⚡️In this newsletter:
Video of the week
Video's cheat sheet
Note from the Unplugged team
What's next !?
📹 Video of the week:
I Don't EVER Want to be a Mom. Here's Why.
Huge news, our first ever video is live! This one is personal. We explore my choice to be Childfree and debunk some of the myths associated with people who choose not to have children. We historically look at the role of children, societal understandings of motherhood, and track birth rates across generations to understand where the supposed ‘maternal instinct’ comes from.
📊 Video's cheat sheet
Stand out facts and figures extracted from the video
Prior to the French Revolution…
it is estimated that at least 15-22 per cent of the adult population remained single and without children.
1 in 5 American women
born between 1885 and 1915 never had children.
Is the average amount of time it takes for the world’s population to increase by one billion people. It took from the beginning of humanity until the 1800s to reach the first billion people.
📝 Note from the Unplugged team
It is unreal to believe that our first video and newsletter are live! This project started all the way back in April. We spent the first few months of the project researching and developing exactly how we wanted to deliver this project to you. How do we tackle intricate subjects within a ten-minute video timeframe?; How do we ensure that a large breadth of voices and experiences are shared?; How do we make this information more accessible to our audience?; How do we envoke a sense of criticism and independent thought without knocking on the door of the devil’s advocate? These are just some of the questions the team meditated on in the early stages of the project.
The topic for our first video was a no-brainer. A lived experience for members of the Unplugged team, a hotly debated topic on social media, and a very relevant discussion following the recent SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade where the choice to have or not have children has been stripped away for many of our friends in the United States.
Choosing to be Childfree as a topic was, at times, completely overwhelming to condense down into something digestible. We left many delicious statistics and stories on the cutting room floor, which we suspect will be the case for many of our future videos. In particular, this topic is much wider than just birth rates and reproductive stereotypes. It is also a reflection of popular familial, religious and social values, the rights of (and sometimes the lack of) those who have the ability to bear children, governmental policy, gross domestic product, capitalism, consumerism (baby showers anyone?), and of course, power and control. We hope that a sprinkling of these wider themes made their way to you in the video.
This week we were joined by some very special guests who graciously shared their own experiences of choosing to be Childfree:
Zoë Noble, @wearechildfree_
Ashu & Mohita, @childfree_women
Nadja & Jane, @pi_cycles_berlin
There are two key messages we hope you take away from this week’s video.
Having children is not and should not be treated as a ‘norm’. We hope you are inspired to critique why it is that you do/don’t want to have children.
We need to change our language and assumptions about reproduction. Having children shouldn’t be a ‘tick off the bucket list’ exercise or a certain achievement one must overcome to reach a certain status. Our language should reflect the diversity of life experiences, not reduce our lives to when we’re having children.
Finally, we will leave you with our favourite quote from this week’s video. This quote comes from Dr Amy Blackstone, one of our key sources for this week. The quote calls us to understand why it is so difficult for us to challenge ideas of motherhood and maternal instincts.
This belief serves to help us identify roles, organize labor within and outside the home, and understand our own—and others’—place. Challenging it means questioning everything we were taught about our place in the world and even our very social structures. It is much more comfortable, and comforting to others, to joke about one’s individual lack of maternal instinct than it is to suggest that it doesn’t exist.
📚 Video's key sources
Dr Amy Blackstone, Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence, 2019.
Anne Allison, Precarious Japan, Duke University Press, 2013.
Julie Groot, Isabelle Devos, Ariadne Schmidt, Single Life and the City 1200-1900, 2015.
Elaine T. May, Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness, 1997.
S. Philip Morgan, Late Nineteenth-And Early Twentieth-Century Childlessness, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 97, No. 3.
McCrindle, The Baby Bonus Generation, 2013.
The Nation, The Disturbing Rise of ‘Femonationalism’, 2019.
The Conversation, What the baby bonus boost looks like across ten years, 2017.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies, Household division of labour from 1991 to 2016, 2018.
Gary L. Brase & Sandra L. Brase, Emotional regulation of fertility decision making: What is the nature and structure of “baby fever”?, 2012.
🚀 What's next !?
Next fortnight we’re exploring how city spaces are literally killing us, and what we can do about it. Hint: It involves a little bit of nature and a lot of adventure…
This is a young project in its first year, we are super curious to hear your reaction, feedback, and thoughts, so please don’t hesitate to write to us.
Thanks for being part of the Unplugged crew ❤
Thank you so much for exploring this topic, and including voices from our childfree community! It was so informative, inspiring and heartfelt, and can't wait to see what's next!!!
Thank you for exploring this. Due to a few health issues I never want to have my own kids and I don't think I want kids anyway, or to be a mother so its nice to read other people talk about it so eloquently and interestingly