Monday, August 6, 2012
Author Interview:The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll
My Journey Down the Rabbit Hole to The Baby Matrix
My book, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, received international attention and paved the way for me to become an expert on the childfree choice. In the last several years, I have delved deeper. At first, I wanted to get to the core of why society finds this choice hard to fully accept. It led me down a path to not only talk to many more childfree, but to parents, those who want to be parents but are not by circumstance, and the child "less," -- those who want children but do not have them.
The path got even more interesting when it led me to a specific set of beliefs that has had a deep hold on societies for generations, even though most people remain unaware of it. That set of beliefs is called “pronatalism. Its overarching idea is that parenthood and raising children should be the central focus every person’s adult life.
The Baby Matrix is a result of my own journey down the "pro-natal" rabbit hole, and how I came out knowing I had to share why it is time for all of us--parents and not, to do the same.
The more I looked into pronatalism I realized the picture was much larger than I thought. 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 even know it is there, thus don’t think to question it. But we find out that it isn’t real—it’s not what reality is at 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 my fire to write the 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. 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. May The Baby Matrix help readers discover the truths that need to be told about parenthood, reproduction and our future, and why it’s time for us to shift away from pronatalist thinking, and move toward a post-pronatal society.
Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World. She is also the author of 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, Laura has worked 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. She has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show, and been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics. Laura reviews nonfiction books and more at LiveTrue Books. She lives in San Francisco.