Welcome to today’s episode of Unclassified Woman. As we conclude Season 3, it seems fitting to share this conversation with Jody Day, who was the first ever interviewee on Unclassified Woman a few years ago.
How do you combat society’s ideology about those who are on the “outside”? It’s not an easy task, but one that a few brave people are called upon to challenge.
Today’s show is all about how we approach taboo topics, the dominance of pro-natalistic thinking and current trends in the way families are formed. Don’t miss this eye-opening conversation!
“I found myself in midlife as part of the ‘out’ group because of something that was not of my choosing.”
Today, we’re catching up with Jody and finding out what’s been happening in her work in the past few years. Jody is the founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship and support network for childless women and the author of Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children.
Jody’s a thought leader on the topic of women’s involuntary childlessness and a founding member and former board member of AWOC, Ageing Without Children. She’s a former Cambridge University Business Fellow in Social Innovation, a TEDx speaker, and a psychotherapist-in-training. She’s a very busy lady who takes great pleasure in helping childless women get their groove back and find their tribe via the Gateway Women workshops’ online communities and social meet-ups that happen all around the globe.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- The update on the last four years: Jody’s blog, the feedback from her work, and finding her tribe.
- In the UK, 1 in 5 women reach midlife without having children. (This figure has doubled in the last 10 years and continues to increase).
- The difference in the UK and the US as far as making an impact.
- How Jody developed and branded her blog so that women can identify with it and not feel alone in their experience.
- How the topic of childlessness is a combination of taboo, painful subjects like grief and infertility.
- How millennials view childlessness, both chosen and involuntary.
- The changing narrative around discussions about our bodies, sexuality, and childbearing.
- One area that still needs a dramatic shift in openness—menopause.
- Another taboo topic is abortion and its accompanying shame, guilt, and grief. Something we need to discuss more openly…
- Why Jody says she talks about her personal abortion experience at every opportunity–simply because it’s a taboo topic.
- Jody’s studies that are ongoing so she can graduate next Spring.
- In 2016, the 2nd edition of her book came out, with many interviews with childless women and men.
- The next stages of the social change that will take place and how legacy will play into the grieving process.
- Legacy can be a lifetime of moments of connection and empathy
- What “Plan B” looks like and why it doesn’t always mean something different than what you already have.
- Jody’s fantasy and what it meant about her value of motherhood and the validation of her mother’s heart.
- The compassion Jody feels for all disenfranchised groups of people.
- How her eyes have been opened to those who have been judged for something they couldn’t control.
- Jody’s Fertility Fight Club talk at Fertility Fest (find it at www.fertilityfest.com).
- The pro-natal ideology: the belief that you are a more important person because you’ve had children. The message is that if you are a parent, your life has more value.
- The prediction for Australia that by 2030 there will be more non-traditional family units without children than with children.
- 25% of the adult population will age without having children, but often this sector of the population are ignored.
- The huge need for reorganisation in our social systems.
- The future of Gateway Women as they tackle two main issues: pro-natalism in the workplace and getting stories of childlessness into the mainstream with humour.
- The difficulty in challenging and changing belief systems: how do we get the rest of the world to understand us and shift their thinking?
Find out more about Jody and her work here
Also find Jody on Instagram and Twitter: @GatewayWomen
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