One Man's Mindset

Living along the U.S. East Coast, one man writes about those beliefs, hobbies and ideas that mean to most to him. This is not a daily blog - new posts usually only appear when inspiration hits.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Purple Men

I've recently been introduced to the group known as Purple Women, which I believe denotes women who do not have children, whether by choice or otherwise. This introduction was made after meeting and becoming friends with Teri, the founder. She and I are both part of a larger organization called No Kidding!, an international club for couples and singles who, for whatever reason, do not have kids.

Okay, enough background using shameless plugs - let's get to the meat of this blog.

As most of us know, choosing to go through life without raising children is not what most people expect or even want to learn about their friends, family or neighbors. Although the concept is becoming more popular, those of us who've made that decision are still well inside the minority circle. We're aware of that.

Women obviously make up a vast majority of those who are preyed upon because of their decision. They hear it from family & friends usually, but sometimes even total strangers get in a dig! It's frustrating (especially to those unattached singles who have no one to fall back on and commiserate with – trust me, I know), but to those ladies who stand behind their decision with a tactful, non-threatening reply and a winning smile: you go, girl! That's exactly the right thing to do, in my humble opinion. And if they've caught you on one of those "get me out of here before I beat the crap out of this idiot" days, well, a good zinger sometimes does the trick.

The feedback from my first blog is starting to tell me something. The comments from those who answered (I love the entire Cooper-load of 'em) makes me wonder why men are almost never challenged on the childfree idea. I stress the word "almost", here - it does happen, just not as often as you would think. Naturally, we don't have to deal with pregnancy, childbirth and the associated events (and I'm not even going to attempt to go down that road), but aside from that, aren't all the other reasons for choosing "childfreedom" the same? Members of both sexes do not want kids because they: enjoy sleep, would rather spend their money elsewhere, have other ways of bettering society, don't like messes...pick a reason.

Now, I'm not saying that all articles written on being childfree focus solely on women. I've seen plenty of men interviewed. And the last thing I want is to drive a wedge between the sexes – there's enough of that already. I'm merely wondering why more childfree men don't speak up about their decision.

Are we inherently lazier than women? Do we not like the limelight and stay in the shadows to avoid ruining "a good thing"? Do the single guys simply want more chances to get laid? Does the press not care as much because we're men? The list goes on...

I'll leave you with this: Kudos to the men and women who stick up for their decision to be childfree. Not everyone does, and not everyone has to. It's okay if you don't, but my guess is that there are probably just as many Purple Men as there are Purple Women out there. (Actually, if "Men are from Mars" as the famous book states, wouldn't that make us green?)

Until Next Time...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CarpeWritem - you do write well on a current favorite topic of mine!

To my knowledge, there is only one book readily available that illustrates the lives of childfree men. Unfortunately it is exorbitantly expensive and I doubt it got rave reviews. Only the very issue-focused would pay for and actually read something so "heavy". I don't think the author intended it for a general audience. It's called Book The Chosen Lives of Childfree Men by Patricia Lunneborg.

BTW, thanks for the shameless plug. You are such a pal!

7/20/2006 5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it's been a while since you wrote this, but I just want to comend you for it!

it bothers me no end that people ask me why I don't have children. I feel like asking them "Why don't you ahve a horse?"
They'd probably answer "Because horses are expensive and take a lot of work, etc..". And then I could use their line on them: "What? Don't you like horses? How can you not like horses?"
It's the same thing as asking why somebody doesn't have children, then asking her why she doesn't like children.
I don't have children because it doesn't sound like fun to me! They sound like a ton of work, they wear you out, they drive you nuts, and they are incredibly expensive!

12/03/2007 6:56 PM  
Blogger CarpeWritem said...


Yeah, it's a shame that some people either don't think before speaking, or simply aren't open minded. Fortunately, being child-free is becoming more popular as the years go on. Hopefully, this will mean hearing the "Why don't you want kids?" question less frequently.

12/03/2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's particularly hard for some people who question the person's conscionable choice to be childfree to consider sometimes the choice itself is extremely hard for the choice maker to cope with. I was deeply in love with and engaged to a woman for several years who, when it came down to the brass tacts, deeply wanted children and I did not. I tried to explain my view and position with her and I wasn't successful in convincing her to share a life in marriage, but without children. I wasn't too successful in that regard, heh. I think it was hard for both of us to accept that if we were to be truly happy in life, we would have to each pursue our own separate paths to accomplish that goal.

12/28/2007 1:44 AM  
Blogger CarpeWritem said...

Thanks for your post, Sean. I hope it wasn't too painful to put your experiences into words.

It's always a shame when the realities of a shared life, especially the choice of having or not having children, slows or even halts the momentum of an otherwise loving relationship.

I'm glad that both of you had the werewithal and the strength to go your separate ways. Better to weather the intense, short pain of separation, than to live with the misery of one of you not having what he or she truly wants.

I encourage everyone, especially those who haven't had children, to search deep within and find what truly makes you happy. It may take time, but it's worth it, because happiness comes from you, not from society's expectations.

12/28/2007 6:43 PM  

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