According to Daily Mail, Childless Women are Drunk, Lazy, Bitchy, and Weird

When Carol Sarler shares the following info over at the Daily Mail, you might assume that she’d then make an effort to defend the perfectly reasonable right of all women to decide when, if, and how they have children (IF being the operative word here):

Research conducted over six years shows that far from bosses and colleagues always being suspicious of a working mother, the opposite is becoming true: it is the childless woman who is regarded as cold and odd.
As a result, it is these single-track careerists who are increasingly likely to be vilified, refused jobs and denied promotion because many employers believe them to lack what the study calls ‘an essential humanity’.

Instead, this incredibly insensitive and just plain discriminatory writer, does everything in her literary powers to chastise any woman who doesn’t want children:

It’s not the mothers, for a start, who are going to turn up late and hungover after a night on the razz; they’ll have been up, dressed and alert for hours, having cooked a family breakfast and delivered their children to school. On time.
It’s not the mothers, usually, who run the office bitch-fest.
They’re not there to compete for the attentions of the male executives; they’re there to get out of the house; they’re there because they genuinely enjoy some adult company; and they’re there because they have mouths to feed other than their own and shoes to buy for someone else’s feet.

I’m the kind of lady who has known she wanted kids since she was a kid. It’s just something I’ve felt in my bones. But it is exactly because it is such an intuitive, personal feeling that I know it isn’t necessarily, nor should it be, a shared sentiment. Raising children is a huge sacrifice–financially, emotionally, in terms of sleep and autonomy–and one that, yes, a lot of women and men are up for, but it is beyond understandable when folks don’t want to procreate. It actually makes more rational sense in a certain way.
If you love your childless life, and don’t feel the pull to procreate, why in the world would you do it? So you could be a better worker, as Sarler bizarrely suggests? So you can cease your boozing? So you can stop looking for a man (because, ahem, all women are heterosexual and all mothers are married. Wha?!)? So you can stop being such a bitch (this, too, makes perfect sense…childless women, who get eight restful hours of sleep, great sex, and can spend what would have been diaper money on a massage or a great meal are always such bitches!)?
Suffice it to say that this Sarler gal has gotta a lot of hate mail coming her way. And I hope it’s not just from those wacky childless women, but from all of us who champion every woman’s right to choose about children.
Thanks to multiple readers for giving up the heads up.

Join the Conversation

  • SociologicalMe

    What a horrible, insulting screed. I’m a mom, and none of this makes any sense to me. I think it’s actually unfair to both parents and the childfree: you’re either a drunken bitch or a supermom. All that stuff she’s talking about (“they’ll have been up, dressed and alert for hours, having cooked a family breakfast and delivered their children to school. On time.”) is damn near impossible to do without a strong support system, and nobody can do that every day of their lives. No superpower in the world makes a parent fully functional at work after spending a night awake with a sick child. And the idea that a childfree career woman would routinely go out and party when she knows she has work in the morning is ridiculous. It is, in fact, possible to have self-discipline without having children.

  • llevinso

    Wow. What an incredbily offensive article.
    As a single woman I apparently only have this job of mine so I can flirt with the male executives, bitch to other co-workers about my life, and make enough money to buy nice shoes and go boozing after work. I couldn’t possibly be working to pay my rent, save up money for grad school, help pay off my student loans, get good work experience for the future and make good future business connections. That would be silly.
    I’m just a greedy greedy bitch.

  • llevinso

    Yeah I thought about that too. Don’t forget Moms: be sure to cook your family an entire breakfast before heading off to work!
    Who has time for all that? My DAD gave me a bowl, milk and a box of cereal (no he did not pour the milk and cereal into the bowl for me, I did that all by myself!) before dropping me off at school. My mom was gone before I even woke up most days because she had to be at work by 7 (didn’t make her any less of an awesome mom though).


    I am proud to be greedy, cold, distant, and selfish. I’ve never liked kids, never cared for them, and never plan on having any. if I had a kid, the kid would be miserable and I would be miserable.
    So why would people want me, a selfish woman, to have children and then give them a miserable life?
    Why can’t people understand that only PEOPLE WHO LOVE KIDS, SHOULD HAVE KIDS?

