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How the media portrays childlessness (3 replies)

Julez Fitzmond
6 years ago
Julez Fitzmond 6 years ago

Is anyone else fed up of how the media portray people, particularly celebrities, who don't have children? As they age, the media report that they need to get a move on - what about if they can't have children, or if they are choosing not to? Do they not get a say in the matter?

Also I think that there is a gender difference. Men who aren't tied down with children are applauded, whereas women are pitied. Do you think this is fair?

Nina
6 years ago
Nina 6 years ago

There is definitely a gender bias in the way the media covers childlessness. Yes it seems definitely ok for a man to be childless but not for a woman. Until recently, Simon Cowell was almost celebrated for not having children (he has just had a son). The matter was always talked about with some level of understanding that is always missing when the media refers to Jennifer Aniston for example. Indeed, Jennifer Aniston's childlessness is always talked about with an element of feeling sorry for her. The strange thing is that women columnists are guilty of this too. You would think that they would stand up for the childless female celebrities, instead the columnists with the sharpest tongues on this subject are indeed women. How strange!

Dawn Kells
6 years ago
Dawn Kells 6 years ago

I was going to mention Simon Cowell as well, because I think he's absolutely the type of person that the media comments on when thinking about such things. You're right about Jennifer Aniston, too, Nina - she might be perfectly happy not having children. I doubt she would have many complaints about her career, anyway, as she has thrived as an actress.

Nina
6 years ago
Nina 6 years ago

I think you have nailed it there Dawn. Jennifer may be perfectly happy with her current situation, yet the media generally refers to her childlessness in derogatory terms implying that she is desperate to have a family but has not yet found the right partner. There is the assumption that every woman automatically aspires to be a mother when the reality is anything but.

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