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Bonus: Doreen, the Childfree African, is Back!

On episode 2, Doreen Yomoah shared her insights about being an African woman who has chosen not to have children. She also shared stories of how rejecting motherhood was just one way of rejecting patriarchal expectations that are placed on the shoulders of African women. Returning for a deeper dive into the childfree-by-choice life, she uses this episode to explain why she believes more African women are not vocal about not wanting children. She also further connects the assumption that women are just natural caregivers to socialization by explaining how her day job involves researching these assumptions about gender and what it biologically predetermines. She talks about how most people do not notice the intense pronatalist propaganda in their communities because they see the adulthood = parenthood narrative as just the default. A discussion about Michelle Obama’s wildly successful memoir also sparks an analysis of how attached many cultures are to the expectation that women do the heavy lifting of parenting. “Aside from the stigma of if you are a woman, you must have a child, we need to address the other stigma of if you are a man, you are just supposed to be the breadwinner and taking care of children is not your role,” Doreen says. “Both narratives are different sides of the same coin.”

Doreen has great insights and is always a wonderful guest. If this episode is still not enough for you, check out her blog, The Childfree African and her podcast, We Can’t Keep Quiet.