A Talk and Q+A with Childfree Expert and Author, Laura Carroll

This past weekend, the SWaNK Evolution hosted our first guest speaker, Childfree Expert and Author of “Baby Matrix”, Laura Carroll in a beautiful yoga space in San Francisco. I am so happy with the results of this first SWaNK Evolution Talk and look forward to organizing more mixed events like this where we invite those interested in the subject whether you’re a SWaNK or not. Everyone was so engaged and interacting with each other and connecting. Many bonds were created amongst the often misunderstood people (us) who are living as non-parents. We are all aware of the societal pressure on humans to procreate and raise children, and Laura gave us great insights into why and how those beliefs developed and have stuck around for so many generations and how letting go of these beliefs can will lead to a better world for all of humanity. We had both men and women there, married couples and singles and even one person who was a parent. It was a very interesting afternoon.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Aside

Where Have I Been Lately? Too Busy Not Being a Parent.

I don’t know where time flies to these days. Anyways, I’m back to write about my lunch today.

It was a lovely salmon wrap that I purchased from a wonderful take-out style eatery at a nearby open air mall. What a lovely setting to sit and have lunch in the beautiful sunshine. After ordering my meal, I took a look around in the courtyard to see where I would like to sit. I wanted to be in the sunshine and saw a lovely spot across the ways. So, I walked over and sat down, but within a few seconds, I realized that the at the table that was 2 feet away from me were 2 mommies with 4 small children. Darn, I knew I should have taken more time to assess the seeetcheeation before deciding on where to sit. So, rather than be rude and move away, I decided to be mature about it and work through my own issues. Yes, I’m trying to become more aware of my phobias and tendencies to stay away from strangers with small children. (For some reason, I have more tolerance for friends kids and family members. I know some would call that discrimination. I don’t know what to call it.)

Of course, I’m within earshot of their conversation which, not surprisingly, revolved around the children and the subject of children. Another thing that did not surprise me at all was that before I was half way into my salmon wrap, which was delicious by-the-way, I heard the words, “play date”. Oh, if you only knew – well, I’ll tell you – how much those two words may me cringe. Literally, when I hear those words my back and shoulders scrunch upwards. It’s an innate reaction for me. The moms were very excited that they could make their next play date for their kids to play together. I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to be planning a date with your husband? I wonder how many moms of small children actually even have conversations with their husbands never mind dates.

Another part of the conversation was one of the moms asking her daughter who was about 4 years old this question, “Do you want to come with me to wash your hands?”. The little girls said, “No”. Very politely, which was very nice : ) However, the question I had floating around in my head was, why would you ask your 4-year old that question? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for the parent to say, “let’s go wash your hands”? OK, time for me to shut up. The kids were well-behaved and the mothers seem to be doing a good job with their kids. Even when one of the kids started yelling instead of talking (out of the blue, it just started happening) the mother calmly asked her why she was yelling all of a sudden and she told her that it wasn’t necessary to yell, the child listened and lowered her voice.

So all in all, it was a bearable experience for me and I’m glad that I sat there to help me get over my phobia of being in situations like that. See, I’m growing : ) Just don’t say the words, “play date” around me.

A SWaNK Take on the Declaration of Independence

Happy Independence Day to all SWaNKs and SWaNK supporters in the U.S.A. This is a day for us to celebrate not just our country’s independence, but our own independence as well. Here’s to being independent.

Today is July 4th, a day that most Americans are out at parades and festivals, picnicking in parks, barbequing, watching fireworks, hanging out with friends and family and celebrating the day that marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence which officially declared the separation of the country from the Kingdom of Great Britain back in 1776. For some people, it’s merely a day to celebrate a day off of work and for other’s it’s a party.

I wondered this morning what it would be like to write up a Declaration of Independence for women around the world and thought that perhaps I would give it a try by starting with a quick edit of the other Declaration of Independence and then add a few items here and there. Here are some excerpts and additions from the SWaNK Evolution Declaration of Independence.

Excerpt #1:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men HUMANS are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT WE DO WITH OUR BODIES, that among these are Life, CHOICE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness WITH OR WITHOUT BEING MARRIED OR HAVING CHILDREN.

Excerpt #2:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress OUR DRESSES AND PUT ON SOME PANTS in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury (STOP THE ABUSE). A Prince (WHO ARE THEY CALLING A PRINCE?) whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Excerpt #3: 

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British ANYONE WHO BELIEVES WOMEN ARE NOT EQUAL TO MEN brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. BEAUTY, BRAINS, INNER WISDOM, COMPASSION, ABILITY TO NURTURE, CAPABILITIES, AND ENDLESS OTHER QUALITIES THAT ARE BENEFICIAL TO HUMANKIND.

