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Old 04-15-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
And for God's sake, if I ask if you have children (as I often do on a family law hotline) don't tell me you have x number of "adopted" children. That answer tells me a lot about your character. You are either a parent or you are not. Not only do I not care about how an adoptive child came into being, I don't really care if you chose not to have or were unable to have children. How I respond to the b.s. depends on my mood. Suffice it to say that sometimes the callers are shocked into silence.
You must be joking. Somebody adds one word to a sentence ("adopted") which you feel is "too much information" and they may get a hostile lecture depending on your mood? What ever happened to common courtesy? How are other people supposed to know in advance that you have this bizarre aversion to knowing whether someone's children are adopted or not? Adding one word too many (at least in your view it's one word too many) is an indication of someone's character? Are we all expected to use the absolute minimum number of words required to get our meaning across in every conversation or written communication? That is a very high standard to hold people to, and I imagine that I do not meet it, although I am not as long-winded as some.

Frankly, I am shocked. I have read your posts for a long time and I had always considered you very rational and had always admired how careful you are with facts. Now a completely different side of you has emerged. Well, I suppose we often think we know someone when really don't.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,823 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You must be joking. Somebody adds one word to a sentence ("adopted") which you feel is "too much information" and they may get a hostile lecture depending on your mood? What ever happened to common courtesy? How are other people supposed to know in advance that you have this bizarre aversion to knowing whether someone's children are adopted or not? Adding one word too many (at least in your view it's one word too many) is an indication of someone's character? Are we all expected to use the absolute minimum number of words required to get our meaning across in every conversation or written communication? That is a very high standard to hold people to, and I imagine that I do not meet it, although I am not as long-winded as some.

Frankly, I am shocked. I have read your posts for a long time and I had always considered you very rational and had always admired how careful you are with facts. Now a completely different side of you has emerged. Well, I suppose we often think we know someone when really don't.
Gimee a break. Why do you think a parent would unnecessarily refer to their children as adopted? I could give you a few hints, but it usually boils down to one of two reasons.

Many people that call for "advice" are really asking for me to agree with their distorted thinking. I don't play that game. Indeed, I'm not allowed to play that game. Providing professional advice requires active listening skills, not just hearing the speaker's words. Unnecessarily referring to your children as "adopted children" is a red flag.

Other red flags: "He wants to take my child for an overnight visit!" "Well, he's not really the father". One of my favorites: Me: Where's the child's father? Response: "There is no father". Me: Every child has or had a father. Do you know who he is? Response: "His name's not on the birth certificate". Me: I understand. But you're not answering my question. Response: "<grumble> Last I ran into him was a month ago at his mother's house."

Think about this. Our court-issued pleadings do not ask whether the named children in a custody or divorce proceeding were adopted. Why do you think that is? There are those who believe adopted children have "adoptive" parents and "real" parents. There are also people who believe that there are "adopted" children and "real" children. Our laws (at least in my state) make no such distinction. All children are referred to and treated equally. Woe to the parent who stands before a judge and refers to her "adopted" children. The term suggests that she perceives her children as almost, but not quite, "real" children. Legal strategy aside, I question that parent's character.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:55 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,855,355 times
Reputation: 4876
As a feminist, I take issue with both labels. Why would a woman refer to herself as childless or childfree or allow others to do so? If folks ask you if you have any children, you answer "no". To respond with either "I'm childfree" or "I'm childless" suggests that the speaker is the one who is defining herself with an outdated construct of a woman's role.


Oh please. What the heck does that have to do with feminism? If someone asks if I have kids .... I'm going to have a friendly conversation with them - not just shut them down with a "NO!" I'll tell people I'm childfree and it doesn't make me any less of a woman. Your the one assigning a negative role and a label to it.

I'll call myself anything I want.

Feminist is a label too. Those that I know and respect don't go around telling people they are - and they allow and respect women to be defined any way they want.

