Leave Oprah And Her Childlessness Alone, Judgy Bloggers

President Obama Awards 2013 Presidential Medal Of Freedom

No one is safe from sanctimommies. Not even Oprah, who is not even a mother. In a post over on The Stir, blogger Jenny Erikson rips Oprah a new one for her honest, candid comments about why she never had children.

Calling one of the most powerful, successful women ever “honey” (God, that irks me), Erikson, in an open letter, calls out Oprah for Oprah’s explanation as to why she never felt the calling to become a mother. For the record, Oprah said:

“If I had kids, my kids would hate me.They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them. Gayle [now a mother of two] was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade home ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children,” Winfrey explained. “While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King.”

Seems like a good explanation to me….not that Oprah owes anyone an explanation. But Erikson seemingly took great offense to Oprah’s explanation of Oprah’s personal life and personal motivations, writing:

Why do you think that women can’t be successful and have children at the same time? Are my children suffering because I’m a single working mom? Or is that reserved only for moms at the top of their fields?

I’m so bothered by this. Oprah was not attacking you or your lifestyle, Jenny Erikson. She wasn’t attacking Angelina Jolie or Sacagawea or Michelle Obama or any of the women you cite as successful working moms. She was talking about her own personality, her own life, her own circumstances. None of that has anything to do with you or any other woman’s choice. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Yes, Oprah is a cultural icon and the cultural conversations about and around her matter, especially to women and people of color. But I really think Oprah’s words have been completely twisted and misrepresented here.  I am all about women having babies and women working and women working while they have babies. I am also all about women not having babies. Basically, I think it’s fine if women want to reproduce or don’t want to reproduce. Oprah didn’t want to reproduce. She owns her choice. What’s the problem?

According to Erikson, it’s not only that Oprah apparently doesn’t believe women can work and be successful—it’s also that she’s selfish!

In a way, I have to commend you for making the decision that you did, since you knew that you were too selfish to shuffle things around to make being a working mom work. You knew that your kids would always come second to what you wanted for your life. Oh Oprah, only you can take something like being too selfish to have children and turn it into a selfless virtue.

Aargh. Seriously, aargh.

Photo: WireImage/Getty Images

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  • Janok Place

    Seriously… Oprah made the call many women probably should have made themselves. She was unable to commit to the responsibility of raising children, so chose not to. She made the right decision, it wasn’t selfish, it put the hypothetical children first. She couldn’t give them 100% so she decided not to do a half ass job of it.

  • ted3553

    Oprah said kids didn’t work for HER because she was too focused on her career. She didn’t comment on all moms or on everyone else’s situation. Quite the jump to go from her saying it was a choice that wouldn’t have worked for her to all working moms are unsuccessful as employees and parents.

  • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

    “Too selfish to have children”? That’s one of the more ridiculous things I have ever seen. (Not quite, because I just read the “affluenza” article and before that the Megyn Kelly one.) “You knew that your kids would always come second to what you wanted for your life.” That’s not selfish, that’s knowing her own mind, considering her priorities, and setting a life plan accordingly. Good for her!

    • brebay

      My mom used to say only selfish people didn’t have children. I’m sure glad she was selfless enough to have us and tell us how we cost too much, ruined her life and were generally worthless….at least she wasn’t selfish!

    • meteor_echo

      Are we long-lost sisters? Seems like we have the same mother.

  • jane

    She didn’t want kids, and didn’t have ‘em. Anyone with an opinion about that should STFU.

  • candyvines

    Shut up, Jenny Erikson. Not helpful. Fuck.

    Women can never truly “have it all” until some people realize that their way isn’t the only way. YOU have a choice, and YOU have a choice, and YOU have a choice. CHOICES FOR EVERYONE!!! MY FAVORITE THING!

    • Mel

      Choices are the best!

    • brebay

      No, dear, choices are hard and scary and cause wrinkles. Choices are like killing spiders and being in charge of uteruses…you know, man things.

    • Kay_Sue

      Can we get an Oprah gif attached to this comment? Because that would kind of make my night.

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    Yesterday my mother was harping on Oprah about how “BUT SHE HAZ A BABBY, SHE SHOULDN’T DISREGARD AND HIDE IT LIKE IT NEVAR HAPPENED” and wouldn’t accept that biological motherhood =/= being a mother, especially when you’re a young victim of sexual assault.

    Criminy with these people. I don’t even like Oprah and I wanna punch errthing for her.

  • AlexMMR

    People only have 100% of their time to divide up amongst the things they care about. No matter how you slice it, if you raise kids, the kids are going to take up a slice of that pie which means at least one other slice must become smaller. She didn’t desire the child slice enough to sacrifice the other slices she did want. Kudos for making that decision and not raising a child on a minuscule slice of pie!

    As for the idea of being selfish, yeah, so what? She is someones daughter. Someone who raised her saying “you can do whatever you want to do in life! You can be anything you work hard to be!” So she chose what she wanted to be, worked hard, and excelled at being that. What should she have done? Sacrificed the dream her mother had for her so she could try to convince the NEXT generation that maybe THEY can finally have what they want? How many generations do we pass that dream onto before someone is allowed to fulfill it?

    As long as you’re not hurting anybody by doing so, I believe being selfish is a perfectly fine thing to be. You know what selfish people get? Pretty much whatever they want.

    • DeanaCal

      Just like I like mashed potatoes and stuffing, but I like stuffing more, so on Thanksgiving I didn’t eat any mashed potatoes and instead had twice as much stuffing. OMG I DIDN’T HAVE MASHED POTATOES ON THANKSGIVING CUZ I’M SELFISH!

