People

“It sounds like you’re less because you haven’t had a child” Kim Cattrall hits out at offensive term for women

Posted by
Sejal Kapadia Pocha
Published

Kim Cattrall has spoken out about her frustrations of being labelled as 'childless' and says she is no less a mother for not having given birth or changed nappies. 

“It’s the ‘less’ that is offensive” she says in the interview on Woman's Hour this morning. “Childless – it sounds like you’re less because you haven’t had a child.”

“The thing that I find questionable about being childless and child-free - are you really? I mean there is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn't include your name on the child's birth certificate. You can express that maternal side of you very clearly, very strongly.

“I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor, I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to.

“I didn’t change nappies, which is okay with me, but I did help my niece get through medical school. I did sit down with my nephew when he was [going through] a very tough time to join the army. And those are very motherly things to do, very nurturing things to do. So I feel I am a mother of sorts. I am not completely child free, because I care about the next generation.” 

Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall (far right) famously played Samantha Jones in Sex and the City

Cattrall says there was never a right time or situation in life for her to have her own children. “I think for a lot of women from my generation it wasn’t a conscious choice. It was a feeling of: ‘Well, I’m on this road and things are going really well, I’m very happy, I’ll do it next year, I’ll do it two years, I’ll do it in five years.’”

“And then suddenly you’re in your early 40s and you're thinking: ‘Well, maybe now?’ And you go to your doctor and she says: ‘Yes we can do this but you have to start to become a bit of a science experiment here because we have to find out how you can stay pregnant. We can get you pregnant but you have to stay pregnant. And I just thought: ‘I don’t know if I want it that much.’”

She said it also came down to assessing her relationships and asking: ”Is this the partner I want to spend my life communicating with in a very intimate way throughout the child's life?”

Cattrall married three times, first to Larry Davis, which was annulled after two years in 1979. Her second marriage, was to Andre J Lyson for seven years and her third to director Mark Levinson (pictured below), which ended in 2004.

Cattrall with Mark Levinson in 2002

Cattrall with Mark Levinson in 2002

“I have been married and I enjoy very much being married, but we never really got to the point where it seemed a natural progression in our relationship that we would become parents. So for me I think timing wise it was never right.”

Cattrall says women who work in politics, in particular, are scrutinised for not having children and that way of thinking has to change. 

“I'm so glad that I am not in a political job because I would be judged even more harshly and it would be, if I had children, could I do the job efficiently? And if I didn't have children I was a selfish b***h. The misogyny is rife in this area. It's like 'well you're not really a woman, you didn't experience that'.

“Well I did have three kidney stone attacks and they say that's the closest thing to child birth and I don't think I missed anything. It sounded pretty horrendous. Not that I am comparing a kidney stone to having a baby. But I just believe and have always believed since my 40s especially that there are many different ways to be a mum in the world.”

Listen to the full discussion at bbc.co.uk.

Image: Rex Features

Share this article

Author

Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

Other people read

More from People

More from Sejal Kapadia Pocha