You may or may not have seen in various press today, reports about comments that Kim Cattrall made on Women’s Hour. She has recently spoken out about her feelings towards the term, ‘childless’, saying she feels that it suggests that women who don’t have children are somehow missing something. I am inclined to agree with her on this point.
1. an adjective suffix meaning ‘without’ (childless; peerless), and in adjectives derived from verbs, indicating failure or inability to perform or be performed (resistless; tireless)
It’s true, -less as a suffix is indeed used to indicate a lack of something, say for example, sleepless; lacking sleep and legless; lacking legs (i.e. so drunk out of your mind you can’t walk). But you wouldn’t ever feel it necessary to introduce me by saying, “This is my friend Anne, she’s Ferrariless, savingsless, abilityToContourInMannerOfKimKardashianless, threecCaratDiamondless, pensionless, dogless,Uggless and ownHomeless.”
Yet I am without all of those things – and truly, much, much more, SO much more; but only really sad about the dog. So why childless? Anne will suffice, enough with the labels, any labels. Humans need to start fighting their natural urge to pigeonhole. If the square peg doesn’t fit in to any of our other-shaped holes, we can’t handle it. Give it a shiny sticker, clearly stating what it is and we’re happy. Gay, straight, pansexual, married, single, divorced; what does it matter?
The Sex and the City star went on to say that while she may not be a “biological” parent, “I am a parent”. I genuinely hope that she actually feels like that, in which case, all power to your elbow Kim. But I have a feeling that there’s an innate instinct most of us have to jump to our own defense, in the face of a possible “BURN THE WITCH!”, situation.
I love Kim Cattrall. She rocks my world. In that way you feel when you’ve discovered a high-profile, ‘one-of-your-own’, I’d like to take her out for cocktails in Barcelona and chat about life, she seems cool. I might even invite Jennifer along.
I would like to think (hope) that I’m kind and caring, thoughtful, and full of wisdom – OK, maybe not that last one – but I don’t feel the need to package them up as maternal feelings. Because this also suggests that mums are the only people who are capable of these positive character traits, and that in itself does an enormous disservice to a huge percentage of the world’s population. Despite everything we see in the news, I’d like to believe that love and kindness exist in most humans.
(Except David Cameron, I KNOW it doesn’t exist in him).
So, from now on, I’m Anne. And, if you absolutely must know about my motherlyness or not; I don’t have kids, and I’m happy. That’s it, end of conversation.
Now, be so kind as to pass me another glass of fizz and let’s talk about something else.