|Some Childfree Books
Baby Boon : How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless -
Reviewed by a
This book has two natures, firstly it is a piece of journalism and secondly it
is an event. On the latter it is exemplary, this is the book which has brought
the Childfree movement into the spotlight in the US recently. ON the former it
is good journalism nothing more. The economic and moral arguments never really
appear what we are instead given is first person accounts of America's Childfree
and a few facts here and there about American taxation. This book does what it
is supposed to do, introduce a lay public to the problems facing the US
Childfree, in this it succeeds totally and unequivocally. However, this is not
the CF bible that it could have been and many suggest it is - buy it, read it,
digest it, and then think about how it applies to us in the UK.
and Joy : The Lives and Passions of Women without Children
- Terri Casey
Journalist Casey talks with 25 women from their middle 20s to middle 80s who
have chosen not to have children. They talk about the contributions they make to
their communities through their careers, causes, and families. They assure
readers they are leading happy and satisfying lives and so can others
and Sterilised : Women's decisions and medical responses
- Annily Campbell
Examines the social phenomena in the West and the "developed"
countries of the world, that of women's elective sterilization. The study
identifies that a minority of women choose not to become mothers, opting for
voluntary sterilization in order to remain childfree. A number of issues
relating to choice in contraception and women choosing to be sterilized are
explored from feminist and sociological perspectives, using feminist research
techniques based on oral and written histories. The 25 women who are the
participants in the study reveal the struggles they faced, not only in being
women without children in a society which expects women to be mothers, but also
in overcoming the many barriers encountered on the way to voluntary
Reviewed by a KA supporter:
All of the women in the book
(excepting the author, who has children) have been surgically sterilized. Most
of them had much difficulty with the NHS and many hoops to jump through before
they could have it done. Only one of them regretted it & sought a reversal.
The book discusses the
paternalistic attitude of the doctors and the arguments and patience the women
used to get control of their fertility (in some cases, after several years and
abortions). It's a bit dry, but if you're interested in a tubal ligation as a
childfree woman, it would be valuable reading. There is almost nothing out there
about women with no children who choose to become sterilized; everything you
read (including regret + desire for reversals) is about women who already had
one or more children prior to seeking the procedure.
I'd give it three Amazon stars
out of five (I really don't see why the author had to describe her own
experience, as she is not childfree, and I wish that there had been more
interviews in the book--23 isn't a very big sample). At the very least it can
give you ammunition for your own consultation.
Women : Separating motherhood from female identity
- Mardy S Ireland
Based on in-depth interviews with over 100 women, explores the lives of women
who are not mothers, and their self-identity in a society that generally equates
femininity with motherhood.
okay... You're a Brat!
- Susan Jeffers
Reviewed by a KA supporter:
This is a book of extremes. It is at times extremely good and at times bone
crunchingly awful. It is an attempt by a self-help author to address the myths
surrounding parenthood and confront the reader with many of the unhappy truths
such as why it is people actually have children and why some of us choose not
to. The good bits feature analyses of the reasons most commonly given for having
children which tend to not stand up to close scrutiny and a very encouraging
chapter of Cfdom. The worst bits are inherent in the fact that this is a
self-help book so we are treated at times to the usual psychobabble. Definitely
worth giving to friends who might be fence sitters.
Child : Challenging the Stigma of Childlessness
- Laurie Lisle
In a society where most women grow up thinking they will become mothers, not
having a child is often met with incredulity. This text on the examination of
childlessness points out that childless women are part of an ancient tradition.
It looks at relationships between childless women and mothers, with their own
mothers, men and their bodies.
Chosen Lives of Childfree Men
- Patricia W. Lunneborg
Arguing that men need to be more active participants in the decision not to have
children, this volume - based on interviews with 30 American and British
childless men - explores the motives and consequences of voluntary childlessness
from a man's perspective.
Mask of Motherhood : How Becoming a Mother Changes Everything and Why We Pretend
- Susan Maushart
In The Promised Land : Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness
Elaine Tyler May
Chronicling the shifts in public attitudes towards reproduction, this book
traces attitudes from colonial times to the 1990s. In colonial days barrenness
was associated with sin, from here the progression is traced to the laws of
compulsory sterilization in the early twentieth century, the baby craze of the
1950s, the rise in voluntary childlessness in the 1990s, and the increasing
reliance on reproductive technologies. The author reveals the intersection
between public life and the most private part of life - sexuality, procreation,
and the family.
- Kate Harper
Childless Revolution: What It Means to Be Childless Today
- Madelyn Cain
Thanks in part to birth control, delayed marriages and the emergence of
two-career couples, 42% of the adult female population is childless,
representing the fastest-growing demographic group to emerge in decades.
This study uncovers the many reasons for childlessness - from infertility to a
focus on a career or even political action - and explores the ramifications,
both personal and sociological. It includes the stories of over 100
childless women, who give voice to their experience and validate the many
emotions women feel about being part of such a controversial population.
Childless: The Humor Book for Those Who Hesitate to Procreate -
Ellen Metter, Loretta Gomez (Illustrator)
This is a lighthearted reminder of both the benefits & valid reasons for
deciding to refrain from reproduction.
by Choice - Marian Faux
by Choice: A Feminist Anthology - Irene Reti (Editor)
Reviewed by a KA supporter:
This is another illuminating book on the topic of voluntary
child"less"ness. It was interesting to read the thoughts, life
stories, and poetry of the women profiled in this book. Every childfree woman
should read this book - because it reveals that many childfree women -
regardless of background or lifestyle - have similar motivations - and sometimes
completely different ones....but we all have in common the stereotypes and
judgements that others try to assign to us. I know what I believe in - but it
gave me personally more insight into my contemporaries. Sometimes it's
challenging to find other childfree women in your area to discuss these issues
with - so this book was a nice "virtual" visit with many of them. This
book can be read in just a few hours - but the impact will last forever.
Childless Couples: The Emergence of a Variant Lifestyle - Ellen Mara