaming of Critical Race Theory circa 2012.

  22. Laura Thuijls says

    I found out I was infertile after marrying my husband and attempting to start a family. I ended up going through hormone therapy, 3 surgeries, countless IVFs, until I settled on surrogacy. I planned my surrogate and was ready to go to the Ukraine, but as part of the surrogacy agreement, you must do a blood test beforehand to ensure you are not pregnant. Unbelievably, I was. I now have a 6 month old daughter. But during my infertile years I never felt less of a woman, nor did I feel ‘society’ was obsessed with motherhood. I was obsessed with motherhood though. But all I got was dead embryo after dead embryo. It is strange to grieve for dead embryos, but I still do. The desire to have children is not a regular desire. It can’t be rationalised, or curbed by societal changes. I am so lucky to have my miracle baby, and have that desire fulfilled. But all I could think of this Mother’s Day, was the women who still don’t. I hope they get their miracle baby one soon.

    • deb says

      I feel like this is a topic a lot of women of who are trying do not talk about, fertile or infertile. The fear that runs through our minds if we actually will get pregnant. The reality is that even for a healthy fertile woman, it’s still quite hard to get pregnant when you are trying to do it on purpose, and each month that passes you question yourself if it will ever happen, then when it does you’re so relieved. Congrats to you 🙂

  23. Ted says

    I cringe a bit though from some of those posters claiming you can just go to the sperm bank. Well I think one day the kid from that may want to meet their Dad – can they do that? This is also the only main reason I have against gay marriage – if it leads to a big ramping up in either exploiting the third world for surrogates and/or reproductive technology which ends up in a kind of ‘doctor shopping’.

    • The child can meet their dad in the UK- sperm donors can give their details to the sperm bank. That’s assuming the kid would care, because s/he would know that the parents’ intentions was for sperm donation, it’s not like the dad was kidnapped/disappeared and could never be found. Or even that the parents split up before the child was born, or the father was a runaway dad.

  24. Joe says

    We can thank the Tavistock and Fabian type social engineers for this. They helped to create these very conditions of ‘divide and conquer’ to split men from women and vice versa. They attempt to make it attract to have a pet instead of a human mate. They want your companion to be a smartphone. They want to you to look at adults copulating on a television (or computer) screen, instead of experiencing the real thing. They promote promiscuity and unfaithfulness, combined with either contraception or abortion. They drove us from religion and attempt to say there’s nothing commanding the universe. All who heed or have heeded their calls have ended up in the dilemma of the author. Left to die childless. Note: the family that prays together stays together!

    This is by design. One of the primary objectives of those people, some call the Globalists or the New World Order, is a massive depopulation scheme. Social engineering is just one arrow in their quiver. Other arrows include: Going to college and then a career for as long as possible. This is meant to put your beyond the window of opportunity, in years, and leave you “on the other side” of maternity or paternity; Vaccinations. These are designed to increase sterility or reduce fertility; Cell phones, EMF/RF and 5G technology. Through the microwave radiation, again, exposing you to sterilizing effects; Fluoridation, GMO, on and on.. more sterilization. But you’re supposed to laugh all these things off (by design), as “conspiracy theory.”

    The goal of the drip drop exposure to sterilizing methods is to increase the chances of you, by the time you “get around to having kids,” of you just not going to be able to. It won’t even matter if you’re in your twenties or thirties, you’re still going to have a difficult time conceiving. You might not even be able to produce breast milk. But yes, you’ll have a wall full of degrees, diplomas and certificates. They won’t matter though when your family line comes to an end. And the way they want it is for you to not even know how it happened or what hit you.

    Welcome to the future. You can watch the film, “Children of Men” for a good idea.

    • Jeff says

      “…Fluoridation…” – This is straight out of General Jack D. Ripper’s speech in Dr. Strangelove.

  25. Tara says

    “80 percent of unmarried women are childless, and of those, 81 percent plan or hope to have children one day.”

