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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Single Women by pandab on 14 January 2007 4:43am
I read an article today that lit my fire. Apparently, in the course of a Senate committee hearing, Barbara Boxer asked Condoleezza Rice what personal stake she had in the Iraq War. The implication was that, as a single woman with no children, she doesn't have one. Or at least, that is how I understand the question has been interpreted by several people.

I shan't go into whether that is what Boxer meant because I don't know much more about the circumstances. I also won't go into politics or the war in general.

My issue is over our cultural fixation that a woman who chooses to remain single and childless is somehow "wrong".

First, I doubt anyone would ask a single, childless man such a question. Second, where is it written that, just because a woman chooses to remain single and childless, she is incapable of empathy?

Sorry, but I have gotten this attitude all my working life. I have been scheduled to work holidays because I don't have children, so naturally, I don't need the off-time. I have been passed by for raises in favor of someone who has a family because they need the money more than I do. I have been expected to work longer hours than those with families because, as a single woman, I can't have much of a life anyway.

On the personal front, I am everyone's charity case because I am single so I must be a lonely, embittered woman in need of comfort. Once I convince people that I am actually quite happy and content, I am viewed as weird because ... well, a single woman just CAN'T be happy or content.

And before you say it--and I know you're dying to--I know I am weird, but that's for other reasons. :+)

It is quite frustrating. I am not being sarcastic when I ask this. I sincerely want to know ... Do men who have deliberately chosen to remain single and childless get this, too?

Re: Single Women by tucsonmike on 14 January 2007 6:30am
Men can get that to. I am married but don't have kids. In Jewish tradition, it is considered tragic. Some older Jews will treat me as a little boy who never completely grew up. Or it is considered selfish.

Condi Rice has had those questions asked constantly.
Re: Single Women by kazzzz on 14 January 2007 7:36am
It doesn't even end there....I had people "consoling" me when my second daughter was born...I was told "never mind you can try again for a boy".

Wouldn't it be nice if people learnt to mind their own business?
Re: Single Women by foreignrabbit on 14 January 2007 7:45am
i'm happy that i can read this and learned. i also believe its important for people to realise that not getting married or not having children is a choice. i'm also sure that the people who dont understand this choice are the people complaining about over-population, which is silly in any first world country. (my reasoning will remain unknown unless it's asked of me)


Re: Single Women by sighthound on 14 January 2007 7:54am
From what I've heard of the actual interchange, Boxer's comments did, in no way, denigrate single or childless women. (Boxer is much, much too "politicaly correct" and politically astute for anything like that.)

However, I think an opinion that the policies that Rice has obstinately defended are inimical to the "womanly virtues" of caring for people are absolutely right on!

The fact that Rice is single as has no children has absolutely no bearing on the dreadful policies she has espoused; she is just parroting her Commander-in-Chief's ideas - and he has children.

OK, setting the current political situation aside, I totally understand your anger and frustration, pandab. I'm also single and without children and have endured the pity of people who think I have been deprived but, in this era when over-population threatens us on so many levels, I am totally content with my decision to remain childless.
Re: Single Women by Lounge Trekker on 14 January 2007 8:59am
I too am childless, although formerly married with stepchildren, and currently involved with a young lady.

If I carry on a conversation with an 'eligible' woman, she often brings up how much money I make. Hah hah hah! Leave me alone you money-hungry bitch!

I believe this offensive trait is a product of the biological purpose of females in any species...to breed and seek safety and survival for their brood.

Men, on the other hand offer a range of responses, from unconcealed jealousy to complete avoidance. They know how to marry women, but nobody knows how to live with them and their kids.

Older First Nations people tell me I still have time, when they hear I have no children. Perhaps the most balanced view I've heard made.

I don't experience any negative career or legal issues concerning not having children. I think those that commit their lives to their children...voluntarily make their own lives more difficult, can use a few benefits to help them with this.

I like the freedom of being single. With no children anyway. 'Parenthood' came naturally, teaching the kids survival tasks, like cooking and laundry and supporting them when they ventured into the world, but it is very nice to always know what is in the refrigerator and that there won't be a troop of hungry kids after school!

Lounge Trekker
(No Subject) by perfectbitch on 14 January 2007 9:21am
This is a sticky issue in many ways. The decision of whether or not to have children is dependent on many factors. I have 3 female friends who are single, without issue and now in their 50's. One of them is a successful civil servant and felt that she had to make this decision in her 30's. She is highly intelligent and had been advised by her boss that she would progress in her career if she was steralised. She chose her career but without the steralisation and yes, she did progress to dizzy heights. I supported her as I could see that she found communication with children difficult and I doubt that she'd have enjoyed motherhood. However,she became depressed in her late 40's and her behaviour was erratic. She got over it but somehow has never been quite the same, losing a lot of her humour and sense of fun. (I think she regards them as childish)

Another friend was just unable to conceive and regrets the fact that she could not have children but she has a loving and strongly maternal nature which she pours onto her cats.

My third friend recognised that she did not want children at all, has travelled the world and is quite happy. She also has a strong maternal streak which she uses to "mother" her friends when life overwhelms them.

I know how work situations can be hard on single people, especially at Christmas and I deplore it. If you feel that you have been passed over for promotion then get in touch with a union and make a fuss. When I was working as a computer operator (well before pc's and before parenthood) I had achieved the highest score ever on their aptitude test but saw lesser males get promoted over my head, the excuse being that I would leave and have children. I think it just goes to show that any excuse can be used to discriminate against women whatever their status.

And yes kazzz, after the birth of my 2nd daughter, I too faced a barrage of similar comments.

With all our environmental problems, whether to have children or not is something that any intelligent person would very seriously consider. I have suggested to my girls that, if they do have children, they should consider teaching them survival skills which they in turn can pass on to their children.

I also have to add that, before I became a mother, I had never been turned down for an job that I went for but after, it was difficult to even get an interview.

Re: (No Subject) by johnnythemonkey on 14 January 2007 10:55am
This thread is titled "Single Women".
In this country there are millions of single women who are far from childless.They have even more millions of children to multiple "absent"gormless fathers.The tax and benefit systems here are so skewed in favour of such family units that people in traditional (married with children)families would be better off financially if they split into two households.
My point being;people who choose, for their own reasons to remain single and childless and those in stable family units,subsidise the feckless and irresponsible.
Some of these "fathers" should be sterilised.I'm in a good mood today otherwise I may have said castrated!

Politically incorrect John.
Re: Single Women by kazzzz on 14 January 2007 10:59am
Well Johnny, my ex and I are in 2 households bringing up kids and I sure as hell am not better off financially. I work 2 jobs and struggle like mad.
Re: Single Women by johnnythemonkey on 14 January 2007 11:08am
Kazzzz,In the UK having two jobs in such circumstances is not the answer.
Having no job is.
Having an "unofficial" job...even better.
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