  • doriangirl

    I can’t stand Jenny Erikson’s article. They’re all so self-righteous and bigoted. Being a mom single or not is great, and kudos to those who pull it off because it is not an easy job to put it mildly, but not having kids is NOT “selfish.” Selfish is having kids and not putting them first. Not everybody wants kids!

  • Rachel Sea

    Anyone who thinks Oprah could have accomplished everything she has while still being an attentive parent is fundamentally short of a clue.

  • keelhaulrose

    So, Jenn Erikson thinks Oprah somehow owes the world a baby? She must, otherwise she’d realize Oprah doesn’t even owe anyone an explanation as to why she didn’t want to be a mom. Some women don’t, why they don’t is up to them.
    Forced motherhood… I’ve got some GOP reps she’d love.

  • JadePanda

    There is a huge difference between being a working mom and an entrapeneur of Oprah’s calibur. I’m a mom, and I work, and when it is 6 pm or the weekend, the last place I want to be is behind my desk. I like my job, but for me, it is a means of earning money so I can support my family. For Oprah, her life is her job. She has created a brand where people will pay for what she says, thinks, and creates. There is no way she could be where she is at today *and* have a kid without completely depriving them of her time. Good on her for realizing that!

    No woman owes anyone a baby or an explanation as to why they chose not to have one or can’t. And I’m sure Ms. Erikson would have been just as distraught if Oprah was male and made the same decision. /s

    • keelhaulrose

      That woman is probably home less often than the president or a cross-country trucker. She’s got interests in a few countries/continents, and she attends to them personally on occasion. Yes, it’s nice to let your kids see the world, but at the same time when Mommy is being Mama to a group of kids in the school she runs, it’s hard for her to have time to be Mommy to just one.

  • Reese McMillan

    Its obvious that Erikson has her own issues and insecurities and is projecting them while twisting Oprah’s words. Her issues are her own and she needs to sort that out.

    • brebay

      Every time I used to read her articles I closed my eyes and said a little prayer that one of her daughters grew up to be a cool lesbian chick (she’s a raving homophobe, as if she wasn’t cuddly enough already) and the other one fucked every guy in town and had a dozen abortions and a couple illegtimate welfare babies…

  • meteor_echo

    STFU, Jenny Erikson. STFU.


    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Ok, that shit just made me laugh.

    • coffeeandshoes

      Luffy!! Well played :)

  • Kay_Sue

    If someone’s discussion of their personal motivations and lifestyle choices upsets you to this depth, maybe you are not as secure about your choices as you originally thought.

  • Hilary MacNeal

    Jenny Erickson is one of the reasons I stopped going to The Stir. I swear that she writes most of her posts with the intention of stirring up as much s**t as possible. As such, I refuse to read her post about Oprah, but I can only imagine.
    Why oh why can we not simply live and let live?!?! What freaking business is it of anyone’s if someone doesn’t want children? Leave it be. I can pretty well guarantee that Oprah wasn’t sitting there thinking “now, let’s wreak havoc in the self-centred mommy world by making them think I’m attacking them by explaining my personal choices…” Jaysus. Although, I might have a new level of respect for her if it turns out she does have that little evil streak in her…

    • brebay

      Ha! just said the exact same thing. Commenters in here are far cooler anyway!

  • brebay

    I wish Bessie Duggar would sip on this.

  • brebay

    Ah, now I remember why that name sounded familiar, that’s the bitch I left TheStir to avoid. I love how she compares her work-from-home gig to the Oprah empire…totally the same.

  • FF4life

    Being a child to a working mother and being a child to Oprah Winfrey are two very different things. Not the same park, hell, not even the same sport.

    Why is it selfish to realize your life is too busy for kids? Is it really that selfish to not want to have kids? I’ve always heard the argument that having kids is the most selfish thing a person can do… I’ve never heard the opposite.

  • floretta50

    This writer have it backwards Oprah needs to stop being so self-righteous and leave and respect women who have to work and care for their kids, she needs to stop stooping low by, criticizing and inferring that because a woman is a working mother her kids must be screwed up, essentially that is what Oprah is implying, she has some nerve, because she is a rich, successful and worldly that does not give her carte blanche to spew out nonsense, civilization have to continue and in this day and age most woman have to work even if if there is a two salaried household. Any woman can get rich but it is not every woman who God give the gift of being able to have natural children some women are born barren.

    • brebay

      What year are you from? Who even says “barren?” And one more time, SHE’S NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!! She’s talking about her. Dig?

    • cesp

      Yes, becaus every personal decision a public figure makes is a direct attack on all those who would choose to do differently. Oprah was not implying that women as a whole are incapable of parenting and maintaining a career simultaneously and successfully. Oprah was saying that she personally did not feel as though she could or rather would want to do both. This is about Oprah, not you narcissistic.

    • cesp


    • meteor_echo

      She has cared about more children who come from poor families than you will ever do in your life. STFU.

  • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

    I have no words for how stupid that blogger is oh my god

  • Cee

    Well..Jenny Erikson works for The Stir, so there is that.

    And having found this site because I was annoyed with The Stir, I can tell you that she is pretty much the Elizabeth Hasselbeck of the bunch.

  • coffeeandshoes

    Alternate title for Erikson’s post – Newsflash for the World: I Am a Single Working Mom, Which Automatically Makes Me Worthy of Praise and Accolades.

  • ann

    Oprah is not childless she has nieces ans nephews and god kids and a stepdaughter she loss a baby in her youth , you retard .

  • ann

    Ii know you do not believe this but a lot of selfish people have kids that what wrong with america no one tells the truth . SELFISH PEOPLE HAVE KIDS ALL THE TIME FOR PEOPLE LIKE OPRAH TO HELP .

  • ANN


  • ANN


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