The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

Synopsis

'The Last Taboo' makes the case against having babies despite fierce, centuries old pressure on women to legitimate themselves through motherhood. Motherhood is the most important issue for a woman since it impacts everything in her life and exerts incredible pressure. This alternative, saying no to babies, will be welcome to women who are considering having babies, who are not sure about children, who don't want to have children but feel they must, who resent pressure to become pregnant, and who feel stigmatized for not having had children. Feminists, environmentalists, progressives will also benefit, as will academic programs in women's studies and family. the glorification of motherhood is everywhere in the media. 'The Last Taboo' breaks ground in questioning the motherhood 'requirement' and its glorification, while testifying to the harm motherhood regularly does to (1) women (their relationships, finances, careers, self-identity, physical energy), (2) unwanted children (half of all pregnancies are unplanned), and (3) the human species and environment (whose very existences are threatened by excessive reproduction.) For too long, women have been consigned to a life not suited to all, or even most women in the modern era, an era reeling under the environmental devastation of overpopulation. Women are not obliged to have children, despite great pressures. Motherhood is not a prerequisite for being a 'real' woman.

Excerpt

I confess my guilt. Much of what I urge others not to do in this book, I did. I did it because I was unthinking about the single most important thing any human being can do. I did it because my education, despite purporting to teach me to think, never pointed me to the really important questions that go the heart of human life as we live it day to day. I did it because there was no voice urging me not to. On the contrary, every voice I heard said, “Do it.” The messages, explicit and implicit in the culture, shouted, “Have babies.”

Imposing life on a human being is the most serious and awesome responsibility any of us will ever take on. Yet most of us do it without thought because it’s the thing to do, especially for women. Having children — a family — is what just about everyone wants (or thinks they want). “Family” conjures up warm feelings of caring, love, respect and mutual support. Some sort of family is the ultimate home we all seek — the resting place, the haven in hard times, the escape from the world.

But a “family” does not require children. It can take many forms. A family can be two adults, one adult and a child, two adults and any number of children, an extended family of blood relatives, a group of unrelated adults who make a home together, or any configuration of adults, with or without children. We can have a family and a haven without children.

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