Mum's Not the Word. Childless, Childfree. A photobook about women without children.
Foreward written by Susan J Mumford. Published by Earthworld Publishing, Dorchester. 2019
Mum's not the word debates the social stigmatisation of women, who, by choice, circumstance, or whatever reason, go against the instinct for childbirth and maternal productivity. Sharing stories of birth control, choice, freedom, regret and pain, the 112 page photobook challenges the negative attitudes within society towards people without children.
“ This important and poignant book of photo essays by Denise Felkin brings some much-needed humanity to bear on the harsh judgements that our pronatalist society holds about women who don’t have children. Each naked portrait is tender, vulnerable and raw, and the accompanying participant commentary is by turns shocking, illuminating, refreshing and heartbreaking. These women are literally laid bare, and this somehow gives them a greater right for their truths to be heard. Whether the women are childless due to infant loss, through motherhood ambivalence leading to a happy (or regretful) life without children, failed infertility treatments, clear-sighted self-awareness, unchosen singleness or other complex factors, they lie here and challenge us to appreciate for a moment what life might be like in their skin. Often those who’ve chosen non-motherhood – the childfree – are placed in one box, and those for whom this wasn’t what they’d hoped (the childless) in another; yet this courageous and sympathetic book lays them side-by-side, and in doing so, reveals the lived complexity and ambiguity of being a non-mother in our motherhood-obsessed world.”
Jody Day. Author, Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children, and founder of Gateway Women Productions