Friday, December 21, 2012

The Secret to a Happy Holiday...

...stay away from the mall ;-)

Seriously though, whatever your bent, have a great festive season.


Monday, November 12, 2012

For so many reasons, let's end middle class welfare

A great article in The Australian - ending the middle class welfare bullshit...

[quoting article]
Helen Hughes, emeritus professor of economics at the Australian National University and a mother, dismisses the idea children are a "social resource".

"People

had children long before welfare came along and, in any case, children are only good for society if they work hard and don't drink too much," she says.

"It is outrageous that single people are forced to pay for the children of others."

Indeed, a single worker on a low income pays income tax so a family with one child and a household income of $175,000 a year receives a fortnightly welfare cheque via FTB B.
[end quoting article]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/a-habit-we-need-to-kick/story-e6frg6z6-1226503430763

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh no, I'll have to get a smaller TV...


Budget cuts to the "baby bonus" are kicking up a stink among the selfish breeders. The article referenced says "The savings include cutting the baby bonus from $5000 to $3000 for the second and each subsequent child".

So hardly a real problem unless you need that new 60" LED HD TV.

The interesting thing is that I am seeing people with kids commenting on how "they managed do it without Government help" in the good old days.

This reduction doesn't even count as a token gesture in my book. In fact, it is nearly a damn insult as the bonus should be scrapped altogether.

The things that bother us most today, you know the whole pollution, climate change, food shortage, water shortage, overcrowding, housing shortage, high housing prices...etc. etc. all go away when a reasonable level of population is maintained.

For some reason the governments of most nations think that "growth" is the only way to fix economic woes without any regard to finite resources, limited space and social issues.
AND YET, governments like ours have a history of paying people to contribute to these very problems. Madness.

To cap it off, when the various "baby bonuses" get paid out, there is an almost identical spike in consumer spending on electronics, perfume and jewellery.

The money just does not get to where it is supposed to go. I'd be happier if there were vouchers for specific baby/child needs handed out, but in countries where that has been done these get traded for cash and devalued/wasted anyway.

Education is where the money needs to go, because while we (the human species) are happy for 99% to be dumb and uneducated, then there's no hope for us to understand and fix the problems we and we alone have caused.

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/411984/swan-slashes-baby-bonus/?cs=7

Friday, September 07, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rubbing two vaginas together

I am not sure that rubbing two vaginas together and not having babies counts as being "childfree" but maybe there is more to this list Ten Celebrities Give Their Reasons For Being Childless By Choice

Read more: http://mommyish.com/stuff/gallery-ten-celebrities-give-their-reasons-for-being-childless-by-choice-781/#ixzz24hYzDHC4

I am not sure why people let alone the Childfree require celebrity endorsement of "their" choice.

Having been through the media mill of having to explain myself and not wanting to offend anyone, right now I am just tempted to say "fuck off, it is none of your business"...but I started that conversation so that would be an unreasonable response.

For gay couples the question seems to take on a whole new level of offense (in my mind anyway).

The obvious problems of reproduction as a flavour of gay seems to escape most interviewers. Hence my humerous/offensive post title. :-)

It is probably the weirdest form of denial I can think of "but you're famous...you gotta have a baybeeeeee.....".

The "beautiful people" must reproduce to give the rest of us something to do with our lives. Once again I suggest "off" is the direction in which you should "fuck".

One of the things I discovered on my childfree journey of writing a book and dealing with the media, the public and everyone else who had an opinion, is that "there is no right answer".

No matter what your stance, belief, position, circumstance, choice...WHATEVER!!!
There is a fuckwit out there to tell you that you are wrong.

And therein lays the key, they're fuckwits. Ignore them :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Media request...(Sydney/Australia)


Media request [contact Hayden directly if you have any questions or can help]:

My name is Hayden and i am currently interning for the channel Ten breakfast show. The reason i am writing you an email is to see if you have any possible couples that live in Sydney and wouldn't mind coming into the show to talk about why they are childless and happy.

The show would actually be for tomorrow (Tuesday 14th August 2012) with an on air time of 7:50, so they would need to get here by around 7.

We are having Brownwyn Harman on the show to talk about her research into the change of many women and couples deciding not to have children. So we are hoping to have a woman or couple in the studio to chat about thier choice and why they have made that decision. Do you know of anyone that would be avaliable to be on the show?

If it is easier for you to discuss my number here is 02 9650 1559.
hwf793@uowmail.edu.au

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

Gimme, gimme, gimme, a flight without kids...

...won't somebody just send the feral kids away?

An article here about how many people are willing to pay extra for a flight without kids.