    This statistic strongly demonstrates the root of the problem, I feel. The majority of women do want to have kids, but, very understandably, cannot easily achieve this without first being married.

    The focus on higher education and the climbing of the career ladder is taking precedent over the pursuit of marriage/a longterm partner, and so the primary step toward having children isn’t being treated as a priority. So once university degrees are attained and one finds themself in what they deem to be a successful position at work, the thing missing in their life is a family unit, which is exponentially harder to sort out in one’s thirties, not to mention the drop in a woman’s fertility.

  26. I come from a family where the women have healthy babies at 40. The dire predictions about after 35 forget it, one man even said 27, are simply wrong. At 27 I lived in Manhattan & couldn’t even commit to one man, My cat and my roommate were my friends and they were enough. Don’t make women feel awful. Plenty of 36 and 38 year old women have babies, the old fashioned way.
    Here’s to the Aunts. My kid could use some.xo

    • deb says

      Yeah, but it’s super annoying having kids closer to 40, you’re deemed high risk and it’s extra work, extra appointments, extra tests.

    • Puggles says

      Women need to be taught biological realities. The fertility rates are way below replacement level in most Western nations. Childless fertile women who’ve followed the feminist dogma should feel bad. Very bad. Mother’s should be teaching their daughters about the biological clock. A woman has around 250 shots at conception, by the time she’s 30 she’s spent through 75% of those eggs. At 30 years every woman should be bluntly told their number 60. You have 60 more monthly tries. Then it’s potential problems and complications. Pro Tip: Your University degree (especially anything ending in Studies) doesn’t matter to men or the raising of children in a family.

      • Brouhaha says

        Then why are populations increasing, 1 woman having 6 kids is the same 6 women having 1 kid. The former high birth rate, the later low birth rate, the outcome….the same. Or are you advocating that ‘westerners’ need to crank up their reproducing duties because the ‘non westerners’ will inherit the Earth and it’s our civic duty to breed.

        It doesn’t matter where the people are coming from there are plenty being produced and more every day, one thing we don’t need is more of them. Maybe they’re more like the realities you should be talking about. But then you’re suggesting keeping women ignorant so as to better enable them to be broodmares and subservient wives, which apparently is more appealing to the men in your sphere.

        Of course there is a proven correlation between poor education /IQ and the propensity to breed, so yeah, sounds like your plan would work. Keep the ladies dumb and the babies will follow.

        You also assume that women are some kind of passive saps that swallow whatever bit of ‘dogma’ happens to come their way. In that case the cult of motherhood and the blatant pro-natalism that women, society and political policy is equally as bad. The fact that ‘mothers’ are the ones responsible for increasing the global population and all that entails should make them feel very bad indeed.

        You talk of women as one hive mind, that hey are incapable of making decisions for themselves. The assertion that all childfree women want to secretly be mothers or even the assertion that all women should be mothers is folly. You may want to talk to the women who regret having children, who capitulated to societal pressure and it made them miserable.

        Try not counting eggs and the number of conception opportunities missed and look at the consequences of making reproductive decisions based on nothing more than ‘my clock is ticking’.

        • kris says

          “Of course there is a proven correlation between poor education /IQ and the propensity to breed, so yeah, sounds like your plan would work. Keep the ladies dumb and the babies will follow”
          That rather neuters your argument. The developing world are the biggest breeders and therefore according to you have lower IQ and poorer education.
          The fact is the world is already overpopulated and predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050. That is staggering when you consider that in 1800 there was less than a billion people. But the biggest control of population must be directed at the developing world since they are by far the biggest breeders (Sub -Saharan Africa especially) Controlling birth rates in the West is irrelevant as they are already in decline but the idea of bringing developing people into the West to boost our population to try and match the breeding rates of the developing world is sheer lunacy. But of course you are not allowed to say that if you dont want to be called a racist.

