Saturday, July 02, 2011

LIM: Child-Free In Malaysia

"How many kids do you have?" is a standard conversation opener in Malaysia.  If you say you don't have any, complete strangers will think nothing of asking, "Why not?"

As many Malaysians think that procreation is a must, those people who choose not to have kids can come in for a lot of questions that are even ruder.

On Tuesday Cathy from Whisspy and I took part in a BFM Radio interview discussing "child-free" issues.  It was Cathy's first live interview ever, so do write to her after.  Here's the podcast:


19 comments:

Brian said...

Well now that's very cool! But you have two fuzzy boys! I'll go over to Whisspy right away. Y'all have a great weekend!!!

Katnip Lounge said...

I'd pick some outrageous number, like 27--just to see the reaction.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

My human identifies with you completely! She has never had a desire for children, and in fact, she thinks some people she knows who have chosen to have them are the selfish ones, because they had kids for very self-centered reasons. Incidentally, she considers the other two cats here roommates - slacker, irresponsible roommates, perhaps, but not children. Me? I am her boss.

BeadedTail said...

The interview was very interesting and you both did a great job! Our mommy feels the same way you do about kids. When people ask her the question on if she has kids she always replies "yes I do, furry ones!" No one has ever questioned her after that and in fact, most then talk about their own furbabies which to her is way more enjoyable than listening to stories of their non-furry kids.

Whisppy said...

When asked if I have children, I usually say yes (Furry children COUNT!) How many? 9 of my own, and 4 that I'm fostering at the moment. THIRTEEN!? Yup. Had more but 2 of them passed away last year...it ALWAYS make me laugh to watch their reaction especially the next question which is normally "how do you keep so slim!?". LOL.

MoMo said...

Same goes in Iran where my SS works. They can't understand why she is not married or want to have children. Even worse when she says she is happier with kitties.

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting theme Ellen, thanks for sharing!
Luna - WE LOVE LUNA

Carol said...

Great interview. Shame that people are judged in this way.

Simba said...

Having children or not really should be a CHOICE and peope should not have their choice questioned. Also, how about people who long for children but CAN'T have them? How painful for them to be questioned about it.

My Mom is glad hers are grown, she would not want to have children now and have to worry about all the kinds of trouble lurking there for them with the internet and cellphone cameras etc.

Old Kitty said...

I get this question all the time from my mum! LOL!!!

It's lovely to hear your voice!

Take care
x

Kwee Cats said...

We think we'd do more like Katnip Lounge and say some crazy number. Especially if they ask rude questions. We'll go check out the interview! Cool!

You guys have a good weekend!
=^~^=

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Yes, humans can be very nosy and outspoken.

Kitikata-san said...

LOL! It is like living in the South USA if you aren't married with children. Well, as a spayed cat, I can't have children, and I live alone with my human roommates. Now try explaining that in Malyasia!

Boo-Bah said...

Does one have to mention that their children have fur??

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

More and more people in the developed and developing world are opting to go child-free or to have fewer children, often stopping at one, for environmental and quality of life reasons. There is an assumption among some "traditional" societies that if you are childless by choice, it means you are "selfish" because you don't want to be inconvenienced. But there is no logic in this, because I see many impoverished families with gaggles of children who are going without basic needs, and these are the parents who are truly selfish because their children often end up becoming a burden to society.

pat said...

Good interview!

It is funny how we fight so hard for freedom of choice and at the same time, when people choose not to have children, not marry etc. we accuse them of being selfish...Anyway, what is so selfish about wanting to stay single or child-free? *confused*

Clooney said...

That was a really interesting and thought-provoking interview. You and Cathy had some great insights and responses. I think for me not having had children, something I've encountered from others is that somehow I'm living lesser of a life with that choice or my life isn't as valid as others who have made the choice to have children.

mizzyN said...

I think it's a traditional way of socializing here, but i am pissed too by these questions. The time when u have your second, they'll qsk about the third child. The questions qre never ending.

life2008rainforest said...

Dual Income No Kids forum for Malaysians:

www.malaysiadink.freeforhosting.com