Ann Farmer’s thought for today: Tragedy of the child-free generation

According to ONS figures, the proportion of women who never have children has doubled in a generation, and they are increasingly likely to postpone decisions about whether to have children until it may be biologically too late (Telegraph, November 25, 2017).

The best things in life are free, but successive governments have made children expensive and feminists have portrayed them as drags on personal liberty – a view embraced by the ONS, which attributes the decline to ‘greater social acceptability of a child-free lifestyle’.



Certainly it appears acceptable to those in power for women to be verging on middle age before they have even one child. Thanks to the exorbitant cost of housing, women cannot afford to give up work to have a family, and government offers of ‘free’ childcare are actually subsidised by the taxes of working women. While sounding family-friendly, they serve to underline the feminist message that women are trapped in inequality by their children; and the feminist message helps to facilitate the population control agenda, which has always been to get women into paid work so that they delay having children and thus have fewer, or possibly none at all.

Ann Farmer

  • Jonathan Tedd

    ….and immigrant families with 5,6,7+ children all paid for by workers (council housing, health, and “schooling” aka state brainwashing…) Marvellous ain’t it?

    • Reborn

      This is the greatest demographic threat we have ever faced.

      • Hertslass

        And it is self-inflicted by ou rpoliticians. Correction – inflicted on us by our politicians.

        • Murial2468

          No, inflicted on us by our culture which relentlessly and falsely presents sex as separate from it’s obvious procreative purpose. We are killing our own children, families and society.

  • It’s a threat on so many levels.

    In one sense, it’s a simple existential, demographic threat, but it also has other profound implications.

    As Jordan Peterson asks, what are the consequences for a culture where so few children have siblings, and where children tend to be seen as extremely precious because they are only children? He speculates that much of the Left’s intolerance, fascism and need for protection from ideas comes down to this phenomenon, to this lack of socialisation and over-parenting.

    And if 1% of Europeans living under childless leaders seems like misfortune, and 2% seeming like carelessness, what is 66%? And what does that tell us about the character, priorities, culture and experiences of leaders.

    Here in Scotland, 5/6 of political leaders are childless. Why is that not seen as pathological?

    The paradox is that that Left’s welfare state dream depends entirely on conservative demographics to work.

    • Colkitto03

      All really good points Hugh.

      • martianonlooker

        Seconded, although I would draw the line at the thought of Sturgeon breeding.

        • Colkitto03

          LOL

        • Reborn

          Sturgeon breeding has been a valuable activity in Scottish rivers & pools since the Middle Ages.
          Admittedly, the current crop are not attractive, but we must hope for better things to come.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Using genetic engineering possibly.

  • martianonlooker

    “the feminist message helps to facilitate the population control agenda, which has always been to get women into paid work “.
    I read somewhere that most women are employed in the public sector. How long will that scenario last when HM Forces are being cut to save money; when we offer the chancers of the EU £40 billion; when we hand out ‘leave to remain’ to millions of benefit seeking illegals; when we fund nearly 900 overpaid, untalented seemingly traitorous bods in the House of Lords; when we hand out billions in foreign aid to keep the likes of Mugabe in luxury; when we fork out a few million to house the illegals of Grenfell; when we do similar for the Rohingya of Burma; when we fund so many fraudulent student loans?
    When it all goes pear shaped, the feminists will be like their sistas in Sweden i.e. blaming the white male patriarchy.

    • captainslugwash

      The great irony is that they have replaced us with a much less tolerant patriarchy going forward.

    • Little Black Censored

      Only £40 billion? That is optimistic.

      • martianonlooker

        I believe it is Treason May’s opening gambit

  • Flaketime

    Just watch the start of Idiocracy to learn where the problem lies.

    Until the government forces companies to relocate outside the M25 the problem will remain. Move the central criminal courts out of London, move parliament to Birmingham along with the top civil servants and bingo the North South divide is ended.

    We should stop funding families who have more than 2 children as even Labour admit that these are the ethnics in the main, and accept that child poverty is self inflicted by the parents.

