I am 24, which is roughly 12 in New York years. No one expects me to have a kid or own a home. The same cannot be said for the small town I grew up in. There, “Time’s up!” is less of a #MeToo rallying cry and more of something a friend’s father tells his oldest daughter upon learning she’s still single.
There comes a time in young womanhood where people who once really didn’t want you to get pregnant suddenly start to care a lot about the babies you must have, right now. I cannot fathom why anyone at my family’s Christmas dinner table would want to talk about “freezing” “my eggs” in between bites of mashed potatoes. And yet.
Despite what her poreless skin and dumb lyrics like “spelling is fun” might make you believe, Taylor Swift will turn 30 this week. The milestone means next to nothing, except that I hope she has a very nice birthday party. But of course, that means people—namely, men—are falling over themselves to remind her she should spawn at once, or else she’ll almost certainly die alone and unloved.
One of those men happens to be Stefan Molyneux, an alt-right personality who boasts over 900,000 YouTube subscribers. He regularly spouts social Darwinist bullshit to his followers, and the Southern Poverty Law Center added him to its “Extremist Files.” Leave it to this guy to have thoughts on Taylor Swift’s uterus.
“I can’t believe Taylor Swift is about to turn 30 - she looks so young!” Molyneux began. “It’s strange to think that 90% of her eggs are already gone - 97% by the time she turns 40 - so I hope she thinks about having kids before it’s too late! She’d be a fun mom. :)”
Yes, Stefan, it is “strange,” for you or anyone who is not Taylor Swift to spend even a moment thinking about her reproductive system. Please log off and factory reset your invasive man mind.
Swift has not responded to Molyneux’s tweet, and representatives for parties did not respond to my request for comment. But the singer addressed a similar topic last week.
In what she surely hoped would be a nice sound bite for an interview with People magazine, Swift said, “The more women are able to voice their discomfort in social situations, the more it becomes the social norm that people who ask the questions at parties like ‘When are you going to start a family’ to someone as soon as they turn 25 are a little bit rude.”
“It’s good that we’re allowed to say, ‘Hey, just so you know, we’re more than incubators.’ You don’t have to ask that of someone just because they’re in their mid-20s and they’re a female,” she added.
Molyneux’s trolling of Swift is less troubling than his enthusiastic promotion of scientific racism and eugenics. But it’s still concerning that many men—even otherwise lovely, well-intended men—view a woman’s fertility as a point of friendly chatter.
Molyneux punctuated his tweet with a smile emoji, in what looks like an attempt at congeniality. He’s posed his unwarranted and unwanted message to Swift as a public service announcement, even beginning it with a compliment—albeit a seriously creepy one. (“She looks so young!” —Seriously, my dude, close the tab on your computer that’s just Google images of Taylor Swift and go take a walk.)
It brings me no joy to imagine Molyneux at his desk, stroking his chin, deep in thought imagining Taylor Swift’s parenting abilities. Though, I guess it is probably one of his better thoughts, considering all the other abhorrent things he’s said.
Still, when “You’d be such a fun mom” comes from the mouth not of a total stranger and internet conspiracy theorist, but a loved one, it seems innocuous, almost kind and caring.
But what if the man saying this is talking to one of the 6 million women in the United States struggling with infertility? They probably already know they’d be excellent mothers; after all, they’re trying. The women in my life who are struggling to get pregnant think about their situation nearly every day; why don’t we give them some time off this holiday.
So if you find yourself unable to control opening your mouth this holiday season to demand why a female family member is still childless, I beg you: find the nearest forkful of Christmas ham, and shove it there instead.