The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder, in August. Earlier this week, the new parents appeared on Dr. Berlin's Pregnancy Podcast, where they joked about Somerhalder throwing away his wife's birth control pills to demonstrate his eagerness to start trying for a baby. Their tone was lighthearted, and Reed seemed on board with it all, but others were dismayed by the message.
Many media outlets, including this one, noted that men should not be exerting control over their female partner's reproductive system; whether or not to take the pill — which is used to treat myriad health concerns, not just fertility — is her decision alone.
But Reed, in a lengthy note posted to Twitter, has vehemently refuted insinuations that Somerhalder forced her to have a child or acted without her consent. She called media reports condemning his actions "irresponsible journalism" and said that their comments were misinterpreted.
"Quote from an article this morning claiming my husband tried to 'force (me) into pregnancy?!' Oh and my favorite line: 'That is some unconsented bullshit right there.' My response: Yep. When you actually listen to the podcast (which I'm sure you didn't) you'll hear how UNFORCED I felt.
"Also, 'unconsented' bullshit is you speaking on my behalf in a story admittedly taken out of context for the purpose of stirring up drama WITHOUT my approval," she continued. "Don't talk about consent to me. And lastly, how dare you try to cast a dark shadow over one of the happiest, most memorable days of my life? You're not only disrespecting me but my baby.
"Oh, and next time you try to stand up for women by writing an article 'about women's rights,' try properly conveying the way I felt. It's a shame that this was your wain. You have a platform; write about things that matter by using truthful stories, not gossip."
Reed's right — what happens in her marriage, with her consent, is her business. She also acknowledged that this is a serious issue, but argued that pouncing on what she called a "false narrative" undermined the larger point.
That's true. But it's also true that this is a topic that should be treated, in a powerful public domain at least, seriously, responsibly and sans jokes. Now it's time for less judgment and more awareness.