A New Zealand Idol contestant has been kicked off the show for being pregnant:
"The decision was not taken lightly but the producers and the network feel that it is the responsible thing to do," a spokeswoman for the show's producers, South Pacific Pictures, said. "NZ Idol can be an intense experience and we do not wish to cause undue stress to Georgina and her unborn child."This is patently ridiculous. Women have been pregnant and given birth under far more stressful conditions than those required in New Zealand Idol. The idea that the producers of a television show have a better idea what the best conditions for a pregnant woman would be, rather than a woman herself and doctors if necessary, is absurd. I also find the idea that other people should make choices about women do about their lives, just because that woman is pregnant really offensive.
But I actually have another, more fundamental concern, with this attitude. To me the right to choose also includes the ability to choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth to a baby. Anika Moa talks about being put under huge amounts of pressure to abort her pregnancy when she was 19, and just starting out in the industry - a decision she regrets now.
Public life is set up with the assumption that people participating won't have primary responsibility for childcare. This is incredibly anti-woman and extremely restrictive for women who do have children. A huge part of what I'm fighting for, as a feminist, is ending the notion of a 'private sphere' the idea that child-rearing is an individuals (usually a woman's) primary responsiblity, and that you have to choose between that role and any other role that you want to take.