"TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp has urged women to put off higher education and a career in favour of having children because their "fertility falls off a cliff"."
Is it just me who gritted their teeth as they read that sentence? And was it just me who noticed the related stories had emotionally-emotive heaped language like "Can women HAVE IT ALL?" or I WISH IVF had never been invented".
This story made me sort...
might add burned my tongue. And then I persevered through reading
this....news....which then went on to describe how actually, there's not a zit
of truth in what the TV presenter who referred to nature as "not
feminist" actually said. What an arrogant, thoughtless and ridiculous thing
to say. Of course nature isn't feminist. But then again, nature doesn't have a
concept of feminism, or patriarchism. In nature's eyes we're all equal, just
designed to do slightly different jobs to aid in the preservation of our species
over the courses of our lives.
I'm not even sure I possess the words to analyse the article as I usually would. So, the
journalist who wrote this interviewed male doctors to talk about a role that
women play, usually by choice, that keeps them at home, under the thumb and out
of sight. And apparently we need to do this
But what about the women who don't
want children? Or don't have any current plans to have children in their
lifetimes? People always say "oh, you'll change your mind as you get older"
maybe that is the case in some women but I've been saying this since I was 10.
Not sure things change that much and yet I feel increasing pressure that I am
expected, by society, by my parents, by my parents-in-law, by perfect strangers
who I happen upon this conversation with that I need to have
Some women never have children and
then they are shunned as being unusual or treated like they are ill. The shock
when someone finds out that you've not had children by choice, although
understandable from an evolutionary perspective is sadly outdated. Children are
a life choice. They disrupt your schedule, cost you lots of money and take away
your free time. Some people say it's worth that to have a child, I don't
disagree but I know that personally I am too selfish and possessive of my free
time and the undivided attention of my husband to want to introduce a brand-new
little person into the mix.
Yet the media propogation of the role
of a woman as a mother (and of sex-symbol - which really is related - sex is
procreation, the drive behind wanting sexy things, the underlying drive to have
sex could arguably be TO procreate), and thus this is her primary goal in life.
To have sex, with a man, and make babies.
I had rather excitedly thought we
were entering a fresh new wave of women willing to stand up to men, with the
#everydaysexism campaigns and the very feminist-feeling songs from artists like
Lily Allen, Jessie J and Pink I had hoped we were entering the final phase.
Being treated like humans. Not like baby making machines but like sentient,
I remember teaching feminism
to my year 13 students, and one of the girls in my class said "but Miss. Sexism
doesn't exist any more and feminists are just too radical for the purpose now".
Politely I pointed out that we still don't enjoy equal wages, that there are
maternity contracts but no paternity contracts, that men EVEN NOW feel it's
appropriate to call out or even touch you without permission (see
#everydayesexism). Furthermore it's not even equal for men, who have to quit
their jobs if they wish to look after their children, it can even be found in
something as simple as dress codes.
So what am
I saying? More than anything this article reads like this TV presenter has had
children and is a born-again mother, wanting everyone to convert to her
sleepless, significantly poorer lifestyle. I'm personally going to stick to the
NICE guidelines "over 80% of couples in the general population will conceive
within one year if the woman is aged under 40
The journalist behind this item
seems as confused about the answer as I am but she's erring on the side of
caution. Yes, maybe we need to make allowances for age and children but to give
up the possibility of having a career? To forgo better education in women? I
cannot believe that in a "forward thinking" soceity such a woman would have any
air time whatsoever.
Maybe you're thinking
that I'm one of those "crazy" feminists. I do identify myself as feminist, but I
push for equality and reason. I'm happily married yet I don't want children. Why
should I be pressurised by articles like this and women like this, who rub off
onto other women and men who read these articles into a life-changing, earth
I am personally still disgusted by the article and the insulting quotes from Kirstie Allsop. How dare
she think to speak for all women.