Kim Cattrall Explains Why the Term 'Childless' Is Offensive

by John Boone 4:21 PM PDT, September 15, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

"Well, it’s the ‘less’ that is offensive, isn’t it?"

So explained Kim Cattrall, 59, when she appeared on BBC Radio Four's Woman’s Hour Takeover to discuss the stigma against women who decide not to have children.

“Child-less. It sounds like you’re less, because you haven’t had a child,” she clarified. “I think for a lot of women from my generation it wasn’t actually a conscious choice. It was a feeling of, ‘I’m on this road and things are going really well, and I’m very happy, and I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it in two years. I’ll do it in five years.’”

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“Suddenly, you’re in your early 40s and you’re thinking, ‘Mmm, maybe now?’” she said, before continuing with a laugh, “You go to your doctor and she says to you, ‘Well, yes, we can do this, but you have to sort of start to become a bit of a science experiment here.’”

Still, the Sex and the City actress says she is a parent. “The thing that I find questionable about being childless or childfree is, are you really?” she asked. “There is a way to become a mother, in this day and age, that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate.”

“I didn’t change nappies, which is OK with me. But I did help my niece get through medical school,” she added. “I did sit down with my nephew when he was having a really tough time joining the Army and gave him alternatives. Those are very motherly things to do, very maternal things to do, very nurturing things to do. So I feel I am a mother, of sorts. I am not completely childfree.”

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Cattrall also pointed out that, despite the judgment she faces, other working women have it worse. “I’m so glad that I’m not in a political job, because I would be judged even more harshly,” she said. “It would be, if I had children, could I do the job efficiently? And if I didn’t have children, I was a selfish b***h.”

“The misogyny is rife in this area,” she concluded. “It’s, ‘You’re not really a woman. You didn’t really experience that.’ I did have three kidney stone attacks, and they say that’s the closet thing to childbirth. I don’t think I really missed anything, it sounded pretty horrendous.”

Recently, Gabrielle Union, 42, also spoke out about the ‘scarlet letter’ of not having kids: “There's a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger," she said. "The penance for being a career woman is barrenness.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Michelle Gellar has shared a rare photo of her kids, Charlotte and Rocky: