#Opinion

Jennifer Aniston Reveals IVF Struggles: Stop Examining Women’s Choices On Motherhood

Celebs Who Opted For IVF
Ideally having a child should be a woman’s decision. However, in our society, it often becomes a matter of public discussion where everyone has the right to participate except the woman herself. The only role that women have is to say yes to motherhood whenever the conversation comes up. They don’t even have the option to say no because if they do that they are labelled selfish, arrogant, weak and whatnot. A similar thing happened with F.R.I.E.N.D.S star Jennifer Aniston. I guess you have heard it too. But did you raise the compelling question that why should a woman be labelled selfish for not having kids?

In a recent interview, Jennifer Aniston said she was called selfish for not having kids during her marriage with Brad Pitt. Rumours had it that the couple split because Aniston was not ready to have a kid. However, in the interview, the actor quashed all the rumours and revealed that she was actually trying to have a baby through IVF. She said, “All the years and years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favour.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

Jennifer Aniston Opens Up On Fertility Struggles

The question was not about whether Aniston really tried to have a baby or not. The question is that why should she be shamed even if she didn’t want to get pregnant? Why should she owe an explanation to people about her decisions regarding motherhood? Why should she be blamed for the divorce? Why does not having kids and focusing on oneself and one’s career labelled selfish when women do it? And dedication to work when men do it?

Society defines womanhood in terms of motherhood. Since childhood, women are prepped to become mothers. A woman is considered complete only when she has kids. And God forbid, the kids should be legitimate as per definitions of society. If a woman refuses motherhood, is infertile or delays it, she is at the receiving hands of various criticism that ropes in the questions on her character too. In our society, women are pedestalled if they become mothers and slut-shamed if they don’t.

But when men deny having kids, their decision is received with understanding and appreciation. It is assumed that men want to focus on a career which is more important in their life.

Isn’t a career important for women too? Doesn’t a woman’s choice matter when it comes to motherhood? When women have to undergo every change in pregnancy, shouldn’t they be the ones who decide whether they want those changes or not? Why should motherhood be the determining factor of whether a woman is good or not? Is a woman’s duty all about becoming a mother?

Dear society, please understand that motherhood is a choice and not a necessity. A woman should get to choose whether she wants motherhood or not. An unwanted pregnancy can lead to dire consequences in future for both the mother and the child. The mother will be blamed for not raising her child properly while she will blame her child for putting her through all the criticism. So there is no gain in enforcing motherhood. Moreover, a woman’s life is not always about motherhood. She has an identity of her own. She has a career, choice and priorities of her own. So it is high time we start valuing that.

And as far as Aniston’s case is concerned, I would like to address one more issue- the issue of making predictions and rumours out of celebrities’ lives. We need to stop assuming things about celebrities’ personal lives without knowing the actual truth. And to know the actual truth, we should not cross our limits and breach their privacy. There is a fine line of difference between being a fan and being a troll.


Suggested Reading: Jennifer Aniston Opens Up On Unsuccessful IVF Attempts: No Regrets For Trying