This article is reprinted with permission from Ms. Magazine Blog
In a heart-wrenching eulogy in memory of her daughter Heather Heyer, who was mowed down by white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr., Susan Bro told mourners, “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Shortly after her murder, Heather was heinously criticized on a neo-Nazi site as a childless waste of life. Here, fellow childless and childfree women mourn Heather’s loss with the hope of magnifying her message against injustice and celebrating her heroism.
Karen Malone Wright - Founder & Chief Executive, The NotMom & The NotMom Summit
I can remember where I was when I heard the news that four Black girls in an Alabama church had been blown to Kingdom Come by a white supremacist’s bomb. It happened the day after my eighth birthday. Like them, I was a black girl, and I went to church. After all these years, I thought I knew the twisted rankings of how racists hate. Black women are second to black men, right? Jews, Muslims, gays and immigrants are somewhere behind. Frankly, the idea that my childlessness makes me doubly offensive is surprising, but it evokes a shoulder shrug. Racists already hated me, so adding one more category isn’t really A Thing. The good news is that post-mortem attacks against Heather Heyer are firing up women without children who never felt the sting of undeserved hate before. And like Heather, they are rising up against it.
Laura Carroll - author of Families of Two, The Baby Matrix, La Vie Childfree
As someone who has been working toward societal acceptance of the childfree choice for almost 20 years, upon reading about the hate-filled rant about Heather Heyer my first instinct is to lash back. Hate of her lack of value to and burden on society because she had not reproduced reflect dark beliefs of pronatalist dogma. Yet fighting anger with anger only acts as a perpetuating force. Action needs to come from a deeper place. As reformed white nationalist Christian Picciolini says, “people become radicalized, or extremist, because they're searching for three very fundamental human needs: identity, community and a sense of purpose.” Marginalized, disenfranchised, and with little hope, they attach to “black and white answers.” Literally. White nationalism must be stopped, and we all must act. From skin color to reproductive choices, right action begins with understanding the underlying motives of hate, and the inability to accept difference in others.