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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:22 AM

Helen Mirren confronts the final female taboo

The number of childless women is growing fast all over the world – why does it bother so many people? It is nobody else's business, says Sarah Rainey

In the opening scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary, the lecherous Uncle Geoffrey sidles up to Bridget at her mother’s turkey curry buffet and asks that dreaded question: when is she going to get “sprogged up”? “You career girls,” he leers, “can’t put it off forever. Tick-tock, tick-tock.”
Childless women – whether they’re 32, like Bridget, or 67, like Dame Helen Mirren, whose comments in this month’s Vogue have reignited the debate on childlessness – have had to put up with jibes like this for centuries. When a woman reaches a certain age, she is expected to start thinking about having children. If she doesn’t, society demands an answer. But why doesn’t she have children, people will whisper. Isn’t she able to have children? Doesn’t she want children?
In the past, Mirren has answered with defiance. “I have no maternal instinct whatsoever,” she once said. “Motherhood holds no interest for me.” In her latest interview, however, Mirren, who has been married for 15 years, admits that she always expected to be a mother. “It was not my destiny,” she says. “I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought.”
Women, she adds, never gave her a hard time: “it was only boring old men. And whenever they went 'What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,’ I’d say 'No! F--- off!’”



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/9847642/Helen-Mirren-confronts-the-final-female-taboo.html

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Reply Helen Mirren confronts the final female taboo (Original post)
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 OP
JustAnotherGen Feb 2013 #1
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #36
LiberalLoner Feb 2013 #2
seabeyond Feb 2013 #3
RockaFowler Feb 2013 #4
seabeyond Feb 2013 #10
lunamagica Feb 2013 #46
4Q2u2 Feb 2013 #5
seabeyond Feb 2013 #11
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #30
Auntie Bush Feb 2013 #61
Little Star Feb 2013 #62
seabeyond Feb 2013 #63
Little Star Feb 2013 #66
JustAnotherGen Feb 2013 #45
beac Feb 2013 #6
MadrasT Feb 2013 #7
seabeyond Feb 2013 #13
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #26
seabeyond Feb 2013 #27
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #31
seabeyond Feb 2013 #34
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #8
seabeyond Feb 2013 #14
get the red out Feb 2013 #51
seabeyond Feb 2013 #57
bobclark86 Feb 2013 #9
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #12
mostlyalurker Feb 2013 #70
Sophiegirl Feb 2013 #15
seabeyond Feb 2013 #17
Sophiegirl Feb 2013 #18
seabeyond Feb 2013 #19
get the red out Feb 2013 #52
Sophiegirl Feb 2013 #59
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2013 #16
dawnie51 Feb 2013 #20
logosoco Feb 2013 #21
Yavin4 Feb 2013 #22
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #56
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #23
dgibby Feb 2013 #43
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #24
seabeyond Feb 2013 #29
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #76
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #77
Gin Feb 2013 #25
get the red out Feb 2013 #28
rivegauche Feb 2013 #33
MadrasT Feb 2013 #38
rivegauche Feb 2013 #50
rivegauche Feb 2013 #32
seabeyond Feb 2013 #35
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #39
get the red out Feb 2013 #47
rivegauche Feb 2013 #49
get the red out Feb 2013 #55
stopwastingmymoney Feb 2013 #71
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #78
seabeyond Feb 2013 #79
Doctor_J Feb 2013 #37
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #40
Doctor_J Feb 2013 #42
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #44
get the red out Feb 2013 #48
connecticut yankee Feb 2013 #41
Politicub Feb 2013 #53
bitchkitty Feb 2013 #54
seabeyond Feb 2013 #58
bitchkitty Feb 2013 #60
seabeyond Feb 2013 #64
bitchkitty Feb 2013 #74
seabeyond Feb 2013 #75
Flying Squirrel Feb 2013 #65
MadrasT Feb 2013 #67
ensemble Feb 2013 #68
noiretextatique Feb 2013 #69
glinda Feb 2013 #72
ProfessionalLeftist Feb 2013 #73

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:28 AM

1. Amen Helen

'No! F--- off!".


There are two things drilled into me my mother.

