Women are rightly fuming at new claims 36 is "too old" to have a baby

·3-min read
Photo credit: VioletaStoimenova - Getty Images
Photo credit: VioletaStoimenova - Getty Images

The patience of women worldwide are truly being tested this week. First, the WHO drafts some guidance to suggest that females "of child-bearing age" shouldn't drink alcohol (while men, who contribute 50% of the goods where baby-making is concerned, are presumably allowed to do whatever they want). And now, women are being told by the opposite sex that they are "too old" to have a baby by the age of 36. P.L.E.A.S.E.

The information came to light as part of a YouGov poll investigating the "ideal" age at which men and women respectively become parents. Surveying a sample of 2,005 adults in Great Britain - all of varying ages themselves - it emerged that the average person thinks 28 is the best age for a woman to become a mother, and 30 for a man. But the best part was when 46% of men said they felt a woman having a baby at 36 was "too old." Just 21% of men felt the same about a 36-year-old first-time dad, though.

As you might imagine, women went off at this when it came to their attention on Twitter. Yet another intrusion on personal choices, and a grossly hypocritical one at that. Why should one gender be afforded the privilege of time when the other clearly isn't? As if it weren't bad enough that women who have children over the age of 35 are medically deemed "geriatric"...

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The tweets came in thick and fast, with one person saying she was "exhausted" at the conversation. "Men, you do not have the justification to say that a woman who gives birth at 36 is considered too old. Leave our bodies alone," posted writer Jade Moira Lawrence.

"Good to see you are asking the real important based-in-science questions and not just needlessly stirring up misogynistic judgment and issues. Put the money for this into education and jog on," commented cookbook writer Niamh Shields.

"The best age is when a woman decides she wants to and it’s the right decision for her," added another user. Which is pretty much the mic drop moment that was necessary in the middle of this whole conversation.

Photo credit: AaronAmat - Getty Images
Photo credit: AaronAmat - Getty Images

It's a fact that the average age women become a mum for the first time is gradually increasing every year in this country. It currently stands at 28.9, and the number of women who give birth over the age of 40 is now consistently higher in the UK than the number of women who gave birth under the age of 20. This, no doubt, is due to a wealth of reasons - prioritising career progression and the basically-unattainable cost of buying a family-sized house being just two of them.

If we know women can conceive right up until their forties - and even later in some cases - how about we just leave it at that, rather than imposing individual judgment on people who most certainly haven't asked for it? Okay, good.

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