"If you want to know what’s in motherhood for you, as a woman, then – in truth – it’s nothing you couldn’t get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Newton, Faraday, Plato, Aquinas, Beethoven, Handel, Kant, Hume. Jesus. They all seem to have managed quite well. Every woman who chooses – joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of their own free will and desire – not to have a child does womankind a massive favour in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people; rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people."