Many women are echoing Jennifer Aniston’s recent statements about what it’s like to be a woman without children. The actress slammed members of the media who constantly speculate why she has never had a child.
Aniston Calls Speculation ‘Hurtful’
“I used to take it all very personally – the pregnancy rumors and the whole, ‘Oh, she chose career over kids’ assumption,” Aniston said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s like, you have no clue what’s going on with me personally, medically, why I can’t…can I have kids? They don’t know anything.” She went on to call the comments “hurtful” and “nasty.”
She’s not the only one tired of being asked these invasive questions. “Don’t ever ask any woman about her uterus. It’s none of your business why I don’t have kids yet,” Dr. Tasha Coleman, an editorial media specialist and production manager at Rutgers University, told The New York Post.
“It’s highly offensive when people assume that women like me chose to pursue a career over having kids,” she continued, referring to the many who assume that childfree women sacrifice motherhood for their careers. “Because, even if I had a baby right now, I’d still need a thriving career in order to financially support the child.”
Coleman also argues that a woman’s value should not be tied to her ability to have a child, especially now, when so many are choosing to opt out of parenthood due to the health and economic crises brought on by the pandemic.
Many Are Opting Out Of Parenthood
A November 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that a rising number of adults who don’t already have children are unlikely to ever become parents. According to the study. 44% of non-parents between the ages of 18 and 49 say it’s “not too or not at all likely” that they will have children someday.
“Since I was a little girl I knew that I never wanted to have children,” said Dr. Jessica Hawk-Ippolito, a high school English teacher. “I’ve always wanted to excel in my career, and without having the maternal urge to have children I‘ve been fortunate enough to lead a very free and fulfilling life on my own terms.”
The teacher recently became a TikTok star after going viral on the app with a parody video where she reacts to the criticisms she often gets for choosing not to become a parent. “All throughout my adult life people have said some really rude things like, ‘You’ll change your mind about having kids when you’re older,’ or ‘You’ll regret not having kids when you’re old and lonely, and no one’s around to care for you,’” she said. “But here I am, 52, and that hasn’t happened yet. I’m good.“
Hawk-Ippolito, like Coleman and Aniston, hopes to destigmatize a childfree lifestyle with her videos. “For so long, women didn’t even realize that they had the choice not to become mothers,” she said. “We have to begin teaching the younger generation, girls and boys, that you define your life the way you want it to be,” she added. “If that means having ten kids, great. If that means having no kids, great.”