The older I get, the more often I’m asked why I don’t have children. Enquirers include colleagues, cab drivers, facebook friends, acquaintances, cleaning ladies and shop assistants. It is a frigging rude question, and the correct answer is ‘mind your own business’.
Holly Brockwell is a journalist, blogger and editor. She recently wrote an article for the BBC entitled, ‘Desperate Not to Have Children‘ where she had the sheer temerity to state, out in the open, that she does not want to have children. The troll response to this bland statement of fact was to accuse her of being a ‘selfish media whore’, an ‘attention seeker’, who is ‘in need of psychiatric help’. A torrent of gender specific abuse levelled at her because, even in the 21st century, women who do not want children (and say so) are considered selfish, egocentric failures.
If Holly’s article had been written by a man I doubt it would have attracted even a fraction of the same vitriol. To me, this is all about control. Her article gets to the heart of what society still deems women to be for – producing babies.
One of the rights women have fought for is the right to choose if and when to have children. As a woman, I say to those internet trolls, and people in general – fuck off out of my sister’s body and choices. Now.