In this day and age it’s impossible to imagine that anyone would dare lie to women. It’s inconceivable that anyone would systematically give women bad advice in order to deceive them. OK, maybe some male scoundrels and sociopaths might try....
Today’s women are smarter, better educated and more conscious of all matters sexual. No one could possibly get away with lying to them.
And yet, when Tanya Selvaratnam tried to get pregnant in her late 30s she discovered that she had been lied to. To her chagrin she learned that the stories about how science had made it easier for women in their late 30s and early 40s to get pregnant were untrue. They were all a pack of lies.
Tricia Romano sums up Selvaratnam’s experience:
So imagine Tanya Selvaratnam’s surprise when she had her first miscarriage at 37, and then another, when she was 38, and yet a third when she was 40. Like a lot of women, Selvaratnam, a film and theatre producer, actress and activist based out of New York City, thought that 40 was the new 30 and that she could have a baby whenever she wanted. And if she couldn’t, well, there was IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for that. Her new book, The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock, chronicles her own personal journey through three miscarriages, her trials with IVF, her shocking cancer diagnosis, and her own personal tribulations with her marriage. But it also delves into the deeper issues surrounding infertility in America, namely that women’s pursuit of career first, family second, may come back to haunt them.
Who was it who told women to put career first and family second? Take a guess:
In The Big Lie she [Selvaratnam] writes: “I have found myself wondering lately about the connection between feminism and my generation’s decision to delay motherhood. Did feminism devalue motherhood? Did it lure us to impossible expectations? Did it lull us into complacency? Or did it create a world full of new possibilities that enticed us to wait until it was too late?”
If this is true, feminism has a lot to answer for. It seems to have tricked large numbers of women out of having children in order to enlist them in an ideological crusade.
If you think that feminists are pro-women, think again. Feminism is an ideology. It is pro-feminism, no more and no less.
What’s surprising here is that any of this is surprising. Many people, including yours truly on this blog, have been writing about this for years.
As might be expected, Selvaratnam manages to exculpate feminism. Not for nothing is she an activist. Romano explains:
Though, said Selvaratnam, it’s not necessarily feminism’s fault. “I don’t blame anyone for this situation. Advances in reproductive science dovetailed perfectly with the liberating messages of feminism and made women feel they could do things on their own timetables…. Our biologies do not bend to feminist principles, and science can’t work miracles,” she said. “It is very feminist to arm women with knowledge so that they can make better decisions about their futures.”
Naturally, she does not want to be judgmental. But still, how about some honesty? Feminism has actively promoted the life plan that has led many women to this impasse. It has shamed women who did not follow it.
Feminists might not have wanted to cheat women out of their children, but childlessness is the direct and foreseeable consequence of the life plan that they have been selling to young women.
Just watch what happens when someone, some day comes out, yet again, with the idea that women do better to marry young and to have children young. The shrieks and howls from the sisterhood will drown out the message.
Need I mention that feminism spends far more time railing about how best to prevent conception and gestation than it ever has about the joys of motherhood. In the feminist playbook motherhood is the new “curse.”
How common is this problem? Romano answers:
What’s striking about Selvaratnam’s story is not how unusual it is, but how common it is. She talks to dozens of women who went through one miscarriage after another or who tried for years to get pregnant using IVF. But one of the biggest ways women are failed is by their own doctors, many of whom do not advise women correctly or early enough.
Naturally, good progressives will shift the blame to the media. But, ask yourself, who is running the media? Who is crafting and editing the message that is being communicated to young women? Do you think it’s the Tea Party or feminists?
“One of the things that women really do believe, because of the media and because they want to,” said Whelan, “is that IVF is what you do when you can’t get pregnant. You’re 42 and IVF will get you pregnant. And that unfortunately is very far from truth,” she said citing a success rate between 1 percent and five percent for women over 40. “That’s the ballpark,” she said. “It’s not a good ballpark.”