The Last Taboo

The Last TabooThe Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

by Rosemary Agonito

Motherhood is drummed into girls and women virtually from birth. From her first doll, a little girl is programmed to believe that she will grow up to be a mom, that her mission in life is motherhood. Everywhere in the culture, media and religious dictates, this drumbeat of conditioning goes on. Much of it we are not conscious of; that is the nature of conditioning.

Regardless of what else a woman may do or accomplish, the belief prevails that motherhood is the requirement for being a “real” woman. Enormous pressures to have babies, both subtle and overt, pursue women. Women without children readily tell of those pressures and the stigma attached to being child-free, the inference that her life is not complete, that she is “less than” a woman.

Using stories of many women and research data, The Last Taboo counters the motherhood ‘requirement,’ exposing the harm motherhood often inflicts on
  • Women (their relationships, careers, self-identify, finances, energy)
  • Unwanted children (half of all pregnancies are unplanned)
  • The human species and environment (both threatened by overpopulation)

For too long, women have been consigned to a life not suited to all, or even most, women in the modern era, an era reeling under the environmental and human devastation of overpopulation.

What Readers Say:

“My copy of The Last Taboo arrived and I read it in one sitting. My hope is that it becomes required reading for young women. The notion that motherhood is every woman’s answer to self-fulfillment is a myth firmly embedded in our culture. Yet, as this provocative book illustrates, motherhood often has negative consequences for mother, child and society. Well-written, balanced and thoughtfully presented, it is a work that should be required reading for every young woman, regardless of her future goals. Highly recommended.”
Jane Donegan, Geneva NY

“This book is a wonderful articulation of many women’s reasons for foregoing motherhood. As a childfree woman, I wish my family and friends would all read this book so that they could understand my position.”
Stephanie, review

“For those who might be put off because they assume the book is a feminist rant, they needn’t worry: always fair, always objective and always clear, the argument is generally unbiased, just as it ought to be. . . . the book is wonderfully critical, insightful, and a thorough explanation of the topic and is an essential read for anybody who either wants to say “no” to motherhood or simply wants to understand the subject more. Very relevant to everyone and not just women, this an important read . . .”
Official Review

“Just finished reading the book – it’s excellent and I’ll be recommending it. The author approached a sensitive – and in too many circles, still taboo – topic with a forthrightness I found distinctly admirable. I have continued to be dismayed at the way parenting in general (and mothering specifically) is lauded in a way that obscures the complete experience which includes tasks that are repetitive, cautions that are ignored, and outcomes that are detrimental. Without more honest, reseached based discussions like the one Dr. Agonito initiates, women will continue to pursue mothering with fervor at all costs. We owe it to ourselves to continue to shine a bright light on the reality of parenting and support and encourage women and men to consider much more carefully the decisions they make about their reproductive lives.”
Debra Mollen, Associate Professor of Psychology, Texas Women’s University

“This is a book I highly recommend to any woman of any age, station, location, educational level, culture, religion because the overriding message isn’t ‘Don’t do it,’ although the bare facts are here in this book and they would dissuade anyone with an ounce of common sense from diving into motherhood, but the message is simply, ‘Think.’ My mother had eight of us. Let me rephrase, she gave birth to eight of us and raised none. After being mommy’s little helper since I could walk, I was determined to never, ever, ever . . . and you guessed it, I was pregnant at 19 years old.  Unplanned is not unwanted, but it sure is unprepared, so my daughter suffered too. . . . I hope this book makes it into classrooms across the country. Someone really had to say it and this author says it like no one else has.”
Lynn Bergan, Bahamas

“As a pediatrician for many years, I have seen firsthand the impact on children of seriously unhappy moms. . . . The book presents many, often stunning and eyeopening, statistics about the current status of women and children in the U.S. It is beautifully illustrated with individual women’s stories. Freedom to make one’s own life decisions and choices is fundamental to human happiness. This should include the freedom to say ‘no’ to motherhood without societal condemnation of any kind.”
Dr. Mary Ampola, Atlanta GA

“An empowering and enlightening book for any woman. So incredibly well written, comprehensive, and to the point. Love, love, love it all. As a mother already, I’ve gotten a lot out of it. The book is a loud and clear reminder not to lose myself and feel guilty about putting myself above my children.”
Leanna Ampola, Atlanta GA

“This really resonated with feelings that I have and have had on this topic. Rosemary Agonito was careful not to bash or be negative on the matter, but rather offer information to help others see a side of motherhood that is talked about very little.”
Bri Dawson, Syracuse NY