  • Elizabeth Smith

    There are some people who genuinely and truly have chosen to be childfree, who sincerely do not want a child in their lives and who would find their life unacceptably and even fatally compromised if a child had to be admitted into their lives even for one second, even if that child was taken away at birth.
    It is good for that minority that their choice is accepted. An unwanted child is at a higher risk of becoming an abused child, and even in an adoptive placement they may not be safe. Look at Elsie Scully Hicks.
    Why should people have to hypocritically “regret” something they chose? For me the menopause was welcome as I no longer have the hassle of double and even triple contraception….

    • JabbaPapa

      There are some people who genuinely and truly have chosen to be childfree

      Do they then genuinely and truly refrain from engaging in the directly procreative activity of sexual intercourse ?

      From the contents of your post, it would seem that you did not do so yourself. So please, don’t lecture others about “hypocrisy”, cheers …

      • Elizabeth Smith

        Had science not given us contraception then I would certainly have lived celibate till post menopause. If one thinks about it, a goodly number of Victorian ladies lived as semi invalids to that stage in their lives; and then recovered and lived into robust old age.
        Those who don’t want children in their lives – I never did and have no hankering for grandchildren- should not have to apologise for it.

        • JabbaPapa

          That just sounds like 1960s ideological claptrap, sorry.

          The promotion of the so-called “birth control” agenda alongside the ideology of universal sexual promiscuity is, contrary to your claims, the very essence of hypocrisy as such.

          a goodly number of Victorian ladies lived as semi invalids to that stage in their lives

          Sorry, but this just sounds like drivel — your notion that sexual abstinence is some sort of health-related “invalidity” is rubbish.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            Invalidity was used as a means of avoiding pregnancy

          • JabbaPapa

            Sorry, that sounds like utter nonsense — there is no link between spinsterhood and invalidity.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            Married women took to the couch and invalidity, not spinsters. Spinsters often had to work quite hard.

          • JabbaPapa

            Freud’s “Anna O.” is an example of psychopathology, not an exemplar of women’s existence in the Victorian era.

            Spinsters often had to work quite hard

            As did all men and women at the time. And ?

            The phenomenon of people taking “to the couch and invalidity”, as a refuge, was an exclusive privilege of the at least moderately wealthy, not a particular characteristic of married women only. And it had, as far as I can tell, nothing to do with a desire to remain childless. Those having such a desire instead either remained unmarried, or entered into marriages of convenience with separate bedrooms.

            Cripes, where did you get these nonsense ideas from ?

      • Elizabeth Smith

        Why should people who don’t want and possibly actively dislike children have to make regretful noises so as not to offend the pro birth sensibilities of others?

        • JabbaPapa

          Why should people who don’t want and possibly actively dislike children engage in procreative activities likely to lead to pregnancies ?

      • Bik Byro

        It doesn’t have to be procreative in today’s atomic age. You should try it sometime, it might relax you and make you less uptight and tedious.

      • Murial2468

        Also many “contraceptives” are in fact abortifacient. Many who consider themselves “child free” are in fact parents to children who have been deliberately caused to perish in the womb:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiCU46_lWeE&list=PL04F02603345A23DC

    • log

      Hi I was as resolutely anti children as you once….the product of my own unhappy childhood and my wanting to selfishly remain a child myself without having the ultimate responsibility of caring for another human being. Long story short contraception failed, partner was too beloved by me to terminate his child and I am now the very happy and grateful mother of two lovely daughters. Having children is the best thing in my life, yet it was the last thing I ever wanted and had it relied upon my choice, would never have happened…..All I could see when I looked at families was the inconvenience to the mother, the bonds of love that make it such a wonderful and rewarding relationship are sadly invisible you see. I count myself very fortunate that my foolish ideas did not deny me the joy of being a parent.

      • Elizabeth Smith

        I’m pleased for you.
        But I would have terminated come what may even if the partnership ended as a result. I would have lived with the heartbreak rather than have a child in my life, it’s as simple as that.
        There are some people in this world who do not like or want children and I am one of them.

        • Murial2468

          Killing a baby is ever the answer? What about human rights Elizabeth?

          • Elizabeth Smith

            It would have been eliminating a parasite as far as I was concerned.

          • JabbaPapa

            a parasite

            See ?

