Actual Headline

Is Being Childfree By Choice Selfish?

Short answer: Fuck off.

Longer answer: That's a trick question to which there's no good answer. And the reason it's a trick question is because "selfish," the way it is being used there (and in most discussions of whether being deliberately childless is "selfish") does not merely mean "prioritizing oneself and one's interests," but is loaded with ten metric fucktons of societal expectation that every human being has a duty to reproduce, coupled with the commonly-held belief that the deliberately childless are breaking some sort of natural law that commands every adult human prioritize procreation over pursuits that outsiders may deem inappropriately self-indulgent, and the intractable commonly-drawn inference that those who don't reproduce (when they can) are tacitly standing in silent condemnation of the choice of those who do, and the weird right that many people assert to have to judge others' choices and proclaim it "selfish" if anyone prefers to prioritize their own lives over the lives of imaginary children they don't want to have.

The problem with the question is that "selfish" in these discussions usually means: You're not doing with your life what I think you should be doing with it!

So, yes, it's selfish—if you mean my living my life the way I want to live it.

And no, it's not selfish—if you mean failing to live my life the way you want me to live it.

That this is considered a subject worthy of public debate rather unavoidably suggests it is the latter.

In which case, I refer back to my short answer.

[H/T to Shaker mschicklet.]

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