Zooey Deschanel Calls Out Sexist Tabloids for Assuming All Women Are 'Dying to Give Birth'


In an interview with Mike Albo for the forthcoming August issue of InStyle, the actress declared her frustration with repeatedly being asked if she wants kids:

Like every woman is dying to give birth! I don't think so. Nobody asks guys that. And you go into a supermarket and every tabloid is like, 'Pregnant and Alone!' Stuck in the 1950s ideal of how a woman should live her life. This brings out the fiery feminist in me.

Deschanel makes a great point. Much like questions about diet habits and favorite designers, concerns about fulfilling a biological imperative tend to disproportionately pester female public figures. Whether it's debating if women can "have it all," scrutinizing tell-tale bumps or counting down to a birth, the media is obsessed with successful women's relationship to babies.

Tabloids are particularly guilty of either sensationalizing pregnancy or painting childless women as sad, lonely spinsters with a desperate need to procreate (especially if your name is Jennifer Aniston).

Image Credit: Huffington Post

Implicit in all this speculation is the antiquated notion that motherhood is the ultimate goal to which every woman must aspire. It's not, and this idea that women are somehow incomplete or unfulfilled until they've had kids just makes it easier to criticize those who simply prioritize other things, like their careers. This isn't a knock on moms, but everyone would do well to remember that women are fully-fledged human beings on their own — baby bump or not. There are many different ways to experience womanhood, and not all of them involve giving birth.

At least Deschanel isn't the only celebrity to speak up on the issue. Earlier this month, Cameron Diaz told Esquire that she's perfectly happy with her choice not to have kids. "It's so much more work to have children," Diaz said. "To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn't take that on. ... I was never drawn to being a mother."

So magazines, take note: Actresses have more to talk about than their plans for future children. When it comes to Deschanel, her hit TV show, major label record deal, multiple upcoming films and massive feminist-friendly website are all good places to start.