After the widespread campaign of #OscarsSoWhite, it seems like the entertainment world is *finally* trying to be more inclusive.
Obviously, we have a long way to go, but it’s nice to see little changes, like the recent increase in bisexual TV characters.
But one group that’s always been underrepresented? Women who don’t want kids. They don’t want kids now — not ever. And it’s not because they’re cold, heartless monsters. They just have other things in their life that fulfill them. And that’s ok.
It’s especially important on a personal note for me to see these women represented on TV because I often feel stigmatized or afraid to admit why I don’t want children. I’ve known it since I was a teenager and I know it now. My grandma has always told me it “was just a phase” and eventually I’d want kids. Sorry grandma, guess you’ll have to wait for my sister to give you great-grandkids.
I also don’t have many role models in this area — I don’t personally know anyone who feels the way I do. So seeing them on TV is a big freaking deal.
There have been, of course, a few characters here and there who have declared their desire to live a childfree existence. Seinfeld‘s Elaine Benes is one of my favorites. When Jerry just assumes that Elaine will eventually have children, she replies, “Why? Because I can?” She later tells her boyfriend that having children “has been done to death.” Not to mention Samantha Jones, who threw herself an “I Don’t Have a Baby Party” because she’s just that fabulous.
But these women were constantly having to explain themselves. They needed some reason or explanation for their choices.
More recently, however, it seems like being happily childless is becoming *slightly* more acceptable, or at least more talked about. Just this week there were two episodes feature women who didn’t want children and who didn’t have to explain themselves.
First up with Fiona Gallagher on Shameless, who told her new boyfriend that she didn’t want children. And that was pretty much the end of it. Then there was Jessica Preston on The Good Doctor. She had no interest in kids and eventually broke up with her fiance Dr. Melendez because she feared he would one day resent her.
Women who want children are never put on trial for their decisions, so why should we? It’s ok not to want kids, and I’m grateful that TV is (kind of) getting on board.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.