  • NotinKS

    I have a kid who I absolutely adore. But, I was never a person who loved kids. I like kids more now that I have my own but I’m still not one of these fervent kid lovers. Anyway, I loved my kidless life, I love my life with kid. And when I was kidless, I showed up for work on time, took my job seriously, saved money, acted professionally around my colleagues, etc. etc. etc. I guess I”m just echoing what many have already said – this article is ridiculous.

  • RoseRose

    Wow, as someone who does want kids, that article is INCREDIBLY offensive. Not all moms are the ones making breakfast… and honestly, I don’t remember having breakfast made for me beyond cereal and milk, and my mom was a SAHM. Sound like the author bought into all those commercials for bereeakfast food that show a family sitting down to eat it together before the kids head off to school and the dad (and sometimes the mom) head off to work. That’s TV world… not real life for many.
    Gah! That is just a stupid article. Not only are childless women selfish, mothers are always not selfish, and always perfect. Does this author have no grasp of reality?

  • LindseyLou

    That article is hurtful in so many ways. Not everyone is childless by choice.

  • Amanda Marcotte

    Being childless means I don’t enjoy adult company? I thought that was one reason I made this choice.


    haha, I know, that one made no sense.

  • Liza

    I am, at times, all of those things.
    But it has nothing to do with my child-free-ness.

  • earthling

    Ah, yet another balanced, intelligent and tolerant article from the Daily Fail.
    I have to agree – as a woman who has never wanted kids, all I am interested in is partying, bitching and shagging as many ‘male executives’ as possible. I often wonder whether I am in fact a robot sent from the future, as I can’t possibly be human if I don’t want to reproduce myself! Furthermore because I don’t want to gestate and raise a mini-me, this means that I am incapable of relationships generally, and have a body temperature a couple of degrees lower than those people who plan to pass on their genetic material.
    Also, even though I get much more sleep than the average parent, I am still not more ‘alert’ than them – must be because of my defective child-hating brain and that bitter piece of black coal where my uterus should be! Or the fact that every night I booze the loneliness away (even though I’m not lonely, and I don’t drink!). And yes, I’m terribly bitchy – I can’t help it, it’s because I’ve never felt that warm glow of morning sickness lighting up my life!
    Nothing gets me more bitchy than competing for the attention of male executives, mind you – after all, what other reason is there to get a job? Certainly not for personal fulfilment, or for money, or any of those other piddling reasons! Nope – I just want to glitz up my alcohol-soaked bod every day in the hope that one of those dashing, dangerous testosterone-filled young bucks will glance my way and make my life worth living by impregnating- oh, wait.

  • Entomology Girl

    God, I’m so sick of this sentiment. I am childfree precisely BECAUSE I consider myself a humane person. Like you, the decision is one that I’ve known in my bones for almost my whole life. So why would I want to subject any children to my reluctant and lackluster parenting? There are so many better ways for me to improve the lives of the people around me (including the kids) than making some more. I care DEEPLY about children, which is why I’m not having my own.
    Also, what the hell is up with these generalizations? Childless/ childfree people are perpetual hedonists? Moms never go after men (or women for that matter) in the office or show up hung over? Puh-leeze. Why the heck don’t we just evaluate, you know, individual workers on their individual merits?

  • Av0gadro

    I’m all of those things sometimes too. But I have a two-year-old. Maybe if I have another I’ll become a paragon.
    For what it’s worth, I’m much more selfish with people who aren’t my child since giving birth. I spend so much time and energy on him that I’m much more aggressive about protecting my remaining time and energy.

  • Sandra

    I’m like you alexandra23. I love my daughter to distraction but I don’t particularly care for children as a concept. The thought of trading ‘cute kid stories’ with other parents is enough to make me break out into hives.

  • baddesignhurts

    i concur 100%. i loved my pre-kid life, and i love my with-kid life. but there are most certainly trade-offs, and if i wasn’t prepared to make them (and in one case i wasn’t, and had an abortion), then having kids would have been the absolute wrong thing to do for myself.
    but guess what….the fundamental me, ambitious, hard-working (probably to a fault), and everything else….has remained the same, no matter the state of my uterus.