      • Oblio (@oblios) says

        Puggles, this is just awful advice. First of all, many, many women are able to have children into their 30s. I had one at 35 and one at 37 with no problems whatsoever. My university degree has been absolutely essential in providing for my family. I used it to get my corporate job, which has supported my family for 20 years now. I am a mother who will always be able to provide for my children, regardless of what happens to my husband or my marriage.

        And that’s why I advise MY daughters to make sure they have a career and never, ever, ever stay home with the kids. That’s the reality of the world we live in. You would be a fool to rely on a man to provide for your children when he can divorce you at any time. You must take care of yourself.

    • I have good friends who had kids at 49 and 50 (their own eggs), simply because they never managed to meet a stable partner until their mid to late 40s. They are all doing just fine – including the twin girls and little boy.

  27. Chetna says

    I feel for you but I agree with Jordan Peterson when he said you never truly achieve adulthood until you have children because it forces you to take on the responsibility of another human being in such entirety.

    The fact that you speak of motherhood with such romance makes me think that you are still not an adult. Motherhood is not romantic – it is a hard slog. It is the longest bloody marathon you ever embark on, and it toughens you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

    I have been single, I have been an aunt, I have been married with no kids but it was only when I had kids that I was truly forced to fully embrace adulthood – a state where you truly matter less than those who depend on you. And that is what Jordan Peterson was referring to in my opinion.

    • marms says

      “I feel for you but I agree with Jordan Peterson when he said you never truly achieve adulthood until you have children because it forces you to take on the responsibility of another human being in such entirety.”

      Few if any men show up for the responsibility and adult growth opportunity of looking after ageing mom (or dad). It’s women who do that. Whether or not they have children, women don’t get to opt out of achieving adulthood. If there are no children, it’s Christian women looking after stranger’s parents, or bought female third world carers at minimum wage. (The third world women who were too old for the rent-a-womb gig — which is just another kind of prostitution).

      • Doug says

        “Few if any men show up for the responsibility and adult growth opportunity of looking after ageing mom (or dad). ”

        What a ridiculous, unsupported assertion.

      • Yeah Nope says

        Absolutely absurd, who do you think provides the tax revenue which funds all the social subsidies that go towards the care of the elderly, not to mention the billions spent on programs to prop up the illusion of the strong independent single mother? Protip: It’s men.

        • Mlp says

          Oh, you mean because women can, at best, expect 70% of the wage for the same job?

          Shut the fuck up and start working on a solution instead of bitching about your cute invented problem, kid.

  28. NW WA says

    Pre-1970s, men worked and women had children. Now that so many women have stopped having children, more and more young men are refusing to work. Thanks, 2nd wave feminism and the corrupt media that invented it!

  29. sceptical says

    “Interesting response because it assumes the centrality if the man to the project. I know very good mothers w/ highly successful children who used a sperm bank.” Logically impossible. You cannot be a ‘good mother’ if you intentionally deprive children of one of their parents, half their biological/medical heritage, half their self-knowledge (because a good deal of who we are is what we inherit). Not to mention that the children of single mothers are statistically much more likely to suffer from a variety of poor outcomes including depression, early pregnancy, failure to finish school, criminality, drug abuse, and so on. (Yes, the statistics are out there. Look them up.) This ludicrous idea is one of the most harmful beliefs to reach broad social acceptance in the last 150 years.

  30. Your first mistake was looking in NYC. Your second mistake is staying. I don’t know why but relationships happen more easily anywhere else in the world but there.

  31. “Still, some on the right assume that feminism has tricked us into believing that we could have it all, leaving our wombs bereft of life…”

    I’m a little confused. Right up until the point you wrote those words, I was under the impression that was your point?

    I chuckle when I see cultural references to a mysterious search for the meaning of life: it’s parenthood! Every evolutionary biologist can tell you this. If we miss out, we can find a little of it through other means (pets, nieces, volunteer-work etc…). But it would be nice if society made the meaning of life just a little more obvious to children and young adults. The saddest part of your piece was learning that just 47% of young men believe parenthood is one of the most important parts of life.

