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Kid Me Not: an anthology by child-free women of the '60s now in their 60s (Boomers Remember) Paperback – February 17, 2014
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About the Author
I liken us to pioneer women who took a break from our individual journeys, to circle the wagons and sit around a campfire telling our stories. We have listened to each one carefully, mindful of the rich thread of history that runs through every life.
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She accomplished all 3 but we purchased a business in 1970 and she became an vital part of that venture - if somewhat reluctantly at first.
I know several women who followed their hearts and chose the path the contributors to this book did - In fact, I have known one for years and she, and my sister, have been close friends since Jr. High school. They have remained close friends, through the years, partly because my sister also chose the path this book is all about.
I admire the women who said 'hell no' to the social pressure exerted on them in their early life. These women are first-and-foremost independent, adventuresome, artistic and do not 'take kindly' to being told 'you should.'
They survived untold hardships, many at the hand of men they were attracted to. They remind me of the women K.T. Oslin wrote about in her song, '80' Ladies.'
I read the book because I knew my friend was one of the contributors - I probably would have never read it otherwise. It was an 'eye-opening' experience of what the women, my age, endured to 'make-a-place-' for themselves in this world. They-did-it- their-way.
I now have a greater understanding, and admiration, of 'the independent women of the 1960's.' These are the woman who opened the doors for the younger generation of women who assume equal opportunities have always been available.
W.R. 'Sonny' Gray
I remembered how women without children were regarded, at least in my experience and from my memories. I have several friends and acquaintances who are without children and I can honestly say I would never ask them why they don't have kids. When we were growing up I recall it was a hushed topic. People may have whispered a comment or taken a guess, but it never came up in open conversation. My Mom, in the last few years of her life had many phone conversations with one of her nieces who had never had children. But it wasn't until that woman, also a pediatric nurse, had a hysterectomy that my Mom came out and asked her, "You weren't able to have children?" She replied, "No, I wasn't." That was the extent of their exchange on the topic.
Women sitting around the kitchen table into the wee hours of the night, talking about their child bearing. And the ones without children were not often included as I recall. That's what I remember as a child of nine or ten years pretending to be asleep upstairs with my girl cousins, but we were really listening at the heat vent. Our Moms' voices carried. Carried through to my own kitchen table many years later where I sat with my own women relatives, having the same sorts of conversations. But we haven't really asked ourselves a more important question: Are we, as women defined by our ability to have children or by the number of our offspring? Or will we define ourselves by our own choices? And will we share those choices and those stories with other women who've made choices of their own? And will we accept and appreciate and learn from their stories?
The first story I read when the book arrived was the one written by Kathleen Clark. Her story, "Questioning Authority" was amazing! It made me laugh and cry. All the other womens' stories were wonderful accounts, each different, each riveting, each one keeping me turning the pages and wanting to know about their lives!
"Kid Me Not", full of the stories of women who, either by choice or by circumstance, did not have children of their own is an important read for women everywhere. Fifteen women, now in their sixties, who never had children, their stories are important and compelling for all women. Their stories are well written and emotionally stirring. I'm thankful they finally have a place at "the table". I've read through all the stories at least once so far. But tonight, after everyone else is asleep, I'm going to pull a chair up to my kitchen table and read it again.
I was astonished at the number of them who had abortions, particularly within marriage. Their stories also put in sharp perspective just how recently the only choices for a woman going to college were nurse, teacher, or secretary! Reading the book was like sitting down for coffee (or drinks!) with a group of energetic, fun-loving women and enjoying a soul-uplifting (and thought-provoking) "girls night".
The absolute best thing about this book from my perspective was that although the women consider themselves feminists, you didn't feel like you were being choked with the vicious, man-hating "everyone is oppressing me" feminist rants that are all too often the norm these days. These women were legitimately oppressed but they pushed through, made their own way, and their writing reflects a deep appreciation for the opportunities they did have and joy for the myriad of choices women have now - in no small part because of their generation. The writers had their fair share of bad experiences with men, but don't bash, demonize or hate men - many are happily married.
I highly recommend this, not only for women choosing not to have children themselves, but for everyone else. For all the progress we've made, many things have not yet changed in this arena. Hopefully widespread reading of positive testimonies like these will make it easier for people to understand, respect, and even celebrate the choices of their sisters, daughters, and friends who are self-aware enough to recognize that motherhood is not for them and pursue alternative paths through which they can better bless the world.