When Jennifer Aniston did press day for her new film, The Switch, she probably got a million questions about motherhood and basters and being single and babies. Those quotes have been flying around all week, notably her quotes on single motherhood: “Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing… that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you have waited too long. The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.”
Most people have been reading this as a defense of single motherhood, an embrace on “non-traditional” families, and just a simple agreement with the basic plot of her film. But Bill O’Reilly got his panties in a twist about it:
While promoting her movie ‘The Switch’ earlier this week, Jennifer Aniston told reporters that women don’t need men to start a family or be good mothers. When Bill O’Reilly caught wind of her bold statements, he debated the topic of single motherhood on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and called out the 41-year-old actress. “She’s throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that, ‘Hey you don’t need a guy. You don’t need a dad.’ That is destructive to our society,” O’Reilly railed.
FOX News contributor Margaret Hoover and FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson debated the topic with O’Reilly, admitting young teens wouldn’t be able to comprehend the vast differences between a 40-year-old woman and a teenager raising a child as a single mother. “She is glamorizing single parenthood,” Carlson said.
In ‘Switch,’ Aniston plays a woman who elects to take on life as a single parent through artificial insemination. During the movie’s press conference in LA, the actress admitted “times have changed” and women don’t need to rely on men to be good mothers.
“Women are realizing more and more that you don’t have to settle, they don’t have to fiddle with a man to have that child,” Aniston said. “They are realizing if it’s that time in their life and they want this part they can do it with or without that.”
O’Reilly called out the actress, deeming her message inappropriate. “Jennifer Aniston can hire a battery of people to help her. But she can’t hire a dad. Dads bring a psychology to children that in this society is under emphasized. Men get hosed all day long in the parental arena,” he ranted.
“Any man who leaves their children is not a man. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But the fathers that do try hard are under appreciated and diminished by people like Jennifer Aniston,” he continued.
Finally, O’Reilly challenged Aniston to come on his show and defend her statement. “If she wants to explain, she can get her butt right in here.”
Don’t hate me, but I understand where O’Reilly is coming from, even though I don’t agree with him in general. I think one part of O’Reilly’s point does stand up: it’s very easy for Jennifer Aniston to stand up for single motherhood and the idea of women doing it by themselves because of where she is in her life, being 41 years old and rich. That isn’t the experience of most single mothers, and maybe the rah-rah single mother thing isn’t the best message for young girls. That being said, I think O’Reilly is full of it because Aniston dared to suggest that anything other than the perfect nuclear family was acceptable, and that is bullsh-t. And being raised by single mothers, or in non-traditional families, doesn’t f-ck your children up, for the love of God.
Also: At first I thought this was some kind of twisted cross-promotion between Fox News and some Fox-owned movie studio, but Miramax is putting this film out, so there. Bill is just being a blowhard, per usual.