the last prejudice

by rantywoman

Interesting art project here:

I especially liked this comment:

There is no question to me that a childless woman is always considered to have something “missing”. It’s a feeling that is hard not to internalize.  I have a career in academe, and realize it’s no accident there are so few women with children.  I work all the time. I love it absolutely, but know that I would have to have significant funds or a wealthy husband in order to facilitate a family in addition to my career.  (And pay disparity with childbearing age women is another major issue, of course.)
Which gets me to the concept of women and labor.  A little known fact:  Walter Mondale fought for free childcare for all in the 70s.  Can you imagine how our society would have been transformed had this become reality?  Childcare today is frought with issues of sexism and marginalization as women who want to maintain careers must engage other women (usually at costs well below a real living wage) to take care of them.

It is my opinion women still suffer the most from all this confusion.  I find as I stare down the barrell of age 40 that something so simple as going home for the holidays brings all this up.  Marriage and children are touchstones society can engage with.  My recent show abroad?  Not so much.  I can’t imagine what it is like for alternative-minded women who don’t want children, or even those who adopt, to find their sense of self in what is still a conservative culture.  I find it excruciating, and I come from a progressive family (who still, by the way, offer their fair share of painful comments over the childless issue).

Recently, I’ve been trying to develop the concept of “loss” cutting the other way.  Women who have children can’t ever experience the freedom and creative outlets I have as a career and art-focused individual.  I think when we start looking at this issue from both angles, with real compassion and an understanding that “have it all” is mostly a construct of a capitalist society, we’ll move forward on this issue. –Melissa