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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:38 pm 
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I'm still interested in the conversation, but not sure if others are. Things seem to have devolved into semantics and really big cartoons that aren't very funny.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Here's one more article that is compelling, in light of the earlier conversation about growing old. The title is not helpful. But the ideas, especially at the end, seem worthy of note. I loved the ideas presented here earlier about taking care of each other as we grow old--the urban family, for example. But when finances and rights to make health directives come into play, things can get messy:

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2008 ... terrified/

"I’ve written before about pairs or small groups of unrelated women who are already doing this, some even constructing houses designed for their old age. But these arrangements, however cozy and comforting, exist outside the law, since friendship remains, and likely will always remain, an unsanctioned relationship with none of the legal rights granted to parents, children, spouses and, in some locations, domestic partners. Friends helping friends through illness or old age is a luxury of those who can afford to do it with no help from the government or their employers."

There's a big story in the theatre community right now of a fight over care of a (single, childless) playwright, and whether health decisions for her should be made by her distant out of state blood relatives, or her urban family of artists. The artists just made a major victory by getting her moved back to NYC, the legal battles are bubbling up with her relatives.

This isn't really about having kids or not, but has made me and a lot of my friends think more about the financial and legal parts of care later in life.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:46 pm 
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back on track, kids!

is using "kids" offensive to anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:48 pm 
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I found this line a little problematic
Quote:
There may be many reasons why I'm not yet married and why I have not become a mother. But the only reason that matters is that it wasn't yet meant to be.


I mean, not everyone gets married, not everyone wants to. I wasn't sure I wanted to get married until I met my husband but the use of yet almost means it is a desire unfulfilled. Even if it is, there is a lot of living from the 30s on. I really do think we have to stop making judgments about people and their status, whatever that status may be. There are a million different ways that people can live their lives and if it is different than you then that means it is different. That doesn't make it a sad, unfulfilled life.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:51 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Sorry. I think I mistakenly started the cartoon snowball, although the things I posted were things that parents have shared on Facebook, not unfunny cartoons mocking the entire idea of parenthood. I just thought it was interesting that people who are parents are sharing this sort of thing as part of their experience that they presumably agree with or find amusing (possibly in a black-humor, coping kind of way), and that I see these things and react with a "oh god I never want to have kids if I have to distract them with potato chips before breakfast to get ten minutes of peace!"


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:52 pm 
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esme wrote:
back on track, kids!

is using "kids" offensive to anyone?


I hope not because I say it all the time when addressing a group.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Moon wrote:
esme wrote:
back on track, kids!

is using "kids" offensive to anyone?


I hope not because I say it all the time when addressing a group.


We talk at work about how it can be problematic to use it to describe college students.

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Last edited by molasses jane on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:58 pm 
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pixel wrote:
Sorry. I think I mistakenly started the cartoon snowball, although the things I posted were things that parents have shared on Facebook, not unfunny cartoons mocking the entire idea of parenthood. I just thought it was interesting that people who are parents are sharing this sort of thing as part of their experience that they presumably agree with or find amusing (possibly in a black-humor, coping kind of way), and that I see these things and react with a "oh god I never want to have kids if I have to distract them with potato chips before breakfast to get ten minutes of peace!"

when I looked at that cartoon you posted about the chips I thought "Yes, that's a good way to handle it" then i realized they were kidding or pointing that out as something unusual, haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:59 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
Moon wrote:
esme wrote:
back on track, kids!

is using "kids" offensive to anyone?


I hope not because I say it all the time when addressing a group.


We talk at work about how it's offensive to use it for college students, but is it offensive for earlier ages?


Hmmmmm I used it to address my friends and brothers in law all the time, and they're mostly all out of college.... But then again it's a term of endearment thing with me also. I have much, much worse ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:00 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
This isn't really about having kids or not, but has made me and a lot of my friends think more about the financial and legal parts of care later in life.


I'd like to keep the discussion going, too. (So long as it's constructive. Like several others upthread, I also found the lexical semantics ...... unnecessary and not helpful. Likewise, the unnecessarily harsh criticism.)

