Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About National Childfree Women’s History Month April 4, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

The simplest things can be life-changing. I saw something in the news about March being National Women’s History Month, I mentioned to Lisa that we should profile some great women in history (who happen to be childfree), and a series was born.

Oh, if you could have been a fly on my wall during the research stage. Susan B. Anthony was childfree—yes! And So-n-so was this and that but…oh, wait, she adopted a child… Crap! It was not always pretty, but it was fun assembling what I consider an impressive list, and I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about our history.

The repercussions have been eye-opening and amazing. I told my sister and sister-in-law, both mommies, about the series, and got a conversation started about how we can be more compassionate when we listen to our childfree friends. I spoke to a female dentist who had never before heard of Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the trailblazing woman who made it possible for 45,000+ women to be dentists in the United States today. One friend e-mailed me to tell me about a conversation she had at a dinner party. Her husband informed the group that women can only be 1-star generals. “NOT SO!” my friend announced, nearly jumping out of her seat. “Ann Dunwoody is a FOUR-star general!” Just a little factoid she learned on

I now feel “armed” with information about how childfree women have and do contribute to society in meaningful ways. And I’m inspired. The women we’ve met along the way are my “cheroes.” Let’s follow their examples and look forward to the day when we, too, are celebrated during National (Childfree) Women’s History Month.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.