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The GINK Chronicles

How the childfree can be parents too

Deciding to be childfree doesn't have to mean forgoing all the joys and oys of parenting. In a new piece in YES! magazine, Wendy Call describes her life as a co-parent -- "not some new alternative but an old tradition," she writes. Call and her partner Aram are confirmed GINKs (green inclinations, no kids). But they've rejected the "stark" choice to either "become parents for every minute of every day, or not at all." She and Aram are co-parents a few hours at a time, a few times a week, to the 3-year-old daughter of close friends and neighbors.   …

Read more: Childfree, Living

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The GINK videos, video

Do the childfree get the shaft at work?

This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). Just in time to stir up angst for the holiday season, CNN and The Fiscal Times look at how childfree people can get stuck working longer hours and less desirable days and shifts. "[I]t's often the childfree employees who pick up the slack because of a coworker's flexible schedule, holiday plans, or maternity leave," writes Katherine Reynolds Lewis in The Fiscal Times. She quotes Two Is Enough author Laura S. Scott (whom I interviewed earlier this year): "There's an assumption that …

Read more: Childfree, Living

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The GINK videos

Bristol Palin and 'The Situation' talk up safe sex [VIDEO]

This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). In between training sessions for Dancing With the Stars, Bristol Palin found time to team up with Jersey Shore's "The Situation" to film this bizarro PSA. It's for the Candie's Foundation, which uses celebrities (and apparently some fauxlebrities) to "educate America's youth about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy" -- something Palin certainly knows about.  I'd say it's an effective PSA: After watching this, I'm even less inclined to procreate than I was before. Jon Stewart appears to share my views; …

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The GINK videos, video

Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser won’t have kids for green reasons [VIDEO]

This is the latest in a series of GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). Welcome to the GINK club, Vincent! (GINK = green inclinations, no kids.) Actor Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell on Mad Men, tells MSNBC, "I've been a vegetarian for four years and I have chosen not to have children also, which are both green choices in my life." Kartheiser is also proudly car-free -- in Los Angeles.

Read more: Childfree, Living

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The GINK videos, video

'Sister Wives' is latest reality show to glorify mega-families

This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). Cable channel TLC made fauxlebrities out of Jon and Kate Gosselin, parents to a troupe of eight kids (one set of twins plus sextuplets). And the Hayes family of Table for 12 (twins, twins, sextuplets). And the über-prolific Duggar family with its 19 kids (two sets of twins and 15 individual births).  How do you get bigger and weirder than that? Polygamists! Sister Wives debuted in September, chronicling the adventures of Kody Brown and his three ... no, no, wait for …

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The GINK Chronicles

What does the election mean for population and reproductive rights?

Reproductive rights and abortion were not big issues in this fall's election. It was all economy, economy, economy. The one big anti-abortion ballot measure -- Colorado Amendment 62, which would have conferred "personhood" starting at conception -- was trounced by a 3-to-1 margin. But that doesn't mean reproductive rights won't suffer because of the election. Congress will now have a lot more anti-choicers in its halls: at least 49 new members of the House and seven senators, including extremists like Tea Partier Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes abortion even in cases of incest and rape. And at least 10 governorships …

Read more: Living, Politics

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The GINK Chronicles, video

Oklahoma guv candidate slammed for being childfree woman

Oklahoma governor candidates Mary Fallin (left) and Jari AskinsThe Oklahoma governor's race has two highly experienced female politicians squaring off against each other -- Republican Mary Fallin and Democrat Jari Askins. But at a recent debate, when asked what set her apart as a candidate, Fallin didn't start off by talking about her experience in Congress or as lieutenant governor. Instead, she said, "First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family" -- an apparent dig at Askins, who doesn't have kids. That cheap shot drew groans from some in the audience. Asked about her opponent's comment after …

Read more: Childfree, Living, Politics

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The GINK videos, video

Michelle Goldberg on the globalized culture war over reproductive rights [VIDEO]

This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). Michelle GoldbergThe culture war raging in the U.S. over abortion and reproductive rights isn't confined within our country's borders -- it's gone global. American Christian conservatives have teamed up with Islamic fundamentalists, the Vatican, and other religious traditionalists around the world to fight efforts to bring contraception, abortion rights, and basic equality to women everywhere. As Michelle Goldberg puts it in her 2009 book The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, "All over the planet, conflicts …

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The GINK Chronicles

Population media awards go to me and other, more worthy journalists

I'm honored to have been named a winner of one of the Population Institute's Global Media Awards for Excellence in Population Reporting this year (aw, shucks), and humbled to be in the company of the other inspiring recipients. They've all done impressive work to bring awareness to population issues through all different kinds of media. Check them out:   Laurie Mazur, Best Book, for A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice, & The Environmental Challenge. It's on my bedside table; time to move it to the top of the stack. Mother Jones, Best Article or Series of Articles, for its May/June population-themed …

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The GINK Videos, video

Franzen tackles population and gears up for Oprah [VIDEO]

This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof). This season's It Book, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, features a protagonist who's profoundly worried about population growth. Here's the author discussing the issue. (The first minute of the video has Franzen registering his "profound discomfort" at having to record "little videos like this"; the population discussion starts at 0:56.) Says Franzen: One of the characters in the book has a bee in his bonnet about world overpopulation, and he points out, rightly, that pretty much every serious problem we have in …

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