  • Wonderwall

    From the woman who brought us other such though thoughtful articles as:
    “How hysterical mothers have driven men out of teaching”
    “Good news: Women DO grow out of bitching”
    “Beware the Queen Bee boss – she’s hell to work for (and I should know, I was one!)”
    “Why women are to blame for killing off the REAL men”

  • Sandra

    Its the audience that the writer is pandering to rather than his grasp on reality that’s the problem.
    People want a simple, shorthand means of deciding if someone is worthy. It’s too much trouble to actually get to know someone first or to reserve judgement until you do. Far better to give them a simple and stereotypical way to make up their minds.

  • Crumpet

    The Daily Misogynist is notorious for woman hating articles like this. Every day there is some article baiting women against each other. This right-wing rag is geared towards a less educated population anyway. This childless attacking attitude is one reason so many childless/childfree folks are so defensive and even hostile at times…most of us have run into more than one ignorant person like this in our lives. Fortunately, most of us realize that this woman is actually an anomaly in her vitriol and that there are just as many parents who support an individual’s right to choose their own life path. Sadly, there are still many parents who make backhanded acceptance remarks like, “Well, not everyone can handle the responsibility”, blah blah. I believe that if you are decent you will be decent and hardworking with or without kids. Her silly failed logic is almost comical. Having them doesn’t suddenly make you responsible and selfless….just look at all the child abuse cases out there! Not having them doesn’t make you stingy and cold hearted. Happy people don’t look to see what must be wrong with people who are different. Frankly, she seems bitter and possibly even overcompensating. Reasonable folks know that just because they love chocolate there are other perfectly normal, honorable people who like vanilla best. Different doesn’t equal bad and we all have to make our place in this world. I’m happy to be childfree and I want parents to be happy being parents.


    Why are childless women seen as selfish, while childless men are seen as normal?
    The media constantly mocks Jennifer Aniston (who just turned 40), while the media swoons over George Clooney, who is almost 50, still has never married and has no children.
    I cannot wait until I am 40 and everyone starts whispering about me, for my refusal to not have kids. It’s gonna be AWESOME. Bring on the leers, sneers and jeers!

  • pleco

    This is disgusting from any angle.
    I had a friend once who was like this woman — completely absorbed in the “classic” patriarchal view of herself and other women. She blamed her self-proclaimed insanity on her period (she did this very audibly once in a class, and sadly I was the only one scrambling to correct her), uses “bitch” in its typical use to refer to herself and other women exclusively, and once remarked to me that she couldn’t wait to pop out a couple of kids so she would never have to work anymore. College was just “for fun” (bear in mind that she was coming from a background of near-poverty and paying for school herself by working two different jobs). She also regularly pointed out that all women combat each other and “that’s just the way we’re programmed.”
    What’s funny is she was also a strong LGBT advocate (bisexual herself), a powerful speaker, and otherwise a very interesting, smart, and popular person. She will probably be an anchor on FOX News someday.

  • PamelaVee

    If it were later in the day, I’d toast to myself and all of you. CHEERS, fellow “bitches”!

  • zeezeezee

    Actually, it’s exactly an “essential humanity” that has made me decide to be childfree. I consider myself way more humane than some of the mothers I have encountered, who would try to convince me otherwise.
    And anyway, there are more choices than two: the diligent hard working mom who cooks and never parties, or the wanton skank who has nothing to live for except office gossip. What a horrible way to warp the facts!

  • rustyspoons

    Ha, I’m totally drunk, bitchy and weird, but not at work where I get things done. AND I’m childfree by choice. This is a hate screed by one of those angry types who either thinks childfree people are “getting away with something” or else can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone doesn’t live their life just like hers or fall to their knees at the sight of her offspring. I’ve encountered these things from both genders.
    Wonder why she’s an “ex”-boss. Discrimination suit filed by childfree and childless workers, perhaps?

  • Yeshe

    I’ll say it’s insensitive. What is this assumption out there that single women of a certain age are career-minded harpies who chose not to have children? Many do choose not to have children without being career-minded or selfish or slatternly. And some of us would like to have, or (in my case) would have liked to have had, children but circumstances simply have not aligned for us, and we are not exactly tossing back shots to celebrate that.