Last edited by mlb; 04-15-2013 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,661,739 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
As a feminist, I take issue with both labels. Why would a woman refer to herself as childless or childfree or allow others to do so? If folks ask you if you have any children, you answer "no". To respond with either "I'm childfree" or "I'm childless" suggests that the speaker is the one who is defining herself with an outdated construct of a woman's role.


Oh please. What the heck does that have to do with feminism? If someone asks if I have kids .... I'm going to have a friendly conversation with them - not just shut them down with a "NO!" I'll tell people I'm childfree and it doesn't make me any less of a woman. Your the one assigning a negative role and a label to it.


I'll call myself anything I want.

Feminist is a label too. Those that I know and respect don't go around telling people they are.

It isn't like anyone goes around wearing a label but if it does come up in conversation it does identify oneself as to a certain life choice. They don't have to give this information but by responding to the question as to whether or not they just telling a bit more about themselves.

I have found throughout my many years that if I tell most people that I am childfree by choice, they get it that I didn't have kids because I chose not to have them. That answer satisfies them. Only the clueless try to carry the conversation farther as I mentioned in my above post.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,823 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
As a feminist, I take issue with both labels. Why would a woman refer to herself as childless or childfree or allow others to do so? If folks ask you if you have any children, you answer "no". To respond with either "I'm childfree" or "I'm childless" suggests that the speaker is the one who is defining herself with an outdated construct of a woman's role.


Oh please. What the heck does that have to do with feminism? If someone asks if I have kids .... I'm going to have a friendly conversation with them - not just shut them down with a "NO!" I'll tell people I'm childfree and it doesn't make me any less of a woman. Your the one assigning a negative role and a label to it.

I'll call myself anything I want.

Feminist is a label too. Those that I know and respect don't go around telling people they are - and they allow and respect women to be defined any way they want.
Of course you can call yourself whatever you want. That doesn't mean that I would not find it disturbing that you need to associate not having children as a core part of your being.

I suppose if I met you at a social gathering and in the course of small talk, asked if you had any children, you would respond "I am child-free." I'd probably respond with a hearty "Congratulations" and move on. I work for a feminist organization that supports all women. I do not believe those staff members who do not have children don't perceive others as viewing them as "less" merely because they have chosen not to have children. I've never heard the staff members refer to themselves as child-free. (Hmmm, maybe because "child-free" sounds like "drug-free" or "HIV-free"?) And they sure as hell are not so insecure they would post on a thread specifically opened for parents to express any regrets about having children.

BTW, where are the men who self identify as child-free? Oh, wait, maybe they posted on the thread asking whether any seniors regretted NOT having children.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Gimee a break. Why do you think a parent would unnecessarily refer to their children as adopted? I could give you a few hints, but it usually boils down to one of two reasons.

Many people that call for "advice" are really asking for me to agree with their distorted thinking. I don't play that game. Indeed, I'm not allowed to play that game. Providing professional advice requires active listening skills, not just hearing the speaker's words. Unnecessarily referring to your children as "adopted children" is a red flag.

Other red flags: "He wants to take my child for an overnight visit!" "Well, he's not really the father". One of my favorites: Me: Where's the child's father? Response: "There is no father". Me: Every child has or had a father. Do you know who he is? Response: "His name's not on the birth certificate". Me: I understand. But you're not answering my question. Response: "<grumble> Last I ran into him was a month ago at his mother's house."

Think about this. Our court-issued pleadings do not ask whether the named children in a custody or divorce proceeding were adopted. Why do you think that is? There are those who believe adopted children have "adoptive" parents and "real" parents. There are also people who believe that there are "adopted" children and "real" children. Our laws (at least in my state) make no such distinction. All children are referred to and treated equally. Woe to the parent who stands before a judge and refers to her "adopted" children. The term suggests that she perceives her children as almost, but not quite, "real" children. Legal strategy aside, I question that parent's character.
Thank you for the clarification. Context is everything, and now I have the context to make sense out of your post to which I responded. In fact, I am greatly relieved to have the explanation; indeed, the old Lenora whom I respected has not changed and is still there!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,661,739 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Of course you can call yourself whatever you want. That doesn't mean that I would not find it disturbing that you need to associate not having children as a core part of your being.

