Olivia at Reading in the Bath recently had something interesting to say about her experiences with online childfree groups:
So one of the things I’ve enjoyed about sticking around in a few different groups for a while and getting past all the (to me) slightly awkward ‘I like children…with sauce’ jokes, is that I’ve found there are many other people who don’t come from a place of hatred or hostility either.
To be honest my sexual orientation and non-theism tend to surprise others much more often than my decision not to have children.
But there are certain similarities between being childfree and being part of other minority groups or subcultures. Answering the same questions over and over again grows repetitive and there are times when I wonder, “why is s/he so focused on this one issue instead of everything else we have in common?”
This is where it really helps to have relationships with other people who are also members of group X and grok why I’m so frustrated (or confused, thrilled, or irritated!)
Just like Olivia says, though, sometimes you have to filter the wheat from the chaff. I’m not an angry person and I don’t dwell on the offensive stuff other people say or do. These things happen.
Angry people aren’t the majority, though. From what I’ve seen for every person looking for a reason to be offended there are two or three who just want to live in peace. The problem is that when the media or the rest of society notices group X they tend to seek out the most controversial, outspoken member they can find. It’s good for ratings and page views and, to be honest, the rest of us are often not as interested in outside attention.
And so the rest of the world continues to assume the worst about group X while those of us who are actually living it roll our eyes and continue on with our daily lives.