Continuing the unrelenting pressure on women who might be having a few happy moments surfing the news and forgetting about their manifold duties to society, the AGE had a link yesterday to yet another “Panic!
Ladies women still oblivious to the biological clock!!1!” article in the sidebar. This stuff is becoming manic. The article title is Are you Leaving it too Late?, but the text appearing in the tab when you click on it is “Don’t Delay Motherhood Experts Warn”, and the link text on the main page is “Ladies, are you leaving it too late?” OK, we get it, we get it! We’re all totally irresponsible – that can be the only explanation!
Does anyone else find the continued use of the word “Ladies” incredibly irritating and insulting? Please, Fairfax, cut it out already.
The gist of the article is that women are, of course, stchoopid. And uneducated about reproduction. Yes, that can be the only explanation for the failure of Australia’s women to produce more white, blue eyed babies like the one in the illustration!
That, and of course, their schtoopid insistence that they can “have it all”: AKA, actually use the education that they excel in to take on a job, earn money, gain independence and earn some super for their old age. Silly “ladies”! Everyone knows that we pay lip service to how women can do anything, but if you try to, you know, apply your qualifications, you’re trying to have it all and you shouldn’t be allowed to have a family. After all, how many men who work at jobs have families? Don’t answer that!
If you’d like an intelligent analysis of why most women don’t consider themselves ready for childbirth until their late thirties or later, try Leslie Cannold’s What, no Baby?, which focuses on the structural social barriers to childbearing.
while the percentage of women choosing childlessness or suffering infertility has remained relatively steady over the past few decades, the number of women who are circumstantially childless is rising at an astronomical rate. It is the phenomenal rise in circumstantial childlessness, not the childlessness that women choose, that explains a good chunk of the downward spiral of fertility rates across the developed world.
There is no question that women should be in charge of decisions about their bodies and their lives. Choices about motherhood – the whether and the when – are unquestionably theirs, and theirs alone, to make. But in order to be free, really free, to make a choice, people need a range of external supports.
And instead of putting the microscope again and again on these irresponsible having-it-all “Ladies”, perhaps these Essential Baby writers could find time to examine the currently fashionable figure of the cute, lovable eternal man-child, to whom the responsibility of family life are anathema and whose extended adolescence continues into his late thirties, if not forties. I don’t see any “Silly dudez refusing to breed” articles, do you?