Childless & Childfree News: Top Headlines of 2017
2017 is almost over, and there's a long menu to choose from that wrap up the year's high and low points. Topical lists break down the news from politics to entertainment to people that died.
This is our look-back at six stories from 2017 that held special interest for The NotMom community. And most of them will bear watching in the New Year, too.
A Look at Government-Controlled Reproduction
Hulu' took the world into the scarily believable world of The Handmaid's Tale where babies, and women who can produce them, are prized commodities overseen by a male-dominated leadership. Actress Elizabeth Moss leads a talented cast bringing the classic book by Margaret Atwood to life. Ms. Atwood is a real-life Mom who understands real-life dangers of recognizing women only for their uteruses.
The series was honored by viewers, critics and Emmy award judges. Stream the second season of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu starting in April 2018.
Big Money Behind Chidlfree Travel
In October 2017, mega investor Richard Branson announced the start-up of Virgin Voyages, a cruise line offering adults-only sea travel limited to passengers over age 18. Three ships are now under construction in Italy and the first cruise is scheduled to leave from Miami, Florida in 2020. Itineraries are still unknown, but $500 refundable deposits are accepted for access to an exclusive pre-sale. Don't expect a "spring break" vibe, though.
Mr. Branson described his customers as being "young at heart, people who really want a different experience, who know what they want and that’s something that’s a bit off the beaten path. They want a luxurious experience, a premium experience that’s not being delivered, and they want flexibility...We want to create a cool experience, more romantic, a more transformational experience. The mantra we have is that we don’t just want this to be the best week of your year. We want this to be one of the best weeks of your life."
The news here isn't about the ship, or the trip. The news, we hope, is that Mr. Branson is signaling the opened eyes of the world's brands that NotMoms and NotDads are a worthy market.
#Facepalm The Clooney Twins Arrive
Heartthrob actor George Clooney probably never asked to be a champion of childfree-by-choice adults, yet that's what he became as years passed with his repeated denials of any interest in fatherhood. Or marriage.
The first shock came at his wedding to international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in 2014. Because of his many years of "no kids for me" remarks, plus her established global professional lifestyle, few childless and childfree women thought children could be A Thing.
A minute later and Amal was pregnant, with twins, and George was cheesing it up for the camera, seemingly, sincerely happy. Childfree adults shared their feelings of shock and betrayal across the Internet.
Adorable, predictably beautiful babies (genetic win!) Ella and Alexander were born in June 2017. George is happy. Good for him.
Sometimes, a by choice person really does change his or her mind about parenthood. It happens. Do you.
Proof of Physician Bias Against Women Under 30 Asking for Sterilization
Around the world, decisions in science, health care, and major funding is driven by provable arguments. Don't just say that cigarettes killed a lot of people unless you have the research to prove it. That's why it's a big A deal that Canadian doctors released a study in August 2017 showing that “many women who desire sterilization at a young age experience barriers from physicians who decline to facilitate the request,”
This is happening in a country where guidelines are very clear for Canadian professionals. In a well-informed, mentally competent woman who understands her birth control options and the “permanency of the procedure,” sterilization should be offered regardless of age or parity, meaning whether or not she’s given birth,
And yet. But, this is a small study, but it strengthens each woman's argument when a gynecologist tells her "No".
Hate Revealed for Women without Children
The idea that there are people in the world who don't agree with someone else's choice to live without kids is a given. The idea that it actually makes people mad is harder to grasp, at least it was for me. In August 2017, Charlottesville taught me something new about hate, and as a black woman, I thought I knew quite a bit.
When Heather Heyer, 32, went to protest the arrival of neo-Nazis in her town, she didn't expect to die under a car deliberately aimed at human beings. The darker side of the Net showed itself with ugly tweets and posts about Heather's protest and, horribly, her looks and her childlessness. Americans, The moment offered many of us another reason to "stay woke"
In December, the street where she died was renamed in her honor.
Tracee Ellis Ross Shows How It's Done
Living one hell of a life, Diana Ross' daughter finally established herself as a superstar in her own right. Her clothing line just launched at JC Penney, she has a Golden Globe and In this video at Glamour's 2017 Women of the Year Summit in November, she made it clear that she is Complete. Just her. And she's happy to be that way.
Never married, 45, and not a Mom, Ross explains how four words guide her thinking: "My life is mine."
This story hit our social networks and NotMoms cheered. Ross has won awards for her role as a mother of five on ABC's 'Black-ish, but her real life is decidedly not that and she isn't ashamed to say so. Watch the video or read the transcript. It's worth it. Glamour says she's the "life coach you never knew you needed".