- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Michigan woman’s defiant Facebook rant against the “fertility shaming” of childless 20- and 30-somethings has apparently struck a nerve.

Emily Bingham posted her comment Sept. 20 as “just a friendly P.S.A. that people’s reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”

“Before you ask the young married couple that has been together for seemingly forever when they are finally gonna start a family … before you ask the parents of an only-child toddler when a Little Brother or Little Sister will be in the works … before you ask a single 30-something if/when s/he plans on having children because, you know, clock’s ticking … just stop. Please stop,” the 33-year-old writes.

The post appears to have struck a chord with women. As of early Tuesday morning, it had been shared nearly 57,000 times.

“You don’t know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues,” Ms. Bingham argues. “You don’t know who is having relationship problems or is under a lot of stress or the timing just isn’t right. You don’t know who is on the fence about having kids or having more kids. You don’t know who has decided it’s not for them right now, or not for them ever. You don’t know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.”

Ms. Bingham told the Detroit Free Press that she had no idea the post would go viral. She said the rant came about after a last-straw conversation recently.

“I had had dinner with some of my boyfriend’s family, and someone had made a joke about grandkids, pointed at me, and it wasn’t the first time I’d had somebody make a comment like that,” Ms. Bingham said. “I’m 33. I’ve never been married. I’ve had people say things like, ‘You’re getting older, do you want to have kids? Your clock is ticking.’

“I think I finally felt mad enough about it to say something,” she said.

In her post, Ms. Bingham continues: “Bottom line: Whether you are a wanna-be grandparent or a well-intentioned friend or family member or a nosy neighbor, it’s absolutely none of your business. Ask someone what they’re excited about right now. Ask them what the best part of their day was. If a person wants to let you in on something as personal as their plans to have or not have children, they will tell you. If you’re curious, just sit back and wait and let them do so by their own choosing, if and when they are ready.”

The comments on her post were largely supportive, with many women thanking Ms. Bingham for expressing what so many of them have been thinking.

“Thank you for posting this! I’m so drained right now from fighting these questions off,” one commenter wrote.

“Great timing. This comes up daily for me. Grrrr, stop asking me,” another wrote.

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