It takes a brave woman to speak out publicly that she does not want children, never mind appearing on national tv, and touring a show around the UK on the topic, where she is coming face to face with parents, never mind cheering abortionist founder Marie Stopes, only to then insult religious fundamentalists again with her nun jibes. One has to be an open minded, free spirited partaker when attending comedy shows, as you can never quite guess what is coming your way, and certainly not take offence from what seems to be targeting groups of society in the process.
Renowned radio 4 Comedian Kate Fox presents an empowering mini lecture series on inspirational women such as Lucy Worsley, Marie Helvin and Helen Mirren who have helped shape her conclusions on being childfree to a packed mix bunch of singletons, young couples and middle-aged parents. Luckily, this time round Fox played to an audience who were more pro-childfree than not, which is now becoming the societal norm for the new generation to turn their backs on parenthood. Fox presented arguments, albeit cliché alternatives on how to lead a fulfilling life without children, and of course her beloved pet dog Norbert filled the number 1 spot whose picture produced an astonishing number of coos, showing how dog obsessed the nation is. Goodness knows what trouble could descend onto this staunch comic, should the room have been packed with mother hens, and baby making machine women who could have caused quite a stir.
Young careful singletons with no aspiration to be tied down will no doubt be championing such beliefs, but what Fox needs to also know is that to have children is not an imperative force of will that all women endure, many have the choice, and still choose to reproduce. As a single, childfree woman who doesn’t aspire to be a mother, I experience the same judgement from others who insist that one will change their mind, and oh you haven’t met the right person yet, so feel great comfort from support in the public eye over such controversial choices. Rather than this being a comical satire, at times it was a general moan at how Fox wants to be different from other women.
However, Fox’s overripe feminist statements almost conveyed that having children is an infringement of women’s rights. I struggled to comprehend how this idea works as comedy, yet it does in a bizarre matter of being. The daft moments of flower dolls, and the dough breeding on a gentleman’s knee, demonstrate that anything and anybody can be artificially reproduced, and we can all be replaced. Whilst Fox has achieved success on screen, I do wonder how far Good Breeding will go, as it seems to me no more than a fringe show, and simply a test on what could be stormy waters ahead with such a prickly topic that divides society.
Good Breeding provoked a strong philosophical reaction in myself, to think deep about what Fox was saying. Whilst fellow spectators seemed to be taking the show for its comic value, I struggled to grapple with what this woman was really construing, and I should have maybe lightened up, rather than picking flaws with her arguments.