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Blaming Women for Delaying Motherhood - The Guardian

(69 Posts)
astrogirl99 Mon 25-May-20 03:34:40

AIBU to find this opinion piece (and yes it is very much Barbara's opinion supported by zero facts) tiresome?

I appreciate her efforts to contextualise a drop in birth rates within the context of economic pressures.

But why do smug 'feminist' journalists seem to CONSISTENTLY ignore the fact that many women aren't able to couple up until their early 30s or later, despite their best efforts at finding someone to start a family with?

I am bothered by her suggestion that women are "deferring children" (as though it's their choice alone), thus risking "later infertility." This is blaming women, through and through. As though we can just pump out a baby on our own if we just throw caution to the wind like she did. Why the fuck am I reading this shit in 2020?!

Perhaps I'm over-reacting, but I'm thinking of dear friends in their 30s who are waking up in cold sweats, trying to come to terms with a future without children; or pursuing hugely expensive egg-freezing / donor sperm ON THEIR OWN because they haven't met a partner willing or able to start a family with.

Massively insensitive article and a bunch of speculative, anti-woman bullshit. FFS do better The Guardian, this is why I don't subscribe.

Honestly, I'm sometimes I'm glad I've had fertility problems and was single into my 30s as it means I'll never fall into this sexist, 'I feel this is the case about other women who should have just got a man and had kids the way I did' judgemental bullshit. To any ladies out there who are doing it tough around these issues, I am sending you love today.

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Destroyedpeople Mon 25-May-20 03:38:13

People like Barbara Ellen put me right off those papers and make my fingers itch for eg the daily Mirror. Wasn't she a mum at 15 or so? Well good for her...

SuncreamInTheWinter Mon 25-May-20 03:51:37

I think men are less willing to settle down early. Want to live the laddish lifestyle and spend years shaggjng around. Then eventually settle down...so surely it's their fault?!

Or maybe 20 yr olds should try dating 45 yr olds who might be ready to settle down with them when they are nice and fertile?

astrogirl99 Mon 25-May-20 05:41:12

@SuncreamInTheWinter perhaps that's what she's suggesting. Or staying in extremely unhealthy relationships that many of us experience in our 20s so we can pop one out.

It's the erasure that bugs me. Of so many women and people in non-heterosexual relationships who just don't have an easy route to these things. Not to mention that multitude of working class women (who often don't share Barbara's white privilege) who know it's not as simple as having a baby and hoping for the best.

Are we that invisible?

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araiwa Mon 25-May-20 06:09:11

Top quality wordsalad satire

SnuggyBuggy Mon 25-May-20 06:14:59

You're blamed if you have a baby before being financially stable and blamed for waiting too long. You can't win

BillywilliamV Mon 25-May-20 06:19:10

Yeah, most men under 30 are gagging for children, we are so cruel to deprive all these desperate daddies!
There are too many babies in the world anyway!

Crazyhouse123 Mon 25-May-20 06:57:38

But it IS our fault!

Instead of settling for anyone who will "do" we are insisting on waiting for a man who will treat us with respect and support ... this may take longer.

We are insisting that we are as entitled to a career and a job we love as a man. This means that we have to delay motherhood as if we don't we have even less chance of getting anywhere near that glass ceiling that men so gleefully put in place and refuse to acknowledge is there.

Surely we have to take responsibility for wanting what men take for granted? A partner who looks after them and their family and a job where their hard work is respected?

I mean how dare we allow our fertility to decline instead of allowing the first man who will to impregnate us and refusing to follow a career dream for a fulfilling life outside of the kitchen. How self-entitled are we?

Sunbird24 Mon 25-May-20 07:01:36

I get really cross with all these articles about women missing out on having a family because they put their career first, as if it’s a black and white choice. If I’d ever met the right man I would have had children by now. As I didn’t, my career is kind of important as everyone needs a source of income, a social life etc. Having a career doesn’t stop you meeting a potential mate, if anything it probably increases your chances, I’m just really bad at picking them...
Fortunately I now find myself in a position where financially I can afford to try IVF on my own, with the emotional support of family and friends. I don’t need to pitied by some random in a newspaper!