1. You neveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer HAVE to get married.

and

2. You neveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer HAVE to have children.


And if anyone gives you are hard time about it - tell them to . . .


And is it really a taboo? To be childless by choice or CHANCE? Not everyone gets the cute little 'fairy tale' where they marry at 20 and have a few kids by 30.

Some of us were chasing dreams, champagne campaigns, traveling, pursuing advance degrees, moving around . . . and some of us had mid life crisis in our early 30s

Had I gotten married and had kids at 30 that would have been an absolute utter disaster!

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:42 AM

36. I'm a childless man and sometimes I get the same treatment.

 

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:34 AM

2. And some of us were born with genetic conditions (in my case EDS) we didn't want to pass on, and

others of us were born with a condition that makes conception and pregnancy difficult (me again, uterus didelphys) and some of us struggle with mental illness and fear we would not be good mothers (me again, PTSD and depression).

So, yeah, if the world wants to know why I had no children - "No! F--- off!"

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:45 AM

3. i love i had the opportunity to be a mother. and i was perfectly happy when i was not a mom.

i liked my life. i was older when i had kids. i had decided i wasnt going to have any, and that was good. but, i didnt feel any pressure, anywhere that was a role i had to do. i really did not have people bothering me about it.

i am from a family that is odd in that. my fathers mother had two sisters that never married or had kids. his mother was older when she had kids. my uncle in that family had four girls. only one has married and had one child. another uncle has four boys. only one had a child and they lived together and never married. another of my fathers brother married and had no kids.

on my moms side an uncle had four boys and only one has married and none of them have had kids. lol. her sister had two girls, one has not had kids.

just epic in our family and not unusual. more unusual to have kids. lol

i know women who are not maternal. they did a lot of damage not having that within, and choosing to have kids.

i do not know how much of an issue it is for women. i hear women complain about it. i totally respect any woman that chooses to not have kids. matters not to me. but, i didnt experience it.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:54 AM

4. And some of us don't have enough money

I'm sorry. I wanted children, but first we didn't have a large enough house. So we waited until we could get a house. Then we got a house and my husband lost his job. Now I'm 41 and my husband works part-time and I'm the main bread-winner. I can't afford to take the time off needed to take care of a child properly. It isn't fair to my child. And it isn't fair to my family now. We are barely surviving week-to-week. I don't know how people do it. Maybe one day I can adopt a child. But right now I can't afford a child that I really want.

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

10. and this...

is the really sad and a very real reality too many face. you are looking at it from the ultimate in parental sacrifice, yet it causes you to not be able to fulfill an important want. i hate this. and i am sorry for this.

i wish, i wish, i wish.

both our kids were ooops. if we waited until circumstances where what we wanted, we probably would not have had them. but, it worked for us. and i was really lucky that i was able to spend the time with the kids. a lot of parents want, but do not get that.

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:27 PM

46. I really admire your sense of responsibility. I see people around me who never took that into

consideration. They just want to have a baby...or maybe "it just happens". So these poor kids grow up in cramped little places with no place to run, and all kids of financial problems.

"Fair to my child". Sadly, that's a rare concept

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:59 AM

5. Reverse the Question

As a father of 4, if someone asked why I had so many, I would probably give the same answer as woman without children, NoYFB.
Talk about invading someones sanctity of privacy. That is as fundamental a right there is in this world. How you are going to form as a family, and how you get to define YOUR family. It seems also pretty straitforward if a woman does not have children, either one she does not want them or she or her partner may have difficulty in getting pregnant (to also include adoption). Financially they were not ready or the timing was not right. Why risk being an ass and hurting someones feelings with the wrong comment or question. To live ones life as they see fit is what it is all about. As the old saying goes, Life takes all types.

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Response to 4Q2u2 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:34 AM

11. i am blunt and straight forward and not shy. i ask.... i like to learn. BUT... this is one of

the few subjects i never ask. we dont know the answer, and can be a very private and/or painful moment. this one is to be left alone.

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Response to 4Q2u2 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

30. Good point

My oldest daughter ended up with 'Irish twins' with her second marriage. (13 months apart) her husband is 8 years older than her, had a grown son. She had a pre-teen.

