By Laura Carroll
In addition to The Baby Matrix, I am also the author of Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice. After its publication I wanted to dig even deeper into why society finds people who have no children by choice hard to totally accept. I also wanted to get to the bottom of why there were so many stubborn stereotypes about those who make this choice.
MY research led me to learn about a set of beliefs called “pronatalism” —meaning “pro-natal” or “pro-baby.” It’s the overarching idea that parenthood and raising children should be the central focus every person’s adult life.
The more I looked into pronatalism I realized the picture was much larger than just those who don’t want children. I began to see that pronatalist ideas affect all people, whether they are parents or not, and not in a positive way. I found the negative impacts of pronatalism’s influence distressing, and was very surprised that many people aren’t aware of this. What surprised me even more was that most people didn’t even know what pronatalism is.
Why do lots of people not know what pronatalism is? The reason is a lot like what we learn about “the matrix” in the movie, The Matrix. In the movie, the matrix is something that feels so real we don’t know it is there, and don’t think to question it. But we find out that it isn’t real—it’s not what reality is all. The more I dug into pronatalism, the more I saw it’s the same with pronatalism. In this case, it’s a set of beliefs that we’ve come to believe so strongly they feel “real” or true, when they are really not.
The realization that there is a “baby matrix” out there ignited the fire to write this book! I saw it was time to make people more aware of pronatalism and why we can no longer afford to leave pronatalist assumptions unquestioned. In The Baby Matrix I do just that. I awaken readers to seven long-held pronatalist assumptions, and the reasons they are incorrect, are no longer necessary, or no longer work. I lay out alternative mindsets that reflect present realities, support true reproductive freedom and reproductive responsibility in today’s society.
Like the genesis of all books, there is magic at work; the person who is somehow destined to write the work becomes called to write it. The deeper I got into the pronatalism, the more I felt that call. The Baby Matrix is the manifestation of that calling. May it help readers discover the truths that need to be told about pronatalism, and why it’s time for us to shift our thinking!
Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.
In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.
Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.
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