Is It Okay For Feminists To Talk About Wanting Children?

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Having children is an experience that can be so deeply tied to femininity and homemaking that when women's rights activists took their power in the workforce, many women started to forgo having a family for having a career.
That's the argument Dana Bash, CNN's chief political correspondent, made in a personal essay she wrote for Cosmopolitan. She opened up in the essay about how thinking she needed to conquer her career before being a mother almost made her miss her chance at having a baby.
Bash is a strong woman in a demanding media career, and working long hours and traveling for work were just a couple of the reasons she put off having kids for so long. When she was ready to have children, though, she ran into some difficulties.
"I am one of countless women who almost waited too long without realizing it," she wrote. "I went through years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, first in my hometown of D.C., then in New York City, where it finally happened — I got pregnant with my son, my miracle boy."
She writes that even though girls grow up with the message that they can "have it all" — a family and a career — that many women still make the tradeoff of career for family, and they do so without even realizing it.
Bash argues in her essay that while career-oriented women are typically pretty hush-hush about wanting to have children, or talking about "the biological clock," that talking about fertility is still a feminist act.
And we agree. Wanting a family doesn't strip a woman of her card-carrying feminist status, and we'd argue that talking openly about your path to motherhood is inherently feminist.
If we talk about things like fertility treatments, freezing your eggs, how partners split up parenting duties, and what it's like to make a nontraditional family, then we take some of the stigma and confusion out of family structures that aren't so nuclear.
What's more feminist than that?
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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