Some of the comments they got from my SIL's family were extremely rude and really hurt him. He's a great Dad.


Me? I love those little guys and admire my daughter and SIL no end.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM

61. I had Irish twins too, but didn't know they were called that for years.

(14 mo apart) an believe it or not, we had the second one on purpose...already had one 2 1/2 yrs older. Then 2+ years latewe finally had a girl...our 4th child back in the 60's when small families were in. No one ever asked why I had so many. They'd get one upside the head if they did. I was on and off the pill and had 4 children because I loved my kids and just wanted more. If I had had a 4th boy I'd have given up. I guess I kept trying to have a girl.

Today, that girl doesn't want to have any kids and she's 42. I'm disappointed but that 's their business I and stay out. They are going to go to Italy for 2 weeks next mo. and certainly couldn't have done that if they'd had a baby...so we all do what makes us happy and it's none of anyone else's business.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:07 PM

62. My last two girls were Irish twins (11 months apart)....

But then I had all four of my kids within four years. Stuff happens.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #62)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:22 PM

63. my mom, 3 in 3 yrs. all in october. lol. dont know how you women made it thru, sane. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #63)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:06 PM

66. It wasn't easy but I'd love to have those days back again. Lot of work but lot of pleasure too.

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Response to 4Q2u2 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:17 PM

45. Ditto seabeyond

It's no one's god damned business why or why not.


The only time it's been a REAL issue for me is when I USED to see the mommies and daddies always getting preferential treatment for holiday time off because they have families.

Know what? Enough - I had a family too - just didn't give birth to them. Spoke up for myself and made it happen.

If more single and childless people did that - our number two resentment in the workplace would disappear.


For single women it is pay equity (first).

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:06 AM

6. I knew I didn't want children from a young age and was repeatedly told my "bio clock" would kick in

and I'd then be baby-crazed. Never happened and, as I am in peri-menopuase, never will. And I am perfectly happy.

Interesting that they mention Henry VIII in the article. Of course, we all know it was his contribution that wasn't making boy babies, but he may have also had Kells Syndrome, thus explaining why six wives/many mistresses and only four children (3 legit, one out-of-wedlock) but many miscarriages:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303153114.htm#


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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:20 AM

7. Never wanted children. Never had children.

And no one has ever given me any grief about it. I don't even remember anyone ever telling me "Oh, you'll change your mind, biological clock, blah blah blah".

It has always been clear to anyone who has ever known me at all that I am not "mom" material.

My parents raised my sister and I with the understanding that children (and husbands) were completely optional. My sister opted to have 4 children, I opted to have none. We're all happy with our choices.

I understand other women seem to feel outside pressure to procreate, but that is one common female experience I have never had.

(Is this really still a problem, beyond parents wanting to be grandparents and perhaps pressuring their daughters to provide grandchildren? Maybe it is in some social circles, just not mine?)

I am just not experiencing or seeing childlessness as a societal taboo, at least not in Mid-Atlantic US of A where I have spent my entire life.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:36 AM

13. i was 33 before having the first. didnt marry until 32. i never had anyone say anything let alone

pressure me.

odd, huh?

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:22 AM

26. Heh

I had both birth children by the time I was 20 but didn't marry until 33.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:25 AM

27. lol, i guess that is another way to do it. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:33 AM

31. Not a good way

My daughter found one of he half sisters, they became quite close, she met her birth father, but doesn't want anything to do with him-- doesn't see the point. Both she and my grandson teased the crap out of me, he was less than impressive from what I understand. He was cute when I was 16, what can I say?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:37 AM

34. never look behind....

can make one extremely uncomfortable with what they see. fortunately, there is no one in my life today that knows anything about my yesterday.

that is funny.

they survived and they are doing well.

yes, being older makes it a hell of a lot easier.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:24 AM

8. I never wanted kids.

It was just me & my Mom for the first 7 years of my life. She worked. First she was an operator for the phone company & then a bookkeeper. That always appealed to me - having a career, doing what you want, being independent. Then, when I was about 12, I read "Coffee, Tea or Me?" & the deal was sealed. I had this glamorized idea of a career girl & wanted no part of kids. A man in my life? Sure. But kids? No way.

