Over 30 years ago, the National Organization for Non-Parents (which became National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, or NAOP), deemed August 1 Non-Parents Day. I say we gather our forces on this day and urge 60 Minutes to do a “do over” segment on the childfree from the one they did with Marcia Davis in 1974. Here’s an example of something to send to 60:
Dear 60 Minutes:
In the 70s there was an organization called the National Organization for Non-Parents (which became National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, or NAOP), and made August 1 Non-Parents Day. This year in recognition of this day those who do not have children by choice want to write you.
On the blog La Vie Childfree, we learned of a segment your show did in 1974 on the NAOP and the topic of not having children by choice. A woman who appeared on that segment has quite the story to tell about how negatively 60 Minutes portrayed her and her husband and those who don’t have children by choice, and how it affected her life afterwards. Part of her story is here.
Because “60 Minutes” likes to report on new things, I would suggest including this as part of a piece about the growing “Brat Bans” appearing in some stores, restaurants, airplanes, and movie theaters.
Hey deegee, I am hesitant to pitch something like that, as the possibility of the cf being seen inaccurately and negatively is high. Although there have been short segments on tv re not having children without choice, there are many angles they could take to do so much more than these in their own story on the cf…
I am Marcia Drut-Davis, author of “Confessions of a Childless Woman” and one of the women who appeared on “60 Minutes” in 1974. That experience and the other negative media hype which followed, resulted in severe consequences affecting my professional and personal life in 1974. I have tried over and over again to reach “60 Minutes” to revisit me without so much as one respectful reply. The last thing heard on that segment was Mike Wallace saying “Pardon our perverseness for airing this on Mother’s Day.Good night everyone.”
Thank you Laura for doing this and caring about how media portrays the childfree choice.
Pronatalism still exists! Although the childfree lifestyle is being chosen more and more, in my opinion, people secretly still think it’s a hedonistic, selfish and immature mistake which will end in regret. At almost 70 years of age, I want to share my story!
Hi Marcia, It is about time your story needs to be re-told accurately..this is what 60 does for the issues they cover, and may not be what they want to do for themselves, but worth a try…it is a long time ago now, and they can spin it so they will not look bad; instead be the ones that take the most accurate look at this issue, which, for many social and cultural reasons, is so often misconstrued.
Even Al Gore said we need to stop having so many children a few weeks ago. Maybe if you go at it from that angle, you’d have more success.
How about you take that angle and pitch 60? 🙂
I’m confused. I am 100% in agreement with CHOICE. I don’t; however, tolerate the intolerance of children. You were a child once, too. What if someone said you shouldn’t have been born because that means you wouldn’t have been a child and we can’t have children! The No Kids Allowed movement is perverse. It breeds the intolerance to the BASICS of human life – being a child and procreating. I think there should be NO discrimination against the choice of having kids or not having kids and I would stand in line with you supporting that choice, but I cannot stand next to anyone that says No Kids Allowed and then scream that THEY are being discriminated against!
To be clear, neither I or this site are promoting a no kids allowed “movement.” Like we acknowledge mothers on mothers day, fathers on father’s day, gathering forces on Non-Parents Day is just away to acknowledge those who do not have children by choice.
Having children is the only part of your life that you can’t undo. You can change anything else. That, being the case, potential parents need to be sure they want to make this forever decision. Most of us who have had children never really considered that we had options.
I’ve known Marcia since 1974 and have always respected her choice… as she has mine. She has been a wonderful aunt, guide to my children, motivator to her students and a beacon to all who question whether they should be parents.
Parenthood is a joy as well as a responsibility and options as well as decisions need to be carefully evaluated.
Jane, Thanks for writing–love hearing from friends of Marcia’s! Send your thoughts to 60, please!
Just found this site–it’s now bookmarked– & it’s wonderful. I’m 64 and happily married, both my husband & I agreed pre-nuptials that no kids was important choice for us, and I can truly say one we’ve never regretted. I love other people’s kids when they visit and have friends in different generations. But I feel for Marcia’s plight–and thank heaven I wasn’t interviewed at that time, I’m sure I’d have paid the price professionally also. i’m sending my own letter to 60minutes but Marcia I hope you are solid and at peace in yourself for knowing the right decision for you and sticking to it. It was radical then so 60min made it seem even more so by airing it on Mother’s Day–cry me a river! But still will give them a shot at redemption. Thank you for this site. I look forward to visiting frequently.
