After reading this piece by Rebecca Solnit about the constant questioning women get about their marital and parental status, I couldn’t help thinking about my own childless singlehood, and how different the game is for men with that status. It is of course a less stigmatized life choice for dudes. Which isn’t fair and, in fact, fucking sucks. (Yes, yes; childless men are stigmatized a bit as well, but often the flavor of it is more of the “you’re a loser” variety, than the “you’re a selfish monster who will regret this decision” kind that women seem to get. I think the latter is worse than the former, but I guess not everyone agrees, and we’ll never convince each other, so let’s leave it at that.)
The thing is, I take a certain pride in not having children. Not in the sense that I think being a parent is bad, or wanting to have kids is bad; pride in oneself does not have to diminish other people, you know. I have known many great parents who are justifiably proud of their awesomeness.
As for myself however, there is no doubt: I would be a bad dad. I am impatient and lazy. I have difficulty expressing affection, to the point that many of the people I love think I only barely tolerate them. I am bad a teaching and explaining. Also, unless my co-parent is a tall lady, there’s every chance that my kids would be really short, and I don’t want to put them through that.
That is my answer to the question that shouldn’t be asked. Not that anybody’s asked me. ‘Cause I’m a guy. Surely if we can live without asking dudes to justify their non-parenthood, then we could live just as well without pestering women about it.