Quickly and predictably, Justin Harris of Atlanta, Georgia, has been convicted of murdering his two year old in 2014. Harris intentionally left his son Cooper inside a car for hours on a day where temperatures were 30-35°C. He will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Before and during the trial is came out that Harris was “sexting” during the hours he waited for his son to die, that he had been divorcing his wife and communicating with numerous teenagers and women from age 16-30. He was found to be researching how to survive in prison and how long it would take to kill his son, among other topics.
One thing that has bothered me is the media’s obsession and repetition of “Harris’s interest in the child free lifestyle”.
A Georgia man accused of wanting a child-free life was found guilty by jurors on Monday of murdering his toddler son in June 2014 by leaving him in a sweltering car to die.
Justin Ross Harris, 35, could be sent to life in prison for the death of 22-month-old Cooper, who was left strapped in his car seat for seven hours on a hot day outside his father’s suburban Atlanta workplace. Sentencing is set for Dec. 5.
The corporate media has made absolutely no attempt to explain what child free actually means, which is important because Harris most definitely does not represent it. This is either by incompetent “journalists” failing to investigate properly, or a desire by the media to give the impression that being child free somehow involves getting rid of children.
Being child free is an active choice by people who have never had children and who choose not to have any. Child free people are not “anti-child” and do not hate kids. The choice does not involve abandoning or killing children. Rather, being child free is the voluntary choice of people never to have children, a choice made for a variety of reasons, these among others:
- Self-interest – wanting time to accomplish personal goals is not “selfish”, especially when no children exist
- Financial – the cost of raising children is crippling
- Medical – the potential of passing genes or disease
- Environmentalism – population and overpopulation are directly related to use of natural resources and pollution
- Responsibility – people recognizing that they may not be good parents or possibly even a danger to a child
- No desire to have children – an unquestionable point (unless you think women don’t control their own bodies)
Notice that I never mentioned infertility. That’s not the issue, though infertile people who choose not to adopt also belong.
There are also many positives to being child free which many people do not realize. By not having the costs of child rearing, child free people have more disposable income or lower costs and less likely to live in poverty. They have time and money to contribute to their family members (siblings, raising nieces and nephews). They have more time to participate in the community (charity, political matters, social issues). Child free people are beneficial to a community.
And above all else, no one is obligated to have children to please others. No one is obligated to live up to other people’s social or familial expectations. Being child free is most definitely a feminist and human rights issue.
Child-Free Living (WebMD.com)
Every family has that one kindly aunt and uncle who never had children of their own. And, until you yourself have struggled with infertility, you probably never wondered why they had no children; you just accepted it. Well, if that aunt and uncle of yours are now seniors, in their day they could have adopted from a wide assortment of newborns. But they didn’t. Today, they probably live comfortably in a small condo somewhere, travel a great deal, are enjoying their retirement, and dote on a large selection of nieces and nephews. When they pass on, they’ll probably leave their money to their “favorite” niece or nephew and will always be fondly remembered.
Childfree Adults Are Not “Selfish” (Time.com)
In choosing not to have children, we have not abdicated obligations to friends and family.
This should not seem that radical. But 52 years after the advent of the birth control pill, and more than a century after the word “feminism” was first coined, a woman’s decision not to have children remains fraught. It is also very public, relentlessly scrutinized by psychologists, politicians, statisticians and the media, who gather to discuss what it may mean — for women, for the funding of Social Security, for Western civilization as we know it. This past winter, a pair of Newsweek writers — of the dude persuasion — went on a gloom-and-tirade about declining birth rates and the self-involved young adults that are causing them. The Daily Mirror in the U.K. recently ran a story titled, “Women are not freaks just because they don’t want children.”
I used to judge childfree women (TheGuardian.com)
Some people just don’t want to have children – how could I not see that?
At a friend’s house with a group of other mothers recently, the conversation turned to someone we all knew well: married, in her early 40s. But rather than mention her career, recent house move or the fact that she’d just returned from a backpacking trip around Asia, we all exchanged looks and brought up the subject of children – or lack of them.
But our friend, I’ve since discovered, has simply chosen not to have children. She is happy for her family to be just her husband and herself. She has never felt the urge to be a mother.