  32. justme says

    “the meaning of life: it’s parenthood”.

    Sorry, don’t agree. Plenty of people, male and female, become parents and are still depressed and miserable, even commit suicide. Many women are miserable and depressed BECAUSE of their children, they have terrible relationships with them. And it is not supported by historical facts.

    For most men, being a parent has always been just a minor part of their life, the wife took care to keep the kids out of their hair while they pursued their political, professional, careers or working life and hobbies. Whether their life was successful depended on how successful their work lives were, not their families. Children were to carry on the family name or lineage, give the family more power, etc.

    For upper-class women in many societies, the kids were brought up by wet nurses, nannies, governesses, while Mother went about her busy social life. The kids were lucky to see her for a short visit every day. In many third-world countries, servants take care of the kids. The poorer women had to work while also caring for families. The new middle-class was the first time women actually made being mothers their whole life.

    • justme says

      It is modern life that has led to the sentimentalisation of motherhood and the family, made it about personal “relationships”. It was always basically an economic arrangement, with little concern for individual personalities.

    • You are taking about outliers. For the vast majority of people, their children are the most important thing in their world. It is our biological (and Jordan Peterson would argue spiritual) destiny.

      Any social scientist or psychologist can tell you that by far, the most traumatic thing that can happen to anyone is losing a child. There is no close second. You can put this down to Madison Avenue sentimentality, but it’s not. Your genes are hard-wired to be like that.

      • justme says

        It is only now that we invest so much sentimentally in our children, that it is so devastating. In societeie where infant mortality is high, women invest a lot less, so aren’t “devastated”.

        • Sociopaths perhaps. My aunt had 11 children (married at 16). One of them died of acute viral encephalitis as a young teenager. She felt deep pain over her daughter’s death for 30 years after. It never left her. It is a human response.

      • Jordan Peterson is an alcoholic narcissistic sociopath who almost failed as a father; don’t take his advice for anything.

        • augustine says

          @ justme

          I agree we are almost certainly far more sentimental about family these days compared to 100 and more ybp. You seem to take on this datum and from it derive the view that parenthood, whether mothering or fathering or both, is incidental and related mostly to economic motives. Cynical much?

          “For most men, being a parent has always been just a minor part of their life…”

          Only a callous, ignorant woman could write something like that. Or a troll.

          “Whether their life was successful depended on how successful their work lives were, not their families.”

          No, this is the modern view, not the view of the past. Dead wrong in either case.

          • justme says

            Women have complained about men being “absent fathers” for a long time now, for a reason. Most were, physically and emotionally.

            Their job was to be providers.

  33. Anj says

    The grass is always greener.
    I too desperately wanted children & got what i ‘wished’ for eventually after a long battle with IVF.
    Did it complete me?
    It certainly gave me a much needed humbling as well as permanent anxiety.
    But complete me?
    No. The cute little babies grow up, move on & there you are still searching…

    • LM says

      I’m sure your kids would love to read this.

  34. One would presume articles such as represented by the Time magazine cover refer to the millions of women who do actively choose to not reproduce. They, in no way, diminish the agony and loss felt and experienced by the millions of women who wish to have children but for a myriad of reasons have not. Reproduction is neither a superior nor inferior choice or happenstance. Life is played out, not according to fool-proof plans, set in stone and placed in motion by any one individual. Circumstances intervene, or more simply put, shit happens. There are more tragic events than lack of reproduction, as there are greater achievements.

  35. Christian Moon says

    Men are less interested in making families than they used to be because the deal for them has changed so much for the worse.

    It’s mothers now who “own” their children and if they exit their marriage they take their children with them, while the man is compelled to carry on paying for them.

    This may be right and it may be wrong, but making men so vulnerable in marriage certainly discourages them from risking it. It is part of a wider denigration of the father in our society.

