Whether or not you want to have children is a decisive topic. No Kidding by writer Vero Cazot, with art & colors by Madeline Martin, tackles this serious subject with humor and gravitas. Martin and Cazot examine what it means to be childless and how difficult it can be to find supportive people when you are childless, whether it be your choice or not. In addition to a section at the end of the book dedicated to people fighting for a woman’s right to choose, the author also intersperses random history nuggets throughout their book.
No Kidding is a modern feminist graphic novel that tackles a woman’s right to choose by highlighting the lives of two women. Jane is a 35 year old woman who doesn’t want to be a mother. She has been with her partner for eight years and thought that he felt the same way. All of a sudden, he is having doubts, leading the two to do some major soul-searching. Lucy was just accepted to the school of her dreams. Her current plans do not involve having a child, but she became pregnant. She knows that she wants to terminate the pregnancy, but finding help, getting an appointment, and even finding supportive people to talk to proves to be incredibly hard.
Jane isn’t afraid to speak her opinions to everyone around her. As she speaks her truth, she fights against pushback at every single turn. Jane refuses to bow down to the societal and political pressures to have children and demands that her opinions be heard on all levels. When she meets Lucy, the two bond over their mutual decisions to be childfree. No Kidding is the story of women who don’t want to do what society expects them to do. I appreciated that the author respected all viewpoints presented within the book, but also that she pushed hard to present how being childfree needs to be more accepted in society. Cazot presents her point of view with humor and sarcasm. She also loads her story full of examples of women making choices for their own bodies, whether it be having children or being childfree.