SIXTEEN LITERARY LUMINARIES ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT OF BEING CHILDLESS BY CHOICE, COLLECTED IN ONE FASCINATING ANTHOLOGY One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed "fertility crisis," and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it's necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media. In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.
This collection of essays from sixteen acclaimed writers, including Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer and Tim Kreider, describe their reasons for not wanting to have kids and discuss the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood in modern society.
Sixteen literary luminaries on the controversial subject of being childless by choice, in this critically acclaimed, bestselling anthology One of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed is the stunning collection exploring one of society’s most vexing taboos. One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed “fertility crisis,” and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all—a successful career and the required 2.3 children—before their biological clocks stopped ticking. Now, however, the conversation has turned to whether it’s necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. In this exciting and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, thirteen acclaimed female writers explain why they have chosen to eschew motherhood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood. This collection makes a smart and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path to a happy, productive life, and takes our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. In this book, that shadowy faction known as the childless-by-choice comes out into the light.
The shocking treatise that was a bestselling international media sensation upon its 2007 publication in France now makes its eagerly anticipated English-language debut. A mother of two herself, Maier makes her deadly serious, if at times laugh-out-loud-funny, argument with all the unbridled force of her famously wicked intellect. In forty to-the-point, impressively erudite chapters drawing on the realms of history, child psychology, politics, and the environment, Maier effortlessly skewers the idealized notion of parenthood as a natural and beautiful endeavour. Enough with this “baby-mania” that is plaguing modern society, says Maier, it’s nothing but brainwashing. Are you prepared to give up your free time, dinners with friends, spontaneous romantic getaways, and even the luxury of uninterrupted thought for the “vicious little dwarves” that will treat you like their servant, cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and end up resenting you? Speaking to the still “child-free”, to fellow suffering parents, and to adamant procreationists alike, No Kids is a controversial, thought-provoking, and undeniably entertaining read. Reasons to avoid having kids: •You will lose touch with your friends •Your sex life will be over •Children cost a fortune •Child-rearing is endless drudgery •Vacations will be nightmares •You’ll lose your identity and become just “mom” or “dad” •Your children will become mindless drones of capitalism •The planet’s already overcrowded •Your children will inevitably disappoint you From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Henriette Mantel
Publisher: Seal Press
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Genre: Family & Relationships
In No Kidding, comedy writer Henriette Mantel tackles the topic of actually not having kids. This fascinating collection features a star-studded group of contributors—including Margaret Cho, Wendy Liebman, Laurie Graff, and other accomplished, funny women—writing about why they opted out of motherhood. Whether their reasons have to do with courage, apathy, monetary considerations, health issues, or something else entirely, the essays featured in the pages of No Kidding honestly (and humorously) delve into the minds of women who have chosen what they would call a more sane path. Hilarious, compelling, and inspiring, No Kidding reveals a perspective that has too long been hidden, shamed, and silenced—and celebrates an entire population of women who have decided that kids are just not right for them. Additional contributors include Janette Barber, Cheryl Bricker, Valri Bromfield, Cindy Caponera, Bonnie Datt, Jeanne Dorsey, Nora Dunn, Jane Gennaro, Julie Halston, Debbie Kasper, Sue Kolinsky, Maureen Langan, Beth Lapides, Bernadette Luckett, Merrill Markoe, Andrea Carla Michaels, Vanda Mikoloski, Judy Morgan, Judy Nielsen, Susan Norfleet, Suzanne O’Neil, Jennifer Prediger, Kathryn Rossetter, Betsy Salkind, Patricia Scanlon, Jeanette Schwaba Vigne, Nancy Shayne, Carol Siskind, Ann Slichter, Tracy Smith, Suzy Soro, Amy Stiller, and Nancy Van Iderstine.
Author: Ellen L. Walker
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Release Date: 2010-12-07
Genre: Social Science
Examines the rewards and challenges childfree adults face living in a world that celebrates traditional families, offering advice on how to cope with the pressure of friends and family to have children, taking advantage of leisure time, and financial considerations.