  • Yeshe

    You said it more simply and elegantly than I did below.

  • aahb21

    It’s so annoying to assume that all childfree women are single. I suppose she doesn’t want to acknowledge the possibility that one can be childree and married (or in a committed relationship) since it would undermine a lot of her screed. The sad thing is if she had just written an article discussing the great things that working mothers can add to the workforce, it would be a nice article. Why the need to attack other women’s choices?

  • Yeshe

    Jennifer Anniston is my age, and like me, she is single and has no children. I really identify with her when I read those sniping and patronizing headlines about her marital and maternal status. I HATE it.

  • childfree_feminist

    Sigh, this is the crap that I have heard all of my life. Now that I’m in my forties I’m finally being left alone. Yes I have a uterus, no I never planned to use it. I knew at a very young age that I didn’t want kids, and women have choices in this day and age. Leave us alone, we’re not all cut out of the same cloth. I am so lucky that I met a CF man to share my life with…oh, and a cute doggy too!

  • childfree_feminist

    BTP, you are going to love it, once I turned 40 all hell broke loose ;-)

  • llevinso

    That’s what I’ve always been hoping actually. I really want kids one day. I really really do. But I really really don’t like kids. People always tell me that I’ll MY kids though. I don’t know, it’s always worried me. My mom never wanted children, never liked children, then she had children and loves us and is the best mom I could have hoped for. I guess we’ll see what happens.

  • llevinso

    Ugh edit: that I’ll *like* my kids.

  • llevinso

    Oh don’t get me started on the Jennifer Aniston hate!
    When her and Brad Pitt were ending their marriage the media and gossip just got so nasty it was ridiculous. People making comments about how it was because she refused to give him a baby or something like back because she wanted to focus on her career. Now, I have no idea why their marriage ended, the only people that know that are the two of them. But if two people want different things (like one wants kids and one doesn’t) that’s a reasonable reason to end a marriage I think. That doesn’t make her a cold-hearted bitch. And she shouldn’t have to have a baby for him. How insane is that? You should have a child because you both want one. Not to make the other person happy.
    Ugh, I’ll stop now. I literally could go on about this for hours.

  • Mama Mia

    Why does the media keep insisting on turning women of all stripes into enemy combatants in the Mommy Wars? She isn’t helping ANYONE with this crap.

  • jellyleelips

    Yeah, I really want to ask the author of the article why, in order to acknowledge the unique skills mothers bring to the workplace, she had to disparage non-mothers. Or how it makes any sense that, if mothers make good employees, then non-mothers are automatically terrible employees. Or vice-versa. Of course, I’m sure the author wouldn’t be able to come up with anything other than more binary thinking. Granted, it is the Daily Mail, which has a storied history of printing anti-feminist, anti-woman hogwash.

  • fruitoftheloon

    Exactly what ‘research’ is she pulling this from? I didn’t see a single statistic. I call bullcrap. Let’s face it, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    Tom: Man, did you know Susan doesn’t have kids?
    Dick: No wonder she’s so nasty and frigid. I bet she can’t stand the idea of having to help another person.
    Jane: Hey, sorry I’m late, my kid was sick. I’ll be back in a second and we can get started.
    Tom: God, what is it with these women and their children? Don’t they realize you’re supposed to keep your family life and your work life separate?
    Dick: They’re selfish, that’s why, they just want to have it all.
    (For the record, I don’t think men alone do this. I think women have also internalized a lot of these ideas.)

  • jellyleelips

    I am only 22 and I can already feel it brewing. Probably because I am adamant about getting a Ph.D. when more and more people I know in my age group are getting oohs and aahs about their engagements and the assumption that they will immediately start breeding. It’s amazing how some people’s reactions to news of my post-undergrad plans compare to my (female) peers who are getting married. “You’re getting a Master’s degree AND a Ph.D.? Why?” versus “OH MY GOD CONGRATULATIONS THAT IS THE BEST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN TO YOU EVER YOU ARE ENGAGED!!!”
    I’m not knocking marriage, of course. I just wish people close to me would give my budding dream career the same credit. And, what’s worse, this is only marriage we’re talking about. I can’t imagine what people will say when I’m in my late 20s, freshly post-doc, when children become the big question. Though, as BROWN TRASH PUNK! said, I really can’t wait :)

  • mahjani

    Wow…I lack “essential humanity” because I don’t have children?
    Whether a woman has children or not has nothing to do with whether she is a good work colleague. This is absolutely foolish.

