• Mon, Jul 7 - 12:20 pm ET

Zooey Deschanel Points Out That You Wouldn’t Ask When She’s Having Kids If She Were A Man

Zooey Deschanel feminist rants

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Go ahead and add Zooey Deschanel to the list of celebrity women who are willing to awesomely call out Hollywood double standards. She already made our list of celebrity women who aren’t afraid to use the word “feminist,” so this might not be that surprising. But that doesn’t make it any less refreshing. Or any less likely for me to use the phrase “You go, girl.” Which I just did. I hope you enjoyed it.

In the new August issue of InStyle magazine, Zooey addresses those pesky questions about if/when she’s going to have a baby. She recalls, “When I was married, that was the first thing people wanted to know.” Zooey and her ex-husband Ben Gibbard divorced in 2012, but that doesn’t mean people have let up on the “WHERE IS YOUR BABY? WHY HAVEN’T YOU DONE YOUR WOMANLY DUTY AND PROCREATED?” questions, something Zooey has had enough of:

“Like every woman is dying to give birth! I don’t think so. Nobody asks a guy that. And you go into a supermarket and every tabloid is like, ‘Pregnant and Alone!’ Stuck in this 1950s ideal of how a woman should live her life. That’s not something that defines me at all.”

Yep, that about sums it up. First of all, not all women want to have children, which is an acceptable decision that they shouldn’t have to explain or defend as if they’re on trial. And we shouldn’t devote segments on morning talk shows to debating whether it’s okay for them to decide that for themselves. Of course it is.

Even if women haven’t ruled out the option completely, that doesn’t mean they can predict when it’ll happen, and they certainly shouldn’t be expected to explain why it hasn’t happened. It’s also true that men — particularly celebrity men, in this case — don’t get asked about their plans for children nearly as often as women do. Also, bonus points to Zooey for nailing the “Pregnant and Alone” headline that accompanies every photo of Jennifer Aniston in existence.

Side note: Can’t you totally imagine exactly how Zooey uttered the words “I don’t think so” in that interview? It’s music to my mental ears.

Share This Post:
  • Alana Vincenza

    I love it when female celebs fight back at the baby or “having it all” question.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Yes, another classic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man asked that question.

  • Lily Savage

    I’m so glad you linked your other article about celebrity women who are unafraid to call themselves feminists. It just boosted my Monday and I’m obsessed with Zooey Deschanel’s peter pan collar quote.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Yay! Happy to hear that.

  • Mystik Spiral

    I have had a HUGE girl crush on Zooey ever since Almost Famous… <3

  • MCR

    Even in the days when women were practically defined by their obstetrical history, it was considered hideously bad manners to ask a woman, even a woman married several years, why she didn’t have children. Adding in the feminist perspective on the matter, it’s now hideously bad manners to the tenth power.

  • Kelly

    In fairness, I’ve heard George Clooney asked this question a few times.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Yeah I think it’s an exaggeration to say that it never ever happens, but I definitely see it asked of women much more often.

  • Cherry

    There’s a very important issue that’s missing here: women who can’t have children (for any kind of infertility or physical reason). For every woman that kind of inquiry of having children is a total lack of respect and privacy, and even more so for those who wanted but couldn’t. Any woman with fertility issues doesn’t go around telling every one, or even close ones, what she is going through (because precisely, everybody seems to have an opinion on someone else’s life), sometimes it is even a difficult subject with the partner (if she has one). That emotional ride is a life on its own. So, it is even worse for those women to have to face those questions. In any case it is a total lack of sensitivity and respect to go around asking that, and even more so judging the person for their answer! In the end that only speaks of the person who asks, it’s what he/she has in mind, not in the one that is faced with the question. How it’s asked and in which context, could make all the difference between out of the place judgments or awareness on the subject.