Everyone is kicking off about these Italian ‘fertility day’ adverts

In case women didn't need reminding of the fact that their only real purpose in life is to produce babies - Italy has devoted an entire day to it

If we’ve learned anything over the course of our millennial lives, it’s that people love reminding women that our fertility is halfway down a helter skelter.

And there’s no clearer example of this than the inception of ‘Fertility Day’ in Italy – as advertised by a smug-looking woman rubbing her flat stomach and waving a bafflingly large egg timer in front of the camera.

With an expression more knowing than that of the Holborn hologram, the advert is accompanied by the slogan ‘beauty has no age – but fertility does‘.

It’s one of a series of posters designed by an Milanese agency to advertise ‘Fertility Day’ (other wonders include the lines ‘don’t wait for the stork’, and ‘don’t let your sperm go up in smoke’).

Now, after a lot of uproar on Twitter, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has quickly pulled the adverts – and criticised the logic behind them. ‘I don’t know of any of my friends who decided to have kids because they saw an advertisement,’ he said. ‘People have children if they can get a full-time job, afford a mortgage or find a place in a nursery close to home.’

Nevertheless, while the campaign has been cancelled, the so-called ‘Fertility Day’ is continuing as planned – scheduled to take place on September 22 at a series of pre-specified ‘Fertility Villages’ in Rome, Catania, Bologna and Padua. The villages will host screenings and access to reproductive experts – while organising lectures on that aforementioned downward spiral which apparently affects all women over the age of 25.

It’s a particularly patronising event – but one which the Italian government maintains is necessary due to rapidly falling birth rates. As it stands, Italy has the lowest birth rate in the whole of Europe – with 1.35 children per woman (versus 1.81 in the UK). Still, it’s worth noting that instead of implementing equal paternity leave or encouraging flexible working hours to stop women from feeling like they have to choose between a career and a family, they’ve opted for some more lectures about infertility instead.

And we all know that technique works, right?

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