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Of Women, Babies and Family Matters

October 23, 1994

Re "A Dream Denied" by Lynn Smith (Oct. 12): All right. That does it. I am so tired of receiving messages, via all forms of media, that women are going to end up miserable and--God forbid--unfulfilled, if they don't have children.

I'm tired of hearing and reading that the feminist movement is to blame for all the problems of the world and all the choices with which women now find themselves unsatisfied.

I am tired of that meaningless term family values.

I am tired of the word family being used in commercials, where the word people has always been perfectly fine. "More and more families are drinking Tropicana orange juice." Excuse me, I drink Tropicana orange juice; don't I count?

I'm tired of all the insurance ads being aimed at people with babies, as if that is the only demographic group that matters.

I'm sorry that so many women feel bereft that they are now too old to conceive. Hello! Does the word adopt mean anything to you?

I have been called selfish for not wanting children, but guess what? Wanting children is just as selfish, if not more. Smith writes of people spending upward of $100,000 with fertility clinics. Now, that's selfish.

CAT POLLON

Studio City

*

Yes, infertility is a source of great grief; the biological urge to reproduce is strong.

But reproducing and parenting are two very different things, as evidenced by the previously infertile mother who realized she hated being home all the time:

"Her restlessness was . . . a function of her oldest child's overactive personality. So she went back to school and got a job."

And did what with the child?

Many children in this heavily populated world are abandoned. Growing up without parents is far more tragic than the painful inability to conceive.

BARBARA NICHOLS

Los Angeles

*

In Lynn Smith's story about motherhood, there was no examination of the role business and its white male leaders played in the necessary decision for women now in their 40s and 50s to delay motherhood.

The white male Establishment decreed that we had to make a choice. They decreed this by not providing on-site child care, not permitting maternity leave and a return to our jobs, and not allowing flexible work schedules.

We did not give up children just to redress our mothers' lives. We had no other choice.

If women were in charge, we'd have it all because we know how to do it. Men don't.

JANET WILLENS

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