If you follow childfree news, you probably know that not only did filmmakers Maxine Trump and Therese Shechter hit their Kickstarter goals to finish their films about the childfree choice, they surpassed them with Stretch goals. This is exciting news in a number of respects. The biggest? I say it’s a sign of a swell toward a true childfree movement.
I’ve been studying and tracking the childfree choice and those who make it for almost 20 years, and I can say that today we are seeing more research on the childfree than ever before. More authors from around the world are writing on childfree related topics than ever before. More media are taking on the topic than ever before. And there are more online voices than ever before. These things reflect strong signs of a growing childfree community.
Until now, these trends have not reflected a childfree ‘movement’ per se. A movement is a more of a collective, mobilized effort to enact specific change. These Kickstarter campaigns can represent seeds of mobilization. Backer donations constitute a collective action toward a specific goal. What kinds of mobilized actions would increase this swell toward a true childfree movement? Here are just three.
Get Childfree Books and Films into Course Curriculums
There need to be more organized efforts to get books and films on childfree related topics and issues into high school and college course curriculums. Students need to learn as early as possible the reality that parenthood is a choice in life.
Independent authors and filmmakers can go about this themselves, but collective efforts with financial backing could bring larger results. I was part of an effort like this with my last book, Man Swarm. Working with The Rewilding Institute and World Population Balance, we raised funds for a college outreach project designed to promote the book to undergraduate and graduate school professors in the United States. As a result, the book is being used in many universities across the country. More students are learning about the overpopulation crisis in today’s world and what needs to happen to solve it.
Efforts to Create Equitable Workplace Policies
These days, we see more talk about child-centric policies in the workplace. So often leave policies, for example, concentrate only on those employees who have chosen to reproduce. Over the years women have approached me for advice on how to go about influencing HR departments to create more equitable leave policies. It proved difficult. When things got dicey, they backed off. Larger group efforts to promote equitable policies across organizations could prove to be more influential.
Getting Beyond a Mother Marketing Demographic
There needs to be more research like DeVries Global did a few years ago now on the defining marketing features of women with no children and how brands and marketers can best market to them. DeVries Global’s research highlights that women with no children represent “a powerful and influential group of women in America” and at the end of its report, asks, “Isn’t it time we noticed them?” It’s more than time. Creating group efforts to update and add to studies like these and promote branding strategies to corporations to reach this demographic would support the mission of finally marketing to this largely untapped, multi-dimensional demographic.
With a sign of a swell toward a true childfree movement, it’s time to think about how we can galvanize that movement. Forming united and mobilized efforts with real educational, policy and commercial goals can be powerful next steps to truly riding the wave to social change.