Joy Bryant Just Nailed Why People Need To Stop Pressuring Women To Have Kids

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock.
In the latest Lenny Letter, Joy Bryant penned an essay about why she doesn't want kids — and why people need to stop trying to convince her otherwise. "If one more person asks me if and when I’m going to have children, or tries to convince me that I should, or offers their unsolicited advice," she begins, "I’m gonna, I’m gonna…Exhale. I’m going to politely tell them to mind their own business." The Parenthood star argues that there's no polite way to handle this conversation, because "what I choose to do or not do with my womb should be of no concern to anyone but my husband." And given the way she describes how people talk to her about having children, these interactions don't seem like conversations at all. They seem more like invasive altercations thrust upon her. In her essay, Bryant goes through the various arguments people use to convince her to have kids — like how she'll have "beautiful" children or that she plays "such a good mom" on television. She then explains why none of these reasons are compelling enough to make her change her mind. By doing this, Bryant perfectly sums up why the intense pressure for women to become mothers needs to stop: Having kids is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It's up to each woman to make the best choice for her life without judging the choices of others. "What’s good for you is not necessarily what’s good for me," Bryant writes. "Your life goals are not the same as mine. And in the immortal words of the poet Jay Z, what you eat don’t make me shit." Bryant continues: "We have come so far and accomplished so much. We don’t have to be automatic breeders. My womb doesn’t belong to the world. It doesn’t even belong to my husband. It is mine and mine alone." No matter what approach people take to change Bryant's mind about kids, they're missing the point. The topic is never up for discussion for Bryant — or any woman who decides against having children.

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