Julie, Welcome to La Vie CF! Not often I hear theat no-kis made it into the pre-nuptials! You remind me of couples I interviewed for Families of Two that were in their 60s and older at the time. They had some stories to tell about how they were treated, pressured, judged, etc. They too, however, never regretted their decision. They had long, happy marriages. Inspiring! Keep visiting and writing in~L
Thanks, Sheila,for your comment.I couldn’t agree more.
To all who have taken the time to write their posts and letters to “60 Minutes”, my heartfelt thanks. It’s taken me 36 years to have the courage to share my life’s decision in my book, “Confessions of a childless Woman”.
Pronatalism has affected my life from that life-changing 1974 interview on “60 Minutes”… to now at almost my 70th year on this planet.
If we can get “60 minutes” to re-visit this topic, this time, I’ll be better prepared. Last time, I was the victim of ignorance…
Marcia, It’ll happen–just a matter of when! ~L
I’m so happy to find others who share my thoughts about being “childless.” I tire of others who do have children look at me with pity when I tell them I don’t have kids. From what I can tell, mothers with children in tow seem more often than not looking tired and very unhappy. Plus, I am mom to companion pets, so I am hardly lacking in love!
I chose not to have kids when I was about 14 years old. I watched my brothers and sisters all have them and my mind never wavered. I used to feel uncomfortable when people asked me the nosey question “do you have any kids” because of their reaction and the strange looks I used to get. Now I proudly tell people, if they ask “I haven’t got any and absolutely never wanted any”. If they try to elaborate I just say “look , you asked me a question and I’ve answered it, lets leave it at that because if I explain why you’ll end up just trying to defend your choice to me, and I wasn’t the one who asked”. I love my nephews and nieces but feel sorry for my brothers and sisters because of the stressful lives they have. I resisted what I call the primitive urge to reproduce. Many people don’t understand this primitive instinct, especially men, and once it’s done they struggle to live up to the reality of raising kids in the present landscape.
I looked after my neighbors dog recently and half way through the week I was considering putting him in a dog day care because the commitment totally freaked me out. The favourite advice to me seems to be ” you don’t know what love is until you have your own child” . Well I’d much rather not know and be grateful for the love that I have for myself and from my husband and friends. My sister says to me ” none to make you laugh and none to make you cry”. She seems to do a lot more crying than laughing with hers. So I won’t have anyone to look after me when I’m old, I’m a lot tougher than that and don’t even think about it. As far as I am concerned you are born alone and die alone. Some of us are emotionally satisfied with life just the way it is and know what we want…and dont want. Those that want it all….usually get it, and I dont mean in a good way.
Rita, You are what came to be termed an “early decider” to be sure! And people’s “advice” can be frustrating, also to be sure!
WELL THIS WAS A SPIRIT LIFTER!
MARRIED FOR 50 YEARS NO CHILDREN.
STUDIED GENETICS (MINE)AND HUBBIES
AND LATE IN LIFE DECIDED NO!
WE WERE FREE THEN TO MAKE THE CHOICE
WITHOUT ANY GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION!
WE NEED TO REVIEW SEPARATION OF CHURCH
AND STATE AGAIN! SERIOUSLY!
CHILDREN CAN BE RUSSIN ROULETTE…
WE DIDN’T HAVE THE DESIRE TO PLAY!
Wow 50 years married! Did you ever get “hard timed” for not having kids??Couples I have interviewed that have been married many years have some real stories to tell about their experiences in the 40s 50s 60s and likfe Marcia Davis, 70s! Share anything you are willing to here! Thanks for writing in~L
THE PROBLEM, HOWEVER, WITH BEING CHILDLESS IS THAT OUR ‘SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE AND PERSONALITIES’ WERE NOT PASSED ON. I DIDN’T WANT TO GIVE MY CHILD TO A GOVERNMENT INITIATED WAR OR TO DRUGS OR A CRUEL ‘FRIEND WITH BENEFITS’ – IT IS A NASTY PLACE OUT THERE AND BOTH HE AND I
CARRY SERIOUS GENES FOR SENSITIVITY.
I remember the day that the world population hit 4 billion (in 1974) I was 9 years old and frankly I could see how this could be a bad thing. I never, ever wanted kids, and I wish to heck I’d known other CFers.
I felt so alone. When I discovered other CFers on line, it was lifechanging.
I have known Marcia for many years. She has become my mother- friend! Marcia is my mentor, confidant, and I admire her greatly because she is also one of the most non- judgmental people I know. She has never made me feel bad about being a mother but has instead always cherished and adored my two girls and been proud of their accomplishments. She has also never asked anyone to stop having children but has only asked that she would be respected and honored for her choice of NOT having children. I sure respect that and ask that everyone else does, too!
How wonderful to have known Marcia for many years…she is indeed a gem!