I suppose if I met you at a social gathering and in the course of small talk, asked if you had any children, you would respond "I am child-free." I'd probably respond with a hearty "Congratulations" and move on. I work for a feminist organization that supports all women. I do not believe those staff members who do not have children don't perceive others as viewing them as "less" merely because they have chosen not to have children. I've never heard the staff members refer to themselves as child-free. (Hmmm, maybe because "child-free" sounds like "drug-free" or "HIV-free"?) And they sure as hell are not so insecure they would post on a thread specifically opened for parents to express any regrets about having children.

BTW, where are the men who self identify as child-free? Oh, wait, maybe they posted on the thread asking whether any seniors regretted NOT having children.
Absolutely men do! I have been on a childfree website and there are men there. I have seen others where men are members as well. Back in the 90's there were two childfree websites that were run by men. I have also known men who will identify themselves as childfree. But again it is under the circumstances I mentioned before. If it comes up in the conversation when someone is asking why, and it happens all the time, that is the reason they give. They chose to be childfree and that is why they do not have children.

And believe me, there are many women who think less of women who don't have kids especially if they chose not to have them. It's like they have rejected the mommy club and there is something wrong with them.

You are saying things like "I suppose" and you are asking questions like "Do men identify themselves as being childfree?" I take that to mean you have very little experience on this subject. I have been a childfree woman for 67 years. I have known many childfree men and women who use this term exactly as I have described. This is not speculation or conjecture. This is real experience.

And if you look at the thread that asks "Do you regret not having children, you will find many parents who posted on it why they didn't regret that they had them. Whichever way the question is asked, it always gets the opposite answer and then it opens a new discussion. Go ahead and take a look.

As a childfree person I would never have posted here if I hadn't seen such incorrect assumptions about childfree people. That's why I chimed in.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Where are the men? Here's one.

I did not have children, by choice. After my wife had been on the pill for five and a half years, I got a vasectomy. Funny this should come up today, because today (yesterday I guess as it just turned midnight) at lunch in the company cafeteria, where I was back working for the day, I was chatting with a colleague about retirement and he asked me, "Married?". "No, divorced". "Children?" "None, by choice". "You're lucky". At that point I was running out of time and needed to go, but I wasn't in so much of a hurry that I couldn't have asked him why he had said "You're lucky". I'm sorry now that I didn't ask, but perhaps there will be another chance.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:59 AM
 
Location: Wherever I happen to be at the moment
1,229 posts, read 1,138,230 times
Reputation: 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
No kidding. There is a term for this: TMI Too Much Information.

And for God's sake, if I ask if you have children (as I often do on a family law hotline) don't tell me you have x number of "adopted" children. That answer tells me a lot about your character. You are either a parent or you are not. Not only do I not care about how an adoptive child came into being, I don't really care if you chose not to have or were unable to have children. How I respond to the b.s. depends on my mood. Suffice it to say that sometimes the callers are shocked into silence.
It would seem to me that in a family law context this could be essential information if only one member of the couple adopted the child(ren) prior to the marriage. That could have an impact on custody and support orders, just as it can with children from a prior marriage who have not been adopted by the other member.

I don't doubt that some callers are "shocked into silence" and they likely terminate the call and don't bother calling back.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:10 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,855,355 times
Reputation: 4876
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I do not believe those staff members who do not have children don't perceive others as viewing them as "less" merely because they have chosen not to have children. I've never heard the staff members refer to themselves as child-free. (Hmmm, maybe because "child-free" sounds like "drug-free" or "HIV-free"?) And they sure as hell are not so insecure they would post on a thread specifically opened for parents to express any regrets about having children.
What Minerva said.

Walk a mile in our shoes, lenora. You call yourself a feminist? Represent ALL women. Not those you self-select.
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