The Campaign to 'Get Britain Fertile' is All Kinds of Wrong
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The pregnancy test manufacturer First Response is launching a patronising and misguided campaign to get Britain’s women pumping out the next generation at a younger age. And its focus includes the current crop of aspirational, educated women leaving university and entering the world of work. A few months ago, I found myself laughing with a mixture of horror and incredulity at a Singaporean fertility campaign, alerting their young professionals to the ever-decreasing efficiency of their baby-making machinery. But I could not even bring myself to laugh when I found this campaign being replicated in the UK. Though the official campaign is yet to launch, a poster for the campaign, featuring a photo of Kate Garraway doctored to look heavily pregnant and significantly older, has begun its circulation. The aim is to draw attention to the increase in the number of women choosing to start a family in their late 30s and early 40s, and the fertility difficulties they face. Maybe First Response genuinely believe they are being helpful by informing all us evidently reproductively ignorant women of Britain that our body clocks are a-ticking. “Look at the old pregnant women” their poster says “doesn’t it revolt you? Isn’t it pitiful?”. And we are supposed to respond appropriately with feelings of horror, shame and a sudden desire to get bonking quick lest our ovaries shrivel and die whilst we faff about playing Working Girl. The choice of imagery for the posters is disgraceful in itself, making the body and choices of a woman an object of condemnation as a consequence of her age. But in addition to the distasteful poster campaign, there is much more that is deeply wrong and insidious about the Get Britain Fertile Campaign.
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