Is it offensive to define a person as “childless”?
“…the ‘less’ in childless sounds like you’re ‘less’ [of a woman] because you haven’t got a child,” Cattrall said.
“I think the thing that I find questionable about being childless or child -free… Are you really? I mean, there is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate. You can express that maternal side of you very, very clearly, very strongly. I guess the world is, it feels very satisfying.”
Cattrall explained that she expressed this side of herself by mentoring young actors and with her nieces and nephews, who she said she is very close with.
Women do face a lot more pressure about children than men. In part, it’s because women are expected to have that motherly urge, and also it’s because men have a much larger window in which they could potentially have a baby.
But regardless of the reason, it is an issue that seems to come up much more prevalently for women, especially if they don’t have any children of their own. The question is often, “Why not?” Women are expected to justify their decision.
And it’s clear from Cattrall’s response that this is far from the first time she’s been asked about her decision not to have children of her own. Her answer was educated, well-thought-out and, frankly, spot-on. If she feels that nurturing spirit within her has been fulfilled enough to her satisfaction, then who is anyone else to question her happiness?
Listen to her full interview with BBC Radio 4 below.