“Feminism is all about demanding equality and learning to love yourself. But not too much – men hate that!” I love Reductress with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, so when I heard they were putting out a book about feminism, I made grabby hands. How To Win at Feminism comes out October 25th, so preorder to your heart’s content! Meanwhile, enjoy a sample excerpt about how to decide when the exact right time is to have a baby:
REPRODUCING AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME
As a strong woman it’s up to you, and only you, to make sure no babies pop out of you at a bad time. You can’t just expect men, the government, or your employer to help you with your decision, and why would you? Having a baby is your choice and your choice alone. It is also a choice that affects everyone around you and will continue to forever and ever, so don’t be selfish about it, okay? It’s totally your call, but your choice should also be to have kids at some point. The question is, when? Here are some situations in which you will know whether it is the right or wrong time for you to have a baby.
When you’ve just started a job: WRONG!
Are you gainfully employed in a new job you enjoy? This is the wrong time to have a baby. You risk prioritizing your child ahead of your career or vice versa, and every good feminist knows you have to own your feminism by achieving a heap of career successes before you can have a truly feminist child. Wait until you’re just senior enough that coworkers will start to worry about your ability to reproduce, but not so senior that all your eggs have dried up.
Exception: You have frozen all your eggs and have a net worth of at least $5 million.
When you’ve just left a job: ALSO WRONG!
How do you expect to pay for a baby without insurance and maternity leave? What are you, some kind of monster?
Exception: You are married to a very successful Hollywood director who openly advocates for women’s rights.
When you’re happily married: RIGHT!
So you’re finally married to the man of your dreams and everything is going great? The biggest mistake you could make at this point is to not have a baby. Happy couples who don’t have babies risk sliding into a dark vice-filled abyss from which they can never return. Luckily, having a baby solves everything and keeps marriages on the straight and narrow, provided you have a man who wants you to have it and can financially and emotionally support your decision and that stubborn baby weight. It also helps if he’s tall!
When you’re single and don’t run your own company: WRONG!
Do you think society is going to help you deal with the financial and emotional struggles of having a child? They’re not. Unless you are the sole owner or CEO of your own corporation that you can model to conform to your needs as a mother, chances are you are not ready to have a baby.
When you’re single and do run your own company: ALSO WRONG!
Seriously, who do you think you are?? Your tireless drive and corporate know-how will have completely eroded the layer of material fuzziness required for mommyhood. Babies like soft mommies with no backbone—you’re too strong to have a baby! Meanwhile, employees will see the baby as a sign of your poor planning skills, and your authority will be undermined. Having a baby means you’re weak! It’s a lose-lose, and all you do is win. Nice try, Eve Jobs!
When you found a lightly used Bugaboo Chameleon 3 Classic Stroller on the sidewalk: RIGHT!
It’s a sign from the universe! Find a baby and have it now!!
When you’re just getting over a breakup: WRONG!
Do not make any rash decisions. Now is not the time for haircuts, relocations, or babies. Just put on your fave rom-com DVD and slow your shit down.*
When you’re ready to date again: ALSO WRONG!
Are you starting to see the pattern here? You are frequently wrong.
When you have a beautifully styled nursery: RIGHT!
You’re ready, girl. You’re so ready.
*Womb Trigger Warning: Make sure your fave rom-com doesn’t have any babies in it.
From HOW TO WIN AT FEMINISM: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! Copyright © 2016 by Elizabeth Newell, Sarah Pappalardo, and Anna Drezen. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.