So the weekend started with an outcry in Italy over the vaguely sinister Fertility Day campaign and, in a strangely circular fashion, ended with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explaining to the world that, yes, she is childless, but (rest assured) she did at least try to have a baby, only to miscarry when she was 41.

See the following headline from Sturgeon’s Sunday Times interview:

001 DARK

I ask you: does it really need that “but” in it – does the wording not suggest that her condition is something of a deficiency, a negative consequence of her success?

Many childless and childfree Italian women also felt compelled this weekend to publicly spell out to the media why they had ‘failed’ to reproduce, saying that the aggressive Fertility Day campaign feels accusatory, as if they are at fault for not having had babies.

Sturgeon made the announcement about her miscarriage in order to “challenge assumptions about childless women leaders”, perhaps with the New Statesman cover below in mind.

Capture 22

I’m a REAL woman, she’s effectively saying, I had a baby in me, once.

Will there ever be a time when women without children are left in peace to just be, without feeling obliged at some time or other to explain why they didn’t reproduce?

Is it just me, or do these things seem to be getting worse, more retrograde now than ever in recent times?

Or am I just listening harder, because of what I am?

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