An open letter to Carol Sarler

// 22 May 2009

Amy Clare guest posts about a particularly infuriating article in the Daily Mail, about women without children

Dear Carol,

Thank you so much for writing this well researched, intelligent and thoughtful article on the subject of childless – sorry, barren – women. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t had a promotion lately, and you have solved the mystery! It is all down to the bad vibes given off from my empty uterus, which I have selfishly chosen not to use! Thinking about it, my choice not to pass on my genetic material explains a lot of other odd stuff as well — like why children, ‘normal’ people and cute furry pets alike all hurry along looking frightened when they pass me in the street, or why I’m able to refrigerate things just by touching them. I hadn’t realised I was ‘weird’!

The last time I checked, I was a member of the species Homo sapiens, and so I was under the impression that I have ‘essential humanity’. Thanks for pointing out that I was wrong about this! I hadn’t realised that gestating and raising offspring was an essential part of being human. I suppose I must be a robot from the future or something. I wonder where I left my time machine! I bet you would have ‘guessed’ that I don’t have any children in a second. I suppose you can tell who is who because of your amazing mother’s intuition. I wish I had that gift.

Thanks for also pointing out that, even though I get more sleep than the average parent, I am still not sufficiently ‘alert’. There are so many reasons for this, I can see now, not least that my brain is addled from all those wasted hormones. After all, I do get my period more often than a pregnant woman would. Perhaps that’s what makes me so bitchy! Or maybe it’s the competition to snare a ‘male executive’. You see, I was under the impression that work had to do with personal fulfilment and money, but you’ve opened my eyes. I admit, it’s all about getting my male colleagues to notice me, and thus affirm the worth of my existence. Because I’m heterosexual of course. Isn’t everyone?

Perhaps I should get one of those male colleagues to impregnate me, and then I would feel complete, like you do. As soon as sperm meets egg, I will suddenly be able to be compassionate, selfless, committed and generous, not to mention hard-working and loyal. Thanks for showing me the way out of my cold, calculating misery, Carol! Oh and thanks for not wasting time talking about male parents. After all, everyone knows children are a woman’s responsibility, and only we can hone our negotiating skills on ‘Britain’s got talent versus bedtime’!

Thanks again, Carol — I’ll see you in the boardroom once I get knocked up!

Comments From You

Unmana // Posted 22 May 2009 at 2:56 pm

I had read of this article in other feminist sites, but wasn’t tempted to read it until your hilarious take on it. (Do people actually get paid for writing such rubbish? People like Carol Sarler, that is.) Thanks for the very funny response to a ridiculous article.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 22 May 2009 at 3:12 pm

it was interesting to see the other articles linked to it half way down. more of the same!

Holly Combe // Posted 22 May 2009 at 3:26 pm

This is brilliant. Like something out of The Onion!

Catherine Redfern // Posted 22 May 2009 at 3:50 pm

Hilarious stuff!

Sabre // Posted 22 May 2009 at 4:24 pm

As the cold and calculating Mr Burns would say …

Excellent.

claren // Posted 26 May 2009 at 3:44 pm

Has anyone noticed there is a real spate of similar articles recently? I mean, ones on the general theme of women shouldn’t devote themselves to their careers/can’t have it all/put love before work. It’s not just the Daily Mail. Others I saw recently include

Elle “Love vs Career: Why you must choose love”

There was also the recent India Knight article in the Sunday Times about why mothers should advise their daughters to marry rich men (I can’t get onto their website at the moment, but it’s referenced here http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/india_knight/article722506. ece ) My main reaction to this piece was – why the empahsis on advising daughters? Why aren’t parents being told to bring their sons up to take on an equal share of housework/childcare? Apart from one interviewee with a stay at home husband, this wasn’t even discussed.

What I’m wondering is – are we entering a new phase of anti-feminism? Susan Faludi writes in Backlash that women make progress at times of economic prosperity and see a setback when the economy contracts. Credit crisis – bad news for women?

Kristel // Posted 26 May 2009 at 4:17 pm

Claren, yes, I’ve also noticed a lot of articles on this theme recently. Most of them written by women. It’s really depressing. I haven’t read all of them, because often the headline is more than enough to make me not want to read any further. I don’t need the aggravation!

Sabre // Posted 26 May 2009 at 4:46 pm

I blame it on the recession. I’ve noticed a real trend towards old-fashionedness going on. Let’s all revert back to the 1950s where everything was cosy and homely and things made sense dammit!

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