Panel Discussion - 'To Kid or Not To Kid' on Population Matters.
On Tuesday evening, I tuned in to an online Q & A with Maxine trump, the maker of the new film “To Kid or Not To Kid” and I want to share some of the learnings I am taking away from it.
Firstly, it is just so exciting to see events and discussions like this! There was a very interesting group of people on the call, which was hosted by Population Matters and the conversation touched off so many relevant aspects of this topic. I was particularly struck by the common themes which emerged from people speaking from a range of backgrounds. These were the same themes I discovered when researching how women in Ireland experience the decision making process of whether to have children or not.
These included the strong, and regularly negative, reactions of other people to what is such a personal and individual decision. Maxine has made a film looking at her own process and experience of making the decision to have a child or not, which clearly demonstrates the range of strong views some people hold on what other people should do with their bodies and lives.
Maxine also highlights the lack of information and resources available to people who may not be sure whether they want to have children or not, or are considering not having children. This was a large part of her motivation to make the film and add some balance to this discussion. Again, this was a strong theme in my research in Ireland. This was seen as negatively impacting parents as well, as the realities of parenthood are not truthfully represented, there is just the assumption that everyone wants to and will become a parent.
While I was familiar with this information, I learned some very interesting facts about the world’s population growth which I wasn’t aware of. Population levels reached one billion for the first time around 1850. However, since then, the global population has grown by a billion people very 12 – 15 years. This is a very significant growth rate with many environmental, societal and economic implications. Family planning and family size plays a key part in this discussion.
This discussion could have gone on for much longer and it was fantastic to see over 140 people logged on to it and many interesting questions being posed. I am just after purchasing Maxine’s film and can’t wait to watch it. It is so wonderful to have a resource like this for people who are unsure or don’t feel their choices are represented in mainstream media.
The recorded discussion is available to watch back on the Population matters and To Kid or Not To kid Facebook pages. Please visit the website www.tokidonnottokid.com for a link to the film and a great range of resources. More population information is available on www.populationmatters.org