This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 4 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

It's perfectly fine for women to not want children, okay?

Why is this so hard to understand?

Bbt Source: Flickr

LAST WEEK, JOURNALIST Holly Brockwell was subjected to an enormous backlash after she wrote an essay for the BBC about not wanting to have children.

In her essay, Brockwell wrote of her desire to get permanently sterilised and the difficulties surrounding getting such a procedure in the UK.

Following its publication, Brockwell was forced to leave Twitter after being on the receiving end of “unprecedented levels of nastiness”.

It seems that some delicate flowers just can’t cope with the idea that a woman may not want to have children.

So here’s a little reminder: some women don’t want children and that’s perfectly fine

Want children? Fantastic. Don’t want children? Grand.

That’s all there is to it.

If a woman tells you that she doesn’t want children, that isn’t an invitation to start telling her why she’ll change her mind

If someone told you that they didn’t want mayonnaise in their chicken fillet roll, would you berate them and tell them that they’re wrong? “You’ll change your mind. Everyone does.”

Of course not, so don’t presume to tell a woman (or anyone, for that matter) that you know better.

Not wanting to have children doesn’t make someone any less of a woman

Are men defined by their ability to procreate? Not at all.

So why should women be? We’re not just living, breathing babymaking machines, you know.

Having children isn’t the only way to live a happy, fulfilling life

Sure, it’s certainly one of the ways, but it’s not the be all and end all to human existence.

And not wanting to have them doesn’t mean that you’re a selfish  child-hating monster

As Jennifer Aniston (or “Poor Childless Jen” as she’s known in some quarters) told Allure last year:

I don’t like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women—that you’ve failed yourself as a female because you haven’t procreated. This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself; that I don’t want to be a mother, and how selfish that is.

Having a child is  a massive undertaking and if someone doesn’t want to have them, it shouldn’t be seen as a character deficit.

In short? It’s all a personal choice and it’s none of your damn business what women do/don’t want to do when it comes to having children

As Catherine Mayer wrote in Time:

If you want babies, have babies. If not, not. Whatever you decide, pursuing your goals with a determination that in men would be lauded as ambition risks labeling you selfish. Go right ahead. Be as selfish as Angela Merkel, Helen Mirren, Park Gyeun-hye, Dolly Parton, Gini Rometty, Diane Sawyer, Betty White, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston.


Arnotts is marketing a hoover as a Christmas gift ‘for her’ >

15 tweets about periods that will make all women laugh out loud >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

Read next: