Let's watch our language
While listening to talk-back radio today as I drove between appointments, I heard the news of a recently conducted study that reported men in their 20's and 30's are just as 'clucky' and want children just as much - if not more - than their female counterparts.
And how do we refer to those men and women who don't have children?
The Professor from Newcastle University called them 'childless' people.
I prefer 'child-free' people.
Think of the word 'less' - it means something 'less than', 'inferior to', 'sub-standard' ... or 'reduced' in some way.
It was 3 ½ long years before my husband and I conceived our son, and I couldn't count the number of times I heard the words "Oh, you're childless, are you?" At the time, I felt even the tone with which this was said was demeaning and unkind.
Logically I know this was rarely (if ever) the speaker's intention - but the phrase hurt nonetheless. Especially when followed up by "Oh - that's right - you're such a career woman, you probably don't want kids."
Little did they know the ache in my heart for my yet-to-be-conceived child.
So, 2 things:
1. Women - let's aim to be more supportive of each other and be aware that other women may not have children, not because of a choice they have made, but because of some deeper more sensitive reason.
2. Language is important. Whenever we add the suffix 'less' at the end of a word, the subconscious mind may well be processing this with negative connotations.
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