Every now and again, I bump into something on the web that moves me.
A couple of months back, there was Lance Arthur’s very last life serial.
Today is the Gay Pride in Sion. You make the links.
au auto-backup (google+) question: http://t.co/5qqGBU4p4b
Sur le réseau social, la révélation du nom est saluée, le bourreau insulté. Vingt-quatre heures passent et le nom reste exposé à la vue de tous. Qu’en dire du point de vue légal? «C’est une atteinte au droit de la personnalité du défunt», explique Sébastien Fanti, avocat, spécialiste des nouvelles technologies et préposé ad interim à la protection des données du canton du Valais. Qui poursuit: «On comprend les sentiments de révolte qu’éprouve cette famille. Mais il faudrait vraiment supprimer cette publication qui jette l’opprobre sur la famille du tueur.» Sébastien Fanti rappelle que même morte, une personne conserve le droit à la protection de la personnalité. «Peu importe ce qu’elle a fait. On ignore dans quel état était cet homme, s’il était capable de discernement. Je doute d’ailleurs que l’autopsie ait déjà pu révéler de tels éléments.»
Five years ago, I still was not ever telling people unless it was absolutely necessary. And now I do work it into conversation in the first five minutes or so," she says. If she needs to ask someone to repeat something, she’ll just add, "I have a hearing problem.
Social scientists have called reproductive technologies a medical cure for a social problem. De-stigmatizing both voluntary and involuntary childlessness could broaden our definitions of human belonging.
If medical science can now create a human embryo with donated mitochondria (and thus from three biological “parents”), to enable a woman who might otherwise transmit mitochondrial disease to bear a healthy child that is genetically hers, we may applaud the technical achievement, but we should also be asking what social good is served by bringing a child into the world in this way.” Homans also wonders why parents care so much about bearing children who are genetically “theirs” and asks: “Do we as a society really think it is better to expend resources in this way than, say, in creating social and economic justice for already born children who are living in poverty?
Childless women feel pressure to have a big compensatory life, she says. “It’s as though if you’re not a mother, you have to become Mother Teresa. But you don’t need a big life on the outside, just on the inside.”
But the issue is more structural: we’re transitioning from an old social model in which women are expected to “marry up” socially or economically that runs parallel to an emerging one examined in Lisa Mundy’s The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family. Mundy concludes that if successful millennial women want to marry and have children, they’ll have to marry down.
Today’s “surplus women” are not war widows but young professional women for whom there aren’t enough suitable male partners—a phenomenon referred to in China derisively as “A1 women and D4 men.” Yet the blame invariably falls on them for being “too choosy,” a motif of the booming advice-to-female-professionals book genre, the latest being Susan Patton’s new Marry Smart: Advice for Finding THE ONE, in which the “Princeton Mom” advises women to snag their “MRS” in university as they’ll never have access to such an elite dating pool again.
The fact that the archetype of the most pitied and shamed woman has, in one generation, gone from single mother to single woman over 40 without children reﬂects fundamental societal shifts, says Day, who thinks it’s not a coincidence that the “fetishization of motherhood”—from pregnancy studio shots to the ideal birth (at home! in water! without meds!)—comes at a time of rising childlessness. “There’s so much cultural anxiety around what it means; there’s reflexive nostalgia for a simpler time: women at home and gender roles more clearly defined.” This isn’t only societal pressure; some of it comes from women recognizing the increasing precariousness of motherhood. Day likens it to propaganda used to lure women home from the workforce after the Second World War. It can be seductive, she says. “It seems such a solid identity, being a mother; being childless is fluid, nebulous: ‘What are you?’ ”
Now more women are willing to talk about a loss others can’t see, she says, one that forced her to confront how much of female identity is tied to motherhood. “The loss isn’t tangible, so most women feel alone, their grief compounded by the attitude that they ‘should be over it,’ ” she says. Adding to the isolation is the feeling of being “locked out of the Mommy Clubhouse,” as one blogger put it on LifeWithoutBaby.com. “Women without children not only lose a future family,” says Day, “but can lose their peer group who have moved to a country called motherhood where we don’t speak the language.”
The fact that discussion about childlessness is framed in terms of personal choice, failure and medical infertility shuts down conversation, says Day. So do the cultural narratives of motherhood and womanhood, a spectacle Notkin calls “mom-opia”—“seeing motherhood as the only normal, natural way to be a woman.” It’s a fixation reflected in manic coverage of celebrity “baby bumps” and loss of pregnancy weight—as well as photos of stars with their kids. We see it too in Michelle Obama’s transformation from accomplished professional and activist to supermom, not only to her own kids, but to the nation—overseeing how it eats and encouraging it to exercise.
