Sunday, July 15, 2007

Like They Say: The Truth will Set You Free

Following article is located at:

We Are Not Pregnant
The glory of men and women lies in their unbridgeable differences.
Mark Galli | posted 7/12/2007 08:55AM

A male friend, married to a lovely women, comes up to me beaming and says, "We're pregnant!"

"Wow!" I reply, with inappropriate sarcasm. "When I was a young man, only women could get pregnant."

I've heard this phrase—"We're pregnant"—too much recently, but it's time to move beyond sarcasm. The intent is as understandable as the execution is absurd. It arises out of the noble desire of men (and future fathers) to participate fully in the childrearing. And I understand that for many men, it simply means, "My wife and I are expecting a baby."

But the first dictionary meaning of pregnant remains, "Carrying developing offspring within the body." Whenever a word is misused, it means the speaker is unaware of the word's meaning, or that the cultural meaning of a word is shifting, or that some ideology is demanding obeisance. Probably all three are in play, but it's the last reality that we should pay attention to. It is not an accident that this phrase, "We're pregnant," has arisen in a culture that in many quarters is ponderously egalitarian and tries to deny the fundamental differences of men and women.

This phrase is most unfortunate after conception because it is an inadvertent co-opting of women by men—men using language to suggest that they share equally in the burdens and joys of pregnancy. Instead, pregnancy is one time women should flaunt their womanhood, and one time men should acknowledge the superiority of women. Men may be able to run the mile in less than four minutes and open stuck pickle jars with a twist of the wrist, but for all our physical prowess, we cannot carry new life within us and bring it into the world. To suggest that we do is a slap in the face of women.


Exactly, this author has it exactly right.

The really unfortunately thing is that women went along with this kick in our teeth so easily and, as usual, had to wait for a man to bring it to our attention.

The only point of disagreement with the author I have is that he's too easy on other men. As I don't agree for a moment that men did this due to 'noble desires'. In fact, it's just what it would appear to be if anyone else was doing it, an attempt to usurp womens' more significant role in the creation of life and for men to try and claim it as their own.

The male role in this area is minimal and this 'we're pregnant' business is another of their long-running, age-old, jealousy attempts to deny this reality.


PolishKnight said...

Hello NYMOM,

Maybe you're on summer vacation, but the blog almost seems to have tumbleweeds due to the lack of activity.

Anyway, my response to this is that it's rather cynical to say that men who embrace the notion of "we're pregnant" to participate more fully in their wife's pregnancy (often due to condescending lectures that men are not being sympathetic enough to their wife's pregnancy) are also "slapping them in the face" by trying to co-share their glory.

This is kind of like men lecturing their wife for not bringing home an income and then if the wife tries to work also screaming that she's emasculating him.

This leads to a larger issue I'm sure will generate waves and goes to the core of NYMOM's thesis:

I'm honestly not jealous of women's ability to gestate for a variety of reasons including that parenthood is more than just 9 months of walking around with a big tummy. It's a bit more obvious for men, but the saying "any man can father a child but it takes a man to be a father" also applies to motherhood. If the HIGHLIGHT of a woman's parenting is the 9 months of pregnancy and birth of her child, then she probably was a really cruddy mother.

In addition, us menfolk have the ability to father children into old age allowing us to engage in some family planning that women can't enjoy. Consequently, I was able to take time to develop myself emotionally and financially so that my (younger) wife could have a healthy, well supported child.

On the other hand, young women gestating children into poverty OR older career women having genetically damaged children because they waited until the last possible minute are, IMO, almost criminal acts and only a sick society tolerates and even encourages them.

This goes against NYMOM's claim that society is undermining the woman's madonna like role as baby-making machine. On the contrary: They've allowed women to exploit this role to the point where it's become warped into child exploitation.

In closing: I'm reminded of the Verizon commercial where a woman calls her husband to announce "WE'RE PREGNANT!!!" and fails to hear his silly response of running around the room sceaming about how happy he is to be an expectant father (sheesh! as if nobody has ever been a father before!) and she says snidely to him because she can't hear his response due to the inferior other mobile carrier:

"Way to step up there... Rick."

What a... **itch. I feel sorry for men like this AND their children.

Notice that most of these commercials have the women telling off men and belittling them because if a man belittles a woman on a television commercial the feminists and women consumers can't handle it.

NYMOM said...

Well I've been sick if you must know; thus I have not been posting as much these days.

BTW, I've never said that womens' ONLY contribution to life is gestating a child; but it is an inherently unique one to women, which many men spent much time trying to belittle...or claim as their own.

