Nature Isn’t A Feminist

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Kirsty Allsopp recently declared that ‘nature isn’t a feminist’ and inadvertently caused uproar on twitter. She was accused of being patronising and of telling ladies what to do with their ovaries. I disagree. Her advice, perhaps based on her experiences, have lead her, and myself to conclude that despite our efforts to fight time with modern medicine, yoga, positive thoughts and the latest diet fad the cold hard truth is that if you want to have children then you have a small window of opportunity. Women have made enormous progress towards gender equality in our life choices both in educational opportunities and career successes, but when it comes to fertility, nature sticks up two fingers at choice, options and power and entirely calls the shots. Men’s fertility does not have such limitations. Nature doesn’t care about feminism.

Jude Hurrell wrote in the Huffington Post that:

Yes it would be nice if having a career and having a child weren’t mutually exclusive. Yes it would be nice if we could find a way to lessen the impact pregnancy has on women’s careers and their employers. It would be nice if we could meet young families’ needs and spread the financial, practical and emotional demands of having babies across a family-friendly society. It would be nice if we could engage an educated, experienced and dedicated work-force of women in flexible positions without compromising their ambition or the needs of their children, but until that happens, let’s stop kidding ourselves. At the moment, having a baby involves making sacrifices. It’s up to women and their families to decide what those sacrifices are going to be.

Besides, saying women shouldn’t have to choose between a career and a family is another way of saying we can have it all, right? Don’t get me started on that one. Women are constantly bombarded with messages that we can and should have it all; a dynamic career, a close family, a happy marriage, a fit bod and a beautiful home, all in the name of girl power. But rather than being uplifting, this ideal just puts women under more pressure. Cos the flipside of saying women can have it is all is the implication that if they don’t they’re missing out, letting themselves and their families down. It’s ok not to tick all the boxes, all of the time.

What do you think? Sadly I think that women need to realise that each life decision has implications on other areas of their lives and couples who delay having children must be prepared for the risks associated with that choice.

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4 thoughts on “Nature Isn’t A Feminist

  1. Firstly, I must tell you that this is a nice, and very thought- provoking post 🙂 I have never thought about “nature” that way and although I understand the essence of the message, I must say that not all women want to be mothers.

    Also, not all women will be mothers in a conventional way. Some may want to adopt. Others may conceive in different ways like surrogacy for example. Thanks to modern medicine, Women can now be moms some way or another. As you know, not everyone is destined for marriage either.

    So as much as women have a biological clock in that respect, why don’t we ever speak about how women outlive men? Isn’t that nature being a feminist? Anyways… I feel this is just 1 opinion. As interesting as it is, I do not believe that it will have an impact on feminists.

    • Thanks for your message. I totally agree with you. Not all women want to be mothers or will do so in the conventional way. It’s wonderful we have choices in that respect. I suppose the issue is confined to those who wish to naturally concieve, which is probably the majority but certainly not everyone.
      You’re absolutely right about us outliving men. I guess in that respect we have the upper hand!

  2. Is it too mush to hope that maybe one day these conversations will bring up the needs of babies/ toddlers instead of always focusing on the desires of women?

    Babies/ toddlers need to be raised by at least one parent (ie mom or dad) on a pretty much full time basis for at least the first 5 years of life. Apparently we can all accept that a startup business requires non stop nurturing for the first few years, but we struggle to apply the same concept to new human life forms.

    A lot of career women happily put their babies or toddlers into daycare – into the hands of minimum wage workers who are unfamiliar with the needs, wants, foibles, sensitivities and subtle communication signals of that particular child.

    How many of them would dare to let minimum wage workers take care of their sensitive clients or take over the running of their businesses for even a day, no matter how well intentioned they are?

    Not only does feminism tell women they can have it all (and demand everyone else help to fund it), it also tells women that babies and toddlers have no particular needs and that raising new human life is a trivial and simple (and inconvenient and annoying) affair which is best outsourced to casual low paid workers.

    How we raise the young is how society turns out 20 years down the line.

    Just about every social problem (those that are genuine) that feminists complain about could be fixed by proper, loving, peaceful, devoted, rational, non abusive parenting. Feminism still refuses to officially condemn mothers hitting their own babies, something which 90% of mothers admit to still doing. Just stopping the violence inflicted on 0-5 year olds on its own would be enough to totally transform society into something unrecognisable.

    Feminism is nothing short of evil.

    • I agree with some of your points about the decisions some women make about who raises their children and about the long term effects of essentially outsourcing parenting. It’s a valid point to add to the debate. As a teacher i see the outcomes of poor parenting.
      I don’t, however, agree that feminism is evil, or that 90% of mothers hit their babies.
      Thank you for your comments though. I love a lively debate!

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