Two Hollywood actresses who do not have children have raised again in the press the age-old debate regarding childlessness and Child-freeness, and the controversy involving both.
Sex and the City alum Kim Cattrall told BBC radio recently that she has issues with the term “childless”.
It is a sensitive topic that seems to irk the vet stage actress.
“Child-less. It sounds like you’re less, because you haven’t had a child,” she said. “I think for a lot of women from my generation it wasn’t actually a conscious choice. It was a feeling of, ‘I’m on this road and things are going really well, and I’m very happy, and I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it in two years. I’ll do it in five years.'”
Cattrall added that though she is not a “biological” parent, she does consider herself a parent, nonetheless because of mothering she has done to young relatives.
“The thing that I find questionable about being childless or childfree is, are you really?” she asked. “There is a way to become a mother, in this day and age, that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate.”
Meanwhile Being Mary Jane star has been trying to get pregnant with husband NBA star Dwayne Wade but has been struggling and judged all the while by others for putting her career ahead of starting a family.
Union said being an older married woman without child is like having a “Scarlett letter” on your chest.
“There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger,” the Bring It On star told Redbook mag. “The penance for being a career woman is barrenness.”
Both recent comments speak towards societal expectations of women of child-bearing age and
Many people assume that they have the right to walk up to a woman and ask about her fertility, her family plans and many, casually, make assumptions about a very sensitive topic.
Often times, well-meaning adults will ask a couple in child-bearing age or who are newly weds when they will have a child. Many times, that couple may very well may be trying but have been unsuccessful and the incessant query from family and friends can serve to make a stressful situation even more difficult.
Other times, they may be among the hundreds and thousands of couples and women who have decided purposefully to not have children.
They could be treated as alien or as foreign beings for their personal choice.
It’s best to stay mum.
I had an awkward situation recently when I asked a mom at my kids school about her baby not knowing she lost the baby due to developmental and birth complications.
Although it was an innocent mistake, I would have preferred to avoid the awkwardness of the situation.
Instead, I joined the dozens of folks who she had to tell that she lost her baby. She will have to relive the loss over and over again with each unknowing person.
That is the additional thing with miscarriage, neonatal loss and infertility and why it’s best to tread carefully and minimize questioning women about their fertility and parenting choices.