BTW, this wasn't me saying this. I just agreed with the author. Our difference of opinion came in as to man's motives for doing this as I don't see it as innocent as he does. I find it very planned on the part of men to do this, very calculating.

NYMOM said...

Last point: I don't compare having a child with having a career. As women achieve careers who invest the same time and energy into a career as a man does: ie., getting degrees, training, etc., Society doesn't allow women to become lawyers for instance if they don't graduate law school and take the bar. Nor does it allow women to become doctors w/o going to medical school.

Yet it appears okay to allow men to become 'mothers' w/o investing anything whatsoever.

That's the basic problem.

You contribute NOTHING, risk nothing, do nothing; yet 2 seconds after a baby's birth, you have given yourselves the exact same legal rights as the child's mother...

Anonymous said...

Reading this article has inspired me to comment on this interesting topic.
I am recently pregnant (four months), and have found that men and women have very differing perspectives on pregnancy and child rearing.
My partner has been my rock, through out many insane emotions and transformations my body has gone through, in such a short space of time.
Though it has to be said, although he can sympathise and be empathetic to an extent he can never really know exactly how I feel, and how strange and out of control one’s body feels whilst pregnant.
He hates when I say I am pregnant, or when I accidentally say MY baby to friends or family. He pipes up and says OUR BABY!!!!!!! (I cannot help it though as at this time it is developing in me)
This is true, that it is indeed a creation that has taken place because of us both contributing an element of ourselves. However, for obvious physiological reasons I as the female am contributing a whole lot more.
My partner too has experienced many emotions since finding out I am pregnant, and although both very happy I have been very poorly due to morning sickness and nausea. To which he can never really understand how much I have been ill, and although has an idea of how depressed at times I felt through being incapacitated by the nausea, he really does not have a clue as to the extent of my suffering.
This is of course not his fault. However he has experienced symptoms of what I would call womb envy. He often says he wishes HE was the pregnant one, and that I am experiencing the baby growing, and how HE wishes he could feel it move just as I can, and how HE would rather be the one pregnant, and how he would swap places with me in a second, just to experience what I am. This actually makes me feel guilty, as he actually gets quite bitter and at times moody over the whole thing…at least that’s how he comes across. I have really tried to be sensitive to his needs, during this time, and share every aspect of how I feel and how IT feels to be the pregnant one.
It has actually brought out some strange colours in him that I never knew were there. He gets angry that most pregnancy books are female focused, and that there are only small sections dedicated to the man, which he says he finds patronising and insults his intelligence. When I suggested finding a book specific for men in pregnancy, he said, “he should not have to”, and says we are EQUAL in this process, that he is just as important as I am.
He is of course right; I think children do benefit from two parents.
However only one of us can grow the baby.

He also is determined to cut the cord. A symbol I am now paranoid represents severing the child from my body for good.
Anyway, apologies for rambling on so much. It just feels good to get this off my swollen sore chest.

NYMOM said...

Frankly, he sounds like an insecure moron who is going to give you and your baby nothing but grief from the moment he 'cuts the cord'...

Do yourself a favor and race down to the courthouse as soon as possible after the birth of your child and get custody legally established in your name. As your partner sounds like the kind of jerk who will sneak down there shortly after he gets the baby's birth certificate and try to get it in his name and steal your baby.

Trust me on this one.

Anonymous said...

I am a 30-year-old European married to an American. I don not have any children. Lately I have decided that I do not want to have any children from my husband because I have come to regard pregnancy as the worst Ponzi scheme out there: You go through nine months of pregnancy, through labor, etc. and suddenly someone else can claim (at least equal) legal rights over the fruit of my labour (literally)!? Over the child I gave birth to! No, thank you! I am European and moving to the (very legalistic) United States has been a huge eye-opener for me: I once told an American fellow student that I would not want my husband to be present during the birth of my child (I see it as a very private moment, and I would like to be assisted by a doula or a trusted female friend) and he became very angry, claiming that it is a father's right to be there and see the child exit the mother's vagina (actually, he called it "witness the child's first moments")!!! I am a woman, a separate free individual, and NOT a mechanical child-bearing vessel / child-birthing machine. Therefore, I will not have any children, especially from my husband (I could always go to Denmark and undergo artificial insemination). I would love to have a child from my husband, but I am too afraid to do so in this upside-down world.

Unfortunately, also many formerly feminist European countries, such as Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, are now starting to embrace this questionable gender neutrality... When the heck did we switch from "women's rights" to "gender equality"? Sad!

Thank you for a wonderful blog!