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Archive for May 27th, 2009

Why No One Says “Brain-Free”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
By Glinda


I have no problem with people who choose not to have kids.

Their reasons are their own, and I respect their right to live their lives as they see fit. I certainly would not want someone that dislikes children or feels they are unfit to parent to have one, which sounds fairly disastrous for all involved.

No, what I have a problem with is the term “child-free.”

Let us ponder for a moment the words that are normally coupled with “free.” Words like fat, sugar, and cancer are all common. These are things that are seen to be negative. Things that if you don’t have, your life will most likely be seen as being better, even if from a purely superficial standpoint.

Now let’s look at words that are commonly used with the suffix “-less.” Homeless, brainless, and bloodless come to mind. Those root words are things I’m fairly sure we would all concur are good things to have. Ones that if you don’t have, then you are seen as possibly having some problems, especially blood.

However, the “child-free” movement is waging a war of semantics, and I have an issue with it. Partly because I have a degree in English, and arguing semantics is pretty much all it is good for. That and comparing obscure themes in novels. Thank goodness I don’t have a degree in philosophy, or else we’d really be in trouble.

But by purposely using the phrase “child-free” versus “childless” I believe they are implying that children are inherently bad. That by not having them, their lives will be improved. And in their minds, I’m sure that is true. But I hate to say that they are in the minority, at least at this moment in history.

I agree that children may not be for everyone, but let’s not lump them in with life-threatening diseases, shall we?

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