  • Yeshe

    They’re making her into this sad old hag who wants babies but is 40 and single. Ugh. Tabloids also love a good catfight, and have been framing this whole Jen-Brangelina thing as “Jennifer vs. Angie,” Pathetic Ex-wife vs. Hottie Husband Stealer. No one questions Brad Pitt leaving one for the other. But yeah, we have no idea why the marriage ended.

  • ItsJustMe

    This is so ridiculous and offensive it’s laughable. It’s just absurd. I think a lot of childfree women in here have made great comments about it already so I want to talk about how much this also negatively affects mothers too.
    I am the mom of 2 little ones with another on the way (I JUST FOUND OUT TODAY! YAY!) and I absolutely loathe the idea that I am popping out kids because it is what I am supposed to do as a woman. It completely devalues the fact that I want kids because it is one of the things I am truly passionate about. I think I am a good mother and it’s something I truly feel that I excel at. I hate the idea that I’m just doing what every other woman should do/does do, because it’s bullshit. I take pride in being a mother and working hard at it. Society telling us that being a mom is just what is expected of us takes away the importance of the decision I have made to be a mother.
    Every woman should feel pride about what they do with their life. No mother should be told that they are just doing the norm, and no childfree person should be told that they are weird for going against the norm. I think our society would be a whole lot better off if people were not pushed into roles that are meaningless to them. We should all be self-aware enough to realize our strengths and our weaknesses, and our likes and our dislikes. We should also all be free enough to follow those truths without being told by society that we are doing something wrong.

  • educatedvagabond

    Jane: Oh my god, did you hear Tom doesn’t have kids?
    Susan: That is so selfish! He’s obviously a careerist who is only interested in himself and not at all concerned with anyone else.
    Jane: Absolutely, doesn’t he understand it is essential to his humanity to fertilize a woman’s egg?
    Dick: Hey, sorry I’m late, my kid was sick. I’ll be back in a second and we can get started.
    Susan: Did you hear that? He must have a horrible wife that she isn’t at home taking care of the kids.
    Jane: You’re right, she’s a horrible wife and mother. I bet she even wears shoes in the kitchen!

  • ikkin

    Isn’t it strange that the act of getting married and having a family isn’t really viewed as a lifestyle choice? The only choices we make are to be gay and kill babies.
    I don’t mean to offend those who choose to participate in parenthood or other traditional family structures, but I believe this kind of dribble is typically spewed from those who bought in to family life prematurely or against their true nature. They usually say something about our moral constitution; that we’re irresponsible because we haven’t taken upon ourselves this enormous responsibility that members of our society spend their whole life trying to attain in a perfect dynamic. They refer to childless and marriage-less people as children or teenagers, but for women the plight is even darker. We are either too unattractive to involve ourselves in the proper functions for the creation of a child or too cold to allow anyone in our sexual bubble. In the end, I believe when someone says something like the mothers, for a start, who are [not] going to turn up late and hung-over after a night on the razz; they’ll have been up, dressed and alert for hours they really mean I wish I didn’t have these god-forsaken brats so I could have got some motherfucking sleep last night.
    I don’t see myself ever getting married or having children, but I won’t say that such a thing is impossible. However, I will say that I only drink on Friday and Saturday nights and I am never late for work. In fact, I am one of the most valuable employees in my office — something I am constantly reminded of when I take appointments or do coverage when all the mothers or fathers have to leave for a broken leg or runny nose. Regardless, I never complain or cause a bitch-fest about it because I know that everyone needs a break and I respect the joy that children and family bring to the lives of my co-workers. More over, I am one of the most-liked employees in my office, and I have never not been invited to happy hour.

  • baddesignhurts

    well, that was my experience, too, if it means anything. i swore for years i didn’t want children at all, then softened on that (slightly) when my oldest cousin had her first daughter.
    in fact, i still am not a fan of other people’s kids, and picking my daughter up from her daycare center still occasionally freaks me the hell out.
    small children in large numbers = torture
    my kid = the most amazing, beautiful, brilliant, hilarious, loving child in history. even when she doesn’t brush her teeth.

