I wasn’t going to write about the Liz Jones article [non-Daily Mail link] and the fuss it caused all over Twitter yesterday. Fuss? It had Twitter chortling and gasping in waves of indignant amusement and horror at the Daily Mail columnist’s latest confession about how she tried to steal some sperm from a couple of men. It wasn’t just general sperm theft. It was all about making a baby without the man’s consent or knowledge.
Is this what brought on the righteous indignation of a lot of people? Not entirely, apart from some angry women who thought to add a little warning to men to be careful. It was Jones’ admonition that this unilateral baby-making was what every mid-30s non-attached woman was up to.
This made me a bit angry, then sad for her, then I took it personally and got even more sad. Now I’m a little less sad and more peeved. I became pregnant outside of a relationship in my early 30s. We made a baby without either of us intending to. Keeping the baby, our beautiful 8-month old daughter, was solely up to me.
My first, and constant, priority since finding out about the baby was to be as loving about the process as possible. To think, even for a second, that it was because I tricked someone is such an abhorrent accusation that it made me quite upset. I wasn’t going to write about it because others in the New Statesman and the Guardian had already written some lovely heartfelt pieces about feeling sorry for Jones and about how brave she was and that she needed compassion. I agree with the sentiments but I also think that her position of being paid to write about something which millions of people will read is one of responsibility.
My pregnancy was not the easiest both physically and emotionally. The last two weeks were a particularly trying time where I had to make a huge effort to keep in mind my goal of making this a loving experience but I did my best. I always had compassion and love as my goals for raising our daughter and I intend to stick to that.
If I can do that for the sake of one person’s life then Liz Jones who is an adult and affects many peoples’ lives can also put a little thought behind what she is doing. Her accusations and actions are so unpleasant and full of unhappiness that she can’t help but pass those feelings on to other people who read her. She certainly passed on the unhappiness to me, albeit briefly, yesterday.
She may not get paid if she focuses on love and happiness but she will be helping the world. So why did I write about it in the end? I was walking along with a friend and was explaining to him how I felt about the article when he lost interest and set about looking at a shop window. That didn’t make me feel very listened to, so I resolved to fulfil the function of my blog which was to express myself.
I can feel a lot of compassion for someone, like Jones, who wants to be heard but I won’t feel bad for wanting to have a baby. I’m not sure she should either. Doing anything in a sneaky and selfish way would understandably feel bad. Doing something out of love however is a whole different matter.