Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, 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, she has worked over the last 15 years 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.
Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.
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Could you please tell us a little about your book?
The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World examines why we believe what we do about parenthood and having children. The book takes a hard look at something called, “pronatalism,” and its social and cultural influences on how we have thought about parenthood for generations now. It has driven how we think about parenthood for so long that we think the beliefs that encompass it are “true.”
This book shows where pronatalist assumptions are no longer true, and how some were never true to begin with. Why do we continue to believe them? This is in part what The Baby Matrix is about. It is also about why it’s time for all of us, parents and not, to shift our thinking away from pronatalism, realize the truths, and shift to alternative mindsets about parenthood and reproduction in today’s society.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
My previous 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 finding out about “pronatalism,” its powerful influence and negative impacts on society. What was also fascinating is that most people were not unaware of what pronatalism, much less the costs society is paying not to question it.
The Baby Matrix is a result of my own journey of learning what pronatalism really is, and how I realized that I had to share why it is time for all of us–parents and not, to do the same.
Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?
Nonfiction writers who have passionate questions, and go out into the world to find answers have influenced me. One such writer was Studs Terkel, the author of a famous book called Working. He was an amazing interviewer of real people, and wrote what he learned from them in such interesting and compelling ways.
Do you have any advice for writers or readers?
Follow Linus Pauling’s quote: “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”
And this quote by Rainier Maria Rilke: “Love the questions themselves. Live the questions now.”
Seek answers to questions you have passions for, and writing will continue to be an amazing journey!
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as an author?
I have felt most proud when my books awaken readers to needed social change. Families of Two instigated national discussion about those who have no children by choice, and we are seeing it become more and more accepted with each generation. My goal is to have The Baby Matrix do the same; I want it to reach enough people to truly instigate a transition to “post” pronatal society.
What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?
First, it is bringing a topic back to the fore that has not been dealt with head on since the 1970s. It also examines a phenomenon that is all around us, yet most people aren’t aware of it—which is a highly unusual thing! The book explains why this is. It also does not just examine the problems, in this case with pronatalism, it proposes ways to move forward in society for the betterment of all, and our world.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
This book is for readers who revere the truth, want the best for themselves and their families, and especially for those who are planning to have children and don’t have them yet; those who are undecided about whether they want to have children; and those who already have children and are thinking of having more. In a word, it is a must-read for those who are approaching or in the midst of making what is arguably the biggest decision of their lives.
ABOUT THE BABY MATRIX: WHY FREEING OUR MINDS FROM OUTMODED THINKING ABOUT PARENTHOOD & REPRODUCTION WILL CREATE A BETTER WORLD
In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.
What is this set of beliefs? Pronatalism. At its core, it’s the belief that having children should be the central focus of every adult’s life. In this book, author Laura Carroll shows us how pronatalist beliefs have become so embedded that they have come to be seen as “true” and takes a critical look at their pervasiveness in our society.
Carroll examines the historical origins of pronatalism, the reasons why it has such a deep hold on societies even though most people remain unaware of it, and whether it makes sense – for individuals or for the world as a whole. She examines the ways in which pronatalism is perpetuated, scrutinizes seven major pronatalist assumptions that lead people to accept them without question, and offers alternative mindsets that reflect realities, true reproductive freedom and responsibility in today’s society. Whether you are already a parent, want to be a parent, or don’t want children, you will never think about parenthood in the same way.
Investigating what few have had the courage to discuss, The Baby Matrix examines the negative effects of pronatalist beliefs, including how they dictate the “normal path” to adulthood, put unwarranted pressure on people to have biological children, and fail to foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children.
Carroll also brings to light the impact that pronatalism has had on the world at large and will continue to have if its ubiquitous influence is not challenged. Citing compelling statistics, she shows how our belief that we can have as many children as we want is a serious threat in a world with finite resources. In the process, she brings into focus how every life brought into the world directly affects our survival.
This manifesto makes the case for why it’s time for all of us to understand why we can no longer afford to leave pronatalist assumptions unquestioned. Without compromise, The Baby Matrix is a reality check for us all. Are we willing to hold on to beliefs that aren’t necessarily true … even to our detriment? This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind.
The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. Those who revere the truth, want the best for themselves, their families and our world, and decide to take “the red pill” and read this book will find the truths that need to be told about pronatalism, and why it’s time to shift our thinking for the betterment of all.
Watch the Trailer!
Watch at YouTube at http://youtu.be/JvdctbeRnts
~ ~ ~ KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~
Pump Up Your Book and Laura Carroll are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!
Here’s how it works:
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.
This Kindle Fire promotion will run from July 2 – September 27. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2012.
Each blogger who participates in The Baby Matrix virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.
Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.
If you would like to participate, email Dorothy at thewriterslife(at)gmail.com. Last day to sign up is August 25. What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!