Generation Baby Buster is a documentary feature that explores why so many women are just saying no to procreation. Armed with insight from those who write and think about the current state of affairs for mothers, the director confronts her own ambivalence towards children head on and offers up some baby food-for-thought to a new generation of women: the baby busters.
More and more women are just saying no to procreation. What does this mean for the future of our societies? Why are women choosing not to do something once considered so natural and important? Is capitalism to blame, feminism, men’s lack of participation on the home-front, the male work model, hedonism and the pursuit of the good life or just the fear of sleepless nights, spit-up on cashmere and an end to what many call adulescence?
In her journey, Terra, who is 32 and happily married, sets out to discover what lies behind her own fear of the unknown and ambivalence towards children. Throughout her journey, she explores many of the possible reasons that more than 20% of a generation of women are passing on pacifiers and forging through life baby-not-on-board. Is the desire for freedom to live one’s life without the responsibility of children preventing women from having children or is it the current state of affairs for mothers and children that is so unappetizing?
Part interviews and part conversations, the film seeks to expose not only the views of the people who are thinking and talking about this subject, but also the current state of parenting in the modern world. There is something about the hyper competitive, helicopter, child-centered, consumer based parenting that is making some people bypass baby and opt out of the stroller set for good.
French author and philosopher Elizabeth Badinter presents the argument that if mothers took back their lives, parenting wouldn’t be such a nightmare. Professor Neil Gilbert believes that capitalist mechanisms, created to get educated women back into the workforce, are responsible for denigrating motherhood.
Editor-at-large of Psychology Today, Hara Marano, talks about how over-parenting and anxiety around childhood has harmed children to the point of elevating psychological disorders on college campuses. Author and economist Deirdre Macken says that when women stop having children, it is an indication that society is sick. And Sylvia Ann Hewlett worries that women have put so much energy into their careers, they have forgotten about their personal agendas.
Are we a generation of young women who are so afraid of the unknown, so used to micro managing and planning every step of our lives that we are missing something awesome, fundamental? Are we choosing lives that while they may be fun, free and lucrative, lack fulfillment and a rainbow of experiences and emotions? And on top of all of that, is it even true that women are choosing not to have children or are children being pushed out of their lives by a capitalist and consumerist culture that undervalues family?
Terra’s journey tackles these questions head on. Entertaining and informative, it is also lighthearted. The film is a conversation worth having highlighted by footage from the water coolers and the sandboxes. As Terra confronts her own questions and concerns, she finds some answers and makes sense of a biological clock that hasn’t kicked in yet. In the end, she offers up some baby food-for-thought for her sisters that are a part of a new generation: the baby busters.