A feminist writer has criticized "Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines after they announced earlier this month that they are now expecting their fifth child.
In an article for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Kristen Pyszczyk asserted that it should not be taboo to criticize people for having "too many" children.
The Gaineses drew backlash on social media after they announced the pregnancy on Instagram. Pyszczyk said that she was surprised by the backlash not because she disagrees with the critics but because "it's a sentiment so seldom heard in a society that generally celebrates procreation with almost militant cheerfulness."
She acknowledged that having children is a "very personal choice," but she asserted that "[p]rocreation is becoming a global public health concern, rather than a personal decision."
"So when people do irresponsible things like having five children, we absolutely need to be calling them out," Pyszczyk wrote.
Pyszczyk said that the subject of population control needs to be discussed even though it is often associated with eugenics and other "nasty historical events."
She contended that people need to challenge the idea that procreation is fulfilling and said that women should be able to have options "that don't involve taking 20 years of their lives to care for offspring."
"This inevitably involves calling out people who have kids like they're going out of style," Pyszczyk wrote. "Shame is a powerful tool for changing behaviour: it's how we introduce new and existing social conventions," she added.
Pyszczyk acknowledged that Canada's birth rates are decreasing, but she noted that immigration the country might increase due to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to restrict funding for international abortion organizations.
The feminist writer suggested that couples who want to have children should consider adoption. "There are so many children in North America and beyond in need of loving homes, yet adoption rates in many areas are lagging," she wrote.
While many criticized the Gaineses for their announcement, hundreds of supporters congratulated the couple, who have been married for 15 years.
The Gaines family have been sharing their home improvement renovations on their popular show on the HGTV network since 2013.
The couple, who owns the real estate and home improvement brand called Magnolia, announced in September that they would be ending the show after its fifth season.
Chip acknowledged that there are some risks in ending the series, but he and his wife are optimistic about the future. Some have questioned their decision to end the show, but the couple said they both agreed to part ways with the popular home renovation series so that they could focus on their family.