Any faithful reader of Us Weekly can tell you that America is in the throes of babymania. Last week's cover beamed "Growing Up Suri!" and detailed the littlest Cruise's diet, wardrobe, and schedule. (She drinks barley water instead of formula! Riveting!) Today's New York Observer wonders when joining the cult of motherhood became "the most beautiful thing in the world." US editor-in-chief Janice Min tells Observer scribe Lizzy Ratner, "It's almost un-American at this point to say you don't want children, especially from an image perspective. It's almost like saying you're a communist."

Ratner also interviews French psychoanalyst and writer Corinne Maier, the brains behind the book No Kid: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children. Of motherhood, she says: "For women it's compulsory, you have to be delighted. We have to work hard, be perfect and be ready to sacrifice everything to raise the perfect child."

Great. Another unreasonable cultural expectation for women to live up to. The entire motherhood fetishization is even more ridiculous on the heels of the study we mentioned that showed "men tend to experience pretty strong economic and social rewards from being a dad, whereas women experience more of the pressures and more of the demands of the immediate day-to-day reality of parenting and juggling work."

As Gloria Steinem points out, ""We're certainly not in an O.K. place. Whether women can decide for themselves whether to have children or not is the single biggest component of our health, our economic status, our education, our ability to control our own lives." Damn skippy! And frankly, any woman who thinks motherhood equals perfection is off her nut. Babies shit all over everything. Literally and figuratively!


Epater Le Bébé! [NY Observer]