When Somebody Tells You They Don’t Want Children, Believe Them

It’s not an invitation to change their mind, argue, pressure, or blackmail

Matt Mason


I was going to write this article later in the year for personal reasons — basically the tenth anniversary of my divorce. After seeing a Tweet with a Reddit screen grab, I feel the need to vent now to get my own thoughts and my past out in the open.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

The TL;DR version of the below Twitter link is essentially this: boy meets girl, girl says she doesn’t want children, boy insists, girl refuses and says she wants a permanent sterilisation procedure, boy says “well let’s just have one kid to see if you like it!” Girl relents and inevitably becomes seriously depressed after realising what a huge mistake it was.

Yes her husband is a Grade A arse. But is he entirely responsible? No, not entirely.

But before you rage comment… I’m not blaming her — not in the slightest.

I’m blaming the pro-natalist peer pressure and the society that enables and encourages it.

Society infantilises childfree people. It argues with us. Society tells us we don’t know our own minds — it tells us we’re wrong. Society calls us selfish, and materialistic. Society tells us we’ll die alone and in misery with no legacy. Society tells us we have a duty. Sometimes, society does this for economic or racist reasons.

Society doesn’t care about the impact on the mental health when forcing people down paths they have explicitly said they don’t want to go down.

In the case of men, society tells us we’re commitment-phobic men-children clinging on to long-dead carefree student days of hard partying and scraping a living in low-paid and…



Matt Mason

Freelance writer. Medium is my place to muse and vent the serious and the frivolous: asexuality, childfree living, gaming, society, satire and more.