Thursday, April 2, 2015

Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum is an author, LA Times columnist, and editor of the essay collection Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids.

From her Jezebel Q & A with Karyn Polewaczyk:

Why do you think, in 2015, childless-by-choice people are expected to have a "why"—a people-pleasing elevator pitch of sorts, which several writers brought up in their pieces: a practiced reason, to disperse when people ask?

Frankly, the "why" mandate kind of irks me. I'm not someone who gets off on being coy and confrontational in social settings, so I'm probably not the one who's going to answer the "Why don't you have kids?" question with "Why did you have kids?" But I think that's a fair answer if you're inclined to give it.

What bums me out is when people who never wanted kids end up saying things like, "Well, I tried but I couldn't have them." Yes, that shuts down the questioning and everyone's entitled to answer as they wish, but I'd much rather hear people say "It just wasn't for me." We need to reach the point where that answer is acceptable and non-shocking. Clearly we're not there yet. Also, I'll say that I'm not personally a big fan of the word "childfree." I fully support other people's right to use it and I readily admit it's much less cumbersome than "childless by choice" – it makes a much better hashtag and I'll probably use it when I have to—but I wish...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue