In 1974, I “came out” on 60 Minutes as a person not wanting to parent. It was unusual to share a personal choice like that on national TV back then. It would have been better for me to keep quiet and have people think I was infertile. The piece, “Three’s a Crowd,” produced by Marion Goldin, was edited to make me look like an immature dingbat.
Mike Wallace ended that segment with, “Pardon our perversion for airing this on Mother’s Day. Good night everyone!” (I never met the man.) The next day, I was excessed from my job. I faced death threats for my dog and myself. (Not towards my then husband!) When I spoke about this choice, I was picketed and called a “godless bitch.”
It took me 35 years to have the courage to write my published memoir, Confessions of a Childfree Woman, reflecting on whether that choice was a good one or if I had regrets at 70. It’s also an even-handed exploration of the history in the childfree movement.
I’m looking for a media partner to share my story. I’m looking for more women to support me at a time people are saying the choice is now totally accepted. I believe it’s still a social stigma with the perception that we, the childfree-by-choice are selfish and irresponsible.
In my opinion, having a child or choosing to parent is the most important choice of any lifetime. Yet, not one word is mentioned in any schooling about the beautiful, viable choice to live a worthwhile life without parenting.