British TV personality Amanda Holden sunk to a new low, this week. The 42 year-old, who is a panelist on Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent, confessed via her autobiography, No Holding Back, that she tricked her husband, Chris Hughes, into fatherhood.
The former actress didn’t make the revelation as an act of redemption or apology. Nor did she do it to highlight the error of her ways and teach others that men have rights too. She simply did it to shift copies of her tacky book. Unsurprisingly, she has received little criticism from British media for her confession. In fact, most journalists – who fail to see the scale of her violation – have been sympathetic.
I am not one of them.
For those who don’t know her, Holden has never been a person of particular high moral fibre. Neither endowed with talent nor charm, she shoehorned herself into British media by marrying ITV presenter, Les Dennis, in 1995.
Once she became known for this, she left him – heartbroken and alone – after having a public extra-marital affair, then continued to climb the social status ladder.
Clearly, it worked. After years of professionally putting herself about, she is now a ‘celebrity’ (of sorts) and has considerable influence over the millions of people who watch her programmes. Which is precisely why I‘m appalled by her gloating.
Not only is it immoral, insensitive and self-congratulatory, but it teaches millions of other young women that men’s choices don’t matter when it comes to parenthood. Something that is both irresponsible and dangerous.
Speaking about the incident to OK! Magazine, she said: “I’ve always been practical – a fixer. And I knew getting pregnant would fix it [the grief she felt over losing a previous baby]. Obviously, I was never going to replace my son, but I had to have another baby. I know I may get criticism, but it was about survival.”
“We’d already made the choice to have another baby, but he wanted to give it time. Men don’t understand. Tricking Chris was devious – but I had to have another baby.”
I disagree. It wasn’t devious – it was a form of rape.
Holden tricked her husband into a sexual encounter on the belief that she was taking the contraceptive pill. She wasn’t.
As a result, she stole her husband’s DNA and forced him into fatherhood. She manipulated the understanding on which they had sex and she has now taken control over his lineage, his family line and his future.
His financial and psychological needs have also been compromised, because the act of becoming a father is epic. It is life-changing and can never be reversed.
Worryingly, she treats this with a sexist, casual disregard which is worryingly common in today’s ever-evident sense of female entitlement. According to Holden, a woman’s desire to have children is greater than a man’s not to.
This is how cheap a man’s sperm – and his life – have become.
This is particularly upsetting given that men already suffer from insufficient rights when it comes to paternity. Men are regularly denied access to their children (but forced to financially support them), yet – even when they obtain visitation orders via the courts – they rarely get them enforced when the mother interferes.
Likewise, look at the scores of men who are victims of paternity fraud. The same men who request DNA testing for a newborn, only to be denied it unless the mother consents. Where is there fairness in that?
The old maxim of ‘my body, my choice’ is one that applies to both sexes, not just women.
Whatever a man chooses to do with his sperm – his lineage, DNA and personification of reproductive liberty – is his decision and his alone. He does not need ‘nudging’ along by a woman.
Holden’s story comes at the same time that Mia Farrow casually announces that Woody Allen probably isn’t the father of her son, Ronan. And that Kate Winslet confirmed she forces her children to stay with her, rather than splitting their time with their fathers. What a pair of wonderful mothers!
This is why female celebrities need to be taken to task for their sexist attitudes. No just because they’re offensive, but because these women are mothers – and will pass their bigotry on to another generation.
Even worse, their industries condone it – simply because they are women.
Let me be clear: I could deal with Holden being a waste of space, a talentless tart with no qualifications for imposing herself on the public consciousness. What I cannot deal with is the fact we have a woman who happily rapes a man’s choice – and then is allowed to keep her job on prime-time television.
When Andy Gray was fired from Sky Sports for a tasteless throwaway comment, feminists the world over took exception and effectively killed his career. But not one of them will speak out against Holden and her behavior, which is being approved by the continuation of her many lucrative deals.
Conception by deception is exclusively a woman’s crime – and, clearly, it cuts across class and status.
Worryingly, it is steeped in something much more sinister: acceptable sexism against men. Which is bizarre given that Holden attributes her actions to the son she never had.