            Cruel, cold, and self-destructive indeed …

          • Murial2468

            We can’t judge the person. Only what they say. Not least because if we do it just comes across as combative and so unhelpful. Always best for our comments to keep the moral high ground. I always think Rees Mogg is a good example. He tries to give a kind response. Certainly this person’s posts indicate some sort of “disconnect”.

          • JabbaPapa

            We can’t judge the person. Only what they say

            It is precisely what she’s said that I’m judging — these are cruel, cold, and self-destructive statements.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            Hmm. Unlike JabbaPapa and Murial2468 I haven’t descended to personal abuse.
            We will all be corpses one day, as well, but in the meantime I don’t want to spend time in their company.

          • Murial2468

            Nowhere have I directed personal abuse at you or anyone in this discussion Elizabeth. To falsely suggest so is itself is rather your “personal abuse” .

          • Elizabeth Smith

            You are making assumptions about me, and about my self worth based solely upon the fact I am childfree by choice. Let’s be clear there is a distinction between the childless – those who wanted children but for whom it never happened, for whom it is a tragedy, and the childfree, who chose their situation. I freely admit I am devoid of maternal instinct and never had a biological clock. I am also pro choice; 30 years in local government has taught me it’s often the lesser evil. Adoption is no panacea, and the breakdown rate is one statistic that’s kept closely under wraps.
            If a man wanted a child – or came with them – it was a deal breaker which is why I never married first time round, ie in my 20s. At least I was honest about it; how many men are trapped into children they don’t want?
            Because of impractical recruitment policies ( they have to offer flexible working to all) local authorities especially depend on childfree women like me and upon men who do not want to be hands on fathers. I am about to take the strain for six weeks so a colleague can have reconstructive surgery done without worrying about work. It’ll mean 12 hour days.
            I will be the person who is in the office over Christmas. I don’t mind doing it; I’d rather have my time off during the school term when it’s quieter.
            Most people regard me as a kindly soul, sometimes even a soft touch. I will sit and chat to the elderly for hours.
            But I don’t want children in my life, and I prefer the company of men; with whom I talk politics, work and sport. The only thing you know about me and which you don’t like is that I would have terminated an unwanted pregnancy.

          • Murial2468

            Elizabeth. Please do read my comment before again responding to something I have not said.

            A woman may certainly not have children and live a deeply fulfilled, generous and fruitful life. I would be the last person to believe otherwise.

            Pro-“choice” of course is a misnomer. There is deliberately no “choice” for the unborn child. It would be called “choice” to wait until the child is able to express themselves and ask them outright if they would rather live or be “terminated”. Even then of course the compassionate course of action would be to address whatever sadness there is and put that right so that they do indeed choice to live. It is never right to kill. As we have seen recently from QCA reports on Marie Stopes- women are steered into abortion by money focused “abortion providers”, also fathers fearful of being held accountable for their child, fearful family and friends who do not want the burden..

            And it is reasonable to consider that someone who believes a child in the womb is a “parasite” must surely have a lack of belief in their own intrinsic worth. We were all in the womb in our earliest months.

            I did in fact comment to JabbaPapa that his comment was not helpful. You seem not to have noticed.

            I am sure you have many kind and good qualities as you say. By commenting on here we are opening up to responses. Hence the “reply” button. We should not assume someone is wholy against us or bears any ill will because they do so. And of course it’s important to actually read their comment correctly.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            I don’t see any common ground here. You clearly take the religious view of a foetus; I don’t.
            Have a nice day.

          • Murial2468

            Hi Elisabeth. Stopes was a decided racist and anti-Semite. She was also an ardent fan of Adolf Hitler.

            I take the factual scientific view of a human foetus. My religion upholds the intrinsic dignity of every human being whatever age or stage of life.

            I think you will find science defines “parasite” is something quite different to progeny of any species.. How did you come by that view?

            It is actually quite possible in the UK to legally “relinquish” a child but that is yet another option that is not put to mothers where abortion agencies have all the money and incentive to promote killing.

            Thank you for engaging.

          • JabbaPapa

            And you are making assumptions about those who disagree with you.

