When pro-choice means not only “right to choose” but also “Think of the damn kids for a second.”

*cross-post

I think it’s natural that people will see a book cover heading this post and assume, “This chick’s trying to sell her f—–g book again.”

It’s a safe assumption, because I am. But for a reason. The whole book was written for a reason. (Please indulge me.)

“I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.” — Kanye West

–Wait. Wrong quote. Continue reading “When pro-choice means not only “right to choose” but also “Think of the damn kids for a second.””

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On the question of parent licensing

“They make you study and get a license to drive a car. You need a license to buy a gun. Hell, you can’t even go fishing without a license. But I tell ya, they’ll let any ______ have a child.”

I can’t be the only one who’s heard someone say this. I can’t be the only one of you reading this who’s said it. (It’s hard not to say or think such a thing in response to some of the more horrifying stories that pop up in the news.)

A few years ago, I knew I wanted to write about a world in which parent licensing is in effect. How would it look if, rather than a government trying to restrict efforts to not have children, they created restrictions for those trying to have them?

What would those restrictions be? Who would be legally allowed to have children, and who wouldn’t?

These were (creatively) fun questions to try to answer. Over the course of two years, I thought about the characters living in that world and what their struggles would be in such an environment.

But then a different question, a more important one, emerged: What would bring not only the government, but the people, to a place where parent licensing would be broached as an option?

It had to start somewhere, and to me it seemed there was only one logical place to begin:

NATION—In a long anticipated but hard fought move, the country’s five holdout reproductive health clinics will chain their doors today in compliance with federal laws enacted under the pro-creation Citizen Amendment. Anti-abortion and pro-creation activists who together have waged a decades-long battle for the protection of unborn citizens call the clinics’ closings “an epic victory”…

Some states have already come close to succeeding in something like the above, and their reasons for wanting such closures are the same as the government’s in The Age of the Child: to protect all unborn citizens.

But if restrictions extended beyond one state and to the whole country, what might the effects be?

And what would be the intimate, immediate impact on the lives of people living in the world before licensing–and then living in the world after it?

In The Age of the Child, Katherine struggles against the “before” and Millie fights the “after” while the rest of the country has its own inevitable reactions to everything in between.

It’s easy to say “think of the children,” but it’s a little more complicated to implement the laws designed to protect them.

*Disclaimer (to be muttered quickly): The opinions and commentary of the characters are not necessarily the opinions of the author.

The Age of the Child (written under my real name) releases today.

Subliminal (-ish) childfree opinion in Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce”

I always hit pause on the DVR when there’s a letter, note, notecard, book page, anything written at all on the screen. I’m curious about two things: how it’s written (is real care taken, or is does it make just enough sense?), and what it says.

Today while watching Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (basically Sex and the City meets Californication, but without Californication‘s ridiculous sexism and gratuitous anal beads) I paused on a screen shot of a page from a book being written by the show’s protagonist, Abby McCarthy. What would she write in her book, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, I wondered. Continue reading “Subliminal (-ish) childfree opinion in Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce””

You don’t owe anyone an explanation or self-deprecation

Lilit Marcus’ Mother’s Day article in the Guardian, Just because I love my mother doesn’t mean I have to become one myself, responds to the assumption some people make that women who don’t want children must have had a psychologically or emotionally damaging upbringing. Unfortunately, she responds in a way that ultimately harms rather than helps.

She begins powerfully (but it doesn’t last), addressing what is arguably one of the more obnoxious angles those who think everyone should have children take against those who don’t want them:

Continue reading “You don’t owe anyone an explanation or self-deprecation”