Thanks for the links you posted, mj. I also wonder what will happen later in life, when health care, mobility and independence (or potential lack thereof) could be more of an issue than they are now. I am honestly not sure how to approach even thinking about it. Having heaps of money would be one way, but I don't see that happening The two models I know involve kids or monastic communities, and I don't see myself having children OR taking monastic vows anytime soon. It's really nice to see how others deal with the same issue.

re: the Psychology Today piece. Wow. Talk about confronting the stereotypical narrative! I'm definitely guilty of the same thing, which is kind of remarkable considering how much the author and I share.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Moon wrote:
Hmmmmm I used it to address my friends and brothers in law all the time, and they're mostly all out of college.... But then again it's a term of endearment thing with me also. I have much, much worse ones.


It's a term of endearment for me, too. But I've definitely made the 'mistake' of referring to my various lab groups as kids. And have also called a class of MA students 'kids' once to my supervisor. (Luckily, I'm just a PhD student and my supervisor knows me, and knows what I meant ............. )

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:05 pm 
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pixel wrote:
Sorry. I think I mistakenly started the cartoon snowball, although the things I posted were things that parents have shared on Facebook, not unfunny cartoons mocking the entire idea of parenthood. I just thought it was interesting that people who are parents are sharing this sort of thing as part of their experience that they presumably agree with or find amusing (possibly in a black-humor, coping kind of way), and that I see these things and react with a "oh god I never want to have kids if I have to distract them with potato chips before breakfast to get ten minutes of peace!"

well, i mean, it's a very real part of the experience, but it isn't the entirety of the experience. i don't read the "bad dogs"/"bad kitties" threads and think, "man, why would anyone ever want a pet?" i think, "oh, animals! you're something else," because i've had cats and dogs, and sometimes they're bad, but mostly they're the forking best. i get it. that's a big part of why it bothers me when someone counters my statement about not wanting children with a blissed-out parent story--it makes me feel like they're assuming that i haven't considered any of the positive aspects of being a parent. give me some credit. i've thought about all of those things. i've thought about them long and hard. i'm sure my kid's laugh would make my heart explode with love and sunshine. it's just sort of small potatoes for me in my very long list of pros and cons.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Can the new question of this thread be "was esme joking when she asked if anyone was offended by the term "kids"?"

Because that's all I've been thinking about.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:11 pm 
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I have a feeling that end-of-life care and expectations will be very different when (if) I make it to old age. I think that the Baby Boomers reaching old age will lead to huge changes including (hopefully) legalized euthanasia, and better support networks for elderly folks.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Oh my god, I never, ever want to hear the word "problematic" ever again!
I'm not reading this thread anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Can the new question of this thread be "was esme joking when she asked if anyone was offended by the term "kids"?"

Because that's all I've been thinking about.

i think it's very revealing that you can't tell the difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:18 pm 
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rhelune wrote:
(The Oatmeal)


Yeah, see? That wasn't so hard now, was it?

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:21 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
I have a feeling that end-of-life care and expectations will be very different when (if) I make it to old age. I think that the Baby Boomers reaching old age will lead to huge changes including (hopefully) legalized euthanasia, and better support networks for elderly folks.

The article linked about the elderly states that some elderly are already bonding together. I think I'd love to do that when I get older, be in a community that helps take care of eachother. Sure, some people will require more care than others but that doesn't mean you can't bring in outside assistance.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:30 pm 
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In all honesty, I'm hoping assisted suicide is legal and easily obtainable by the time I'm too old to take care of myself and am facing serious health issues. Even if I did have children I would not want to burden them with taking care of me. My grandmother had a very prolonged, slow decline from Parkinson's, dementia, and the myriad general ills of old age. She lived much longer than anyone really expected her to, but I would not consider most of that time to be really "life." I think too much attention is paid to quantity of life and not enough to quality. Once when I visited, she was pretty out of it, but spoke of wanting to kill herself. It was all very very difficult for her children and grandchildren to deal with, much harder than when my grandfather died, which was quite sudden. The whole thing really affected my mom, to the point that her and my dad are selling their house and moving to a retirement community even though my dad just turned 65 and they are both very healthy and active. We think it's a little crazy, but I know they're doing it to partly to spare my sister and I the awful decision of when to decide we can't take care of them anymore and put them in a care facility.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:38 pm 
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esme wrote:
Fee wrote:
Can the new question of this thread be "was esme joking when she asked if anyone was offended by the term "kids"?"

Because that's all I've been thinking about.

i think it's very revealing that you can't tell the difference.


It is something we've talked about at my work, in all seriousness--whether or not it's okay to call our students "kids". I think that's valid and that it's okay to use the word "problematic".

