Caitlin Moran is my new childfree hero

Caitlin Moran… even though she’s not childfree. Leave it to a wiseass mother of two to make the best case I’ve ever read for not having kids.

Caitlin Moran is currently having an American media moment as she marks U.S. publication of her book How to Be a Woman, a memoir-slash-manifesto that’s been a massive best-seller in the U.K. She’s been described as the British Tina Fey, the next Nora Ephron, and an occasional Lady Gaga bathroom companion. Everyone’s talking about her fervid defense of feminism. (“Do you have a vagina? and Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”) But not enough people are talking about her fervid defense of the childfree life — so I’m going to.

Thing is, Moran loves being a mum (in addition to being many other things, like a columnist for The Times of London). She has a sweet and honkingly funny chapter called “Why You Should Have Children.” But she follows that with a whip-smart chapter entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Have Children.” The latter case so rarely gets vocalized, and Moran vocalizes it so damn well, that I want to block-quote the entire chapter. But that would mean a lot of typing for me. So instead I’ll just block-quote a big chunk, and then you’ll have to go buy the book to read the rest. Which you should do anyway.

[I]f a woman should say she’s doesn’t want to have children at all, the world is apt to go decidedly peculiar: “Ooooh, don’t speak too soon,” it will say — as if knowing whether or not you’re the kind of person who desires to make a whole other human being in your guts, out of sex and food, then base the rest of your life around its welfare, is a breezy, “Hey — whatever” decision. …

[T]his injunction for all women to have children isn’t in any way logical. If you take a moment to consider the state of the world, the thing you notice is that there are plenty of babies being born; the planet really doesn’t need all of us to produce more babies.

Particularly First World babies, with their ferocious consumption of oil and forest and water, and endless burping-out of carbon emissions and landfill. First World babies are eating this planet like termites. If we had any real perspective on fertile Western women, we’d be jumping on them in the streets, screaming, “JESUS! CORK UP YOUR NETHERS! IMMUNIZE YOURSELF AGAINST SPERM!” …

Read the rest of the post at Grist.org.

4 responses to “Caitlin Moran is my new childfree hero

  1. Lisa – where have you been all my life? This is a great blog about a really important topic. I’ve been browsing for only a few minutes but already feel like I’ve got ten sparkling new replies to the dreaded question, ‘Why don’t you have kids?’ For my partner and I, our reproductive choice has been completely sustainability-driven… trying to be wise to the limitations of not only Earth’s resources, but also our own resources as a couple and as individuals. THANK YOU for starting this blog! More, please…

  2. Elizabeth, thank you! So glad you found the blog. Yes, I’ll keep it up!

  3. Pingback: #Childfree Times for July 2012 - Nyxks Musings

  4. Love your blog! I do wonder if GINKs are shrinking the green voting block (especially in relative terms), but it is nice to see the virtues spelled out somewhere…

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