Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marcia Drut-Davis—68 Years and No Regrets

Marcia emailed me to share her story and I knew I had to talk to her and learn more. Here’s an excerpt of her email to me:

I’m smiling seeing the direction of [your] project. In 1974, I was one of those interviewed on a “60 Minutes” segment. I was the President of the Long Island Chapter of NON. I announced my decision not to have children.

The next day, I lost my job as a passionate teacher.

My life was threatened, as was the life of my dog. I faced angry pickets at a high school where I was asked to speak. All this, because I dared to say I chose not to parent.

In 1974, you kept that to yourself. I’m now 68. I’ve just finished a memoir. I’m excited that I finally feel I’m being recognized as a woman who made a choice right for me and who has a message about this important choice.

When I followed up with Marcia by phone, she told me she used to wonder if indeed something was wrong with her, if she was a “genetic mutation.” But she set that thought aside and continued to follow her passions. She remarried and her name changed and she was able to re-apply for a teaching job and was later nominated by her peers as “Teacher of the Year.” She continued to be involved in the Long Island chapter of the renamed “National Alliance for Optional Parenting” and is now very active in a Humanist organization in her home state of Florida.

She admits she occasionally felt pangs of longing when she would witness what she calls “Kodak Moments”—those times when proud parents celebrate their children’s accomplishments or transitions at Bat or Bar Mitzvahs, but whenever she was asked “Do you wish you had kids?” her response is “No, thank you.”

Her plate is full: full of life, love, and the young women she has taught over the years whom she calls her “daughter-friends” who still call her up for advice. To Marcia, life remains “delicious.”


Anonymous said...

What a great post! It was so nice to read Marcia's story. Good childfree stories like this are always good things. :)

Morgan said...

Thanks for sharing this story and the many others you have been collecting. Its scary to realize that at one point you faced such dire consequences just for saying that you didn't want to have children. what a crazy world. Thanks to brave women like Marcia, its so much easier to make the decision that is right for me today!

M'dame Jo said...

I will think of her and her story next time I get annoyed by the comments I get. It could be (and was) much worse...

(Off topic, but did you ever think of adding the fb/twitter sharing buttons? Because I like to share your posts and it'd be much quicker. Thanks.)

Jen Hancock - A Happy Humanist said...

I've met Marcia and absolutely adore her. She is wonderful, happy and inspiring. So glad others are getting to know her and her story too.

Dana said...

Yay! Go Marcia! When it comes to having children, I always thought that one thing mattered, irrelevant of whether you actually produce offspring or not: planning.

It's the parents that plan their parenthood and the childless adults who plan not to have children that are the respectable ones.

Where does the shame belong? On people who don't care one way or another, end up pregnant, then decide, "Meh, I guess I'll go along with it."

Laura Scott said...

M'dame Jo. There's a share this button for twitter and facebook on the right side column of the blog. I don't know how I can insert them into each post though. I need to see if I can. Thanks for the great suggestion!

M'dame Jo said...

Laura > it's actually really straightforward now, blogger has integrated the option Show Share Button. It's (really) five clicks.

Dashboard > Design (you land on page elements) > click "edit" in the blog post section > check the "show share buttons" option > save.

And done!

You can check this link for example, it shows everything with screen shots:


Anonymous said...

I am shocked and appalled by Marica's story and also thankful it was shared here. It is comforting to hear that I am not the only woman who has ever wondering if something was wrong with her.

ElaineByTheBeach said...

Just getting caught up on reading; it's nice to have to not read a textbook for a change.
Anyway, what an inspirational woman! She is an important part of childfree history, and she paved the way for the rest of us. How sad that she faced such hostility. Things are better today, but we still have a way to go.

Go Marcia!