            The notion that your “carbon footprint” might be lower than my own, for instance, is quite simply risible, and BTW invented ex nihilo right off the top of the head of your anti-life agenda.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            Everyone to their own. Have a nice day.

          • JabbaPapa

            Unlike JabbaPapa and Murial2468 I haven’t descended to personal abuse

            I have restricted my commentary to the quality of the statements that you have made viz. describing the unborn as “a parasite” and “I would have terminated come what may even if the partnership ended as a result”, and so on.

            There was no need to include such objectively callous phrases in your statements, but not only did you, but you went so far as to reinforce them when the worldview that they appear to represent was challenged.

        • JabbaPapa

          I would have terminated come what may

          Cruel, cold, and self-destructive.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            I think you are now descending to personal abuse. I never wanted children, took every step possible to avoid pregnancy and I am now relievedly post menopause.
            I would have been desperately unhappy if a child had been forced on me to the extent I would have walked away and paid maintenance on the clear understanding I did not want contact.

        • log

          At least you know yourself and are honest Elizabeth. I am not criticising you, I’m sure you have chosen wisely and have sensibly spared yourself and a child from having an unhappy experience. You are also brave and I hope happy with your life. By the way you don’t have to love children in general to adore your own. I still don’t really see what the fuss is about with regard to other peoples children (I never did) but I love my own unconditionally and that kind of unconditional love has brought me much deep satisfaction and joy…..All woman do not have to be mothers but if too many woman choose not to be mothers we go extinct.

          • Elizabeth Smith

            Thank you for your kind reply. I really appreciate it.

    • Sargv

      A woman making a choice of being child-free is not an issue.

      20% of all women making that choice certainly is – not with women per se, mind you, but with the culture that sends them suicidal (from a national perspective) messages.

      It’s not that the choice itself is somehow “immoral”, “egoistic” or “wrong”. It’s just the society, where a big enough proportion of women makes it, will not be stable in the long run – if it would exist at all.

      But then, if you do not have the skin in the “continuation of the species” game – you don’t really care about the long run, do you? Après nous le déluge.

  • Timmy

    You mention women but not men. “Women cant afford” , bs. They could afford if they had a husband and a stable marriage. Be we all know how that works out

    • Murial2468

      A husband and stable marriage work out well when the foundation stages have been followed. Chaste courtship, engagement and carefully discerned marriage is far more likely to result in a lasting union for both parties than the disastrous new norm of multiple encounters drifting into trial co-habitation.

  • Harley Quin

    A society which cannot reproduce itself is a failure by definition.

    • Sargv

      But-but-but what if you call it a proposition nation and open up the borders to immigrants?

      • Harley Quin

        Oh yes….,then, no problem. Just redefine and poof ! All difficulties vanish.

  • Timmy

    Just noticed the author changed her by bio from being a feminist to being an author. Just an fyi

  • Murial2468

    Would one really good option for society might be for more of us to choose single celibacy and for fewer people to have larger families?. For that to be successful single people need to know they are valued rather than regarded as odd.

    Children of larger families then have the company and fun of siblings and loving uncles and aunts. They in turn will not be “alone” simply because they are not in a couple.

    • Sargv

      > Would one really good option for society might be for more of us to choose single celibacy and for fewer people to have larger families?

      The obvious consequence of such a decision will be the dissolution of the welfare state, as who will pay all those taxes to keep old people alive?

      For your plan to be viable, singletons should drop dead at 65. “Spend all your time on the job in the absence of a family to care for, pay your taxes, close your genetic line by choosing child-free life, die early”. Now, who would object to that, right?

      • Murial2468

        Large families would have lots of children so that would keep the numbers up. Older singletons would not have the “absence of family” instead numerous brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and of course friends too. I think society has become far too “couple” focused at all costs.

        Just a thought : )

        • Sargv

          > Large families would have lots of children so that would keep the numbers up.

          I can’t even imagine a stable socio-cultural pattern like this: one kid out of five proceeds to starting a family and raising five kids of her own; while four of her siblings choose to be singletons.

          > I think society has become far too “couple” focused at all costs. Single people are regarded as “odd”, and it’s a vicious cycle as single people have less and less single friends.

