“Why don’t you have any kids yet?”
“Do you want to have kids?”
“Are you planning on having kids?”
These are questions that every childless woman above a certain age has surely heard. Inquiring about someone’s family planning has always struck me as particularly odd. If you are close enough to a person to be privy to this kind of information — you probably already know the answer. If you aren’t — why the hell are you being so intrusive? Mind your business.
There are so many reasons why these questions are rude, intrusive, and just plain wrong. Chrissy Teigan opened up about her struggles with infertility on Tyra Banks’ new daytime talk show, FABLife, and addressed one of the biggest reasons why you should never ask a woman without kids what her plans are: because it can be really hurtful, that’s why.
She admitted that she and her husband John Legend are having some fertility struggles, and the questions never stop rolling in. She told Tyra, “We would have kids five, six years ago if it’d happened. But my gosh, it’s been a process!” Instead of shrugging off the questions when people are intrusive, she employs a different tactic: “Anytime somebody asks me if I’m going to have kids, I’m like, ‘One day, you’re going to ask that to the wrong girl who’s really struggling, and it’s going to be really hurtful to them,'” she explains. “And I hate that. So, I hate it. Stop asking me!”
She’s right. She adds, “I can’t imagine being that nosy… Who knows what somebody’s going through? Who knows if somebody’s struggling to have children?”
To those people who think it’s perfectly fine to be so intrusive – are you prepared for the answer to your question? What will you say to the woman who admits, “I can’t have children. We’ve been trying for years.” What will you say to the man who says, “I had such an abusive childhood, it’s completely turned me off to the idea of parenthood.” What about the woman who says, “I’ve never wanted kids. Why are you asking me such a personal question?” It’s simply not okay to bury your head in the sand and pretend like this is a benign question. It’s not.
Stop assuming that A) all people want children and B) all people want to give you a detailed rundown of their family planning and fertility struggles. At the end of the segment, Tyra breaks down – admitting her own fertility struggles and how hard it’s been to keep answering the question, “Why don’t you have kids?”
Let’s stop asking – once and for all.