There is so much systemic prejudice towards childless women ingrained in our society today that stem from ancient patriarchal and pronatalist views and government policy. Most of us don’t even realize the extent. I didn’t realize it and received a bit of an awakening right on the show.
Jody Day, the “mother” of the childless woman movement, joined me on this episode to share her story and why she started Gateway Women. Her own need for community and support led to a network for childless women, a book, two Tedx talks and countless other accomplishments in the childless space.
Here are some of the highlights:
14:05 – Jody’s network, Gateway Women, represents a threshold between one stage of life and the next
19:26 – the shift of the male gaze and the expectation of childless women to be fitter, better-looking, and slimmer than women who’ve had children, as if the aging process doesn’t apply to us.
24:52 – the systemic issues underpinning the experience we have as childless women resulting from pronatalism
30:55 – unpicking our own desires versus the pronatalist agenda and how it influences the choices we make
37:56 – the identities linked to motherhood to which we’ve tied our value
43:53 – the shame based identities of childless women and the fairy tales we get them from
49:56 – the male model of fertility has dictated the template for women and the need for a new model.
54:51 – becoming a conscious childless elderwoman
55:59 – shame’s role in how we feel and how it’s used as a tool for social power
59:41 – the power of sharing your story to vanquish shame
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References from this episode:
Download a free chapter of Jody’s book: www.gateway-women.com/book
Jody’s Instagram account: @gatewaywomen
Jody’s conscious elderwoman account: @apprenticecrone
Facebook page: @gatewaywomenuk
David Kessler’ and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ work and website: The 5 Stages of Grief