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!

Advertisements

A Long Way From Being Dragged By The Hair Into The Cave.

Today’s modern woman, and in particular SWaNKs, tend to be more educated than they were ten, twenty and most certainly a hundred years ago. The culture around women has evolved in ways unimaginable by the burly caveman who dragged his female counterpart by the hair into the cave for some procreating.

Even “Women’s Lib” is a term that sounds almost archaic now and feminism has taken on many other layers that go much deeper than women just having a voice in the home, workplace and in politics.

Independent, educated, career-minded women are blending in more and more as part of mainstream society, yet we really are not part of the majority. At least not yet. We walk around unnoticed in a sea of people out there in the world. At first glance one would not know whether a woman is single or whether she has children or not, unless her children are with her. However, even if she is seen with children one would not know if they were her children or not. It requires a bit of conversation to determine whether or not a woman is actually single and without children of her own. So, in that sense, we are seamlessly blending in with the “crowd”. We slither around mainstream society until people find us out by asking us those telling questions that eventually bring the truth out about our singleness and childlessness. There is nothing external that gives us away. We are all shapes and a sizes. We are all of different races, cultures and religious backgrounds. Nobody will ever know unless they ask.

But what happens when people do find out that we are single and have no kids especially when we are “older” women? What is swirling around in the heads of the curious. And curious they are. There is no doubt in my mind that questions arise in the minds of those who have been trained to believe that in order to live a full life one must get married and have children.

But, I must say that living in an urban environment like the San Francisco Bay Area, that there seems to be a lot more understanding of career-women, many of whom have chosen to be single, childfree and focused on their careers. I, for one, have enjoyed giving “birth” to so many other things that don’t require diaper changing and constant worry about how well it is doing in school, like creating my artwork, creating entrepreneurial ventures and producing a new event and even creating this seedling of a social movement. The process around creating something and nurturing something doesn’t necessarily have to include a uterus.

I am thankful that women have forged their way in industrialized societies over the centuries and look forward to the day when we can all truly be proud to be SWaNKs and confident that when others learn that we are single and without children that we are not being judged or silently criticized. My hope is that one day all lifestyles can be celebrated.

What? Me…Selfish?

How often is it suggested that SWaNKs are selfish people? My guess would be – often. I believe that those who have chosen not to have children are frequently thought of as selfish human beings for not doing so. But, selfish people exist in all of society whether they are single, married, with children or without. So why are childless people the target of such ignorant, broad labeling? Is it jealousy over the amount of freedom that we have and that others so desire? Is it because we made a choice that others felt wasn’t a choice for them?

I can think of many different and selfish reasons why people DO have children. Here are some of them.

Because I want to have grandchildren one day.

Because it would be fun or interesting to see what the child would look like when our gene pools are mixed.

Because I want to play house – for real.

Because having a child would mean that our family name would live on.

Because it would make my life more meaningful.

Because it would make me feel wanted and needed.

Because I want to have a little version of myself around.

Because someone will need to take over the family business.

Because I want to be loved unconditionally by someone.

Now, who are we calling selfish?

I have an aunt who is a SWaNK. She is one of the most thoughtful, giving and self-LESS human beings that I have ever known. Yet, I imagine that she is also looked upon as being selfish for not having kids. I know of many other childless men and women who are thoughtful and giving people and who care for other humans as much as they care for themselves. And because they have chosen not to have kids, they too are labeled as selfish.

Are we seen as selfish because we put our own needs and desires before those of an unborn child? Perhaps we’ve put more thought into the consequences of bringing a child into the world who might not receive the love or dedication that they deserve because we are aware of our own limitations and lack the commitment and interest that is required to be a good parent. In this case, we’re actually doing an unborn child a favor by recognizing that we would not be able to nurture them the way that they need to be. Personally, I know deep down inside that I make a great auntie or “big sister” to children, but that I could never be a great parent because I lack the passion for it that I feel is necessary to do it well, as well as the financial means to raise a child.

So, doesn’t it make more sense to leave the parenting role up to those who embrace it, love it, are interested in it and are able to rise to the challenge? Not everyone is good at mechanics or cooking or creating art, so who how can it be expected that every woman will be a good mother and every man will be a good father. I’m sure every single one of you knows someone who is a horrible mother or horrible father. It might even be your own. Some people just have no business having children. So, it’s better to recognize your capabilities as a parent before having a child because an unwanted or unloved child is a tragedy for them and so many other people involved in that child’s life. And that brings us to the subject of adoption, which is a whole other subject. Thank goodness for those who adopt.

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: