Childless & Childfree Black History: Louise Beavers & Hattie McDaniel

If you have any interest at all in classic movies, you know these actresses' faces, if not their names. Hollywood contemporaries during the Depression and World War II years, they appeared in more than 200 films, often with the top stars of the day. In almost every instance, they played the only roles offered to them: maids, cooks, mammies or slaves. In real life, neither woman had children, though they frequently cared for children on screen. Louise Beavers Louise appeared in dozens of films that were popular then and now. It's a long list, including: Holiday Inn (with Bing Crosby,(1942) Bombshell (with Jean Harlow, 1933) DuBarry Was a Lady (with Gene Kelly, 1943) Made for Each Other (with

It Just Ain't Easy Being Jennifer Aniston, Ever

In times of major personal crisis, the rest of the world is white noise and moving images on a screen. That's why I'm guessing that for Jennifer Aniston, she had more pressing things to think about during the first months of 2018 than political head-scratching headlines and Hollywood's awards season. Jennifer has announced that she and her husband of two years, actor Justin Theroux, "lovingly" decided to divorce "at the end of [2017]". But she didn't tell us, the public, until mid-February 2018. Predictably, the Internet lost its mind. When I heard the news, I felt awful for Jennifer, and not particularly because of the divorce. I felt awful because I could imagine the fresh hell about to la

Childless and Childfree Black History: Octavia Butler and Ava DuVernay

There are some subjects I feel as though I am not qualified to speak about. Imposter syndrome is strong, y’all. Black History is one of those subjects. I can appreciate it, and I can learn from it, but I can never speak on the subject with any real authority. So when we were separating out which NotMoms to recognized for Black History Month 2018, I was nervous about offering my opinions. Am I enough? Is my admiration for these women enough to give me the permission to speak about them? Either way, here I am and here they are. Octavia Butler In September 2017, I wrote a post about Butler and her writing career; a career that I am both happy and sad to have discovered after her death in 2006.

Does Love Require Complete Conformity?

This is a guest post from Dr. Kimya N. Dennis originally published December 11, 2016. The above image depicts a man appearing annoyed with a woman who wants a kid but in actuality the man feels he has the woman “wrapped around his finger”. This image stands out to me because it can be interpreted in many ways. I interpreted the image in two ways: (1) Men, generally speaking, are socialized to behave disinterested when they are really quite interested in reproduction; and (2) women and men can use reproduction as a signed contract to presume a permanent connection with a “romantic” partner regardless of whether the “romantic” partnership is healthy and even lasts. While this might seem exciti

Not Every Citizen Shares the Joy When Holidays Are Specifically For Families

February is stuffed with holidays, but Valentine's Day sucks up all the press. The US also celebrates Presidents Day and Black History Month. Now I'm learning about Family Day that is special in many Canadian provinces representing nearly two-thirds of Canadians. Family Day is just what it sounds like -- it was created to give people time to spend with their families. This holiday was first observed in Alberta in 1990, followed by Saskatchewan (2007), Ontario (2008) and British Columbia (2013). But, Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, so not everyone in participating provinces gets the day off, especially government and postal workers. Family Day is celebrated on the third Monday

Childfree & Childless Black History: Loretta Lynch

If you think Black History Month is all about Harriet Tubman and Roots and southern police turning fire hoses and dogs loose on black folks trying to vote as guaranteed them in the US Constitution, you fail to understand how history really works. The definition may be "knowledge of past events", but past events are in the eye of the beholder. Today's events become tomorrow's history. The name "Loretta Lynch" may ring a bell because of her controversial meeting with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac during Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. In October 2017, she met with the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives that is probing Russian interference in the 20

Mums Not the Word

British photographer Denise Felkin has launched an ambitious project to "debate the social stigmatisation of women, who, by choice or for medical reasons, go against the instinct of childbirth and maternal productivity." To do so, Ms. Felkin is photographing women who are childless by choice or by chance in the fetal position, reversing the well-known image of an unborn child. The project is titled "Mum's Not the Word." Ms. Flekin explained, "I create these images to challenge the negative attitudes within society towards people without children and to share stories of birth control, choice, freedom, regret and pain. I recruit participants through word of mouth and social media. "I ask them

How to Know If 'Childfree Today' Means 'Childfree Always'

If you own a smartphone and subscribed to even just one social network, every minute of your day offers nothing but choices of what to make your brain do. Want to learn something? Should it be academic or pop culture? Want to laugh? Real-life cats or animation? Play a game? Learn a language? Where to click?! I can ignore a good deal of the clutter, skeptical of click-bait at every swipe. But sometimes there are headlines that push your personal buttons, and you open a site just to see whether someone agrees with you. In january 2018, this was such a headline: "I want to live a childfree life. Will I always feel that way?" My mind answered the question spontaneously, immediately, viscerally:

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