It was the right decision for me. The thought of changing a diaper, much less to do that for a couple of years . . . well, let's just say, not everyone is mommy material.

In contrast to Mirren, however, I have had several occasions where women have made thoughtless remarks regarding my childlessness. Things along the lines of:

> "I'm so sorry," when they hear I have no children. This one really gets me because it's based on the assumption that I want children, but can't have them.

> "My children are the greatest joy in my life," after I've told them that I chose childlessness. Hey, if you're going to have kids, they should be a joy. But I am not you, so that doesn't mean they would be a joy to me.

> "Don't you worry you'll regret it someday?" Knowing how a lot of parent/child relationships turn out, I would like to turn that question back on them, "Don't you worry you will?"

> "Who will take care of you when you're older?" This one floors me. Is that why you had a child? To serve your own purpose? And then the song "Cat's Cradle" comes to mind.

Most of these comments were made back in the 90s, when I first started working in an office. Back then, I was one of the few married women without children, or without planning to have children. Slowly, it started to change & by the time I left corporate, I worked with lots of women who didn't have children & those comments are not nearly as common. Getting older may have something to do with it too! ~lol. There's a different take when your 30 & childless, vs. 55.


To assume that all women are maternal is one of the most misogynistic insults. And conversely, to assume that men are not naturally good parents, is also sexist. It's within our power as a culture & a species, to redefine ourselves. That, however, would be the more difficult road & would take introspection, discipline & sacrifice.


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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:38 AM

14. "Don't you worry you'll regret it someday?"

that is horrible and so insulting. like wishing you regret.

i never understood the person that thinks of their children there to take care of them when they are older. we do not even think that way with either side of our family.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:52 PM

51. That's my Mom

She says that every time I take her to the doctor or to shop (she's in assisted living) "I would certainly be in a mess if I hadn't had kids", she says to her child-free daughter again. I try to keep my mouth shut since she's old and helpless.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:17 PM

57. instead of a simple... thank you.

i am sorry.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:30 AM

9. Some people just don't want kids...

and others are too broke or can't find anybody other than meth dealers.

My sister turns 30 this year, and she lives in the same rural, depressed area of the state as I do. Since most of the guys she meets are trailer trash bastards who deal crack, she has made her choice to hold off on kids, probably indefinitely (something I always supported her for). Did make for some long Thanksgivings, though. Thankfully, our very Catholic grandmother (who stopped at seven kids only because of health problems) has finally understood my sister's intentions and finally accepts them. Grandma was really harping on her for a while, which my sister and I both found upsetting.

My sister's choice is a bit of a problem for me, though. For the past year or so, she's bugging me to settle down so she can hype her non-existant nieces up on hot chocolate and sugar cookies before sending them to barf in my Mercury on the way home.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:35 AM

12. I can't believe we stil have to deal with this shit.

My wife and I wanted kids, but couldn't have any, so while we were waiting on the adoption process to wend its way through, we got a ration of this shit too, and we were like 'fuck you we're done talking about this'.

Nobody's goddamn business why we didn't have kids during the 'expected' first 8 years of our marriage. Nobody wants to talk to aunt nosey and uncle 'doesn't really give a shit anyway' about why they can't have kids.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:31 PM

70. I feel for you.

My husband and I tried for 10 years....miscarriage after miscarrige and two stillbirths. And adoptions take time and money and are put on hold every time you get pregnant again. Before we really knew what happened we were 45 and too full of grief to keep trying. I hate when people ask about your kids. Strangers and casual acquaintances don't need to know our whole medical history.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:41 AM

15. My best advice to my daughter

I was young when I had my two kids. My daughter was born when I was 21 years old and my son came along two years later. My daughter is now 29 years old and they have not had a baby yet.

We had many discussions as she got older, especially when she was in college and engaged to her high-school sweetheart (that's another long story). I told her that, IMO, they should live life together before deciding to have a family. Once you have a baby, life becomes something entirely different. I said that they should learn to become a "married couple" and figure out what that means for both of them. I encouraged them to do some traveling and to figure out how to deal with those annoying things that all couples have with one another. I encouraged her to figure out what SHE wanted in life and not what was expected of her as a woman. I asked her to think about what all that meant BEFORE they brought a child into their world.

