Life

“Too old” to have babies at 36? Twitter’s response to men polled by YouGov is predictably brilliant

Posted by
Anna Brech
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
parenthood

Nearly half of men believe that women aged 36-40 are “too old” to become mums, according to a new YouGov poll – but the good folks of Twitter have a thing or two to say about the level of sexist sanctimony at play. 

The act of judging women for their choices is as old as time itself. This age-honoured tic is particularly annoying when it’s applied to women’s bodies. The World Health Organisation telling women “of child-bearing age” that they should avoid drinking alcohol is a prime example, but there are literally thousands of others; from abortion stigma to the gender gym gap and more.  

Most galling of all is when men decide to weigh in on women’s choices about their bodies – which is exactly what happened when YouGov polled the nation on the ideal age to become parents recently. In results that are eye-rollingly familiar,  46% of men believe that women aged 36 to 40 are “too old” to have a baby; compared to 35% of women who feel the same way. 

However, in a typical case of double standards, 71% of men and 84% of women believe that becoming a dad at the same age is no problem. Cue: sexism rolled in with ageism, with a hefty dollop of censure on top.

You may also like

A comprehensive list of all the s**t Meghan Markle has taken from the British press and public

This kind of casual misogyny is as frustrating as it is widespread. Needless to say, the best time to have a baby – or not – is exactly when an individual woman chooses to do so (or not). This is an area of life that comes with enough pressure and expectation as it is, without the irrelevant views of the world at large adding to the pile-in. 

Somehow, though, society still needs to tell women what is “right” or “wrong” with regards to our personal choices; despite the fact we never asked for its unsolicited opinion. 

That’s about the gist of the response to the poll on Twitter, which has bubbled up to pour scorn and hilarity on the idea of women being “too old” to procreate (at 36, no less). 

It’s a platform we can always rely on for a bit of saltiness where required, and the pushback against this latest YouGov finding did not disappoint. Here’s just a flavour of our favourite comebacks doing the rounds right now.

Twitter has spoken – now the world needs to listen. The less judgement we have, the better. Because unlike opinions, an attitude of “live and let live” –  or even “I trust women, like all grown adults, to know what is best for them” (shocking, we know) –  never gets old. 

Images: Getty

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Topics

Share this article

Author

Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.