"When I turned 40, I married a much younger man. I had lied to him about my age, so he wasn't that concerned with my ticking ovarian time bomb." Okay, then! Liz Jones is at it again.
Liz Jones is not one to back away from sweeping statements. Not content to give voice to the common complaint about the modern cult of smug maternity, the food-phobic editrix does everyone one better, launching a bizarre rant about...well, you'll see. Jones seems bound and determined to undermine the insight of some of her columns with incoherent, defiant screeds. I guess she's styling herself as a provocateur - and is apparently taking credibility lessons from Ann Coulter. If I had to describe the structure of Jones' essay, it would go a little something like this:
-I hate working moms
-I hate stay-at-home moms.
-I hate my friends' involvement with their kids.
-Moms are freeloaders.
-Kids hurt the environment.
-I hate that moms are ugly
-I hate kids
-Women only have kids because of men.
-I love my dogs.
We get Jones' initial point: you don't need kids to be a valid woman and she shouldn't be made to feel inferior because she hasn't chosen that life. "I really, really, really hate the fact mums believe that if you don't, like me, have children, you are incredibly self-indulgent and lazy." This begins and ends the only not-crazy writing in the whole piece.
Here, a few choice quotes:
I have long moaned, too, about the working mums who sprint out the door at 6pm on the dot, leaving the rest of us (the hopelessly barren, like me, and the men) holding the baby. Although not literally, of course.Hardly more commendable are the dedicated, oozing and secreting stay at-home mums, the ones who are always so tired.
I hate the way they dump their jazzy, squashy hold-alls in the hallway. I hate the way these women snatch their uninoculated germ-brewing sprogs away from the path of my cats, eyes wide with alarm in case the horrid child were to get scratched.
I once (oh dear God, never again) had a friend called Liv for tea; she was en route to a £6,000-a-week holiday rental on the Exmoor coast. She brought with her four children, a dog and a long-suffering, entirely mute husband....As she sat there, nursing her muffin stomach, she looked around at my beautiful garden and said: 'I wish we could afford a garden like this. (Afford! She spends £400 a week on food! Not to mention school fees for the oldest two.)
As a woman with no children, I am constantly outraged, too, at the way the Government heaps incentives upon prospective parents. Money for fruit and veg, child support, baby's trust fund, help with childcare, flexible bloody working, tax breaks. Never mind the ludicrous idea of putting IVF on the NHS, as if having a baby were a God-given right and not a blessing.I believe that women should pay for the services of a midwife and health visitor. I don't have a child in education, so how about the Government gives me some money towards cat food?...And do not even get me started on how incredibly bad for the environment bringing even more humans into this world is. My neighbour has two boys and has just announced she's pregnant with her third child. 'I really want a girl,' she told me, as if she were ordering something online from The White Company.
The other day, a group of mums was stood in my garden - don't ask me why - and one reached up to scratch her head, probably at me and my hedonistic lifestyle, and I caught sight of her stomach with its texture and hue of cold, congealed porridge and I couldn't help but stare, aghast.
My point here is that these mums think that to care about how they look is beneath them when they have more important things to worry about - such as organic lunch boxes and whether or not I have diluted the fresh orange juice...Which brings me smartly to the reason most women have children. They want to hang on to their husbands. While this tactic might once have worked, now that men are the giant toddlers in need of babying, to have a child for that reason will never, ever work.
By essay's end, Jones is somewhat melancholy at the thought she'll never have kids. "I might look young on the outside, still wear platforms and pigtails and ride ponies, but I know I have missed my chance to experience something that could have been wonderful." But she has her dogs. And from the sound of it, she made the right choice.
I Loathe Smug Modern Mums...[Daily Mail]
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