Perhaps one of the hardest things for me in dealing with my childlessness, and one of the driving forces that led me to start writing this blog in 2011, was that nobody would let me talk about my situation. I was so frequently closed down with a ‘miracle baby story’ or even a stinging remark like ‘can’t you talk about anything else?’ that I gave up trying to talk about it at all. I shut-up and shutdown.
But why wouldn’t anyone let me talk about it? Why was the fact that I wanted to have a family and it didn’t work out such an unacceptable thing to talk about? Because childlessness, either voluntary or involuntary, is a taboo.
Although not all of us here are childless for reasons of infertility (see my post 50 Ways Not to be a Mother), those women who have been through the infertility industry machine and have come out the other end without a child have had their stories orphaned. Because all we hear about, read about and are told about are the ‘miracles’. What we don’t hear about are treatment statistics that show annual global failure rates as high as 77 percent in 2012.
To begin creating some much needed balance in the conversation, a group of experts, advocates and infertility writers are taking part in a forum this Friday 27 September in lower Manhattan, New York. And you can be a part of this. In fact, if you live anywhere within travelling distance of NYC and can be there, please attend.
As part of production of an autobiographical documentary film on infertility by Irina Vodar The CYCLE: Living A Taboo is a live discussion with dramatic elements focusing on regaining balance after experiencing infertility. The 90-minute programme begins at 8:00 p.m. at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center Theater #2 this Friday 27 September and will be recorded for possible inclusion in the film.
10 free tickets to this ground breaking event are available for Gateway Women readers.
As Pamela Tsigdinos, author of one of the very first infertility survivor memoirs Silent Sorority and co-producer of the event says:
Rather than remain silent, for fear of being shamed or judged, we will give voice to what has been a profoundly misunderstood and misrepresented human experience.
I get that it’s daunting to attend something where you’ll be filmed. But before you decide you can’t be part of this, not yet… ask yourself this: What have you done wrong? What do you have to be ashamed of? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing.
It only takes one conversation to start the chain of truth that breaks a taboo. Please be part of that conversation this Friday evening, the 27th September in NYC.
Tickets to the event are $30 and 10 complimentary tickets have been made available for Gateway Women readers – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply. And please be absolutely sure that you really do attend if you apply for a ticket – because it’s not just you you’re representing , it’s all the millions of childless-by-circumstance women globally who can’t be there, or who feel too ashamed and silenced by the taboo of childlessness to do so. Yet. You’re there for me too.
Sisters. Let’s do this. Together!
Jody Day is a London-based writer and social entrepreneur and the author of #1 Amazon Kindle best-seller ‘Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children’ (Published 10 Sep 2013). She set up the Gateway Women friendship and support network in 2011 to support, inspire and empower childless by circumstance women (like herself) as they develop meaningful and fulfilling lives without children. Jody runs private sessions, groups, workshops and retreats for women coming to terms with the fact that motherhood didn’t happen for them. She speaks regularly in public, in the media and online about issues and prejudices facing childless women in our society today and is becoming known as ‘the voice of the childless generation’. Neither a bitter spinster nor a dried up old hag, Jody puts her heart, mind, and soul into lovingly and mischievously subverting the stereotype of the ‘childless woman’. She is living proof that your Plan B can rock too! Watch her talk at the Women of the World Festival in March 2013 on “Creating a Meaningful & Fulfilling Life Without Children” in under 10-mins, with jokes!