Guardian writer Sadhbh Walshe takes issue in her recent article Should we care that smart women aren’t having kids? with research conducted by psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, whose “ultimate conclusion” in his book The Intelligence Paradox, she says, is that
intelligent women’s failure to reproduce is bad for them because they are flying in the face of their biological destiny and it’s also bad for society because fewer intelligent moms means fewer intelligent kids and that may have drastic implications for the nationwide IQ.
While being prepped recently for a local TV segment on being childfree (coming up on the 17th), I was pummeled with a stream of objections people have to childfree
people women, one of which was given in the form of a question:
“Don’t you think you [women] could contribute a positive influence to the world in the form of a child?”
First, I obviously don’t agree that it’s everyone’s biological destiny to reproduce (if it were, wouldn’t we all do it?), nor do I believe measurable intelligence to be the only value that can advance a civilization. (Being civilized is a biggie.)
But also, and this is so obvious and has been said and said and said by many, many people, it’s a waste of existing potential to insist that all contributions women make be similar, and in the form of offspring.
What if instead of pressuring women – or to address the good doctor’s concerns, specifically high-IQ or educated women – to procreate we instead make more of an effort to help educate all women of their options? By communicating to them, for instance, that children aren’t a foregone conclusion but just one of several choices. Just in case there’s something else they’d like to do with their lives.
If some of them choose to use the money and/or energy they otherwise would have spent on children on a different interest that would enrich them as much as children enrich others, they might become the people others have children to create.
Rush Limbaugh said this about women not having kids, which had me nodding because, yes (except for the “sock in the face to men,” because contrary to what obscenely conceited people like Limbaugh think, not everything we do is a reaction to, desire for the attention of, or war against men):
Yeah, it’s a good thing that women aren’t having kids! It’s a liberating thing that women aren’t having. Damn straight it is, and it’s just other sock in the face to men. You know, you’ve had it your way ever since Adam and Eve. Well, it’s our turn now! We’re not gonna bear your kids, and we’re not gonna stay home and raise ‘em and we’re not just gonna sit here at home while you get to go do whatever you do.
Somehow, I think he said that with a sneer.