On Wednesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan discusses a recent admission by “Sex in the City” author Candace Bushnell that she regretes choosing her career over having children. Video and partial transcript below:
This is a story about Candace Bushnell. She’s now 60. But back in the ’80s, I guess it was ’80s and ’90s, she wrote “Sex in the City,” a column that later became the famous TV star series starring Sarah Jessica Parker. And the TV series — which I only saw once or twice, I kind of sampled it because it was such a big deal; it wasn’t something that I was interested in. But a lot of people [have] said, and I actually think this is true, that it was written by gay guys and it was actually not about four women. It was about four women fronting for the opinions of these gay guys. And some of the conversations about sex really did sound like gay guys and not like women talking about sex. But the point of this was the idea of really enjoying yourself, having sex, and being free to have the kind of sex you want. There was a romantic strain in it. People were looking for love. But there was this continual idea of sex not having a moral component. That in other words, if you had sex promiscuously, you were not violating any kind of a moral code.
This is an idea that was being sold to people for a long time. Anyway, the story here is that Candace Bushnell now says she regrets choosing a career over having children. As she is now at 60 [and] truly alone. She divorced her husband, a ballet dancer, in 2012 and said it made her realize the importance of starting a family. She’s worth around £18 million. This is a British paper reporting this. And she says, “When I was in my 30s and 40s, I didn’t think about it then. When I got divorced and I was in my 50s, I started to see the impact of not having children and of truly being alone. I do see that people with children have an anchor in a way that people don’t, who have no kids.” And she goes on to talk about the fact that there is no one to care of you in your old age. She has to rely on girlfriends instead of the children to take care of her.
I couldn’t help but notice, and I don’t mean this as an attack on her because we’re all guilty of this to some degree. I couldn’t help but notice that even now, the same reasons that she followed the promiscuity path, which were selfish reasons, are the reasons she wants to have had a child. The selfish reason is she’s alone. She wants someone to take care of her. And it points out to me the essential materialism of leftism which I’ve talked about before.
Leftism is a materialist creed. It is a creed that says I can fix this. If two people have unequal amounts of money, I can take money away from one and give it to the other, and then they will be equal. And of course, the flaw in that is it doesn’t look into the idea of why one person has more money than the other. Why taking the money away and giving it to this other person might hurt that person. As if that person were not just a material entity, who when he gave them more money, had more money. But was also a spiritual entity, who was going to behave in certain ways that might hurt him, whether he had the money or not? This is central [to the] materialism of leftism, and the essential selfishness of materialism.
Under materialism there’s really no reason to do anything for anybody else. Truly there’s not, except [when it’s] to your own advantage. You have kids because they’ll take care of you in your old age and you won’t be truly alone. But the thing is, if you have a spiritual idea of life. If you have an idea that we’re not just physical entities, we’re not just meat puppets, who can be controlled with drugs, who can be satiated with food and sex, [and] who can be made equal with money.
If you don’t look at it that way, as you look at us, as entire entities, entities who are “selves,” you start to think about other things. The religious point of view, the spiritual point of view, is that things have a purpose. Things are whole and have a purpose. Sex has a purpose. It has a lot of purposes, it has varying purposes, but it does have a purpose. Your profession has a purpose. Life has a purpose…
One of the purposes of life is to create life. To give the gift that you’ve been given, to someone else. That is one of the reasons that you have children. It’s not, you know, people who say, “Well parents with young children are not among the happiest people.” That’s true, but that doesn’t mean they’re not among the most fulfilled people. Having children opens up a wall that you didn’t even know was there — turns your two-dimensional life that you thought was a three-dimensional life into a truly three-dimensional life. It deepens your sadness and it deepens your joy. It deepens everything about your life because it is the purpose of your body. The purpose of your body and its life is to create more life. And when you do things for their purpose, you suddenly find they’re harder. The world may not be as kind to you as it would be if you do it for the world, but you’ll find you are much more richly fulfilled and happier.
I don’t sit down and write to make money. I don’t sit down and write so that people will applaud me. I sit down and write because I think there’s something inside me that is trying to communicate itself — that I was given, it was given to me, to do this. And I try to do it with that spirit. I really do every day. I like making money off it. I like the fact that I can make a profession out of it. I like the fact that sometimes it wins me praise. Writers want to be read, and writers want to be praised. I’m not denying any of that, but I know that the purpose of it is something other than that.
The purpose of life is to make life. And I think it’s something that we have been talked out of — especially women — by feminists, who are idiots. They have been talked out of their own purpose, their central purpose. It is the central purpose of your physical being. And I thought when I read that about Candace Bushnell, the first thing that occurred to me is: you know what, there’s no going back. There’s no going back, that’s a mistake you cannot correct, and it is an essential mistake. And I think that everybody should be thinking about it and breaking out of the chains that the Left has surrounded us [in] — the material chains, which are also chains of selfishness.