Bloody sure I would!

http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/child-free-flight-youd-be-plane-crazy-not-to-pay-for-that/story-e6frfq80-1226442162894

"IT strikes fear into non-parents everywhere - being stuck behind a screaming child or baby for an entire flight.
Well now it seems fed-up plane passengers are willing to put comfort ahead of savings to guarantee them a flight free of crying, tantrums and endless seat kicking.
In fact it’s so irritating one third of passengers would pay extra to ensure they were on a child-free flight, with 22 per cent listing a child kicking their seat as their biggest gripe, a survey by UK TripAdvisor found.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/child-free-flight-youd-be-plane-crazy-not-to-pay-for-that/story-e6frfq80-1226442162894#ixzz22SlJVYHv"

Research project: A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women

Here's a survey we've been approached to participate in.
Feel free to have a look and give it a go if you feel like it.
Let me know what you think of it.
Thanks David


----- Forwarded Message -----

Subject: Research project: A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women

Research project:  A study of the experiences of voluntarily childless men and women.
Hello,
The life pathways that lead people to choose to remain voluntarily childless or childfree are varied and diverse. Childless individuals include both men and women who have very distinct life stories and a wide range of reasons for remaining childfree. However, this diversity of motivations and experiences is often not reflected in media and other social discussions of voluntary childlessness, and childless/childfree people are often described in terms of narrow, simplistic, and often negative stereotypes. My Honours research project aims to challenge these stereotypes and to highlight the variety of real life experiences of men and women who have elected not to become parents.
Through this research I aim to highlight the diverse range of life experiences of childless/childfree people. I would like to know about how you reached your decision to remain childless/childfree and how you feel about it now, how you see your decision as having influence other aspects of your life and your identity, and how others have reacted to your decision. I believe this information is useful in understanding how society perceives childless/childfree people. I aim to have the completed research published in the academic literature, while maintaining anonymity of all participants. Through publishing this work a contribution will be made to better understanding the diversity of childless/childfree people.
Although I am keen to include the responses of as many childless/childfree people as possible, I am of course aware that this can be a sensitive issue for many people. The survey will ask you to reflect on your own experiences of being childless/childfree as well as other people’s reactions to this.  If you feel that this might be upsetting for you, then it may be best that you don’t participate in this survey. If you would like to discuss any issues that have been brought up for you by this topic, you can access telephone counseling via Lifeline Australia, ph 13 11 14.
If you would like to participate in the survey, please click on the link below.  It will direct you to the online survey which will invite you to respond to several open-ended questions as well as a set of demographic questions. This may take between 10 minutes to 30 minutes to complete depending on the length and detail of your answers. You are of course free to skip any question that you would prefer not to answer, and can elect to end your participation at any time. I am very interested in what you have to say on the matter and how being child free has shaped your life. If you are able to help and participate in this research please complete the survey at the link here
On completion of the survey as a token of appreciation should you wish to leave your contact details you will be entered into a prize draw to win a $50 Myer voucher which will be drawn at the end of the research process. If you choose to enter the draw, your contact information will be stored separately from your responses to the survey. Information about the findings of the study will be posted on the School of Psychology website in November 2012: (http://www.psychology.
murdoch.edu.au/researchresults/research_results.html)  
If you have any questions or require any further information regarding the study either prior to undertaking the survey or after completing the survey I can be contacted at nlmetcalfe@yahoo.com or alternatively my supervisor, Associate Professor Ngaire Donaghue, can be contacted at n.donaghue@murdoch.edu.au
If you are aware of anybody else who may be able to assist with the research and complete this survey it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward this email to them. Your contribution to this research is much appreciated.
Thank-you
Nicola Metcalfe
This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval 2012/120). If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an independent person, you may contact Murdoch University’s Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 (for overseas studies, +61 8 9360 6677) or e-mail ethics@murdoch.edu.au). Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and outcomes of the study will be published on the Murdoch research page.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We are better than that

Over the years, particularly since the publication of our book in 2000,we've seen quite a lot of complaints about children and parents.

It is only natural. Some people need a place to vent...I think we all need a good rant and maybe a bit of screaming every now and then.

We have created various forums and got together in person to explore these themes and feelings.

Humans spend a lot of time complaining. Be it about parents, children, the neighbour's dog, reality TV, religion, teenagers, the elderly, bad drivers, fast drivers, global warming...the list is endless. For everything that you care about or like someone is right there complain about exactly the same thing.

It takes a lot of energy and it does no-one any good, especially not you/us.

Now I am not saying that no-one should ever complain. Believe me that would be the height of hypocrisy.

What I am saying is that we should shift the focus to ourselves and what we want. Aim for less complaining and more fun, happiness and achievement.

If anything I knew has been reinforced by this journey is that you can't change individuals by complaining about them and especially not by complaining to them.

Humans seem fundamentally contrary, so complaining just makes most of them did their heels in and do more of the same.

What are you going to do then? Complain some more? Yep, that should work ;-)

Making things worse are our friends (not), the media. They and our "leaders" use fear to control us. I heard of F.E.A.R. described as False Evidence appearing Real.

This initially struck me as a fairly lame platitude but when I chose to take on board the sentiment all sorts of problems just washed away.

It has been ages since I've watched the news on TV or read a newspaper. All it takes to work out that it is all bullshit is to compare them to each other. When has any two news stories from different channels ever been the same? So which one is telling the truth? The answer mostly seems to be "none" and that being the case I am far better off not wasting my time with any of them.

If something is important enough I'll hear about it and I can then investigate the "truth" of the matter on my terms.

I once heard about a thing we humans have called the Reticular Activating System. As it was explained to me, it is the part of the brain that makes us notice more red cars when we ourselves own a red car. There aren't suddenly more of them on the road, our RAS just starts noticing them because now we have an interest in them.

It sounds plausible and a nice way to explain a phenomena but I wasn't sure if it was just motivational bull-crap.

