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One Childfree Man Speaks Up

August 8, 2013

Earlier this week, Slate asked about a seeming oversight of 50% of the population when it comes to lifestyle choices–where the hell are the men in stories about the childfree movement?

Naturally, this was a subject I wanted to tackle. After all, I’ve spoken up for dudes before who have faced a seeming David and Goliath battle for recognition in the media, one in which Goliath wins by simply ignoring the rocks flying its direction. And in heterosexual coupled relationships, childfreedom obviously affects the male half as much as the female half of the equation.

But then I realized that I would only contribute to shutting out male voices by adding another diatribe instead of starting a dialogue. So I reached out to my relationshit counselor and friend from Baltimore who is just as resistant to the lure of babbiez as I am, perhaps more so–he’s actually gone and had surgery to make sure that no spawn of his will issue forth to wreak havoc upon the world.

What resulted was less the interview that I had in my head and more of a shoot-the-shit session in which he and I discussed why men are getting the short end of the pregnancy test stick in the media and real life, why he is childfree, and how being childfree has affected his love life. I also reaffirm why I’m childfree, why I’m personally anti-marriage, and how my own childhood could really screw up my hopefully never-existent children.

So take a listen for what, in my own biased opinion, is a riveting discussion. Because the grand total time came to 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 14 seconds, I split it up into four parts of ~45-50 minutes a piece. Come back and listen in portions, if you have to–it will gladden my heart to see my page view numbers tick steadily upwards. And please ignore the fact that I sound like a nasal teenage boy who’s not quite done with puberty yet and can’t get over that fact no matter how many short films and radio shows I appear in.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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5 Comments
  1. I didn’t realize there was a childfree “movement”. Is there an organized push to not bear children?

    Ambivalent: I am either way on having children. Not hoping for it but if it happens then, ok.

    Only got through the first few minutes of the first part, will be back to listen to the rest of this later.

    • There’s an organizing push to be recognized as being perfectly right for not wanting to bear children. Most of us who are not on the fence and are actively avoiding pregnancy and childrearing have heard, “Oh, you’ll change your mind,” “Wow, how selfish,” and, “Aren’t you worried about dying alone in a state facility somewhere?” one too many times. So it’s less about recruiting more members to our side and more about convincing those who are on the other side to STFU about how much they think we suck.

      Glad you’re listening! That definitely went on for longer than I anticipated, but it was all too good to cut, in my estimation.

  2. Amber permalink

    I just discovered your blog a week ago, and now I’m trying to catch up. So please forgive the new comments on the old posts.

    I think one of the reasons that childfree men are often not featured in media stories about childfreedom is the old-fashioned assumption that most men begin their adult lives as childfree. It’s those conniving women who wield their biological clock weapons to cause previously free men to submit to the burdens of fatherhood.

    Yes, even nowadays it’s not very surprising when a man (especially one between the ages of 18-30) says he doesn’t want children. But it’s still shocking when a woman of any age admits that she doesn’t long to be a mother.

    That, of course, doesn’t mean it’s OK to ignore half the population. So thanks for not ignoring them. I plan to listen to the proceedings of your Childfree Summit during my downtime at work. Er, I mean, at home. On my personal computer. During my own free time.

    • Awesome! Please feel to browse and comment–I try to look through the comments when I get a chance, and sometimes, I even respond!

      That is a really interesting point about the assumption that all men are naturally inclined to be childfree until browbeaten into parenthood by the women in their lives. It’s such an obvious assumption, too–I suppose the only reason I didn’t think of it was that many of the men in my life were the ones set firmly in the land of “someday” and taking every opportunity they could to convince me that such a land was my real residence, too. “Oh, you like my six-month kitten? You’d totally make a great mother!” “Oh, you like eating sandwiches? [Actually, no. I don’t like bread. No allergies or intolerance, just…don’t like it, thus making the following especially dubious…] That means you’d make great sandwiches for our kids!”

      So with that background, it was refreshing to meet and have regular conversations with a man who’d taken such firm strides into “Helllll, no!” territory. Do enjoy those recordings. From your personal computer. On your personal time. 😉

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