People

Michelle Keegan has had enough of being asked sexist questions

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Michelle Keegan has had enough of sexist questions

The actor is no longer willing to answer questions about her personal life, and rightly so.

Choosing to have, or not have, children should be a private matter, something to be decided on and discussed by an individual or couple, and no one else.

But unfortunately, if you’re a female celebrity, then the world seems to think it’s their business to question you on motherhood.

That’s something that Michelle Keegan knows all too well, and she’s had enough.

You may also like

Michelle Keegan on confidence, the suffragettes and what happiness means to her

In a new interview, the actor has spoken about how women are more affected by media scrutiny, particularly when it comes to whether or not they’re planning to get married.

“It’s like, as soon as you get married, ‘When are you having a child?’” Keegan told the Independent. “My husband never gets asked that question.”

Keegan, whose new show Brassic starts on Sky One today, said that the question is “really invasive” but that she used to answer it all the time until she realised that she didn’t need to.

You may also like

Why motherhood needs to be more compatible with having a career

“It’s no one’s business,” she continued. “And I think now, even now, I’m still learning how to deal with things like that. I used to blab and go on about it, whereas now I’m like, ‘I don’t want to answer questions like that, it’s personal’.”

As well as it being an invasion of privacy, the question of whether a woman is going to have children is often asked through a sexist lens, with men rarely being subjected to a similar line of questioning.

Keegan said: “I do find it strange that my husband doesn’t get that question, or if he does it’s on behalf of me. It’s not like, ‘Do you want children?’ It’s, ‘Does Michelle want children?’ Just because I’m a woman.

“I do see the divide there and I do see it’s different, completely different. It’s quite frustrating.”

You may also like

Michelle Keegan reveals the meaning of life in 22 probing questions

Frustrating is putting it mildly. In 2019, it’s difficult to believe that sections of the media still think a woman’s decision to have a child or be child-free is a legitimate line of questioning. And it’s even more difficult to believe that they can’t see beyond motherhood as a marker of success.

It’s time for the media to stop subjecting women to intrusive, outdated questions. And if more people take Keegan’s lead and start telling interviewers who ask when they’re having children that it’s none of their business, we’re confident those questions will stop.

Sign up to our daily email for a curated edit of the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you’ll never miss out on the conversation again.

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.

Recommended by Sarah Shaffi

People

Michelle Keegan on confidence, the suffragettes and what happiness means to her

For Stylist’s Yellow issue, actor Michelle Keegan models the season’s sunniest shade and tells us what brings joy to her life.

Posted by
Helen Bownass
Published
Life

“This is why I’m never having kids”

From not feeling maternal to fear of climate catastrophe, four women explain their decision to remain child-free

Posted by
Stylist Team
Published
People

Michelle Keegan admits the three reasons she’s been avoiding her smear test

The actor felt compelled to speak out as cervical screening rates are the lowest in 20 years

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
People

Hillary Clinton battles 40 years of sexist questions in three minutes

“Can a first lady be both popular and opinionated?”

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

Michelle Keegan has four pieces of brilliant advice for her younger self

From caring less about what other people think to never, ever over plucking your eyebrows

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published