There may be a double-standard when it comes to celebrity men and women on the issue of their decision against becoming parents. But then again, maybe not. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
Here is an example. George Clooney wasn’t chastised by the media, nor did he publicly complain about personal pressure from people last year when he did an interview discussing the marriage to his wife who is an attorney and law professor named Amal Alamuddin.
In his spring 2015 interview with CBS This Morning, Clooney told Charlie Rose very frankly that having children with Alamuddin is not on his list of priorities. “I mean, I’ve thought about it, I suppose, but it hasn’t been high on my list,” Clooney told Rose.
Clooney has no children by any women from previous relationships or marriages. However, actress Joy Bryant (pictured) cannot say that she has dealt with the same lack of scrutiny for her decision to remain childless over the course of her storied career.
Bryant is well-known for her role on Parenthood, a hit TV sitcom on NBC. A feminist culture blog called LennyLetter.com just published an angry open essay to critics written by Byrant titled “Stop Telling Me I Should Have Kids.”
In her essay, Bryant addresses the constant criticism she gets from people in her personal and professional life about her decision to not become a mother. She wrote:
“Motherhood, in all its beautiful significance, is a job I do not want. It doesn’t matter how great my résumé is or how many glowing recommendations I receive. I don’t need to be a mother in order to be fulfilled in my life. I am choosing to put my life energies into pursuing all that my heart desires: designing clothes, writing, traveling, developing projects to produce. Choice. Isn’t that what we’re fighting for? Having the choice, the freedom to decide how we want to live our lives?” (Lenny’s Letter, April 6, 2016)
The points made in Joy Bryant’s essay definitely strike chords, which spawn a number of questions. Is there a stigma placed on childless women in Hollywood that isn’t placed on childless men? George Clooney hasn’t publicly ranted about any major pressure from people to have children. But you never know what happens behind closed walls.
To read Byrant’s full essay, click here.