Regardless of whether the RAS works as the motivators say, the pragmatic implementation of making the choice to avoid the things we find unpleasant and focus on those we find pleasant or desirable is demonstrably real.

Try it for yourself. If you want it to work it will, if you think it is bullshit you'll be right too :-)

If we focus on something we don't want, can't fix or can't have frustration and anger are inevitable.

I say, fuck that, I'm moving on baby! (I mean no babies).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"hardship", it hits you between the legs

I was on Facebook the other day and saw a post about some teenager mother having yet another child complaining about the hardship of her life.

She wanted more "Government money" to help her out.

So I replied with: "Hardship", yeah between the legs with any bloke she can find (too harsh?)

My point being that she'd chosen these "hardships" and was obviously too stupid to realise it and amend her behaviour accordingly.


Of course, there's no shoving a baby back in, but to have another one and still complain is beyond the pale.

The problem with a market driven economy AND Government is that policy targets the mass market 
and the mass market is stupid, self serving breeders.


I realise this is a massive generalisation but hear me out.

The politicians that get elected do so by buying votes from these folk and then continue to pander to them once elected.


The phenomenon of "baby kissing" has more than circumstantial evidence supporting it.

It seems no decent person ever becomes a politician and/or stays one long enough to make sensible decisions with our money...you see, it isn't "The Government's money" at all.




If things like Australia's Carbon Tax and associated "Family Hardship Payments" were really about climate change, and not creating jobs for public servants, they would be a tax break not a payout to the middle classes.

Of course the Carbon Tax isn't about climate change.


No politician knows what Climate Change is or isn't.

In fact, neither do the scientists. 

Any sensible person knows that the planet is far more complex than can ever modeled and therefore its future cannot be predicted. 

In the case of climate change, what needs to happen is for the majority of people to take a risk based approach to how much they fuck up the planet at an individual level. 

This isn't for any of our sake i.e. those without children. Those of us alive today aren't going to experience too many of the effects that may occur, "their" kids will though!
 
BECAUSE, despite politicians, scientists, doubters, believers, whoever, the FACT remains humans are making a massive mess of this place and the RISK is HUGE that nature can't wipe it clean while humans are around and making the mess (worse).

Of course, in the very long term, humanity will be gone and everything will be wiped clean...


...so maybe I'll just buy a few Humvees and start making a huge mess for the childrun of the fewcha ;-)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

30 kids - idiocracy in action

Those of you who've been paying attention will have noticed me mention a movie called "Idiocracy".

The synopsis goes "Private Joe Bauers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes 500 years in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive. "

At the start of the movie there is an explanation of how society got so dumb. It includes a typical "jock" fucking everything in sight and having lots of kids while the "smarter" couple assess their reproductive choice and, well, end up not have any kids. (see the family tree picture here - it is also worth checking YouTube for the footage)

Oh how I laughed and laughed at the exaggerated humour of it all..except that it isn't exaggerated.

Check out this "scro'"...30 kids and counting....

http://now.msn.com/money/0518-man-30-kids-child-support.aspx

The best part is that he's on welfare and expecting everyone else to pick up the tab.

"Don't worry scro', lots of tards lead kick-ass lives..."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The CF are much better off - shhhh! Don't tell anyone :-)

It is increasingly common to see "news"stories about how parents of one nature or another are about to receive some form of financial benefit or another from the Government.

My usual complaint about it being called "Government money" aside, every other day there seems to be some new scheme handing out OUR money...money for having a baby, money for school, unmarried mothers pensions, child care rebates, paid maternity leave etc. etc.

Despite all stupidity of just handing cash over to people "because they have" kids without any further qualification or requirements on how it is spent, it is still by far and away cheaper not to have kids in the first place.

The child-free get a lot of flack for whinging about how their tax dollars are spent. The thing is, the child-free and the single are the most heavily taxed and least benefited of all, so we have good grounds for whinging.


We work hard for our money and then the Government takes it away and hands it over anyone who just happens to have done what their baser instincts suggest - have a baybeee!


Of course, Governments are much better than that when it comes to wasting our money. There are plenty of stupid schemes going around where politicians regularly set fire to our hard earned cash. But somehow actually seeing someone else buy a big screen TV with our money hurts more. 

Reading statistics on the types of spending spikes that occur when something like the baby bonus gets paid is enough to bring tears to most people's eyes. Just how the hell is this middle class welfare justified? "Not at all" is the answer but it continues to happen and grow in scale.


People earning less than you and I, who happen to be single or without kids, get nothing by way of help from the Government (i.e. us) while people richer than us get handouts just because they've had a kid or 5. It doesn't make sense.


The moronic plan of note right now is the "Carbon Tax". More money is being taken from us and being given in the form of rebates to "struggling families" read "the same people generating the biggest carbon footprint".

Are you mad yet?

Well let me fix that. Let me make you happy.

There's not much doubt that the folk who do have kids to get the "financial benefits" are just plain stupid.

They are incapable of doing the simple math that shows (cost of baby/ies) > (all handouts available)...and that is just the cost in dollars. There are many other costs not so easily measured.


There's also not much doubt that the politicians will stop pandering to the middle class retards who do most of the voting (I like to call them the "lowest common denominator") or get smarter any time soon. They'll continue to waste our money as long as they draw breath.