          I am afraid this might be your personal experience. With one in four British children being raised by a single parent, British society is less couple-focused it ever been. Would you like it to be even more atomised, with single parenting being the default parenting model?

          Unless of course you are speaking of sexualisation of society, and a social push toward “having some” all the time? That’s hardly has anything to do with the kids, though, and is the direct consequence of “sexual liberation” of the 1960s.

          • Murial2468

            One problem is the pitying and isolation of single people. No wonder many choose or “risk” single parenthood in preference. Children however do not benefit from this trend. Children en masse are suffering the absence of united biological parents. Fewer than ever are experiencing having even one sibling and it is very rare for children to have any more than one or two siblings. There are short term and long term consequences for us all.

          • Sargv

            > One problem is the pitying and isolation of single people.

            This really depends on where you live and how old you are. I am in my 30s living in London (married for more than a decade with the oldest kid in secondary – being Russian and all), and the attitude among my friends is 100% opposite. They pity and isolate married people because we are no longer up for spontaneous fun. Well, we are, now when the oldest can babysit, but for half a decade before that it was different.

            As for the rest – sure, that was my point. But I am not sure that people are pushed into single parenting by social pressure.

          • Murial2468

            I think they may have pitied you a lot less than you imagine. The round of shallow parties temporarily fill a void for a few hours and leave a headache the next day..that’s all if they are still seeking The One with ever declining odds!

            A friend of mine volunteered at a help centre which was attended by many single parents needing assistance. He became disillusioned when he noticed that once the tot was of an age where they no longer suited the help of the centre – Lo- mum would turn up expecting or with another and another…. The centre was itself giving them companionship and involvement and love that would never be available to them as single people. I am not saying single parents and all parents do not need support but we must readjust so that single people without children are more supported and people see long term single life as a positive choice for daytime and all time and not just good for evening escapism which anyway loses it’s novelty value.

      • Bik Byro

        Having spent your life paying taxes to give other people’s children schooling, hospitals and doctor’s appointments, it’s only fair that the children give something back by paying for your health and pension in retirement.

        • Sargv

          But why should we have this stupid collectivist model with a middle-man of the state at all? I say, each person should pull their own weight through their lives to the best of their abilities.

          Child’s gratitude should be with parents, not with the taxpayers.

          Anyway, raising a kid from 0 to 16 is significantly cheaper than providing modern level of medical and social care for an elderly person from 60 to 85. And ‘schooling’ is just mandatory state indoctrination – they will take away your child if you refuse to comply.

          • Bik Byro

            >> Anyway, raising a kid from 0 to 16 is significantly cheaper than providing modern level of medical and social care for an elderly person from 60 to 85
            Source ?

          • Sargv

            It is a guess. But we can try to run some numbers. For brevity, let’s limit it to “healthcare for elderly VS education for children”, as those are most obvious age-related state expenses.

            First, what part of NHS budget is spent on providing care for 65+? “Ageing Britain: two-fifths of NHS budget is spent on over-65s”:
            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/01/ageing-britain-two-fifths-nhs-budget-spent-over-65s

            From here, it’s straightforward.
            NHS budget for 2016: £122.5 bil ( https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/nhs-in-a-nutshell/nhs-budget )
            Share to cover over-65s: £122.5 bil * 0.66 = £80.85 bil
            UK’s share of population above 65: 18% ( https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.65UP.TO.ZS )
            UK’s total population: ~63 mil (Wikipedia)
            UK’s number of people above 65: 63 mil * 0.18 = 11.34 mil
            NHS spending per over-65 Brit per anum (2016): £80.85 bil / £11.35 mil =~ £7123
            UK’s life expectancy: 81 years (Wikipedia)
            Average NHS total spending per person between 65 and 81: (81 – 65) * £7123 = £113.968

            Now, to children.
            DoE budget (2014-2015): £57.2 bil
            UK under-16 population share: 17.6% (=~ 11 mil)
            State spending per child per annum: £5200
            Total spending for 14 years of education: £72800

            So, it’s approx. 50% expensive for the state to provide health care for an elderly person than to educate a child.

          • Bik Byro

            two fifths, not two thirds. 0.4 not 0.66
            and what about health care for children birth-16?

