For the first time, Jennifer Aniston has spoken out about her struggles with fertility, and it’s a loud reminder that women should stop asking women about when and if they’re going to have kids.
Spoiler: if we want to talk about it, we will!
In an interview with the charm, Aniston opened up about not being able to have a baby. She said, “I have defended my IVF story for so many years. I am so protective of these parts because I feel that there is so little for me that I can keep to myself.
Aniston’s confession was all the more heartbreaking because rumors that she was having a baby had been in the tabloid press for decades. We’ve all seen magazine photos of a circle around her belly with an arrow pointing to it emblazoned with the word “bump”.
Usually such a photo spawned many articles that claimed that Aniston was pregnant, and then, in the end, when Aniston did not have a child, these claims turned out to be false.
I probably don’t need to point this out, but I’ve never seen an arrow pointing to a male celebrity’s crotch with the words “Fertile sperm?” Particular attention is paid to women in the eyes of the public.
Interestingly, Aniston’s fertility mania doesn’t seem to be that far removed from the issues I deal with every day.
I’m not famous and my hair is nowhere near as pretty or iconic, but when you’re a woman over 25 and have a partner, you can’t escape the interest in your fertility. All of a sudden, everyone in your family acts like tabloid journalists and you are treated like a celebrity, but unfortunately still asked to do the dishes.
Forget asking how the weather is? People immediately turn to: So, when are you going to have kids? Do you want to have kids? Have you been tested for fertility? Would you freeze eggs? Are you earning enough to have a baby?
It’s an endless stream of aggressive and curious questions that make you feel like you’re being cross-examined, but instead of being a witness, you’re in your grandmother’s flower parlor drinking from one of the unreserved glasses. for a special occasion. (There was never a special enough occasion in my family to open good glasses, not even my grandfather’s funeral made the list.)
As a woman, you just have to smile politely and say something worthy of a politician. So far, all I’ve been able to come up with is, “I’m in my selfish era” or “If you’re so interested in my vagina, maybe we can discuss my last pap test instead?”
This usually stops people in their path. But I either seem aloof or just rude. The truth is, I feel cornered and, like a cat, I want to lash out. (I promise I will discuss with my therapist how to stop acting like a cat, in my time and at my own expense.)
I haven’t tried having children yet, but like most women, I worry that it might be hard, difficult, or even impossible, and the fact that people treat infertility like small talk makes me uneasy.
Aniston’s fertility confession doesn’t make me feel better or worse; it just makes me very sad to realize that we have a very public example of how we shouldn’t take someone’s childhood trip lightly. You never know what someone is struggling with privately.
So the next time you want to ask a question about a child, try to think before you speak. Fertility can be a mine of delusion, IVF, m*scarriage, heartbreak, or personal choice. So please stop asking and making assumptions about female fertility. It’s none of your f*cking business. Jennifer Aniston deserves privacy, as do your friends, sisters, friends, aunts and any other people you know who have a womb.
Mary Madigan is a freelance writer.
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