So now, at 29, she and her childhood sweetheart, married almost six years now, have decided that they want to start a family. They have been thinking about it for a while and know they want to take that step. They weren't sure if having a family was their path, but they took the time to make that decision. It could have gone the other way and they may have chosen not to have a family. I wouldn't have had a problem with that at all.

Bottom line is that it is an individual choice and nobody should insert themselves into that very personal decision.

And THAT - as a mom - makes me happy. And proud of their maturity in this very, very important choice.


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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:45 AM

17. that is a really good story.

i love hearing how you discussed with daughter and her choices. thank you

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:52 AM

18. Thanks

I also discussed birth control with her when she was young. Her dad (my ex) was furious because he promoted abstinence and tried to hold the staff of "religion" over her head (thus an example of the "ex" part). Even when his step-daughter was on her second pregancy at the age of 17.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

19. geez, i know that. my brother raised his daughter. he approached with abstinence.

when i told him he had to teach about bc, he told me that would "ok" sex. in our house, with boys, i teach... better have protection or else. and why would you wait for marriage. lol. brother and i disagreed on approached.

now, the girl is 20 and bfs, older and having sex. he is demanding i take her in to put her on the pill. he wont do it cause he does not want to be contradictive in his teaching.

the hypocrisy.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:54 PM

52. All Mothers should be like you

That's the way it should be done. Excellent!

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Response to get the red out (Reply #52)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:32 PM

59. I kinda call it....

...common sense. But that is a pretty subjective thing, I suppose. Reasonable thought is a different topic.

Thanks.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:44 AM

16. 'None of your damn beeswax'

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:09 AM

20. Didn't know Helen had no kids....

but that helps explain how her body looks so good, even in her sixties. The pictures of her a couple of years ago in a bikini were inspirational.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:10 AM

21. This reminds me of when I was taking care of other kids, along with my own,

and one of the girls, about age 9, asked me if people HAD to have kids when they grew up. After laughing about that one, I explained to her no one should have kids if they don't want them. I think the discussion led to talking about birth control, because my son, also around 9, was shocked to learn you could "control it".
As for myself, I wanted kids so much. My husband and I were together for 10 years before our first daughter was born and two others came soon after (everything in it's own time, I learned!). In those years when I was infertile, I would console myself my looking for other "famous" women who did not have kids. It always seemed like there were not very many, most women had kids. This was in the 80s, hopefully now women do feel more in control of this choice, and I hope it gets easier with each generation.
I have much respect for women who know they don't want kids and don't have them. I have seen many women miserable with the motherhood experience and may have wished they had thought more about it before jumping in.
I also feel sorrow for the women who want children and cannot have them. If only our biology was more in tune with our minds!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:17 AM

22. When you see a thread title with "Helen Mirren" and "taboo", I had very different expectations

With that sais, not having children is a "taboo"??? The whole point of feminism was to give women equal standing in society and control over their lives. If they wanted children, great. If they didn't want children, also great.

True patriarchy is the not-so subtle societal pressure to force women into always thinking in terms of marriage and children as being the ultimate norm. Every romantic comedy is about someone getitng married or about having kids. We have two justices on the Supreme court who never married and don't have kids. Are their lives worth any less than a woman who had children and a husband?

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:14 PM

56. I know some people who think they are better people simply because they have had children.

One guy told my husband & me that having children is what life is all about & choosing not to have them indicates lack of character. Needless to say, I never spoke to that a-hole again.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:18 AM

23. Clients of mine have whispered this question about me to

my assistants over the years, apparently because I am persistently single and have no children: "Is she lesbian??"

Well no, I'm not, but SO WHAT IF I WERE????

Or they say something stupid to me like: "You'll meet someone and get married and get pregnant and then just (magically?) fall in love with babies!!"

Errr, nope. If I don't want and love babies from the get-go there ain't gonna be no randomly getting pregnant.

