Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Woman Is Only as Praiseworthy as Her Uterus

Apparently, a youtube video poking fun at some of the cliches surrounding pregnant women in American culture is causing a stir. (A youtube video causing a stir? You don't say!) Anyone who doesn't think pregnant women can get a bit smugtacular apparently has really awesome family, friends and acquaintances, because the next person who tells me I'll never know what love is until I have a child is getting hit with a chair.

Let's be honest about something here. I get it. Having children is awesome and I support your decision to do so. I get that you're uncomfortable and experiencing a certain level of risk in pregnancy, and I respect that. If you're happy about it, I am thrilled for you. If you want to complain to me about nausea and constipation and back pain, I am all ears. However, you are doing what almost every mammal on the planet does on a regular basis, and what humans have been doing for millions of years. Try for a little perspective on this, okay?

Not this perspective, however.

The song resonates because some of us are just plain jealous, says Georgia Witkin, a New York psychiatrist and obstetrician.

"A lot of people who aren't pregnant have some pregnancy envy," she says. She treats a lot of women at her fertility clinic, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, who desperately want children but can't reproduce.

What? If I don't treat pregnant women with the same reverance and amazement I would . . . really, no one . . . it's cuz Ai Haz Da Jellusy? Really? News flash, those kids in middle school weren't jealous of you, either.

This perspective takes it to a whole new level of Things That Make Me Stabby:

Yet, among the chorus of "so true," some worry that poking fun of a proud pregnant woman will discourage expectant moms from revelling in the extra attention they deserve.

"Deserve"? For what? Doing something almost every mammal on the planet can and does do on a regular basis? They're not curing cancer or ending poverty.

Women only get that kind of limelight while pregnant, so by all means let them enjoy it, says Andrea O'Reilly, founder of the Association for Research on Mothering at Toronto's York University. Teasing mothers who bask in the glory of pregnancy tends to send a negative message, she says.

Women only get that kind of limelight while pregnant. I somehow think Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets a little more limelight now than she did while incubating Chelsea.

However, perhaps for the average woman that is true. That's pathetic. That's not something we should support, it's something we need to address right now. That means that women are only as praiseworthy as their uteruses. Sure, you could run a Fortune 500 company or write a best selling novel or make a serious run at the presidency, but what's really important is your reproductive status.

You know what that's like? It's like when a small child shows you a picture that could only possibly be a representation of the asexual reproduction of amoeba and you say, "That's the best horse I've seen!" You say that because they are a small child and there's no reason to crush their spirit. The world will do that for you soon enough.

Seriously, heaping that much praise on a person for reproducing is condescending. Wow! A sperm and your egg combined inside your body! That's amazing! You've really accomplished something . . . that trillions of creatures accomplish every year. Good for you. Well, you are a woman, what more could you accomplish? Good thing you have a working uterus, otherwise you'd be worthless.

"I'm sure there are some quirks and people who take it too far ... but to make it into a stereotype or caricature thing bothers me," she says. "Then any type of woman will say, 'Oh God, I don't want to be that.' "

Yes, women are such sad, silly creatures that if people weren't falling all over themselves with praise for a biological act (you converted starches into glucose? you're amazing),they wouldn't bother to reproduce at all, and we'd be doomed. Pat the poor girl on the head so we continue to exist.



  1. Just a hunch, but if worrying that people will incorrectly perceive you as a pregnancy stereotype is enough to keep you from getting pregnant? Then it's probably good you're not pregnant and about to raise a child.

  2. I love my sons and I'm glad I had them, but the act of conceiving, incubating, and then expelling them from my body wasn't a great accomplishment. Raising them to be responsible, intelligent, productive, moral men (who can cook and do laundry and clean up after themselves!) has been the accomplishment.

  3. These are probably the same people that cringe and freak out when they see the slightest evidence that same-sex couples have touched each other with 10 foot poles (I never really understood that fetish...) but get all cooey over direct, evidential proof that Woman A has been humping the brains out of Man B (another fetish I don't really get. Maybe I don't watch enough zombie movies?) without even a thin layer of clear plastic between them.

  4. this is...

    many pregnangt women hate me. because pregnanct SQUICKS ME THE FUCK OUT.

    IT'S GROSS. just. ugh

    sorry. done now
    [dude, i ran into a friend, who's now pregnant, and she spent ten fucking minutes explaining to me that intestines develop OUTSIDE the fetus's body, and she didn't STOP until i threw up. and then she was completely offended at my throwing up, despite me telling her several times that she was making me sick, and with my meds things that make me sick WILL make me throw up...ARGH]

    ok, SORRY SORRY really done now

  5. ""A lot of people who aren't pregnant have some pregnancy envy," she says. She treats a lot of women at her fertility clinic, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, who desperately want children but can't reproduce."

    I'm a huge fan of how this person has projected the envy of non-pregnant women AT A FERTILITY CLINIC (i.e. people who are actively trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully) to the world in general and the blogger just ran with it.

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