    If women really wanted more opportunities to have a family, they’d be leaving a bit more on the table for men in the marriage contract. For instance, make it the law that whoever petitioned for divorce had to give up the kids and their home to their spouse (rebuttable by showing abuse or risk to the child).

    Men have to choose to lose their kids when they divorce, and women don’t. Men are emotionally shackled in their marriages through their attachment to their children, and women are not.

    This is great for any particular woman in front of us who is already married, but it makes for a system in which many don’t even get the chance of motherhood as a consequence.

  36. NickG says

    Western society is structured to disinsentivise men from getting married. Many women have unrealistic expectations about their marriageable market value. Women are wired to be hypergamarous – they are attracted to men of higher status and find men of lower socio-economic status repellent. This is not so for men, being a successful go getter career woman does not make you more attractive to men, indeed the characteristics required for and that must be cultivated for career success in an office environment, for women are going to make you less desirable marriage materiel.

    Men are now actively discriminated against by Western society, they fare less well in the education system and often in employment and in most social indicators.

    Aggressive feminism and the sense of entitlement it promulgates aggravates all of this, making the dating market a fraught minefield for most normal men. This is just great for dominant successful alpha men but not so good for the vast bulk of normal guys.

    To top all this social media is doing really weird things, most especially to girls.

    Given this confluence of factors the tsunami of sad, unfulfilled childless spinsters beyond their child-bearing years – such as this author – will only increase.

    • Mlp says

      Good good you are uneducated and full of shit. Do you even understand that YOUR desire for being a “dominant alpha man” (LOL, just how small is your dick that you need a title like that? Jesus) is not EVERY MAN’S DESIRE.

      There are close to eight BILLION people on Earth, and plenty of them eschew marriage. Your little snow globe reality of what women and men “want” is adorably, hilariously shallow and empty.

      You seriously believe all women want some roided-up, hyper-“alpha” a-type personality high roller? How pathetic for you. All you are doing is playing into your own biases and shrinking your own dating pool as a byproduct.

    • Michael says

      Yes, I agree with NickG’s analysis in its essential point: sexual liberation for women has resulted in the unleashing of women’s innately evolved hypergamous instinct. There is a graph making the rounds showing that on the dating website OKCupid, men rank female attractiveness according to the standard normal (Bell) curve, while women rate only 20% of men attractive. The contemporary sexual marketplace features a small minority of men sharing the vast majority of women. Obviously these men aren’t going to want to father any kids . . . why would they forfeit their freedom to monopolize the many women who are willing to share them? So women find themselves in a trap in which, consciously or not, they spend their fertile years being pleasured by high-status, high-attraction men who will never marry them while rejecting those who would. The conservative types figured this out many moons ago, and this is why they try to reinforce “family values.”

      • Oblio (@oblios) says

        I don’t believe your statement about the small minority of men sharing the vast majority of women. What is the statistical evidence for this claim I see cited by MGTOWs everywhere? Please not OK Cupid. Let’s see what CDC says:

        “Regarding opposite-sex sexual behavior, 95.3% of women and 93.5% of men aged 18–44 had ever had any opposite-sex sexual contact. Specifically, 94.2% of women and 92.0% of men had ever had vaginal intercourse, 86.2% of women and 87.4% of men had ever had oral sex, and 35.9% of women and 42.3% of men had ever had anal sex. Comparable percentages of women and men have had any opposite-sex sexual contact, vaginal intercourse, and oral sex with opposite-sex partners.”

        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/index.htm

  37. I find it fascinating how much money, effort, and pain women are willing to go through to have children, yet refuse to do the far simpler task of settling for a man who isnt perfect and work at a marriage.

    And you think this problem is bad NOW, wait until even more guys are raised by single mothers given instructions on how to behave towards women that women admit in research they find repellent, even as they publicly proclaim its how they want men to act

  38. justme says

    People today have this Hallmark view of family and children.