Now that I have passed menopause at least the baby crap has stopped. But people still think single at my age = LESSSSSBIAN. Oy.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:06 PM

43. I get that, too.

I hate it when people ask if I've ever been married, followed by why not? Drives me crazy! It's as if you're somehow deficient if you're single and childless. I don't feel I owe anyone an explanation about my personal decisions, especially almost total strangers.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:19 AM

24. I was a crap mother

Started too young, became a stepmother just when I was understanding what I was doing. My husband and I raised our four children who seemed to have survived our imperfect parenting.

My point? If I went back on time, as much as I love all my kids, and grandkids, If I went back n time, I would like to have had thought it out more, rather than just had this knee jerk mommy response. To this day I believe my choice would have been to not have children. And you know what else? She won't come out and say it, but its my belief my mother would have chosen to not have children either. (Or at least would have chosen a different partner to have them with)

Some of us are wonderful parents, both our daughters who have kids are great at it. Some of us are meant for other things. And it's all good. Never let anyone choose for you.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

29. very good post

i love how you just say it the way it is. so simple. thanks.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:13 PM

76. You are the first person with kids that I've ever heard say that.

How refreshing. I think there are many parents who feel the same, but it's not acceptable to admit it. And ditto with my mother. I think she would have chosen the same.


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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #76)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:31 PM

77. I think it's part of furthering the conversation

If we who feel that way look inside and allow ourselves to be honest, and talk about it, then others might realize they feel the same way and that it's perfectly OK, perfectly ' normal'. And know they have allies and others who do understand.


I hate the thought of women being alone with unnecessary guilt and shame and despair.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:20 AM

25. (IMHO.) Marriage and children are overrated.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

28. I never had the desire for children

I do not even understand what that desire would feel like. Other folks really don't get my desire not to either, but my desire is the less popular one.

Even my own sister feels I've been deprived a "natural desire" by our Mother who suffers from mental illness since my Mom always told me she never wanted me to have kids or marry over and over (didn't tell my sister that, for some reason). I have no way of knowing how I got this intense horror of having kids, but it has always been entrenched in me so much that it simply is a part of me.

Neither my sister nor I wanted to potentially pass along agonizing mental illness that is in our family as strongly as brown hair; she opted to adopt and I simply feared motherhood like a plague. To be honest, I always feared it worse than death. Maybe that's sick, but it's me and I'll not apologize to an overpopulating world for it.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:37 AM

33. I understand you so well.

I have a similar issue in my family -- alcoholism. Everyone in the family has the alcoholism gene and I never wanted to pass it on. But I also think that some women -- sounds like both you and me -- are not wired for maternity. Some women just don't have that baby fever and never do, and we can't fake it.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:49 AM

38. You are not alone. The thought horrifies me too.

I actually can't stand children and the thought of actually being pregnant is about the worst thing I can imagine. I totally understand your feeling of "feared it worse than death". Me too.

Thankfully it never happened and I am too old now.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:51 PM

50. So true for me too!

The worst nightmares I have involve me getting pregnant, and having to give birth somehow. It's pretty much the worst scarnio my subconscious can conjure up. Freaks me out SO BAD every time I have a dream like that.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:35 AM

32. Welcome to my life.

Been dealing with this FOREVER. I've been childless by choice for all my adult life and it's always been everyone else's business. Now that I'm nearing the crone stages I notice the change is now "Such a shame you didn't have kids". Oh fuck you.

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Response to rivegauche (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:38 AM

35. Oh fuck you

that really did make me laugh out loud. that would exactly be what i say. cute.

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Response to rivegauche (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:50 AM

39. LOL

Exactly.

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Response to rivegauche (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:39 PM

47. I used to get that "such a shame" thing

from a friend, AFTER she would spend a half-hour moaning and groaning about the horrible way her adult daughter treated her she would very sincerely say "Don't you worry you will regret not having kids one day?" I'm serious, she really meant that! Senseless! Every conversation. We ceased being friends after a while.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #47)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:48 PM

49. I've had the SAME crap said to me!

One time, in a conversation where I stated I was childless by choice, some woman actually said to my face "Oh, well you're going to die alone in a nursing home then." I was so appalled at that I was speechless, but afterward I wished I'd said to her, who do you thinnk is in those nursing homes? People with kids who don't visit them, that's who.