So while all this pisses me off, in my head I know I am still way better off than any person with a child receiving any amount of "Government" assistance.


For starters my vagina can't be used as a boat shed, my bank balance is not as small as it could be, my sanity is roughly the same as it was before I didn't have kids, my wife and I haven't grown apart because of the kids, actual sex is on the menu, other members of our household don't hate us and break things, ...I could go on but perhaps your comments below would be better :-)

It may best if we keep this to ourselves because I suspect we may be further reamed by the Government if they find out...on the other hand, if those thinking of reproducing get wind of this we may just prevent the global population problem getting worse!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why not? I've just never wanted to

Guest post by Suzy Cooper - a 38 year-old writer and stand-up comedian living in Tasmania.

When I was twenty I visited a doctor to ask about getting sterilised. He said he wouldn't do it on someone my age because I'd regret it. Regret it? The only thing I knew I'd regret was getting pregnant and having to decide what to do about it. I was paranoid about getting pregnant even though I was super-careful - as a child of the 80s I knew that even thinking about sex was going to end with Death beating me at bowling, then giving me AIDS.

I remember at the time thinking that the doctor/society would be hands-off about me doing any number of regrettable and somewhat- to extremely-permanently damaging things to my life/body, including:

  • tattoos
  • piercings
  • collecting venereal diseases
  • having children I didn't want (and allowing me to treat them poorly - after all, mothers know best)
  • smoking
  • eating to excess
  • exercising to excess
  • excessively excessing in general.
Hmm. What did I learn? A doctor was allowed to exert control to ensure my reprods remained open for business. And to determine what I would or wouldn't regret. I was peeved by that paternalistic attitude. At the time I remember thinking, 'Well, if I do change my mind hopefully my body will be sterilised before any hormones kick in and over-ride my logic.'

At 38 I am still entire (as they say about animals). My choice to keep my reprods in their original packaging has usually prompted friends and family to say the boringly predictable, 'You wait. You'll change your mind.' 

A friend who was having IVF treatment once said to me bitterly, 'I bet you're super-fertile!' Much as I empathised with her struggles, I couldn't apologise for that. Besides, the only way to know for sure whether I am indeed fertile, is to get pregnant: a diabolical idea that would irrevocably affect my life, my bladder (by all accounts) and the unfortunate issue of my loins. 

Side-note: something that hasn't really affected my decision, but which sure doesn't act as sweetener: my family seems to create giant fat-headed babies. 

I still look at pregnant ladies and think 'There's no possible way that (contents of abdomen) is going to get out through that (pelvis). I've seen Alien.

Introducing Suzy Cooper...

Suzy Cooper
Hello everyone,

Recently I put out a request for people to contribute to this web site/blog.

I also directly invited some people I know to be guest posters.
Suzy was one of those people and she has kindly agreed to contribute - yay!

Her first post is queued and ready to go. It will be up after her introduction here.

Suzy is very modest and asked only to be introduced like this...

"Suzy Cooper is a 38 year-old writer and stand-up comedian living in Tasmania."

Suzy also runs her own business, speaks about writing and communication, volunteers, lives life on her own terms and is a lovely giving person. Check out her web site to read about all the pies her fingers are in.

So please everyone, give Suzy a round of applause...oh, I forgot where I was...stay tuned for her posts.

Thanks Suzy!
suzannecooper.wordpress.com

David Moore

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CFZ - The Book Serialized - Why do people choose to be child-free? Greater Freedom...


Why do people choose to be child-free?

