How have these women resisted the biological and social imperatives to get out there and make more and more babies? Surely such a woman, if she can truly be called woman, is some kind of witch or cyborg or unlovable troll to turn her back on the forces of destiny and purpose. Motherhood is the most important thing a woman can do, right?
Mother of two and author of nine books Rosemary Agonito says no. And in her book “The Last Taboo: Saying No To Motherhood,” Agonito throws down a mighty gauntlet against “unthinking” motherhood and reminds us chapter after chapter about the real challenges and responsibility of parenting which, due to the invention of the nuclear family and the abandonment of the “village” culture and mentality, frequently falls upon one person, Mom.
Still, the child free woman’s choice, which Agonito acknowledges is the biggest choice a woman can make, is questioned and negated all around her, every day, by her politicians, religious leaders, and entertainment media. Even total strangers feel entitled -or obligated!- to assure her she can’t possibly feel the way she feels, telling her again and again, “you’ll see.”
With “The Last Taboo: Saying No To Motherhood,” Agonito encourages making the decision to parent with eyes open and an honest awareness of what it really means and what happens when real motherhood doesn’t look like a pretty, soft-focus diaper commercial. (The fact that those diaper commercials never show poop is one clue as to how far we as a society go to downplay the hard work of parenting.)
Agonito is opening a dialogue and who knows, maybe one day the script will flip and we’ll start asking people “why DID you have kids?”