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Response to rivegauche (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:58 PM

55. EXACTLY!

At least I won't have to live with the heartbreak of unmet familial expectations; as so many do!

I'm married, but my husband and I are loners together. What's going to suddenly turn me into a social butterfly who wants all that fussy human interaction when I'm old if it hasn't happened by age 48?

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Response to get the red out (Reply #55)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:01 PM

71. Loners together


I like that, must tell hubby, now where is he?

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Response to get the red out (Reply #55)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:03 PM

78. "loners together."

That describes me & my husband. We each have one sibling, whom we are not very close to. Making our will was easy - auction off everything & spit the money between a list of charities. I find as I get older, I get even more reclusive.

Loved the other poster's comment, "going to tell my husband . . . now where is he?"



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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #78)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

79. "loners together."

lol. i liked that also. i thought hubby social. but, over the last 18 yrs does not seem like it. i am becoming more an isolationist for sure. but, he seems fine with it though he is out and about in the work force. i keep suggesting we go do something and he is comfortable not. and his dream is lots of land in the middle of nowhere. he told me this a couple years ago and surprised me.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:44 AM

37. Having an affair with me?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:52 AM

40. Cute

Final frontier?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:58 AM

42. Well, MY bucket list would be one item shorter

Back to the OP, this seems to be a vestige of the old patriarchy. Mrs. D_J & have led a traditional adult life together, with kids & monogamy, so this topic is foreign to me. I guess you "had to be there". Sorry for those who get insulted for this life choice.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:15 PM

44. Oh it's not an insult

It's more the problems of expectations and the pressure people still feel, when they shouldn't have to. I believe even those of us who choose to remain child free come up with a sense of family or community.

There's nothing at all wrong with your traditional life, especially if it's well lived. How can we demand choices while try to take them away from someone else? Or infer that their choice was somehow not right?



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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:44 PM

48. Not this or that

I don't see it as a battle; either you want kids or don't approve of anyone having kids. Being child-free the "last frontier" because it is the last choice a lot of people don't want to be socially acceptable for women to make. People talk about "doing it all" regarding women a lot, but ALL tends to be expected or many (not all) want to know the reason why, or at least get their dig in telling you how you will regret it one day. It doesn't have anything to do with people who choose to be child-free not liking or accepting people who choose to have kids.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:55 AM

41. My first child was a surprise

conceived on my honeymoon. It was before legal abortion, and I was afraid to have one.

I never wanted children, because I really don't like them. But I did my best to be a good mother. I love him, but today he's not speaking to me.

The second son was conceived because I didn't want the first to be an only child. He's very loving when I see him, which is not very often.

If I could go back in time, I would not have married their father. We divorced after ten years.

Not every woman is meant to be a mother.

Edit -- typo

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Response to connecticut yankee (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:54 PM

53. I'm sorry about your son

Being gay the choices for having children are limited. But it didn't really matter since I don't believe I'm suited to be a father anyway.

When I was younger I used to think about it. My husband and I have been together for 17 years and I'm happy with our choice.

I feel awkward when people bring their babies and kids to the office. I'm not sure what's expected. As an only child with a small extended family I didn't have much exposure to infants or toddlers.

But I responded to your note since it struck a chord with me.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:58 PM

54. Yea!

Not a mom, here. And that is a very good thing. I like my nieces and nephews, but I would not want to be stuck with them, nor they with me for that matter. Kids get on my nerves something awful after a while. They're always hungry. And I'm always afraid I'll say or do something that will fuck up their little minds for life. So no kids.

Not to mention I still have a 27-inch waist.

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #54)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:22 PM

58. now...

no catty. (noticing your name, wasnt exactly thinking catty, lol)

i had two and got back in shape and very happy with my body.

but... i am glad your comfortable in the choices you made.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #58)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:56 PM

60. And you're probably a great mom!

I would not have been. I probably would have stress-eaten my way to 300 lbs! LOL

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #60)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:23 PM

64. i have a lot of

advantages, having started old. a lot of hurdles are not there for us. makes it a lot easier for all of us, for sure.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #64)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

74. Still

I believe that not all people who are moms should have had children. I believe it takes a lot of love and patience to raise a child, and all the money in the world won't help if you don't have that. (Please understand I am using the general "you" and not referring to you personally - I am sure your parenting is top notch!)