  • johanna in dairyland

    Don’t worry – I’m not able to speak for all the marrieds or all the breeders, but you definitely didn’t offend me. I totally agree with the point you are making. I CHOSE to get married, and later to be pregnant. Choices that are different than mine are no less valid, and shouldn’t be less privileged.
    And I do think that a lot of the “neener-neener, women who don’t reproduce are cold and irresponsible unlike me, with my super-special offspring and my shiny house,” comes from a place of insecurity about and dissatisfaction with one’s choices. Some of my friends chose to be single, some are married. Some have started having kids, some are totally uninterested. I’m happy with my life and the choices I am making, and most of my friends seem to be pretty happy too. The only reason to act judgmental would be to cover for some perceived lack in my life.
    It’s amazing, when I was single I was able to get to work on time and do my job well, and then when I got married, I still managed to go out an party hard when the occasion called for it. Shocking!

  • gemma

    Yeah, this is typical for the Daily Fail.
    Best not to start any sentence with “According to the Daily Mail…” if you want to retain any sanity.

  • fruitoftheloon

    I want to reply to this, but I’m not sure if you’re agreeing or disagreeing with me, so if I’m misunderstanding you, I’m sorry.
    When I said that women have internalized attitudes, I meant that, as this article illustrates, some women will also judge women based on whether or not they have children in the workplace. (That is, I was trying to avoid saying it’s just a male phenomena.)
    I do agree that men face less discrimination in the workplace based upon whether or not they’re married and have kids, though there are exceptions to this (like men who want to teach in elementary schools, and must prove their heterosexuality by being married, etc…). And I imagine men who decide to take paternity leave, etc… also face discrimination for stepping outside of the male/breadwinner, female/childraiser paradigm.

  • MLF

    Agreed! How insensitive was it for the article to not at LEAST mention this?

  • LindseyLou

    In my experience (I’m 26 and have a J.D.), people will eventually back off on the marriage and kids thing. “Are you dating anyone?” is no longer the first question I’m asked at get-togethers. (Although maybe they just learned to read my unhappy body language when asked that question.)
    But the bottom line is that there will always be people who consider getting a ring on your finger and popping a baby out of your uterus to be more of an accomplishment than a doctorate degree. For me I just have to make sure that those are not the ONLY kind of people I surround myself with.

  • Gopher

    I, along with other readers have no clue what youre getting at? But if youre proposing that men face even equal discrimination at the workplace for not having kids, or having kids you have got to be joking.

  • Gopher

    “Dick: Hey, sorry I’m late, my kid was sick. I’ll be back in a second and we can get started.
    Susan: Did you hear that? He must have a horrible wife that she isn’t at home taking care of the kids.
    Jane: You’re right, she’s a horrible wife and mother. I bet she even wears shoes in the kitchen!”
    I also dont get this. This still shows more discrimination against the woman and shows the previous claims to be more made up than anything actually seen in the workplace. If men receive discrimination for caring about their kids its only because its seen as inferior for a guy to do this in a patriarchy -of his own making-because it was the position relegated for women. If guys wanted to change it they could. Alot of the dialogue is believed only because its assumed the woman acts as the support for the man as if she had no life of her own. Being a career oriented guy is far more forgivable in society than a career minded mother or childfree woman. Its not offensive or discriminatory to the man to claim that isnt it bad that he doesnt have a proper 50’s housewife at home. Thats actually offensive to the woman and oppressive universally to the female gender to have people with these kinds of views. If a guy spends incremental time with his kids then he’s seen as superdad, while even if a woman has no life, is a housewife and doesnt work she’s still seen as deficient towards her kids and husband and the reason her kids have any problems.

  • baddesignhurts

    you know what’s so damn frustrating? i had always planned to do graduate school, but not immediately after undergrad. so after undergrad, i got a job in my field, got pregnant, got married…..
    ….and all i got were questions about if i was ever going to go to graduate school.
    i wanted to scream, “you know, i can fucking walk and chew gum at the same time!”
    there’s no way to win.