Let's just say you're a gorgeous, forty-three-year old actress with a successful TV show. You make $250,000 per episode. You have your own fragrance, people love your hair and you're on the Planned Parenthood Board of Advocates. Awesome, right?
Let's just say that you do an interview with More, a magazine which "celebrates women over 40," and when asked about not having any kids, you utter these words:
"I feel like a loser. I would definitely love to be a parent. But I definitely don't think I want to do it on my own. Things are just going to go the way they go... I thought I'd be married and have three or four kids. I always knew I wanted to be an actress, but I think I always wanted a quote-unquote normal life because I had a very untraditional upbringing."
Then, all kinds of media outlets take a snippet of this thought and run with it, producing buzzy headlines:
Kate Walsh feels 'like a loser' for not having kids [CNN]
Kate Walsh Feels Like a Loser For Not Having Kids [StyleList]
Kate Walsh "I Feel Like A Loser" For Not Giving Birth [Post Chronicle]
Kate Walsh: "I Feel Like a Loser" for Not Having Kids [Us Magazine]
Would you feel the need to backtrack on your statements and clarify? Kate Walsh did. At first, when asked if it was true that she felt like a loser for not having kids, she tweeted, "only sometimes." And then: "'loser' is an exaggeration, dunno if u notice, I often speak in hyperbole ;)"
But as the story started getting picked up more and more, Walsh became more agitated:
Oy vey, u say one thing and it's friggin' gospel: to be clear: I do not feel like a loser for not having kids, I was EXAGERATING, people!
She says she was exaggerating, so we have to believe that it was said jokingly, as a throwaway sentiment. Though it could be that Walsh does feel bad about not having kids, but is being shamed into pretending she doesn't. But we have to go with what we know: She's certainly not a loser, based on her many accomplishments. Having a baby doesn't instantly turn you into a winner. If you feel like a loser for not having a baby, that is your personal truth, but it is not The Truth. And! The fact that so many media outlets picked up this one sentence segment — from a long cover story with quotes about divorce, high heels and Lady Gaga — shows that we, the public are the real losers, for placing so much importance on how a woman uses her uterus.