Additions: 

The Rights of All Humankind:

– To have the freedom to choose marriage or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose parenthood or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose a career or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose to cook or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose to clean or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to wear pants (or panties for that matter) or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to speak our minds or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to be 100% WHO WE ARE without being judged by others

Happy Independence Day EVERYONE!

It’s Tax Day and Singles Are Being Ripped Off Across the Good Ole U.S of A.

Today, April 15, is “Tax Day” in the United States and this year it is also the day that several dozen “singles bloggers” are participating in a blogfest to help get the word out about the discrimination that takes place against singles regarding taxes for the unmarried. I am honored to be invited to be a participant in this blogfest, but I have to admit a couple of things first.

#1 . I had no idea of what a blogfest was. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what one is, but I had never been asked to participate in one before. And…

#2 . I’ve been too busy and happy being single that I’ve been completely oblivious to over 1,000 U.S. income tax laws that apparently discriminate against single people.

So, in conclusion, I’ve had my head up my butt AND I’ve been ripped off all of my life, for being single!

But instead of reacting with anger (not about having my head up my butt), mistrust and frustration, my mind quickly jumped into a different set of thoughts.

An article, “The High Price of Being Single in America” in The Atlantic, is the basis of the blogfest. To give you some idea of the contents of the article, here is a quote. “…more than 1,000 laws provide overt legal or financial benefits to married couples. Marital privileging marginalizes the 50 percent of Americans who are single. The U.S. government is the main perpetrator, but private companies follow its lead. Thus marital privilege pervades nearly every facet of our lives. Insurance policies—ranging from health, to life, to home, to car—cost more, on average, for unmarried people compared to those who are married. It is not a federal crime for landlords to discriminate against potential renters based on their marital status. And so on.”

Now, the first thing that entered my mind after reading the article was that I wondered just how many people out there are aware of these laws and actually get married for the tax breaks and money savings? Over 1,000 laws? Even a handful would make any thrifty person take marriage into consideration over remaining single. I mean, there are enough people who “marry for money” so why not “marry for savings” too? Couples move in together to save on expenses, so why not take it one step further and get married to save even more.

The second thing that entered my head was, “If this is the case, no wonder there are so many unhappy married couples out there”. The thought of marrying for financial reasons and not for love would already put divorce high on the list of probable things likely to happen to a couple who placed their individual or mutual financial interests above true, heartfelt love.

So, now I have to wonder just how many marriages are consciously or even subconsciously disguised as loving relationships when the basis of them may be about money and savings. I’m aware that many people “marry for money” or for practical reasons rather than emotional, but adding the tax breaks into the equation just makes me wonder even more. I’m not saying that all or most marriages are for financial reasons, but I’m sure that many of them are.

This leads to some other questions that are bouncing off the corners of my head. Yes I have a square head.

1. Do some (straight) alpha men take into consideration the tax breaks that they would get, and therefore save money and have more disposable income, when they decide to take on a wife? Is it a factor in deciding whether to get married or not? Is she a tax break? Are the kids a tax break and a benefit in that way too? Could marriage be just an unromantic activity that allows for more time on the golf course and more financial freedom?

2. Is the government just plain old-fashioned, holding the same traditional views of many churches and conservatives? Does government mimic the beliefs of those who hold onto the notion that all adult humans should be married, procreate, live in a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs, where the wife stays at home and cooks, cleans, and raises the children while the husband goes to work, brings home the paycheck and comes home to a nice home-cooked meal with his family? Is this the type of behavior that the laws are designed to reward?

3. Did some religions just have it wrong all of these centuries by promoting the idea that marriage is the answer to human happiness? And did the government just follow along like a sheep and jump on the bandwagon along with insurance companies and the like? Or is marrying for financial and practical reasons just better and healthier for human beings than marrying for love? That is an age-old question.

4. Does anyone ever do things for love and never money? And if they did, would they be happier?

I believe that I am totally off topic now, but that’s where my thoughts have led me at this moment in time on Tax Day regarding how singles are treated by the government when it comes to taxes. It seems to me that the government is rewarding and promoting those who choose to marry or remain married. But why? I guess that’s the big question.

It’s unjust for any type of discrimination to take place anywhere. I believe in and advocate for fairness and equality. So, if indeed, I am being discriminated against by the government because I am single, which, according to the article I am, then it’s certainly time for a change.

Happy Tax Day everyone!

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Quan / Dream World Media LLC. All rights reserved.
The entire content of this website is copyright protected and is the intellectual property of Carolyn Quan and Dream World Media LLC.
%d bloggers like this: