The wonderful human, Buddha, friend, actor Tanya Moodie took this picture of me tonight at Women’s Equality Party conference open mic (and I had to wait until almost the very end to get to speak, which gave me an amazing chance to listen to so many wonderful women) – but it captures something really important to me.
I hadn’t planned to say anything tonight, I’m presenting about the WEP Steering Committee with Chris Paouros on Sunday and will probably speak to one of the motions, so I was happy to listen, but I felt something welling up that I needed to say. To speak about the need to notice and include the childless women too, the women who did not get to have children and the women who did not want them, not to leave us out of the discourse of ‘women’ just because our lives are different to the norm. And we are very often left out, usually unintentionally, but all the same … in a culture which simultaneously denigrates and lauds mothers and mothering – constantly – we are always othered.
I’ve written loads more about my experience of cancer-related infertility if you’re interested.
It welled up so big I needed to say it, even though talking publicly about the infertility stuff is harder for me than pretty much any of the other speaking I do. But I’ve been working on listening to my body more, and Tanya’s pic so clearly shows it – one hand on my heart, one on my childless uterus.
Good work, body.