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.