Whither America, Childless Kamala

I dont know her personal story, the intimate details that led up to this choice but Kamala Harris, the democrat’s Veep nominee is childless. This fact makes her the poster girl for a growing and troubling trend. In the US and other wealthy Western nations many people including those for whom parenthood is affordable arent having kids at all. And this has been going on for a while.

According to a Pew research study conducted back in 2010 fully 19 percent of US, women are not mothers. With the pandemic causing a drop in already low birth and marriage rates, there are probably more of them today.

Among the childless are many famous names, role models for the next generation, if there will be next generation.

Here’s a shortlist–, Oprah Winfrey, Stacey Abram, Alexandra Octavia Cortes is better known as AOC dont have kids. Non-mom Gloria Steinem famously told non-Mom Chelsea Handler that just as “everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer,'” .

Kamala is a stepmom with the nickname, Momaleh but taking on hubbies grown kids is not the same as birthing and raising your own!.

Look, if someone really doesn’t feel up to motherhood than perhaps they are doing the world a favor by opting out but who is opting in?

Noncelebrity single low-income women.

Fully 41 percent of US children are born to unwed mothers.

That isn’t good news. As well-meaning as they might be single moms are overwhelmingly poorer, more stressed, and less able to give kids what they need both financially and emotionally than moms with partners.

On the global scale, the continent bringing the most humans into the world is Africa with Niger leading the pack Niger is a landlocked country known for its poor education, lack of healthcare, and poverty. Each Nigerian woman brings seven new souls into the world.

Here in Israel, our birthrate is blessedly high,  but that’s because unlike the US we have family-friendly laws–maternity leave, flex time, and for some subsidized daycare. We also have a family-oriented society.

Much of our population identifies with traditional values and lives family-centered lives living near to and socializing with – the clan, mishpocha or  hamula on Shabbat and frequent holidays.

In much of the US that is no longer the fashion. A combination of divorce rates, high mobility–the average American relocates eleven times in his or her lifetime– and a culture that stresses personal fulfillment above all have reduced the centrality of family.

These days many Americans live alone. According to US census data, 28 percent of all US households consist of one socially distanced person. This is up from 23 percent in 1980 and 13 percent in 1960.

Though I haven’t verified this I assume that for many years  Veep nominee Harris was among  She tied the knot for the first time in 2014  age 49  I dont know why she waited but she lost on our having her own brood and so do many others.

At my college graduation back in 1981, opera diva Beverly Sill’s exhorted my all-female class intensely feminist and liberal class that we “could have it all.”

Thumbing through the pages of my alumni magazine I see that for many of us “all” failed to include children. Was balancing a career and family without institutional or family support just too hard? It seems that for many women it was and now as we creep into the golden years many of my peers lack descendants. Is this the feminist dream?

Interestingly relatively few male politicians and celebrities are childless. Joe Biden has kids. So does Donald Trump and both men are grandfathers. Ditto for Mike Pence.

Something is very wrong here. Americans need to take note and make changes making parenthood a more viable option. This can occur through legislation, private initiative or a combination.

A stable society consists of stable families especially multigenerational ones which increase the younger generations’ sense of rootedness.  Without babies and children, the US that Kamala Harris aspires to lead is doomed.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.
Comments