    The reality is grimmer. Since Cain and Abel, siblings have hated each other, noble siblings have killed each other or their parents to get the throne, etc.

    Plenty of children hate one parent, or both.

    You read again and again of women who had miserable childhoods and hate their mother, then having kids young so “someone will love me unconditionally”. Uh…what?

  39. Lisa says

    The other problem here is that she came to NYC. Not only the feminism, but a lot of people come here to escape expectations to marry. Unless you’re part of a religious community or you’re insanely good looking and successful, you’re probably not going to find a husband. Once you take away religious compulsion to marry, you’re on your own trying to convince a guy to marry you. So I’ve seen insanely manipulative women succeed at getting a husband , the honest ones not so much. Ok 3 categories: religious, very successful/beautiful or manipulative nut job.

    • justme says

      So true! New York, San Francisco, L.A. are probably the three worst places in the world for a woman to find a serious relationship…

    • augustine says

      “Religious” being the best option of the three obviously.

  40. Kevin says

    One big thing people aren’t being taught is the idea of settling: Sure, search for the perfect match (I still am), but at some point, as biology rears its uncompromising head, settle for a decent match.

    • justme says

      So you’d be happy knowing your wife “settled” for you?

  41. Pingback: Mélanie Notkin : "La glamourisation de la vie sans enfants masque la réalité vécue par la plupart des femmes sans enfants"

  42. Mlp says

    This author is pathetically uninformed. So much that she doesn’t understand the very large connotations and contextual differences between “childless” and “childfree”

    “Child*less*” indicates no children and unhappy/wishing for that to change.

    “Child*free*” indicates no children & happily celebrating that.

    It isn’t that difficult to educate oneself on the difference. This author did not bother to out of her own will full ignorance.

    Moreover, she’s whining about being childless when *she* could have prevented that. If she really wanted kids, she could have been a mother. She chose not to, so she can shut her whining mouth on how she didn’t have kids and what a horrible travesty that is.

    It’s no one’s fault but her own.

    • kris says

      “She chose not to, so she can shut her whining mouth on how she didn’t have kids and what a horrible travesty that is”.
      You seem to be incapable of clicking your keyboard without abusing someone who has made a perfectly reasonable statement. I suspect it Is the lack of love and attention in your life.

  43. Mlp says

    Women can have children without marriage. You realize that’s possible, right?

  44. It’s interesting to add that for every childless woman there is a childless man also probably depressed about it.

  45. Katherine says

    Thank you for such a moving and courageous piece. I’m sure you’re a truly, truly wonderful aunt 🙂

    As I was growing up I had no interest in younger children. I wasn’t raised to look forward to marriage – being academically inclined my parents encouraged me to go as far as I could with education. I remember in high school that the desire to be a wife and mother, if admitted by any girls, was met with incredulity. Why would you restrict yourself so?

    When I got engaged quite young, to everyone’s amazement, I had given no thought whatsoever to what I wanted in a wedding ceremony, and the whole thing (it was fairly simple) was planned by others. I carried on with education and career. To be honest, I didn’t particularly like young children.

    But then, some years later, my husband and I had our own, and now (fast forward) they are young adults. I’m so deeply grateful for them and for the weird sensation of being profoundly connected to other humans that they have taught me. When my first was born, I had the bizarre sensation that I’d just joined the human race – that I cared about other people, the future, the world, in a way I never did before.

    One of the things that troubles me is that I’m precisely the kind of person who could very easily have thought – no, I don’t need children for fulfilment. There was massive pressure on girls even in my youth to prioritise success and achievement over having a family, particularly for the intellectuals. And then to realise at fifty that another publication on the c.v., another sales commission, another morning spent drinking coffee in some fancy café (it’s just a drink, for goodness sake – imagine people getting so excited about nettle tea) – it’s all just tedious and cold and depressing, and you’re not the most important person in the world to anybody. And you’ve been cheated by the chattering voices who tell you all that matters is there’s more rubbish to buy.

