Discrimination Against the Childfree

I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of childfree folk getting the short end of the stick. It’s not just in one aspect either, it’s in multiple parts of life. Most notably there’s the work scene, but there are a couple of other really troubling ways in which the childfree get shafted.

If you’re childfree and think you can get discretionary time off work, you might as well think again. Almost always if someone else with a kid puts in for that time off as well, you will be glossed over for that other person, just because that other person has a kid. How do I know this? It’s happened to me. When I was teaching high school I also worked a night auditor job at a hotel. I had just filed for bankruptcy and asked for the night prior to the 341 hearing off. Guess what? The other night auditor put in the request a day or two AFTER I did because she wanted to go to her kid’s basketball tournament the next day. As if a stupid basketball game was more important than a court hearing, I was denied and she was granted. I was absolutely furious!

I’d also like to know why new mothers are entitled to over a month’s worth of PAID LEAVE but nobody else is? Give me a break. If you’re not at work you’re not being productive so why should you get paid, while the rest of us have to make up your slack and we don’t get paid a dime extra. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Now, if you want to say everyone is entitled to a month of paid sabbatical leave to do with it what they want (including “maternity leave”) fine, but as it is we get shafted once again. Those women who never have babies don’t get any leave at all, which is not fair.

The inequalities in the system extend far beyond the work world though. Can’t work? Well, unless you have a child you might as well forget about getting disability because apparently people with children “need it more.” Can’t find a decent enough paying job to keep food on the table? If you don’t have a kid you might as well give up on getting food stamps. I’ve known people who have been outright told that if only they had kids could they get help. Seriously, what the hell is up with that? That is nothing short of bona fide discrimination, but apparently in this child friendly world parents are more valuable than non-parents and the latter group doesn’t matter.

It’s time we childfree folk get serious about our rights and demand equal treatment. Call your lawmakers, harass your bosses, do whatever it takes to be treated equally. We’ve been stepped on and shat upon for way too long. Take this as a call to arms for all childfree people, because we are people too and we’re not any less valuable than parents.

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Posted on January 25, 2012, in Careers, Childfree, Law, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have a bunch of personal stories about being shafted for not having kids.

    At work, a woman had maternity leave and our company which was financially just hanging on by a thread couldn’t afford a temp. So for a full month, I pulled almost entirely double duty. When she returned, I received not a single thank you and was all but physically held down and forced to look at baby photos. So I was still doing the breeder’s job. It was such a bullshit situation.

    I feel your pain, buddy!

  2. I’ve been hired with the agreement that it was a long term job twice and as soon as the pregnant mom got back from having their baby I was “laid off”. I’ve developed the attitude of don’t trust pregnant women from the ordeal. The businesses were supposed to grow and instead I was used to fill in for the new mommy… twice! (at two different places) I know exactly what you mean. Employers who lie are very common, for some reason.

    Funny thing is, despite this, we have a positive outlook on life. Even if all we have to eat for two weeks is onions and potatos (sometimes eggs). In other words, I hear you loud and clear. I’m still not bringing another life in this world to gain benefits, though. I prefer living independent of aid and am happy that I can.

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