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Vivica A. Fox Had a Wonderful Response About Not Having Children, but She Shouldn’t Have Been Asked in the First Place

Please stop asking us to have children to "leave our legacies" I beg you.

 

Recently I came across a TikTok where THE Vivica A. Fox was asked about adopting children in order to, quote, “leave a legacy.”

I suppose one little piece of comfort I can take from this is that it’s not just regular women like me who have to deal with such an invasive question. Why ask an actress about upcoming media projects when you can ask about BABIES!

via GIPHY

Despite the number of times I have expressed disinterest in having children, solidifying my status as the “cool gay aunt,” someone always manages to wonder why my womb remains barren and assures me that, someday, I will realize that life has no meaning unless if I take the necessary steps to bare a miniature version of myself.

Never mind the fact that my own mother has laughed at people for trying to convince me to have kids, my mother, who is fine with having “grand kitties,” as she calls the three furry buttheads in my house.

Back on the subject of Vivica A. and the “oh no you didn’t” vibe she gives off at the beginning of that clip. Fortunately for the person who asked, Fox chose to educate instead of annihilate, but really, why was the question asked in the first place?

Are we really still doing this?

Just because I didn’t birth children doesn’t mean I don’t have children

“I got six god babies,” Fox says, and I immediately connected to her when she said that. Two of my nephews have children and my oldest nephew just had his first child over the summer. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was destined to be the gayest, nerdiest great auntie that these kids have ever seen. “I have six godchildren and I don’t feel less fulfilled as a woman. Period. All I have to do is spend an afternoon with them.”

Same. I feel completely satisfied in the “being a woman” department, and I have plenty of ways to feel whatever “joy” one is told one feels when caring for children. I have several children in my life who I adore thanks to my nephews and my friends with children. My oldest nephew, since this is his first child, is going through all those adorable “post your baby on a calendar blanket each month” moments with his wife, and that fills my heart with plenty of warmth.

I have a lot more love in my heart as the aunt who can come around and spoil kids than I do as a mother. I know I don’t want that responsibility, and knowing that about myself should count for something instead of me bringing a child into this world to satisfy some chosen one “legacy” that folks have cooked up in an attempt to get me to reproduce.

Later, Fox talks about how she loves children, but she’s fine without having them. In fact, one point she brings up (which I love) is that she’s never found the right person to have children with. “I never met the man that I could have children with,” she says, and while, yes, there are ways to have children without a man, it’s ultimately up to her how she would go about doing it if she wanted to. For her, it meant finding someone she could have a child with, and that moment never came.

People put so much pressure on women to have children that they don’t think about what happens if they have a child with the wrong person. It’s not just something that will hurt the adults involved, but it will affect the children. The pressure is so frustrating that it honestly feels like some folks don’t care WHO you have a baby with, as long as you have one, as if you can sort out the mess later.

But that mess can hurt the entire family that is being created for the sake of “you MUST have children.”

Why are we still asking women this question?

When I came out eons ago, some people immediately reassured me that I could still have children if I wanted because I could adopt or look into artificial insemination. Now, this might just be me, but the thing I was stressed about in regards to coming out had NOTHING to do with having babies. Later, when gay marriage was legalized, a few took that as the go-ahead for my (now) wife and me to pursue having children because, you know, “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”

Who is it that said that? I just wanna talk.

While I love the answer Fox gave and while I fully acknowledge that it made me love my status as “aunt who is waiting for your kids to be old enough to play video games,” I hate that the question was even asked in the first place. Why are we still asking women about children? At events? During interviews? Why do we have to constantly have an explanation at the ready? Why can’t it ever be as simple as, “I just don’t want children.”

On top of the fact that asking us about babies centers childcare as the most important thing a woman can do (despite her accomplishments, because I guess Vivica A. Fox hasn’t done enough with her life???), it makes it sound like the only way we’ll ever leave a mark on the world is if our kids do it for us.

That is an absurd amount of pressure to put on a child.

It’s also a bummer of a question for those who might be trying to have children. What if they’re having issues? What if they can’t have children? What if they’re trying to adopt and the process is complicated?

But really, the question shouldn’t just be a cause of concern because you might upset someone who is struggling with the process, it should just… not be a question that gets asked. Just because a woman is in the vicinity doesn’t mean you should approach her like a pushy salesperson trying to sell her on the idea of motherhood.

Learn to appreciate us, the childless aunties who choose to live life as the picture takers and money providers for each A achieved on a report card. We’ll get your kids some really cool gifts, hold them while you make Thanksgiving dinner (true story of how I spent Thanksgiving this year), and tell them embarrassing stories about you.

(Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)