    • “I’m so deeply grateful for them and for the weird sensation of being profoundly connected to other humans that they have taught me. When my first was born, I had the bizarre sensation that I’d just joined the human race – that I cared about other people, the future, the world, in a way I never did before.”

      Thank you for sharing honestly. Your story has been told a million times. You discovered the meaning of life. The crazy part is how serendipitous it seems to be!

  46. Ali says

    Author is Childless not Childfree. There is a huge difference between these words. Most , if not all childfree people are HAPPY to be so because we wish to be so. You are unhappy because you don’t have a child, not because you are childfree.

  47. Rae says

    Don’t conflate childless with childfree. You’re mad that people are suggesting that all women without children are happy about it and parading it around as childfree when you’re suffering as childless. You’re doing the exact same in the opposite direction.

    Childless = by circumstance (author)
    Childfree = by choice (me)

    I don’t want children. I haven’t since I was 12 and I’m 34. I have never doubted that, never questioned it. I also have a long term partner and we’re financially stable. We just don’t want children.

    I fully respect a woman’s right to her fertility and the desire to be married, but you can adopt. Yes, it’s not easy or cheap, but neither is pregnancy and childbirth even with a partner. There are options. My cousin and sister-in-law are both single women in their late 30s who decided to adopt. It’s not impossible.

    But please please please stop equating childless with childfree. They are completely different with literally polar opposite perspectives.

  48. Rick Phillips says

    This is one of the more confused discussions I have read on Quillette.

  49. Shirley says

    You’re childless, not childfree.
    There is a difference between wanting kids and not being able to have them, and not wanting kids at all.

    Besides, if you really wanted to be a mother, you would have found a way with ou without a man. You could have adopted.

  50. Population density stress is killing us now. You’ll find the details in my newly published book, “Stress R Us” on Amazon. We need to reduce our reproduction to voluntary one-child families, if those children are to live and the earth is to survive our excesses. Time to get honest! Stress R Us

  51. i applaud the honesty & this woman’s commitment to not having children as a single woman. i think single motherhood too has been erroneously glamorized & romanticized, including the championing of “you can do it alone” notion (yes, in existing circumstances we do need to keep positive angle) and turning blind eyes to what is best for *the children,* which become secondary, most especially when for singles, adult partnership pursuit is ongoing.

  52. Anonymous says

    I found this an interesting and thoughtful article. Many interesting comments too.

    I think that traditional religious societies restrict people’s choices. But, having choices comes at a price, too, as this article shows (in this case, having much of a choice in choosing a partner — in traditional societies your next of kin might find/arrange someone for you and make sure you get married and have kids — that works for many, but of course, it comes at a price for others).

    Yet, people in modern societies are not at all that happy and grateful for their freedom — levels of depression are very high.

  53. An adult says

    Simplistic article. Doesn’t seriously contemplate why she didn’t choose a man. That may be THE issue. There is reference to not being what some men wanted and not wanting the men she could have. Those are points left unanswered. Some, like Peterson, might consider that behavior childish. Interesting attempt to slander Peterson by praising him and then misrepresenting his position. His point is learning to sacrifice in order to achieve a better future. Parents sacrifice for children in ways they would not for other reasons. Maybe a little sacrifice in appreciating a man that actually wanted her would have achieved the future she seems to now desire. Much in how Peterson described in dozens of hours she erroneously derided. But, we will never know why she didn’t sacrifice for the future she claims to have wanted, maybe it is because she never grew up.

  54. Sakura Kaiba says

    Its. Their. Own. Fault.

    They swallowed the feminist lie, and they picked the wrong men..

    Women. Are. Not. Victims.

  55. Peter Wilson says

    I haven’t read every comment, but I find it interesting that the issue of high rates of abortion has not come up. Certainly, the ability to rid oneself of the outcome of irresponsible sexual behavior has had a major effect on society. There is a, I believe, a large number of very unhappy women due to this.

Comments are closed.