Wednesday, July 7, 2010

They still call it "childLESS"

National Public Radio (NPR) is a great friend to women.

If there is a viable base for a feminist media, it would begin with NPR.

Such programs as "The Takeaway," and "Tell me more" address many feminist issues that are simply not given prominence in the mainstream media.

Case in point is the following broadcast about the choice and circumstance behind the decline in birthrates for women over 40. The current research discussed here examines the racial, ethnic, and educational components of the issue.

What I found interesting, however, is that throughout the piece, women who chose not to have children were referred to as "childless."

The connotation that comes along with the word "childless" is a barren, empty womb incapable of producing offspring. Often, it induces sympathy or sadness.

If a woman chooses not to bear children, why not call her "childFREE?"

As one of the childfree, I believe this word is a much more accurate reflection of the choice involved and the options now available to women that were not available in the past.

The choice not to have children is a personal one and has nothing to do with being selfish or unselfish.

And yet, old gender roles and traditions die hard.

As the concept of being childfree is slowly becoming more acceptable -- so should the evolution of the word used to describe it.

Listen for the language and think about it.

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