Having children is an enormous undertaking. There are so many things to think about, so many things you can’t predict, so many things that you can’t guarantee, so much to learn, so much to do, such a long-term commitment and, at the end of it all, you have to let them go. Any one of these things can become a compelling reason not to have children if you feel strongly enough about it.
When people who have raised children find out what our book is about they sometimes say ‘Oh God, I can tell you why not to’ or ‘Ask my husband, he’d never do it again’ or ‘Whatever you do, don’t change your mind’. A more common response is: ‘I love my children dearly and would not give them up for anything in the world, but if I had my time again, knowing what I know now, I would not have kids.’
When people with young children find out that you don’t want any, they almost invariably try to change your mind. One theory is that misery loves company. The conspiracy of parenthood dictates that those who are now bound by their decision must attempt to recruit more victims to the fold. It is like a ‘baby cult’. You believe because you have to believe. It is too late to admit it was a mistake even if it was. You are now bound to spend a quarter of your life on this project. You can’t even allow the thought that you might have been wrong to enter your head. The conspiracy of silence about parenthood means that many new parents are left asking ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard this would be?’ In popular culture, parenthood is romanticised and glorified when, for many, the reality is different. It takes a lot of guts to admit it.
Those who have finished raising their children are in a position to reflect more objectively, and sometimes that reflection is not as pretty as they once thought. That objectivity, combined with experience, is difficult to ignore. Some child-free people feel that they have simply learned from other people’s mistakes and listened to their advice.
The people we surveyed gave a wide variety of responses when asked why they don’t want children. Most people who have decided not to have a family will see themselves reflected somewhere in this chapter.
Many respondents said they simply had not found a good reason to have children. Says Marianne, 31, a graphic designer: ‘I can’t relate to other people’s reasons for wanting to have kids. Children are often so idealised and inevitably parents realise this not long after the child is born when the barrage of nappies and crying hits. It’s all worthwhile, they tell me. Is it?’
‘I never actually decided to have children,’ wrote Stephanie, 36, who has five brothers and two sisters. ‘Coming from a large family there were always too many children about. Being the youngest I was always surrounded by too many nieces and nephews.’
Helen, 33, says that having children would affect her life ‘very badly. I don’t like children, I don’t want children, it just wouldn’t work for me,’ she said. ‘I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but it would ruin my life.’
Not all child-free people dislike children, in fact many are closely involved with children in their work and family lives, but so often children are ‘their own worst enemy’. Put simply, the perceived decline in standards of behaviour of ‘children today’ puts many people off having them. Even with the best of them it is not long before your tolerance is tested. So would you want one of your own full time? ‘Ah, but mine would be different!’ you might say. How do you know?
Tracey, 39, considers herself truly child-free by choice, although she has had a baby. ‘I relinquished a child for adoption at 16, and have never had the desire for children since, or before for that matter. I don’t consider myself a mother and never have. I wanted to be free of responsibility at 16, and still want to be free. I may not be considered a “child-free person” as I’ve had a baby. Then again, you could view it another way. If one has a child, or even falls pregnant, and then gives that child up, or has an abortion, one would truly be child-free by choice. I mean, once you already have that child, or are pregnant with it, then you have to have the courage of your convictions in making the decision to stay child-free.’
Child-free people are sometimes perceived as child haters. Yet to care so much for a child as to give it up for a better home, or not have the child all, may be the single most thoughtful and caring thing a person may ever do for a child. It is obvious they aren’t child haters when they think of a child’s welfare that far in advance. Prevention is better than cure.
This concern may initially manifest itself as doubt. ‘I don’t know if I want to bring a child into a world like this.’ ‘I don’t know if I could be a good parent.’ Don’t just ask yourself these questions. Answer them, and answer them before you have a child, because afterwards your answer doesn’t matter.

Greater freedom

An overwhelming majority of respondents mentioned ‘freedom’, as either a key reason not to have children or the main benefit of staying child-free.
‘My situation is rather paradoxical, as you will see. I just love children of all ages, and I think the world would be a very sad place without them. However I must confess that I love my freedom more, hence my choice of a child-free life,’ said Vivienne, 59.
‘I value my freedom and independence very highly,’ said Monica, 30. ‘I like to be able to get in my car and go somewhere without first loading it with the large amount of necessary accessories that go with children, or having to make alternative arrangements for childcare.’
Tracie, 35, says she is not prepared to give up her independence. ‘I like the freedom to do what I want when I want. I also feel a child would interfere in my partner’s and my lifestyle and we spend a lot of time by ourselves.’
‘Our lifestyle is very important to us,’ said Stephanie, a 36-year-old sales assistant. ‘We have always put each other first. We prefer to be around animals and enjoy coming home to a quiet house with no children running around.’
The second most important reason Betty, 47, chose not to have children was lifestyle. ‘It was around 1970 I read an excerpt from a book called The Baby Trap in Cosmopolitan of all magazines. The author was celebrating her child-free honeymoon in Europe which she said was possible because they weren’t tied down with children. I read the book and it wasn’t particularly well written but it raised a lot of valid points.’
‘I have always been happy the way I am, and having a child would make me very unhappy indeed – anxious, trapped and unable to please myself,’ said Fiona, 41. ‘Having a child would reduce my choices and opportunities for work, fun, lifestyle and happiness. I think that’s why people say they find happiness and fulfilment in their children – they don’t have the time or energy to find it elsewhere. There’s also the risk of being locked into a situation that’s second rate, for security’s sake.’
‘I feel that all my life I have been doing things to please others, but not necessarily what I wanted to do,’ said Beth, 34. ‘This decision is right for me and I guess others might view it as selfish but I don’t want to lose the freedom I currently have.’
Mik, 41, said that not having kids means he has ‘freedom to do as, when and for what I like, without responsibility.’
Freedom is whatever you perceive it to be. For some, it means being able to ‘up stumps’ and move at a moment’s notice. For others it means having as few obligations as possible. Some people see leaving the workforce to become a full-time parent as a form of freedom. After all, many people would love to give up working. However, parenting can be far more arduous than almost any job and it doesn’t offer the luxury of being able to seek a career change when you’re tired of it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

