Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oprah Shines a Light

Thanks to CFVixen for forwarding me this article about a recent Oprah show in which the spotlight was focused on the harsh realities of motherhood.
Now, if only Oprah would do a show about the childfree lifestyle, we could really claim progress. Trust me - it'll never happen.


marin said...

As far as I know she gave birth after being sexually abused (it was not a free choice), and before it went public she said:
"I never had children, never even thought I would have children."
Although Oprah considers the girls she is helping through charity as her daughters, they are not.
I don't like the media push the fact she was meant to be a mother in a way or another.That's not motherhood.
She is a childfree who's involved in philantropy and charitable projects as many other childless or childfree people.
Hope to see that show one day.

Childfreeeee said...

Interesting, Marin.

So I just did a little internet research in Oprah giving birth. From what I can tell, it appears she was raped at age 9, and afterwards (as many children who are sexually abused do) became promiscuous. She got pregnant at age 14 and her baby died shortly after it was born.

She kept this a secret and never intended for it to get out, but a family member betrayed her and spilled the beans to the media in return for $16,000.

firefly said...

Ponzi scheme!

Not once in there does anyone bring up the idea that you don't have to do it.The emphasis is all on how to keep on throwing effort into the equation to get to the other end.

Seriously -- these people think their kids are going to solve society's problems, when they can't even see for one moment that if they put as much effort (and money!) into solving poverty, pollution, etc. as they do having kids, we'd already be living in a much better world?!

They're stuck on a hamster wheel, and the example they are setting their kids is to get stuck on the same wheel and keep on running.

Ellie said...

"I swore to God that the moment my daughter issued forth from my loins that ... my life would finally be complete and I would finally know my purpose."

Try again. You should have been a complete person before deciding to have a baby.

Sometimes I can't help but take such vicious delight in watching parents experience that wall of reality hitting them at 90 mph.

Every one of these stories is like a huge gust of wind, filling my sails of freedom. Is that cheesy? It is, kinda. But it's precisely how it feels.

Childfreeeee said...


I had to laugh when I read your comment because I once made a very similar observation on this blog:

I agree with you - I think is just astounding and really fascinating that nobody EVER EVER mentions the idea that you can choose NOT to have kids. It's never ever mentioned.

Ellie, I feel the same way. For me it feels delightful, not because I like to see other people suffer, but because it validates the decision I made and it makes me feel good about having had the presence (and independence) of mind to get past the pro-parenthood brainwashing to think for myself and choose wisely.

Schrodinger's Kittens said...

Boy, "ponzi scheme" is the right term. Will any of those women who say nobody told them what to expect tell their own daughters the truth about childbirth and parenting? Or will they just gloss it over with the usual bingoes, like people did to them?

At work I see some moms do that when they gush to first-time pregnant women about how woooonderrful it all is. Maybe (probably) I'm projecting my own biases but sometimes I hear malicious glee in the moms' voices, a bitter undertone that says, "I drank the Kool-aid and lost my dreams, what makes you think you get to escape?" Yeek.

I also never knew that about Oprah. I don't watch her show, her topics don't apply to me. But I have nothing against her. The relative who sold her out is a dirtbag.

firefly said...

"... who is doing the actual contributing?

I'll tell you who. The people who choose to do something with their lives other than have children."


eyemandy said...

Oprah is child-free but she is still very pronatalist. Her shows aren't so much about the troubles of having children as they are about the solidarity between bad mothers who can all admit to wishing they never had children, wanting to kill their children, or neglecting their children in favor of their own selfish desires. I saw the "being a mom is hard" show and it was repulsive. I don't think being child-free was her choice, rather a lifestyle she either fell into or was forced into. This sounds a lot more hateful than I intended it for some reason! I love Oprah, but I wouldn't call her child-free in the sense that we're all child-free; more like child-less. I wouldn't expect her to share the joy of refraining from breeding, as she has never expressed joy in not having children - quite the contrary, actually.

Childfreeeee said...


I haven't quite decided whether I think Oprah is childfree or not. You are right...her shows are very pronatalist and when she does talk about motherhood, she tends to speak positively about it - it's an important and tough job. I've tried to find more information about her choice not to have children, and it's hard to find many statements she's made about it, other than to say she admires people who are mothers, it's such a tough job, etc. etc. - giving the impression that she admires mothers, but not really stating outwardly exactly why she doesn't have children.

My guess is she doesn't have them for the same reasons many of us don't have them - it's a thankless job whose rewards are not worth the sacrifices - but she'll never say that because the target market for her show and magazine is MOTHERS and she certainly doesn't want to alienate them.

That's also the reason we don't see her do any shows or magazine articles about the choice to be childfree. Most of her audience would not be interested, plus - if she did such a show, she might have to go into HER reasons for not having kids and I really think she wants to avoid going there.