People magazine is where I go for all of my life advice, and I loved a tiny aside that came up in a recent George Clooney article. When asked the incredibly nosy and possibly hurtful question of whether they’re going to have children — a question you may find like a splinter beneath the skin — Clooney responds: “Thank you for asking!” and then continues the conversation. Can you imagine a person bringing it up a second time after receiving a “Thank you for asking!” delivered in a bright, easy-going voice?
I might borrow that for all of life’s uncomfortable questions.
I recently read The Girl on the Train. I loved it until the ending. I thought the ending was weak. But totally worth the weak ending because the writing is so enjoyable. (Did you read it? Were you blown away by the ending? Maybe it’s just me.)
As you’ve guessed, infertility features heavily in the book. It’s the reason given for the woman’s drinking problems as well as some of their marital issues.
It’s not the first thriller to feature infertility as a plot point. Gone Girl also has an infertile woman at the center of the story. Nor is it the first book to use the word girl in the title and have an infertility storyline, such as Certain Girls.
I was trying to figure out how I felt about the titles of these books. Why a woman is reduced to being a girl if she can’t have a child. The infantilization of the childless woman. And yet, Gone Woman doesn’t have the same ring. The Woman on the Train is a little better. Certain Women sounds like an ad for douche.
Have you ever noticed that? Books that refer to thirty-something women, child-bearing age women, by the term girl. And what do you think of it?