CFZ - The Book serialised - A matter of choice

The overwhelming concern of child-free people is that they have a right to choose without their choice constantly being questioned. They would like others to respect their decision. It is no different to choosing where to live, with whom you live and what you do in your spare time. Unlike having children, staying child-free rarely interferes with other people’s lives and should be of no concern to anyone other than the person who has made that choice.
‘I find your particular reasons for your decision not to [have children] most reasonable,’ wrote Kirk, 28, following a radio interview conducted during the writing of this book. ‘The fact that you do not find children an attractive option, among other reasons, is your own belief and decision; a right that is yours and yours only; a right that should not be open to criticism or argument. It doesn’t matter whether this “right not to” is to do with not accepting responsibility, or because you’d rather save for a holiday, or you’d rather adopt a homeless child, or just because you don’t like children.’
Child-free people are tired of other people not taking their decision seriously. When you tell others that you don’t want children the usual response is ‘you’ll change your mind’. Parenthood is still seen as inevitable for anyone who marries, so some people choose to remain single or live de facto as this reduces the pressure from family to reproduce.
Jacqui, 25, says she is sick of ‘answering the same silly, intrusive question over and over. Why are people so fascinated that we are choosing to go against the grain on this issue?’
‘One thing I would like to see change is people’s insistence that they have a right to convert me to their way of thinking on this issue,’ wrote Monica, 30. ‘I have a horse…which I gain a great deal of joy from but I don’t insist that everyone else should love them and do the same. I realise people are different and that what is right for some is not for others.’
‘Over the years, I have done my fair share of defending myself to others with kids, which to me is strange because I have never demanded to know their justification for having children,’ said Julie, 37. The point is that people don’t have to justify having children. Humans have been reproducing for millions of years. It is only recently that we have been able to think about it and choose.
People are now presented with an almost limitless array of options in their lives. You could fill a dozen life spans with recreational activities alone. The boundless opportunities often seem to catch active people out. They are simply too busy living life to be bothered having children or even think of it in time.
It is obvious that non-parents simply cannot know what it is like to have a child, so it is slightly insulting when parents claim they somehow know ‘better’ than you and imply that you are ignorant of the joy that children can bring. Of course we don’t know. But we have some idea, and have chosen not to experience it. As Erica, 34, puts it: ‘I often get the comments: “Oh but Erica it’s different when they’re your own” and “it’s something every woman should experience”. Bollocks. Some women are meant to be managing directors of multimillion dollar corporations, some women are meant to be sprinters, some women are meant to be electricians and some women are meant to have children and some aren’t.’
It’s simply about exercising the right to choose and then not being judged on that choice for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CFZ - The Book Serialised - Facts and Figures


Facts and figures

{Serialisation note:  Obviously the figures shown here are somewhat obsolete now. They come directly from the published edition of the book. The fact is, the numbers of CF people has only grown since this time.}
Australians are marrying later, starting a family later in life and having fewer children.
Based on 1996 fertility rates, 75.1% of all women can expect to have at least one child in their lives and 58.2% will have at least two, 16.9% will have only one child, and 24.9% of women will remain childless. Since the mid-1980s approximately one in four women has remained childless.
That’s almost a quarter of Australian women now of child-bearing age who are expected to remain childless. People are often surprised when confronted with these figures. But the number of childless women is growing: some sources now suggest that up to 29% of women will not be mothers. While it’s impossible to break the percentage down into those who are unable to have children and those who choose not to, the rapid increase in the number of childless women since the early 1970s tells us that more than natural forces are at play.
Number of children that women bear
Years
No children

