In a message board in which I participate, some women recently complained about the Hollywood baby boom. While I agree with the context in which the pressure to breed was introduced – Helen Mirren being grilled about why she hasn’t had children, as if she were somehow defective – I don’t like the way Tinseltown’s new moms have become the latest targets of snide snarkism.
It seems to me it’s the classic divide and conquer tactic against women: We’re damned if we do have babies, damned if we don’t. I hate it when feminists turn against moms and hold up childless women as the ultimate icons. I fell for that for years, only to discover late in life how empowering reproduction can be. I think we need to respect both decisions: To have babies and not to. Joan Jett once told me she was perfectly happy just being an aunt. Aunts definitely should stand shoulder to shoulder in the moshpits/frontlines with moms, and visa versa. Some of my best friends are aunts.
Granted, the thought of Britney Spears reproducing is revolting – the thought of Britney Spears doing anything is revolting. I’m repeating Mamarama here, but the generation of teen pop stars have been bulwarks of antifeminism since they proudly declared themselves virgins. That now they’re boosting breederism – and being bad breeders – is just par for the course.
And don’t get me started on the autamoton nightmare that is Katie Holmes.
But I really admire Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Gwyneth Paltrow. I think they’ve made their stands as artists and businesswomen and now they’re including maternity as part of their lives and identities. What’s wrong with that?