I was called wicked for not wanting children, says Naga
NAGA MUNCHETTY, the BBC presenter, has said she was branded “wicked” for choosing to be child-free.
Munchetty said that she was frequently asked as a younger woman when she planned to have children, and had been asked outright if she was infertile.
During a discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC Breakfast presenter, 45, said: “I remember when I told someone that I had decided I didn’t want children, someone told me I was wicked. Wicked against my mother for denying her grandchildren.
“It’s quite interesting, isn’t it, how people react?”
She added: “I’m past the age now where people expect me to have children.
“[But] people can be quite forthright: ‘Oh, you can’t have them?’”
Munchetty is married to James Haggar, a television director.
She said: “I think people find it unusual that both in the relationship have agreed or decided or come to the conclusion that they don’t want children.”
She added: “Funnily enough, I’m really good with babies – not so good with children but really good with babies, because I think I don’t have that anxiety, so I can actually stop them crying, which always surprises all of my friends with newborn babies because they’re always a little bit scared when I take them.”
Munchetty said there was a definite distinction between “child-free” and “childless”.
She was speaking to Emma Gannon, an author who is child-free, and who said she objected to being told that she might change her mind one day. “We don’t say it to women who are having children – ‘Oh, you might change your mind’ – and we need to be mindful that it is a slightly strange question, because you’re doubting a woman’s choice.”
A recent study by the University of Washington found that the global fertility rate has plummeted since 1950, when women had an average of 4.7 children over their lifetime.
That figure, by 2017, was 2.4 children, and the study projected that it will fall to below 1.7 by 2100.
Naga Munchetty, the BBC Breakfast presenter, said many had questioned her decision not to have children