One child

Two children

Three children

More than three children
1985 to 1991
25.3%
13.6%
27.4%
11.5%
37.3%
1980 to 1984
23.7%
2.6%
32.6%
19.3%
23.8%
1975 to 1979
21.8%
9.2%
28.8%
18.2%
20.2%
1970 to 1974
10.3%
10.2%
29.5%
15.1%
19.9%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1996.
Based on data from the 1986 Census, 18.3% of women born in 1909 did not have children. They were 25 years old in the middle of the Great Depression. In comparison, of women born in 1936 who were 25 at the peak of the ‘baby boom’, only 8.6% did not have children. This is called ‘generational fertility’ and can only be calculated accurately after women have completed child-bearing at the age of about 50. It can be calculated for women born after 1965, as shown in the table above, using the projected age specific birthrates but is unreliable.
In Australia in Facts and Figures (1994) Bill Coppell points out that the number of women having babies in the 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 age groups has dropped considerably, while the birthrates for women aged 30 to 34 and 35 to 39 has increased. Couples now tend to start a family later in life, and the delay often becomes the reason they choose not to have children at all. The decision is delayed until suddenly they realise they are no longer able to have children, or that their lives are full and happy without them. Age specific birthrates – the number of live births registered in one year according to the age of the mother, per 1000 females of the same age – also reflect changing attitudes to child-bearing. In 1964, peak fertility was among 24-year-old women, with 23% having babies. By 1994, peak fertility was among 29-year-old women, but only 13% had babies.
In the late 1950s the average duration of marriage before the first pregnancy was 1.3 years. By 1990 this had increased to 2.3 years. It is taking longer to become established as a young family. Today, the duration of marriages is also having an effect on people’s decision to stay childless. It is increasingly common for marriages to end in divorce, and some people are concerned that they may not be able to provide a stable future for a family.
Australia’s fertility rate ranks equal fourteenth lowest in the world, part of a worldwide phenomenon that is particularly noticeable in developed nations. It peaked at 3.5 children per woman in 1961 during the ‘baby boom’ period and, by 1996, the fertility rate had fallen to 1.8. The population replacement level is 2.1 children per woman, and Australia’s fertility rate has been below that since 1976. This has not been attributed to improvements in contraception, rather linked to the increasing participation of women in the workforce and changing attitudes to family size, standards of living and lifestyle choices.
Fertility varies between states, regions and even suburbs. The Northern Territory has had consistently higher fertility rates than other states, and the ACT has the lowest fertility rate. Within capital cities, the inner city suburbs have the lowest fertility rates. In 1994 Central Melbourne and the eastern suburbs area of Sydney had the lowest fertility rates with 1.1 and 1.2, respectively, indicating that people who have chosen a life without children often live in the inner city. Conversely, people in the outer and fringe suburbs either choose to have more children or move there to give their growing families more space.
An increasing number of people are becoming alarmist about the fall in the birthrate. In an article by Felicity Dargan in Melbourne’s Herald-Sun in 1998, Mary Helen Woods from the Family Planning Association said ‘plunging birthrates are a sign that we no longer live in an altruistic society. Selfishness and hedonism have taken over’. A Liberal member of parliament in Victoria made it part of her political agenda, urging ‘selfish career women’ to become mothers to reverse the plummeting birthrate. Even the then Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett was heard at a Melbourne school in 1999 encouraging teenage girls to breed to halt the declining population. The arguments are always more emotional than rational, and based in a long-rooted history of ‘blaming’ someone for the decline in the birthrate.
However, despite low fertility rates, latest estimates say that Australia’s population is growing at the world average of 1.3% a year, which is far higher than most other developed countries and even higher than South-East Asian nations such as Thailand. It is only 0.2% behind Indonesia which, with more than 216 million people, is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Australia’s population growth rate is 50% higher than that of the US and more than six times the rate in the UK. In the US, the population is growing by much greater numbers, but by a smaller percentage of just 0.8% per year. Australia’s population, which continues to grow through the immigration program and through increased life expectancy, reached 19 million in September 1999 and will hit 24.9 million by 2050 if neither migration nor the birthrate fall.
The lobby group, Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population, aims to encourage informed public debate about how population numbers affect the need to preserve Australia’s ecological heritage. Its membership information claims that:
·         In the last 50 years as much land was cleared as in the 150 years before 1945.
·         Because our birthrate is twice our death rate we are locked into a population increase of two million before our population stabilises – even if there were no immigration at all. Current levels of immigration, plus natural increase, will see our population continue to grow.
·         Decisions about population are political decisions. Our population will reach 20.7 million before it can stabilise, but it doesn’t have to reach 27 million and still be growing by 2051.
American political humourist P.J. O’Rourke outlines an alternative account of the ‘overpopulation problem’ in his book All the Trouble in the World. He does a series of rough calculations and works out that the world is not really overpopulated at all. World fertility rates peaked a while ago and, even in the poorest countries, fertility rates dropped 30% between the late 1960s and the early 1980s. If this trend continues, world population growth could reach replacement level by 2005, when the UN estimates there will be 6.7 billion people. At the current population level, O’Rourke says, we could all live in Europe in a California-style suburban sprawl with 2250 people per square mile, with most of Russia west of the Urals left over for landfill. He says: ‘This leaves us with the question of what people really mean when they say the world is overpopulated. What these concerned citizens usually mean is that they’ve seen a whole bunch of the earth’s very ordinary people up real close, and the concerned citizens didn’t like what they saw one bit.’
This is probably true: a quick trip to the local shopping centre is sometimes all you need to confirm that having more children is not going to help the world.
Statistics can always be used to prove different points. The facts are that the world population is still ballooning, the world’s resources are finite and increasingly stretched, and an increasing number of Australians are choosing not to have children.

An historical perspective

In the mid-nineteenth century it was normal for married women in Australia to produce six or seven children. By the turn of the century the average had dropped to three or four. There was such widespread concern over the declining birthrate that, in 1903, a Royal Commission On the Decline in the Birth-rate and On the Mortality of Infants was instigated in NSW. In 1904 the Royal Commissioner reported that ‘the cause or causes of the Decline of the Birthrate must be a force or forces over which the people themselves have control...’ – in other words, even then, people were deliberately limiting the size of their families.
The blame apparently lay with women, who exhibited ‘an unwillingness to submit to the strain and worry of children; a dislike of the interference with pleasure and comfort involved in child-bearing and child-rearing; a desire to avoid the actual physical discomfort of gestation, parturition and lactation; and a love of luxury and social pleasures’. When motherhood is described in those terms, can you blame women for not wanting to be a part of it?
In her book Love and Freedom – Professional women and the reshaping of personal life (1997), Alison Mackinnon points out how odd it is that women were blamed for the declining birthrate, when the primary method used by middle class couples to avoid pregnancy was withdrawal or coitus interruptus, which of course requires cooperation from the male. Mackinnon reports that the Royal Commission rejected a vast amount of evidence that showed couples simply could not afford more children.
Early this century, Australian women were admitted to universities and could vote in federal elections. Among educated women there was a growing belief that fewer children who were well loved and cared for, were better than many children with less chance of a happy and healthy life. Working class women were also having fewer children, but financial hardship was more likely to be the motivating factor.
In the 1950s couples could afford to live on one income. It was often still expected that a woman would cease employment once she was married. There was also a post-World War II swing against women working outside the home as they had become so independent during the war. Many women had to fight to retain the right to work, when male bosses encouraged them to become homemakers.
Survey respondent Jan, a registered nurse, was married in 1962, at the age of 21. While she never felt pressure from her own family to have children (‘my mother asked once when she was to be a grandmother and was given the reply “never”; so the subject was not discussed again’), it was unusual and less acceptable for couples to choose the child-free path.
‘These were times when it was generally expected [that] women married young, rarely travelled before marriage and were not independent in financial matters,’ said Jan. ‘They did not own their own cars or houses and mostly lived at home with their parents until marriage. Rarely did women have university degrees, most left school as soon as they reached 15 and worked in what was perceived as “female” positions. The assumption was that they would get married, produce children and stay at home to be a mother and so a tertiary education was not considered important unless one came from a family of professionals.
‘It was generally expected that after a few years of marriage, children would eventuate. Contraception was a hit and miss affair, with diaphragms, condoms and the rhythm method to name a few, and many unplanned pregnancies occurred. The Pill was coming into vogue permitting some degree of choice in planning a family. Still it was unusual for a couple not to reproduce, and stranger still that they would choose not to have children.
‘After we had been married for about four years, I had one well-meaning lady who knew there were no children on the scene pat me on the arm and whisper, “Never mind dear, you can always adopt.” She could not understand when I explained we had chosen not to have children. Her generation had little choice, although in the 1960s, it was still expected for couples to follow the “norm”. Couples today do make decisions not to have children and up to a point, their decisions are more accepted than in the 1960s.’