Women don’t broadcast wanting a child for fear of being lectured that they shouldn’t wait, Notkin says. But they’re well aware of the tick-tock, she says: “Every 28 days offers a reminder.” The upshot is that women are being forced to make a tactical decision in their 30s: resort to solo motherhood, partner with someone simply to procreate, freeze their eggs or rely on IVF. All are “choices” that are not fully choices. How many women have the resources to keep working while paying child care on a single salary—or to not work at all? How many can afford to freeze their eggs, and then pay for IVF too? Advances in fertility technology have created false perceptions, says Notkin, who writes that people talk about freezing eggs as if it’s picking up a carton of milk. “The assumption is that if you wanted a kid, you would have a kid and go it alone. But that’s not viable for a lot of women.” People see Halle Berry giving birth at 47 and think it’s the new norm, she notes. IVF is misrepresented in the media, says Day. “All we hear is miracle stories, not that it usually doesn’t work over age 40.”
Most women start out expecting to have children, she says, citing a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found 80 per cent of single women are childless, but that 81 per cent of that group said they hope or plan to have children. She rejects the “career woman” label used to describe childless women: “It implies we have chosen work over love, marriage, children. I know no woman who has done that.” Social infertility—or “circumstantial infertility” to use Notkin’s term—forces women to recalibrate expectations in ways not discussed publicly, she says: “At 25, a woman expects to have children, at 35 she hopes to, and at 45 she says she’s happy she doesn’t.”
Virtually ignored in the conversation is the impact of “social infertility”—Day’s coinage for the growing number of women who don’t have a partner or the right partner while they can have children. It’s a big problem for women born in the ’70s, says Day, who experienced social infertility herself: she married at 23 and tried to get pregnant in her late 20s; her 16-year marriage ended when she was 39 and considering IVF. “I couldn’t find a suitable person to do IVF with,” she says. “Now I know it was probably way too late by then anyway.”
Oh sure, I made tentative steps toward complaining, but I was put back in my place pretty quick. Told I’d “never get along with everyone I worked with,” leaving me in no doubt that the porn in the office, constant hard-core sex talk and bursts of verbal abuse were my problems to deal with. “Just part of life,” I was told, breezily by a man in a nice suit, in another state.
The schoolteacher is part of a growing global movement that’s giving voice to a misunderstood phenomenon whose repercussions are personal and societal. “We think there is a room called childlessness with two doors: ‘didn’t want’ or ‘can’t have,’ ” says Jody Day, the writer and social entrepreneur behind Gateway-Women.com, a network based in London, England, for the “childless-by-circumstance” (dubbed “NoMos”). “But there are many ways to end up not being a mother.”
Well, I can tell them what I wish I’d done differently. I wish I’d found a good counselor instead of taking the medication, I wish I’d talked to women higher up in the company instead of yelling at my husband about things that weren’t his fault, and I wish I’d recognized my power and escaped a lot earlier than I did. Easier said than done though, considering I was spending nights agonizing over the very core of my personality, wondering how I’d gotten this far in life as such a horrible, boring, ugly person. I wish I’d phoned a friend.
kindle paperwhite ordered!
omg not often I start reading something thinking it will be interesting and stop after a few paragraphs with nausea http://t.co/Zg7JV0HBxo
Sure, those three indicators are pretty superficial and the actual guidance in the article is to shift your expectations away from lust to friendship, which seems like reasonable advice. But is it really asking so much that I’m looking for an equal here? Admittedly since I chucked in my corporate job I’m not earning anywhere near $87,000 a year (try $0) but my earning potential is definitely well over that amount. I’m nearly 6 foot tall and haven’t been hit too bad with the ugly stick, is it really too much to ask that my mate is these things too?
Recently I read an article on NPR where the message seemed to be: single women, lower your expectations and then you’ll find a romantic partner. The article was written by a man. I suspect a single one but that could just be my bitterness coming through. Get used to it because we’re really about to drink in some lemon, lime and bitters. Heavy on the bitters.
i get my kindle books from http://t.co/OQGQt1inln but order stuff (physical) from az.de — if I buy my kindle from .de will I be in trouble?
I have been increasingly concerned for some time now that egg-freezing is being promoted by the media as the new way to buy peace-of-mind insurance for those women struggling with social infertility, whilst its low success rates and patchy live birth data was not being explored.
In surveys, women say infertility is the worst thing that has ever happened to them, even when compared to the death of a loved one, says Harding, who’s noticed an increase in people seeking emotional support around infertility. ‘When someone else seems to get pregnant easily or accidentally - that can be really difficult to take.’
The whole childfree-by-chance-or-circumstance status is painful, period, and I’d like those of us who are lucky to be in happy relationships to pause and acknowledge the quagmire of emotions when it’s compounded by the whole single-not-by-choice scenario.
The “don’t give up hope” type of comment is the one that hits me closest to the core. While I think that hope is key to human survival, I think it can be dangerous if it isn’t backed by action. Just hoping something will happen someday is how potential and lives get frittered away.
Her domain of expertise is online culture and communication (or "social media consultant/strategist", or whatever the hot name for all this web 2.0 stuff is these days). Ask her if you want to know more about what she does.
Read more exciting details about her life and Climb to the Stars, where she has been blogging for the last 10 years.