Women, as we’re sure you’ve realised by now, can’t do anything right. We’re either being shamed for remaining child-free (for whatever deeply personal reason), or made to feel like we’ve made a massive mistake in choosing to reproduce (especially given it has a very real impact in the workplace).
And it seems as if no woman is immune to this bullying culture of entrenched sexism, as Kristen Bell demonstrates.
The Frozen star – who made headlines this week after casual rescuing several families left stranded by Hurricane Irma – has two daughters, Lincoln and Delta, with her husband, Dax Shepard.
And yet, while Shepard is seemingly allowed to make as many films as he chooses without being asked repeatedly how he juggles his career with his role as a father, Bell’s experience has been very different.
The question she’s sick of being asked the most? That one dripping in faux-admiration, which implies it’s basically impossible for a mother to hold down a successful career if she chooses to.
It’s those five immortal words: “How do you do it?”
Bell, in a candid new interview with Redbook, nails the big problem with this eye-roll-inducing question.
“Being asked ‘How do you do it?’ implies that a) I am doing it, which I am not – I am doing what everybody else is doing, which is trying their best, and b) What is a balance, anyway?” she says.
“A balance teeter-totters. It moves, something gives and other things take, and other days it might be the opposite.”
The Veronica Mars actor goes on to add that having this mindset – and remembering that there is no such thing as perfection – has also helped her to avoid the trappings of negativity.
“I have gotten to a happy place the last five years or so where I have so much sympathy toward people who are unhappy or jerky,” she says. “Like, ‘Oh, man, we have one ride here – that’s how you are going to spend it? What a bummer.'”
Bell adds: “Humans want nothing more than to be accepted, and I’m no different. That doesn’t happen by presenting perfection.
“I believe in showing your dirty hands and your bumps and bruises and your faults, because that’s what makes people feel connected.
“Isn’t that kind of the purpose of, you know, being on Earth?”