Men need not say that motherhood need not spell the end of literature
Nicholas Shakespeare in today's London Evening Standard says that motherhood need not spell the end of literature. Which instantly has me asking - and how would you know, Mr. Shakespeare? The article refers to how his other half wants to write a book before being 'with child', because once she does her creativity may well be zapped. There is certainly something in her proposition - which of the more well-known female writers have had children? The Brontes? No. Jane Austen? No. Virginia Woolf? No. There are plenty more that can be named in favour of this argument. However, it should also be noted that many of those women didn't live beyond child-bearing age, and of those that did, like Wolf, were already battling with mental health issues. The fact that many of these women chose to write back then can also be seen as their mark of unconventionality - the last thing some of them wanted to do was fall into type just because it was expected. Nicholas Shakespeare then draws our, (or rather his wife's), attention to those writers who also happen to be mothers - the most famous of them being JK Rowling, a poor wee single mum who spent her days traipsing round Edinburgh coffee shops whilst penning Potter. It's not that I dispute what Shakespeare is saying at all - (and his wife's belief that creativity in mums becomes non-existent is a huge generalisation, though many new mums are too busy to be rattling plots around their heads), it's just that he's the wrong sex as he is never likely going to experience being pregnant/mum and writing.