Some people simply should not reproduce - it's unfair to their children and it's doubly unfair to the world, when unloved, neglected or poorly raised kids are unleashed upon it.

I think that a lot of women, had they been raised to believe that it was perfectly all right to NOT want marriage or children, would have taken a different path in life. Instead they buy into the fairy tale, find a Prince Not-So-Charming, and start popping out kids that they have no idea what to do with. Much to their dismay, their suburban castle is NOT built out of pink marble, but of dirty diapers, macaroni and cheese and Comcast bills.

If I did have daughters, I would put a lot of energy into teaching them how fabulous they are on their own, that their gender is beside the point, and that their education should be their first priority. And that after they have realized their dreams, if they want to share their beautiful life and even bring another life into the wonderful world they have built, then they should do it out of love - not because of society's expectations or some fear of a biological clock stopping.



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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #74)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:47 AM

75. as i have probably said in this thread,

i have had first hand experience seeing women who should not have been mothers. either a narcissism that didnt allow her the ability or a total disinterest in the children that has been incredibly harmful. i have seen the end results of the lack of parenting on children and the kids struggles to get healthy as young adults.

i am a real believer though, our children need their fathers equally to the mothers. and not a gender responsibility or accusation in this.

being older affords a whole lot of opportunities besides financial stability. i had done my playing, i could settle in being the parent. i was older when marrying, and was clear on what i wanted in a marriage. leaves our the battles and instability. and a maturity in dealing with kids issues.

advantages with old and young parents. i just kinda like the old parent scenario.

i totally agree with your post. wanted to respond and forgot.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:04 PM

65. I'm afraid I must admit to having been one of them....

I am 44, a single dad going out with a 29yo woman with no kids. I initially resisted because I have had a vasectomy and just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of her really not wanting kids. I thought it might be a disservice to her and could become an issue with her family. Guess I'm not as much of an enlightened 21st century man as I thought I was. Of course it's her decision, as I would want it to be my decision if I were a woman. She says with all the uncertainty in the world today she is not sure she wants to bring another person into it... plus of course we all know that overpopulation is a concern, we should be applauding those who are doing serious thinking about it before actually having a child.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #65)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:14 PM

67. 20% of American women never have children.

I am sure not all of us are childless by choice, but it isn't unheard of.

I was 26 when I got married and was very clear with my intended that I never, ever wanted to have children. He didn't feel strongly about it one way or the other so it wasn't a dealbreaker.

Years later, he sometimes regretted not having children... but I never did. His main thing was "Who will take care of me when I am old, I will be alone," but he died very suddenly in his early 50's so that worry of his never became reality.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:37 PM

68. 7 billion people in this world and counting...

and for some unknown reason, in some people's minds everyone has to have children or they are incomplete. Rubbish.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:04 PM

69. i never wanted children

when i told my mom and aunts that at 12, they said i'd "grow out of it." i am 54 and never had children...because: i knew i did not want children by the time i was 12.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:20 AM

72. Wonderful! Let's start this discussion. I am ready.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:30 AM

73. I was her. Never had that instinct. Never gave in to the expectant taunts.

I had a doctor who told me women's sole purpose in the world was to have babies - be incubators for men's progeny.

He didn't want to give me birth control pills.

I got up, got dressed, told them I wasn't paying him a goddamned nickel, told them why, and walked out and got my damn pills elsewhere. That was decades ago and I've never regretted the decision. Women (young or not) know what they goddamned WANT. And they need to be left alone to have (or not have) it, whatever it is. Birth control and abortion must remain completely accessible and legal. Women just like other HUMANs (not breeding stock) have a human right to dominion and total agency over their own bodies and lives. Anything less is sexual and reproductive SLAVERY and UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

PERIOD.

And the fucking old men (and any others who consider women just breed cows put here for incubator duty) can go to HELL!

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