A high-profile feminist, and a mother herself, explores the question of whether or not to have children, and how having children changes the life of parents, often not for the better, in this modern world. 20,000 first printing.
According to American Demographics magazine, by the year 2010 the number of married couples without children is expected to increase by nearly 50%, to nearly 31 million. The non-profit organization, Childless By Choice, reports that one in seven married couples in the United States is consciously deciding not to have children. For more married couples than ever before, their life plan together does not include raising a family. Yet, as these numbers grow, in many ways society continues to frown on the choice not to have children. Although more couples are making this decision, they often feel misunderstood, and face societal misperceptions about themselves, their marriage, and their choice not to have children. Through candid interviews and photographs, Families of Two: Interviews with Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice takes us into the lives of happily married couples without children by choice. It dispels the myths often associated with this choice, helps couples who are deciding whether to have children, and offers insight to friends and family of couples who have chosen or may choose not to have children. Families of Two expands our ways of understanding marriage in todays society, and gives examples of roadmaps for marriage without children. Families of Two celebrates the many people who are living lives that do not include parenthood, and the many ways to live happily ever after.
"Daum is her generation's Joan Didion." —Nylon Nearly fifteen years after her debut collection, My Misspent Youth, captured the ambitions and anxieties of a generation, Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay with The Unspeakable, a masterful collection of ten new works. Her old encounters with overdrawn bank accounts and oversized ambitions in the big city have given way to a new set of challenges. The first essay, "Matricide," opens without flinching: People who weren't there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December 2009 issue of Vogue. Elsewhere, she carefully weighs the decision to have children—"I simply felt no calling to be a parent. As a role, as my role, it felt inauthentic and inorganic"—and finds a more fulfilling path as a court-appointed advocate for foster children. In other essays, she skewers the marriage-industrial complex and recounts a harrowing near-death experience following a sudden illness. Throughout, Daum pushes back against the false sentimentality and shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround so much of contemporary American experience and considers the unspeakable thoughts many of us harbor—that we might not love our parents enough, that "life's pleasures" sometimes feel more like chores, that life's ultimate lesson may be that we often learn nothing. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the New Age search for the "Best Possible Experience," champions the merits of cream-of mushroom-soup casserole, and gleefully recounts a quintessential "only-in-L.A." story of playing charades at a famous person's home. Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron's, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete.
This first collection from an acclaimed young essayist in the tradition of Joan Didion delves into the center of things while closely examining the detritus that spills out along the way. Daum speaks to questions at the root of the contemporary experience, from the search for authenticity and interpersonal connection in a society defined by consumerism and media to the disenchantment of working in a "glamour profession".
In the spring of 2016, a three-year-old climbed into the gorilla pen at Cincinnati Zoo. He was seized by a large silverback and dragged around. Fearful zoo staff called in armed gamekeepers, Unfortunately they missed and shot the gorilla. His name was Harambe; nobody remembers the kid's. Gorillas are endangered, children are not. The childless are sick of being harangued about our choice. We just don't want children and we don't have time for yours.
Author: Laura Carroll
Publisher: Laura Carroll
Release Date: 2012-05-17
Genre: Social Science
In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill. The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it’s much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood. -the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction -why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place -why we continue to believe them anyway -the prices society pays as a result The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned. “This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices. This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.” This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way. The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.
Author: Malcolm Harris
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Genre: Social Science
"The first major accounting of the millennial generation written by someone who belongs to it." -- Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker "The best, most comprehensive work of social and economic analysis about our benighted generation." --Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens "The kind of brilliantly simple idea that instantly clarifies an entire area of culture."--William Deresiewicz, author of Excellent Sheep Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We've gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichés about young people that we've lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely: !--[if !supportLists]--- We are the most educated and hard-working generation in American history. !--[if !supportLists]--- We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st century labor market. - We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit. - We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot. Kids These Days, is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off. Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.