Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Childfree Women Lack Empathy and Ability to Love? April 9, 2011

Sorry to ruin your Saturday, but this article got me all riled up and I had to share.

Former politician Mark Latham has accused the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, of lacking empathy because she is childless-by-choice. He says:

“I think having children is the great loving experience of any lifetime. And by definition you haven’t got as much love in your life if you make that particular choice. […] Anyone who chooses a life without children, as Gillard has, cannot have much love in them.”

This kind of narrow-minded thinking makes me sick, and I see it over and over. How does making a conscious, intelligent decision to not bring children into the world equate to an inability to love?

Mr. Latham’s ignorant assertion that “Anyone who chooses a life without children cannot have much love in them” implies that everyone who has children must be full of love.

So here’s a quick list of some recent news articles:

Chicago Tribune: Indiana man sentenced in 6-month-old boy’s death

Sydney Morning Herald: Woman charged over baby’s death

The Times: Mother and boyfriend guilty of causing baby’s death

Enough said.

Mr. Latham, I suggest you engage your brain before opening your mouth in future.


14 Responses to “Childfree Women Lack Empathy and Ability to Love?”

  1. Illanare Says:

    Yep. Parents are universally loving, empathic and devoted while the childless kick babies and cause wars.
    What an idiot.

  2. Kathleen Says:

    I am childless by choice. My best, best, friend since high school, had her first child at 39 – and then one at 42. (9 yrs ago) On topic one day, she said to me, “I don’t know why it’s said that childless by choice people are selfish? I think it is the reverse. I think lots of people have children without giving it any thought. Once they have children, and realize the enormity of being a parent, some wish they hadn’t, and many others do a crappy job. I think that you have a really good grasp of what is involved, and decided, “Thanks, no.” To me, that’s a very responsible and unselfish thing.”

    Thanks Val :o-) – you can see why she has been my best friend for . . . what’s 51 minus 14 . . . Holy crap!

  3. Mali Says:

    Oh that’s infuriating. I have to say, I am liking many of the comments (I’m only half the way through) on the article, including from parents. And he’s proven wrongby NZ’s former PM Helen Clark, who chose not to have children, and was one of our most respected and strongest PMs. Lisa’s month of childfree women prompted me to write this:

  4. Rach Says:

    *sigh* i wish people would stop giving mark air/screen/thinking time. he’s a weasel pure and simple, there is a reason why he’s not well thought of in political circles anymore.

    these comments are stupid and come flying out of a man who really should be grateful that anyone slept with him at all, no matter procreated with him.

    the best way to deal with people like him who do nothing but dribble complete and utter nonsense is ignore them, they’re like a wildfire, if you give them air, they spread quicker and come back for more.


  5. Pioggia Says:

    Do politicians ever think twice before speaking? What an idiot.

  6. Natalie Says:

    Wow. What a horrible man.

  7. Tara Says:

    Unfortunatly I don’t think enough people make the correct choice not to bring children into their lives. Not only are some people completely evil and horrid to their kids…….but some are just simply not cut out to be parents, but pro-create anyhow due to the pressures of society.

  8. loribeth Says:

    You know he’s an idiot… but you also know there are plenty more people like him out there thinking the same thing, unfortunately. :p Just because you have children doesn’t automatically make you a more empathetic person, and vice-versa. But all of us here know that. ; )

  9. lmanterfield Says:

    A reader contacted me and asked me to post this comment for her. I am both stunned and not surprised by this reaction from her family.

    “Loved this post – and cant wait for anything else from you (I am searching and finding). I am childless by choice (and 51) and I am thankful that is has become more “accepted”. Of course I have always been baffled by why, whatever I choose to do, or not do in MY life, would ever be ANYONE’S concern????? But I digress.

    My mother had a stroke in 2001 and after she had some rehab to try to get back the use of her arm and/or her leg, I chose to bring her to my house to care for her (full care). My extended family was STUNNED, and I was confused as to why, until my bitch of an aunt, filled me in.

    Just as confusing do me as the idea that, opting out of children is selfish, was my aunt’s explanation that, since I never wanted children, no one IMAGINED that I would be interested in caring for my elderly mother. – ARE YOU KIDDING ME ???

    In my goal to be at least, civil, I responded, “JUST because I chose NOT to have children, does not mean I am INCAPABLE of caring for someone?” (how is that even a logical conclusion?)”

    • Mali Says:

      Oh my. The family’s reaction is really shocking. And really sad. And really ignorant.

      I’m the one that cares most for my mother – yes, the childless one. My sister with all the children who lives closest to my mother, shows her little empathy at all. Sigh.

  10. happynenes Says:

    I have two words for that guy: Mother Theresa

    • Kathleen Says:

      BEST COMMENT EVER !!!! Is there a way to email that to him?

      • Kathleen Richwell Says:

        HA!! After replying here to Happynenes’ Mother Theresa reply I went to the link in the original post, to read the news article it referenced. I HAD to bring back, THIS comment from the news article.

        “Sarah Palin has 5 kids… thus she’ll make an excellent President, eh Mark?”

        I think I laughed loud enough that you can hear me FROM Australia.

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