Facing prejudice for my choice not to have children

By Dann Alexander 

I returned to school in my twenties in order to better myself and try to get a steadier day job. My college experience overall was positive. Fortunately I shared that time with great educators and mostly good classmates. There was a particular incident one day involving a substitute instructor that would be a disturbing example of prejudice surrounding my childfree choice.

She was only there for the morning to monitor the class and assist with any technical questions. My two full-time instructors were actually very respectful of my opinions and we spoke about them at length. The substitute instructor was completing a walk-about of the room when she walked by my desk and glanced at my screen. I was writing something on paper and had my programs all closed. What she would have seen was the desktop screen with my one image. That image was a banner which read “Biology Isn’t Destiny”.

As she sat down at the front of the room desk, she called me out in front of the entire class. Her suggestion was that I should perhaps consider changing what was on my screen because many of my classmates were parents. My quiet defiance was more out of shock and disgust. I did not feel like starting a scene, especially since my marks were near the top of the class.

A couple of my classmates sitting next to me were very quick to share support and comfort. One was someone who shared my beliefs and another was someone who could not wait to have five kids. It was re-assuring that people from both sides of the argument saw that I was hurt for what was a harmless exercise in free choice.

I brought this up with one of my instructors the next day. He thankfully was very quick to denounce the substitute’s conduct as harmful and close-minded. I remain grateful to this day for his support and respect. He would later become a great fan of my writing work!

I found that banner to be particularly motivating as I was getting through college. It was a nice reminder. I did not have to worry about balancing college and a part-time job with the responsibilities of parenthood.

Have you as a childfree or childless person, experienced incidents of prejudice? Have you experienced multiple incidents of this kind? Share your stories in the comment section below.

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann


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