I am done with this fallacy that our country is full of women who are not mothers. I know — some women do not raise biological or adopted children. But I challenge you to name ONE WOMAN who does not mother at least one living creature: a parent, neighbor, sibling, friend, colleague, niece, nephew, cousin, partner, community member, or an animal who, if anything like the pets in my family, requires more medications than a retirement community.
In one of JD Vance’s public exposures of his decrepit soul, he blamed “childless women” for America’s problems. Women without children, he theorized, have no reason to invest in society.
I would be remiss without stopping to ask: what in the actual fuck?
This theory presupposes that women can only contribute to society by raising “their own” children. But the sky would fall if our child-free women stopped mothering. Thousands would literally die.
Take, for example, my technically child-free aunt. She cares for her 90 year-old mother, who’s logged a half-dozen major surgeries in a decade; her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease; her sister, who is navigating a divorce; a bevy of rescue cats; and several friends who have endured loss, illness, and trauma. She also cares for her nephews and niece (me) all the time, no matter what. Don’t tell her, or me, that continually showing up — whether by attending every one of my junior high plays, or picking me up from the airport when in my forties and able to take the train but am dead tired, or any number of countless kindnesses — doesn’t amount to a meaningful investment in my wellbeing. She makes us all feel cherished, and that is everything.
Women who make art, advance science, grow food, do work, or teach (whether in a classroom or by example) invest in our society. Doing any of these things without mothering a single damn creature would be enough. I just don’t think our society has made this possible for women. And I don’t think that’s an accident.