Monday, June 14, 2010

Carrie and Mr. Big are Childfree

I just saw the new Sex and the City 2 movie and was thrilled that characters Carrie and Mr. Big came out as childfree.

Political analyst and commentator Taylor Marsh noticed too and in her Huffington Post review of this film she gave kudos to SACT 2 writers for tackling issues of female empowerment around the world and challenging the myth of marriage and motherhood as a state of perpetual bliss:

As the plot deepens, Carrie has become a nag to Mr. Big about every little domestic thing. Newsflash, ladies. Domestic bliss compared to the emotional high wire can feel a bit mundane for the unprepared. In the end, finding out that as a relationship writer and expert on the topic, the one who knows more about marriage is her man. Aidan enters for the set up. All of this amidst Carrie and Mr. Big's challenge of choosing to be child-free in a world that still expects women to assume there is only one choice.

I can't lose the nanny moments come rarely, but few are funnier. Charlotte feels guilty about wanting to let out a primal mother scream because her girls are driving her insane. But Miranda comes to the rescue knowing how she feels, hoping to help Charlotte admit it over cocktails so she'll survive it all. Both mothers know how lucky they are to have help and take an emotional cocktail moment to salute the mothers who don't.

I agree with Marsh—this is a funny and very bold film which challenges conventional thinking and stereotypes. I went to the movie with two other childless/childfree women and we were thrilled that Carrie did not show regret over her childlessness like so many characters in previous Hollywood films and I was extremely pleased to hear Carrie and Mr. Big agree that "Two is Enough." I was tempted to imagine that the writers had read my book but perhaps this is just a coincidence.

What was clearly intentional was the implied acceptance of all choices that women might make and the resulting suspension of judgment, which is long overdue. Wear a burqa, or revel in your sexual appeal; have kids, or don’t have kids; adopt traditional models of family and marriage or make up your own rules. All options are embraced within the story of these four women, and that is something to celebrate!


May said...

I have a question that is not related to the post. When I express my desire not to have kids everyone tells me to wait until I'm 33 or 35 (I am currently 27) and I will feel some strong irrational desire for a kid that I will not be able to control and they tell me stories of women that felt that way (although they never mention if those women originally didn't desire kids).
If there a study about it? I am surprised by the amount of people that seem to be sure it's a hormonal thing but it could be that those women originally wanted kids and they just saw that they would have less chances to conceive after 35. I would like to know the truth. I would like to know what to expect and understand if something starts to change as I approach 35.

Laura Scott said...

May, thanks for your post. I don't know of a study on the veracity of the whole hormonal maternal urge that is said to occur in your mid-thirties. My mother told me I might experience it but I never did (I am 48 now)and most of the women I interviewed who were self-described childless by choice did not experience this either.

I imagine that if you had anticipated children and you were nearing thirty-five years you might feel some pressure due to the fertility deadline which is a real deadline but that is exactly the right time to ask yourself, "Do I really want a child, or is it the pressure or influence of friends, family, or the fertility deadline which is at work here?"

I do think some women experience an increased desire to have a child in their thirties but maybe that is because they really want a child and feel ready for motherhood, but I don't see a lot of women who are decidedly childfree changing their minds suddenly in their thirties. I know a couple of childfree people who did change their minds and have kids but it usually has less to do with hormones than a thoughful decision to experience parenthood.

Hope that helps answer your question!

Morgan said...

Hi May, I hope you somehow find this response to your comment. I too got that "be careful because if you wait too long you are going to really want kids and then be too old to have them" message. I got it a lot and it did frighten me, but not enough to make me have kids. I'm 43 and feel just as certain now as i did at 23 or 34 or 38 that having kids is not the road i want to follow in life. I love my husband, love my job and love my life. I'm SO thankful I didn't let anyone pressure me into making a fear based decision.

I wish there had been a website like this when i was 20! Anyway, good luck to you, May. I hope whatever you decide, you enjoy your life at 43 as much as I am enjoying mine.