The rumor that Khloé Kardashian is pregnant -- after publicly struggling with fertility issues on Keeping Up With The Kardashians -- has many wondering: did Khloé Kardashian use IVF? Despite previous struggles with fertility and a scene in the June 2017 finale of KUWTK in which she visited a fertility doctor and openly discussed her past struggles with ferility, it's none of our business. Yes, Kardashian is a public figure, and yes, she shares details of her life with the public through her show and social media presence.
UPDATE: On Dec. 20, Khloe Kardashian confirmed that she is expecting a baby with Tristan Thompson in an Instagram post.
Earlier: But she gets to determine what we do and do not know about her life. Why? Because she's a human being. I don't care that she, like the rest of her social media-mastering family, has spent the better part of the last decade in the public eye, discussing pretty much everything about her life: her former marriage to Lamar Odom, her struggles with weight, how it feels when people joke that her "real" dad is O.J. Simpson.
Yeah, she puts herself out there. But part of the agreement between public figures and the private citizens who consume the art, media, and what have you that these figures create is that these figures are, at the end of the day, only human. Which means they deserve agency. They deserve privacy and the right to make decisions based on their own needs, not just the needs of curious onlookers and fans.
Kardashian should be able to decide what she shares and doesn't share -- and if that includes whether or not she used IVF, so be it. But if she keeps that to herself, that's fine, too.
Kardashian's experience -- as both a public figure and a woman struggling with fertility issues -- dovetails into a distinct issue: the right to privacy when it comes to pregnancy.
The Guardian's Laura Bates discusses the public's obsession with women's fertility: "We obsess over fertility as if women are slot machines who simply need to be primed and pumped at the optimal socially acceptable moment for a baby to shoot out like a prize."
Fertility and pregnancy are loaded experiences.
While you can't have one without the other, no one wants to discuss the devastation of miscarrying -- and the lack of acknowledgment increases the stigma of a common occurrence -- but once a woman is visibly pregnant, it's game on.
Pregnancy is a uniquely public physical experience. Or, it can be, at least -- especially when a woman starts showing -- similar to a public figure being recognized in public. Perfect strangers approaching you, asking questions about when you're due and if it's a boy or girl, what your birth plan is -- to say nothing of the people who touch pregnant women's stomachs without asking.
While some may argue that there's nothing wrong with asking questions, or even touching someone's stomach without being invited, there's literally nothing a woman can do to hide her pregnancy. Past a certain point, it is public knowledge.
That, however, doesn't mean that everything about the pregnancy should be public. Just because you're having a public experience doesn't mean you stop being a human being who requires privacy.
That said, Kardashian's candor is not only refreshing -- it's helping to destigmatize conversations about fertility.
Both Kardashian and her older sister Kim have been relatively open about their struggles with fertility and pregnancy -- Kim especially. She was vocal about how difficult both her pregnancies were and how much they strained her body. She is also reportedly preparing for a third child with husband Kanye West via surrogacy.
But it's Khloé Kardashian's experience at a fertility clinic in the show's finale that is particularly important. A single woman at the time of filming -- though technically still married to now-ex-husband Lamar Odom -- she visited with sister Kim to see if she would be a suitable surrogate for Kim and husband West.
Kardashian told Dr. Andy Huang that she "fake tried" to get pregnant with Odom, alluding to her previous struggles with fertility treatments. Afterward, Huang gave her an ultrasound -- and some news that indicated that she may have some trouble getting pregnant in the future. The clip shows Kardashian's reaction -- "Shut the f*ck up!" -- and she then discusses how this is not the news she expected.
It's a relatively quick scene, and while KUWTK gives it plenty of weight, it's more matter-of-fact than anything else. Here is a normal 32-year-old woman who may have fertility issues.
The banality of the scene is what makes it groundbreaking. Kardashian's willingness to discuss what is likely just her reality helps other women who are struggling see that they're not alone.
But that doesn't mean we're owed anything by her. She's not a spokesperson. She's not obligated to share the intimate details of her life. If she so chooses, then great. More power to her. But if she wants to keep the details of her pregnancy to herself, that's something everyone should respect. Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.