Despite the rapid change in social attitudes in the last three decades, anecdotal evidence tells us that there is still a widespread expectation that couples should become parents.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I live the in Ashgrove electorate - by Sandra

Hi CFs,

While the rest of this wide brown land contemplates the possibility of a new PM on Monday, here in Queensland there is a state election.

Once again -- just like 2007 federal election –  I find myself in an electorate being sought by the leader of the Opposition.
Campbell Newman is NOT a sitting MP but is campaigning in my electorate so that he may become Premier of Queensland.
Given that the current Bligh government is on the nose, campaign activity in my electorate is intense and the equivalent of a small forest has been deposited in my letter box in the form of flyers, letter and brochures.

One flyer came from the Australian Family Association. And yes, we all know that “family” is a euphemism for a nice, white, heterosexual, patriarchal-led, married parents, nuclear family.   And yes, the nice pic on the flyer is a white, all dressed in pastel big tall dark-haired Dad who stands a good head and shoulders above the slim blonde Mum and the brother and sister.

The flyer implores the reader to vote out the current sitting member, Kate Jones MP: “…place Kate Jones last”. Her crime, apparently was to “[support] gay surrogacy and voted for same gender unions that require zero commitment.”

How outrageous eh?  The flyer goes on: “but what about children’s rights Ms Jones?” Children deserve commitment. Children deserve a mum and a dad. Children are not property. Ashgrove electorate never voted for this.

I find the last sentence amusing. These fundies DO view children as property. They feel that when the state tells them that they must be moderate when physically punishing their kids, it the state interfering in their lives and “their” kids.  Read the rhetoric of the fundies and they are a modern take on the Ancient Roman’s pater familias.

Anyway I am pretty annoyed by these pricks so I have penned this message below. No abuse, no rudeness. Just dripping sarcasm.  Some of your are comical geniuses so if you can add any suggestions I will welcome them.

David – perhaps the final draft can also be posted to the CFZ FB page? [DLM: Yes it can :-)]

===================================


I live the in Ashgrove electorate.

Thank you for your flyer regarding Kate Jones that was placed in our letter box marked “no junk mail”.

It is reassuring that your organisation is self-assured that your definition of Almighty God is on your side and courtesies such as humble requests from householders that a private letterbox remain sacrosanct is wilfully ignored in the pursuit of a much higher cause.

It is pleasing that, in a world of poverty, disease and social inequity that your organisation remains attentive to the issues that really matter. Your vigilance over consenting adults’ misuse of their own genitals should be applauded. Your fixation with non-procreative sex taking place in this fine, secular democracy is certainly a high priority.

Statistically it is clear that a child who wishes to avoid being beaten, staved, neglected, emotionally and mentally abused, raped, sodomised, sold into sexual slavery and murdered can best mitigate the likelihood of this risk by avoiding members of its own family. Likewise, a woman who wants to avoid beatings, rape and murder best avoid a husband. Yet your organisation clings tenaciously to the patriarchal family as the best social model.

Clearly you are dissatisfied that our secular government does not go far enough to ensure that any citizen’s genital use is restricted solely to making good white Christian babies. I anticipate that your organisation will, in due course, reveal to the public the policy instruments your organisation would implement to socially engineer the delivery of your organisation’s desired outcomes, such as a public education campaign to indoctrinate the public about the confected dangers of non-procreative sex and to encourage the social isolation and humiliation of those who participate in such activities; fiscal arrangements to penalise all household arrangements that do not meet your rigid definition of “family” and those monies regressively redistributed to only those householders who meet with your endorsed approval; a legislative framework to empower the compliance and enforcement of the restrictions placed on sexual acts and to reinstate pater familias; a quasi-constabulary or similar under same head of power with rights of non-consensual entry into private dwellings and/or vehicles to enforce the laws and a judiciary with powers to arbitrarily prosecute and execute offenders.

Your adherents of your doctrine and its book of what it calls truth claim that it is a sin to bear false witness so you are obliged to be forthright and transparent about your campaign of bigotry and hate to reveal your true agenda.
I thank you for revealing Ms Jones’ MP humanitarian, liberal and egalitarian nature and her support for social justice.

Yours sincerely
A woman who has had many, many orgasms and no babies. On purpose.