Christine Tarbet, the Web Producer of Momversation (a site that features video from mom-bloggers) emailed me last week giving me a heads up about a new video they had produced titled, "Childfree by Choice." It features some the top mom bloggers and their view of the childfree by choice “movement.”
Apparently one of the mom bloggers spent half a day scanning some the sites and forums, was taken aback by some of the content she saw there, and came away with the impression that the childfree hate kids and by extension their “breeder” parents for hogging all the tax cuts and benefits afforded exclusively to parents in our society.
Let me go on record. I don’t dislike children and I have no problem with parents unless they neglect or abuse their children. I confess I have used the term “ankle biters” in reference to children but so have some of my friends who later became parents. But I have never used the terms “crotch droppings” or “semen demons” (used by some childfree forum users) because I find them offensive and rude. I don’t look at a kid and automatically grimace because I have found some kids to be very cool and fun to be around, others not so. Likewise, some of the childfree just plain don’t like kids and some really enjoy their time with the little munchkins.
Writer Sarah Klein did a pretty good job resolving the question: “Are the childfree a fast-growing, misunderstood movement — or just a bunch of mean ol’ kid haters?” in her 2005 Detroit Metro Times article titled “Oh Baby.”
Klein noted that the Childless by Choice come in all stripes and flavors and quoted Psychologist Debra Mollen: “Many parents get upset because they internalize the criticism, and feel like their choice, the choice to parent, is negated. But most childfree people are simply saying, ‘This is what works for us.’”
In this article Mollen also acknowledged that the parents are afforded privileges not extended to the childless. “Pregnant women get preferential parking, those without children are expected to work longer hours, people with children get tax breaks,” Mollen says. “There’s social sanctioning for having children.”
Maybe that’s why the childfree feel the need to rant. If you look hard enough you are going to find the radicals, the shock jocks, and the righteously pissed-off in any population, whether you’re right wing, left wing, religious or atheist, parents or non-parents.