Kate Spicer, a journalist and probably a really smart lady said some pretty stupid shit the other day. She wrote a piece for Daily Mail stating, “Any woman who says she’s happy to be childless is a liar or a fool.” Wow, what a sweeping overstatement, judgement on other people’s choices and undermining of nearly half of women.
What kind of person would be so dismissive of other women’s choices? The kind of person who compares women not having children to the dystopian future presented in Brave New World.
“Have you read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World with its population graded from the top, Alpha, down to Epsilon? If educated, successful women like me don’t breed, are we gearing up for a generation of Epsilon-minus semi-morons. Social mobility is stickier than ever, so let’s not leave breeding to the idiots.”
Because poor people are stupid, you guys. We can’t have dumb poor children running the world, can we? /Sarcasm
Kate Spicer had an abortion when she was 18 years old and regrets it because now that she is 44 she cannot have children and never did. Now that is a story I can empathize with. Things are disappointing when you expect your life to go one way and it goes another. I’ve also seen how devastating it is to not be able to get pregnant or have children when you really want to be a mother.
However, it is one thing to express that you kind of, sort of, resent women whose bodies are able to have children when yours is not. That kind of coveting is normal, it’s petty, but it’s normal. However, Kate Spicer basically attests to know what other women want more than they do and to shame them for not having children.
Kate doesn’t like when other women disagree with her, “I had an intern recently, a 21-year-old Oxford graduate, who told me confidently she never wanted kids because it would get in the way of her career. I told her she was mad. While a child-free life looks fun on Facebook, no number of career highs, nights at the theatre, weekends away or adult pleasures can disguise the fact that it feels – there is no other word – empty.”
I’m sorry that you feel empty, Kate but since when did you control the emotions and feels of all other people. Kate’s sad today, I guess that’s why it’s raining. Having children is a choice. When you have children you give up a lot of personal freedoms but for many that sacrifice is well worth it. When you don’t have children you maintain a certain sense of autonomy but you don’t get to have kids—for many that sacrifice is well worth it.
“Statistics do not reveal whether the 43 per cent of educated women who are child-free are so by choice or by circumstance, but I believe the Motherhood Deniers, waving the flag for the childless life, remain in the minority. Admittedly a far more confident, glamorous, and witty minority than they once were, but a minority nonetheless.”
She has no evidence to support this claim but she is going to make it anyway, ladies who don’t have children are sad.
One of my best friends is almost 38 years old and does not have children. She has scarcely lamented this fact and merely asserts that she loves her life and her lifestyle and a kid just wouldn’t fit into that. She is very happy. I don’t want kids, I don’t think that will change. My career is my baby, it is the thing I want to nurture, the thing I want to feed, the thing I want to grow. I can handle children in brief moments of cuteness but I am not suited for motherhood or for self-sacrifice which is what parenting is.
The planet is overpopulated enough, if we all had children, we’d run out of resources a lot quicker. There’s a reason why civilization has shifted from constantly boning everyone and our cousins, to being more selective when we mate and have children: survival of the species no longer depends on the mere propagation of it.
Kate says, “I have never met a woman who regretted having children. She surely exists, but not in my experience. I have met, however, older people who lament never having kids, for whatever reason, and I suspect some of the noisy Motherhood Deniers will eventually join their number.”
People do not admit that they regret having children because no one would ever own up to that, but I think the number of abused and neglected children on the planet, which are far too many, are a testament to the fact that not everyone should have children or wants to.
It’s not as though I don’t have empathy for Kate’s situation. It sucks that her body isn’t up to the task anymore. I feel for the women whose circumstances prevented them from having children but I cannot agree that all women who say they don’t want children secretly do. I can’t make the claim that I know what every woman is thinking or assert that I have the right to declare her a “liar or a fool,” when she tells me she doesn’t want children. What kind of world is that, where we don’t listen to one another or respect each other’s choices?
One look at the comments of the original article exposes just how wrong Kate Spicer is.
Gillian: “I am a woman of 56 and I never wanted children. Who wants to spend a life time with a thing that pukes up and is dirty in their pant for two years, has tantums for the rest the time. No way do I want to spend thousands on a thing which doesn’t give back anything but heartache and misery. One very happy and childless woman. This woman in the article is talking total rubbish.”
CMB: “If there are women who don’t want children what is wrong with that? For some people the children are what define their lives, for others not. We are just different and no one should be judged by that… I hope you overcome you self pity and bitterness and the need to drag other women down to your level. people are different, get over it…”
Elle: “No. You are just pushing your own insecurities onto other woman who don’t share your opinion. Some women just don’t want kids, get over it.”
Kal: “Speak for yourself Katie Spicer if you have regrets that is your problem, now in my late 50’s I have never wanted or regretted not having any not even fleetingly, I enjoy seeing my nephews but have never ever for one millisecond wanted any of my own.”
RH: “I’m 50 and i never wanted children. I just never had any maternal feelings. I don’t envy people with children – it just wasn’t for me. I’ve sometimes wondered what will become of me and my husband in old age but I know that having children is no guarantee of being looked after in old age! Good luck to those people who have children – I prefer to spend my time doing other things. I consider myself child-free, not childless. “Childless” implies I’m missing something but in reality my husband and I are free to do what we want, when we want (when we’re not working to pay taxes to keep everyone else’s children) and I don’t.”