One of the truly fascinating things about researching and writing for this site is the universality of feelings, interactions, messaging and challenges experienced by women without children not just in America, but around the globe. One in every 5 women never give birth in several developed nations, including the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.
In Australia, Germany, the United States and Italy, childlessness among women in their late 40s has doubled over the past three decades. In this global village of NotMoms, things are surprisingly familiar from place to place. As an example, there’s this 11/14/13 headline in the prominent Italian newsweekly, L’Espresso, featuring a quote from Elena Pulcini, a social philosophy professor at the University of Firenze:
“Le coppie childfree? Sono chiuse, narcise ed egoiste”
“Childfree couples? They are closed, narcissistic and selfish”
The magic of Google Translate an other online translators revealed Professor Pulcini’s message of shaming, especially aimed toward women childless by choice, which she describes as “a tyrannical desire for self-assertion.”
In the 1960s, Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan declared that technology was creating a “global village”, connecting the entire world in ways never imagined. Again and again, his prescience has proven to be true, and now, another philosopher is doing it again.
Because I don’t live in Italy. Never even visited there.
I’m not child free by choice.
But, I am surely part of a community, a village, of women without children around the world who live with the same finger-pointing, otherness, and exclusionary BS.
Tu vivi la tua vita. Vivrò la mia. (You live your life. I’ll live mine.)