2. "Yes, her childlessness was a fugue in itself, a flight- this was the habitual theme she was trying now to resist- a flight from her proper destiny. Her failure to become a woman, as her mother understood the term."
- Ian McEwan, The Children Act
3. "Maybe I wanted children, maybe I didn't, but I wanted the decision to be a choice, not a mandate. Last time I checked, childlessness was only supposed to be a condition of career advancement for nuns."
- Peggy Orenstein, Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents
4. "No, what Great Aunt Winifred was suffering from was the persecution every happily single woman suffers: the predictable social condemnation of her independence and childlessness. Dorothy reminded herself of what she'd learned during a university course on feminist history (with a strong Marxist slant): spinsters are a threat to patriarchy."
- Tobsha Learner, Tremble: Sensual Tales Of The Mystical And Sinister
5. "He'd sensed the strength she'd called on to haul her sexuality out from under the weight of infertility. In his experience childlessness in women either warped into a dedication to self-hating sexual expertise or formed a subsonic noise of sadness and loss."
- Glen Duncan, A Day and a Night and a Day
6. "Woolf worried about the childlessness from time to time, and suffered from the imposed anxiety that she was not, unlike her friend Vita Sackville-West, a real woman. I do not know what kind of woman one would have to be to stand unflinchingly in front of The Canon, but I would guess, a real one. There is something sadistic in the whip laid on women to prove themselves as mothers and wives at the same time as making their way as artists. The abnormal effort that can be diverted or divided. We all know the story of Coleridge and the Man from Porlock. What of the woman writer and a whole family of Porlocks? For most of us the dilemma is rhetorical but those women who are driven with consummate energy through a single undeniable channel should be applauded and supported as vigorously as the men who have been setting themselves apart for centuries."
- Jeanette Winterson, Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery
7. "A woman's ability to achieve depends on childlessness or childcare. In America, where we don't believe in an underclass to do 'women's work', women themselves become the underclass. For love. Nobody doubts the love is real. It's for our children. But we are supposed to do it invisibly and never mention it. Alfred North Whitehead, who wasn't a woman after all, said that the truth of a society is what cannot be said. And women's work still cannot be said. It's called whining -- even by other women. It's called self-indulgence -- even by other women. Perhaps women writer are hated because abstraction makes oppression possible and we refuse to be abstract. How can we be? Our struggles are concrete: food, fire, babies, a room of one's own. These basics are rare -- even for the privileged. It is nothing short of a miracle every time a woman with a child finishes a book. Our lives -- from the baby to the writing desk -- are the lives of the majority of humanity: never enough time to think"
- Erica Jong, Fear of Fifty