Posted by: stelladuffy | July 8, 2016

on being unmother & Leadsom

Ah, Andrea Leadsom. The woman who now – along with her other glorious qualifications – thinks being a mother makes you more likely to care for the future of your country.

“Genuinely, I feel that being a mum means you have a stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.”

  1. Being a humane person makes you more likely to care for the future of everyone’s country
  2. Fathers probably care too (also, non-gender binary parents, them too)
  3. Some people have children, some don’t, we all contribute. Hey, I even contribute to other people’s kids’ schooling and healthcare in my taxes. As a chemo-induced-infertile woman, I actually want to, what with believing in, you know, universal healthcare and good & free education for all, whoever’s kids they are – I’m that indiscriminate & not-caring about the future …
  4. Here’s a thing, what if we could be empathetic and generous human beings without having to think it’s about us/our descendants/their descendants? What if we could care for the future of our country, our planet, all people, WITHOUT making it personal? Wouldn’t it actually be quite cool to give a fuck without it being personal? How selfish do you have to be to think you care more because you have kids? To make caring all about you? Can’t you just care because you’re human and we’re good at caring?!
  5. It is possible that those of us who don’t have children have actually thought of all this stuff already, and tried really hard to work out our place in the world, and how we can contribute, what with having children being really pretty commonplace (much as some of us might have wanted it) and not having them being the more unusual.
  6. And also, if having children made you all that worried about the future of the nation/world, how the hell are we in the mess we’re in now?
  7. No, I’m not ‘sad’. I was, it was rubbish having cancer at 36 just when I was trying to get pregnant with our babyfather, and losing five embryos post-cancer, and it was rubbish when my wife (then not even Civil Partner, because laws & homophobia, thanks Mrs Leadsom) miscarried and we realised the already-planned future for every woman of my age & generation (Andrea is my age) wasn’t going to be ours. It was definitely hard, like any grief for a future dream not made. And we moved on. We create, we contribute, we live. We really fucking LIVE. Just like you.
  8. Bet my large family is bigger than yours, Andrea – I’m one of 7, I have 15 nieces & nephews, 25 great nieces and nephews – and that’s only my side. On my wife’s side, Indian/Iraqi Jews (you’d LOVE them, Andrea), the cousins are legion. Loads of family. But so what? I adore my family, big and loud and bonkers though they often are. But SO WHAT? How weird to think that blood really does matter more than (as opposed to as much as) passion, than love. Because, you know, I didn’t marry one of my sisters, and I’m pretty sure Andrea’s husband isn’t her brother. We ALL love wider than blood, wider than family. (Unless you’re a Medici, obv.)
  9. It’s come to a pretty pass when Theresa May looks like the sensible one.
  10. Ah feminism. If only we’d had feminism before we leapt to post-feminism.
  11. I bet you all want to know about my shoes now. BBC News does, they’re still going on about May’s shoes. And Corbyn’s. (No they’re not going on about Corbyn’s shoes. They don’t care about the men’s shoes. Funny that.)






  1. Sometimes your blogs make me cry, sometimes I just think fuckin right woman, you tell em! Thanks yet again! @hildadev

  2. thank you.

  3. Thank God for this post! Thank you Stella. Such ill-judged comments from Andrea Leadsom. I do think it’s a shame the question was even asked – are we really still living in an age where women are compared by reproductive function? – but Leadsom could have refused to answer the question or stated, categorically, that motherhood has nothing to do with ability to do a job. Instead, she chose to answer the question stating her superiority. Grim.

  4. Great post, thank you.
    (should the last word in point 5 be “unusual”?)

  5. Thank you. And yes, it is also an absurd question.

  6. Yes it should! Shall edit. Thank you.

  7. Thank you Stella, for such a common sense and witty riposte. I too had cancer at 35, 1st marriage collapsed and chemo induced early menopause meant no chance of children with lovely 2nd husband. Like you I LIVE!
    -In Whitstable as it happens, so see you and your wife here soon I hope

  8. Yes, we LIVE!

  9. I am not a mum and very unlikely to be through my own choice. This Leadsom(more like loathsome) woman really pissed me off with those comments.

  10. Absolutely brilliant and perfectly put.
    We create. We contribute. Because we care. Because we are humane. Because we are NOT selfish.
    Thank you Stella.

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