          • Sargv

            Yeah, my bad, misread the article.

            I was unable to find decent stats on NHS spending (that’s the only reason I linked to the Guardian). I was able to locate a nice PDF two years ago (for 2011 I think?), but I lost it since then, and every attempt to locate it again was futile

            Anyway, you see the orders of numbers. They are at the very least comparable. Whatever taxation is spend “on kids”, taxpayers expect to be paid back in full through covering their healthcare costs.

            With high longevity/low fertility, the trend is obvious. That’s one of the reasons for the massive UK public debt. There’s no way your grandkids will be able to provide you with the same health care levels you do for your grandparents. Unless of course a magic surge in productivity would happen. But I seriously doubt it.

            As I said, I am not against integenerational contract. One should care for his kids and his parents alike. That’s the stuff civilisations made off. I do, however, dislike the state acting like intermediary. My experience with the state is that everything is better without it – as long as you are willing to work.

          • Bik Byro

            Totally agree with your last paragraph. However, I think the state acting as intermediary is a necessary evil, as with some families, the result would be chaos.
            I do however place a lot of credence on Ronald Reagan when he said : “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help'” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhYJS80MgYA

      • Elizabeth Smith

        I’d be happy with that. Work, pay taxes, die early – provided that in return there was proper adults only provision of leisure services. You may find more people dislike other people’s children than admit it.

        • JabbaPapa

          So Logan’s Run then, or Soylent Green ?

          Every single mad utopian fantasy is centred upon the destruction of the Family as the cornerstone of human life and existence.

        • Sargv

          I hate little buggers! I can barely tolerate my own half of the time. But there’s also the other half.

  • PutinCooksSocks

    Historically, 80% of women but only 40% of men have managed to reproduce.

    Men are built to take the disappointment (sorry, but that is biology).

    We are built to fight and fight to acquire the right to reproduce. It is the defining struggle of our lives. If we fail, we are built to try again and again and keep trying until our last breath. Whole cultures are built around men’s attempts to win the right to reproduce.

    Failure to reproduce in a man is the norm. The only requirement of him is that he tries and tries continually. His biology rewards him for trying. Success is a fleeting moment of consummation compared to the years of struggle.

    Women are not built to fail to reproduce.

    Failure to reproduce in a woman is a disaster for her.

    • Elizabeth Smith

      For me it’s the best thing that happened.

    • Murial2468

      If we take things from a “basic instinct” point of view then we embrace all sorts of unhealthy instincts. As human beings we make choices about our emotions. We can feel an instinctive loss at not having children but we can choose to more than fill that loss with other wonderful activities and pursuits.

      One problem is the pitying and isolation of single people. No wonder many choose or “risk” single parenthood in preference. Children however do not benefit from this trend. And where children suffer there is a cost to us all.

      We have many instincts. But we can choose to live on a higher level.

    • This is true. People don’t understand this.

  • Elizabeth Smith

    Dear All.

    Well, we’ve had an interesting little debate and at least I haven’t descended into personal abuse. However, the fact remains that there is a reasonable sized minority who actively do not want children in their lives and who are grateful to the medical – and legal – advances of the 1960s enabling them to live their lives sans children without having to retreat into the equivalent of holy orders.

    I’ve enjoyed the clear demonstration of the attitude that a woman who does not want children still remains a pariah, and no doubt if I probed further, I would also have confirmation of the fact that the only equal, or greater pariah is the man who without being a bad parent, regrets the birth of his existing children and considers that his life would have been better without them.

    So there we are. We exist, and we work and pay taxes and tolerate the ubiquity of other people’s children reasonably graciously. Our carbon footprints are relatively small. I do wish the pro birthers could reciprocate.

    Have a nice day!

    • Dan Slezak

      And there it is. The crux of this whole thing is about reproductive rights. And men don’t have any outside of celibacy or getting snipped. Trad/con/feminist women are all the same.

      They ALL show up collectively in a court room and stuff their snouts in the golden trough with rights, privileges, benefits, affirmative action/quotas etc… and leave behind responsibility, civil duties, accountability. Women leave those all behind. And boys and men eat the scraps! Must be nice to have choices, hmm?

      Have a nice day, hypocrites!