Since at least some people are finding some community in this thread, I wish the conversation could continue, but that is looking less and less likely. Too bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:18 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:23 pm 
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As a childfree person I don't spend nearly as much time wondering who will take care or me or be there for me in old age as I spend worrying that the assisted living or whatever that I end up in won't be able to cater to my vegan gluten free diet!
I would love to group together with some likeminded people (whether they have kids who aren't around or not) when I'm older to support each other, cook, bake, play cards, and do yoga together when we are old. I hope it becomes more and more common as I near that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
rhelune wrote:
Tofulish, are you aware that it is offensive to childfree people when you say that you were childfree before you had a kid? Childfree people are people who don't want to have children ever, don't leave even a slightest possibility that they'll reproduce (or adopt) one day. Others are fencesitters. (Many of the posts in this thread are by fencesitters, and that's perfectly fine.)

It's like strict vegetarians who claim they stopped being vegan when, in reality, they never gave a fork about animals, only about their own health.

Because of posts like this many people don't take childfreedom seriously. And, when our gynaecologists don't take us seriously and refuse to even discuss sterilization "so that [we] can change [our] mind and become a mother], it medically and socially harms us.

Dude. No. I'm a "childfree" person and I don't think it's offensive for Tofulish to say that she used to be childfree, because that is freaking ridiculous. I think it's pointless and honestly just absurd to make having no kids into a community with terminology. "Breeders" is incredibly derogatory and dehumanizing, and I have no words for how silly it is to say that someone is a "fencesitter" or a PNBOMGWTFBBQ or whatever that shiitake was. This whole thing seems about as useful to me as having a community for people who don't like skiing. It's totally fine that you don't want kids, rhelune - hell, I'm pretty sure that I don't either - but I don't understand the point of being so extreme and judgmental. You don't get to decide how other people feel or how they should define themselves.


The reason that childfree people form a community is the same reason that vegans form a community. Having a community feels especially important when you hold beliefs that only a minority of the general public hold, such as not eating animals or deciding that you are 100% sure that you are never going to have kids. Childfree people and their decisions are very often looked down upon, questioned, disrespected, and misunderstood. It simply feels good to have a place that you can go to talk about living a relatively uncommon lifestyle with likeminded people.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:49 pm 
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erynne936 wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
rhelune wrote:
Tofulish, are you aware that it is offensive to childfree people when you say that you were childfree before you had a kid? Childfree people are people who don't want to have children ever, don't leave even a slightest possibility that they'll reproduce (or adopt) one day. Others are fencesitters. (Many of the posts in this thread are by fencesitters, and that's perfectly fine.)

It's like strict vegetarians who claim they stopped being vegan when, in reality, they never gave a fork about animals, only about their own health.

Because of posts like this many people don't take childfreedom seriously. And, when our gynaecologists don't take us seriously and refuse to even discuss sterilization "so that [we] can change [our] mind and become a mother], it medically and socially harms us.

Dude. No. I'm a "childfree" person and I don't think it's offensive for Tofulish to say that she used to be childfree, because that is freaking ridiculous. I think it's pointless and honestly just absurd to make having no kids into a community with terminology. "Breeders" is incredibly derogatory and dehumanizing, and I have no words for how silly it is to say that someone is a "fencesitter" or a PNBOMGWTFBBQ or whatever that shiitake was. This whole thing seems about as useful to me as having a community for people who don't like skiing. It's totally fine that you don't want kids, rhelune - hell, I'm pretty sure that I don't either - but I don't understand the point of being so extreme and judgmental. You don't get to decide how other people feel or how they should define themselves.


The reason that childfree people form a community is the same reason that vegans form a community. Having a community feels especially important when you hold beliefs that only a minority of the general public hold, such as not eating animals or deciding that you are 100% sure that you are never going to have kids. Childfree people and their decisions are very often looked down upon, questioned, disrespected, and misunderstood. It simply feels good to have a place that you can go to talk about living a relatively uncommon lifestyle with likeminded people.

But there is a big difference between a community that provides support and a place to talk about shared experiences and a community that uses derogatory language to refer to every one who doesn't make the same choices as you.

It strikes me as analogous to the difference between the PPK and some nameless vegan forum where you have to write an essay and promise your first-born and use words like "carnist" to refer to meat eaters.

One is building up community for those who want it and the other is insular and divisive.

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