Laura Carroll in her book The Baby Matrix addresses the impact that pronatalism has had and continues to have in our lives. This topic is complex and Ms. Carroll has done a superb job in her research of this subject and in making that research relevant to not just the childfree but to parents as well.
For parents, and want to be parents, this book will challenge them to think about considering having only one child and looking at adoption if more children are desired. Carroll also addresses the ethics of reproducing more children than can be supported environmentally, financially and economically. The topics of IVF, surrogacy, the myths of the only child and adoption are also discussed.
For the childfree she offers plenty of support as to why the CF are so often made to feel abnormal or like something is wrong with them for not wanting children. She discusses the idea of the pronatalist view of fulfillment and how it compels so many to believe that children are the only means of fulfillment in life.
This book is not long but it is packed with information with plenty of research based support. An excellent reference and a very relevant resource that goes a long way explaining why the childfree choice meets with so much resistance; and why it is time to begin thinking seriously about why we hold the attitudes that we do.
Sometime, go and look at the “Welcome New Members” section of the forums here on TCFL. It is interesting to note how many members state that they feel alone in their decision.
Pronatalism has a firm hold on the world that we currently live in. But books such as Laura’s, online communities like TCFL, the many blogs, magazine articles and media interviews are all serving to make small inroads into this monolithic view.
Reproducing responsibly and with forethought will someday, hopefully, be the norm with the childfree choice also being part of that equation.
This is a complicated subject and an important one to include in the discourse here at TCFL. The Baby Matrix is the featured book through the month of August in the TCFL book group on goodreads. After reading this book I hope that there will be some more discussion both in the forums and on goodreads.
Thank you Laura for getting this conversation off to a great start. This is a book I will plan to read many times!