SnuggyBuggy Mon 25-May-20 07:05:36

Why is it that no one blames the men who want to play the field and then find a younger woman or the men that string their partners along with not yet excuses until they find another woman?

dontdisturbmenow Mon 25-May-20 07:07:33

It's easy to.point the figure on a minority of women who had fertility as direct result of waiting later to have children that is later when they are in a more secure relationship and financial situation so able to offer more to children.

I had my first child at 30 and I was the first of my similar age friends. None of my friends had to turn to IVF to have children, a few of them not having them until her 40s.

Yes, it is taking a risk but it's a reasonable one when having children is a thoughtful decision rather than a selfish one.

EdwinaMay Mon 25-May-20 07:12:19

I don't read many women journalists pieces as they seem to be under orders to slate women for some reason or other. Any male journo would be accused of misogyny. Sales of newspapers is tumbling - I buy one paper a week and ignore most of the women writers sadly.

RabbityMcRabbit Mon 25-May-20 07:15:33

The Guardian is hugely anti-women - their articles on Oscar Pistorius and the New Year sexual assaults in Cologne were an absolute disgrace. Like a PP said, this is why I will never subscribe to the Guardian

echt Mon 25-May-20 07:20:13

The Guardian is hugely anti-women

No it isn't.

OP, YABU for going on about an article you don't provide a link for.hmm

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/23/it-is-a-tragedy-that-women-are-being-turned-away-from-motherhood

Chicchicchicchiclana Mon 25-May-20 07:21:04

I just read the piece and am not as irritated by it as you are op. It seems quite light and inoffensive to me. She refers mainly to the economics of having children and as women are the only sex who can conceive and carry a child (quite right, top marks there Barbara) talks about motherhood rather than parenthood.

echt Mon 25-May-20 07:21:33

To any ladies out there who are doing it tough around these issues, I am sending you love today

Ladies hmm

SnuggyBuggy Mon 25-May-20 07:23:43

I agree, it does seem to be more about economics than selfish women.

astrogirl99 Mon 25-May-20 07:24:29

@Sunbird24 best of luck with your IVF😊

@dontdisturbmenow I agree. There’s an enormous number of women out here who want kids but can’t have them for reasons entirely separate to middle-class aspirations or some such thing!

OP’s posts: |
astrogirl99 Mon 25-May-20 07:24:51

Thanks @echt!!

OP’s posts: |
echt Mon 25-May-20 07:25:09

Oh, and the writer does not blame women.

Reading skills, eh?

I blame the teachers.

astrogirl99 Mon 25-May-20 07:26:01

@Chicchicchicchiclana yes women are the only sex which can conceive a child, but you still need spermconfused

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NoMoreReluctantCustodians Mon 25-May-20 07:26:57

I dont see any blaming going on there at all

ArriettyJones Mon 25-May-20 07:45:10

People like Barbara Ellen put me right off those papers and make my fingers itch for eg the daily Mirror. Wasn't she a mum at 15 or so? Well good for her...

I thought she had one in her mid- twenties and then a second almost exactly ten years later? Definitely not a teenaged mother. So you’re just having a deliberate bitch about something imaginary?

ArriettyJones Mon 25-May-20 07:49:14

OP, YABU for going on about an article you don't provide a link for.

You really are.

Anyway, I can’t see what she’s said that you’re characterising in the way you are.

She’s essentially saying women should seize control of their fertility and feel less ground down by external factors. That’s as an empowering a message as anyone can expect in the subject, short of the external factors (economic etc) being magically overturned.

WizardOfAus Mon 25-May-20 07:51:29

Thanks for the link.

I’ve read the article and honestly cannot see how you’ve managed to get yourself into such a twist, OP.

The author is not blaming women at all

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