I’ve heard that people get weird around pregnant ladies, and I certainly know from blogging about feminist issues that American society tends look at pregnant women as communal property of sorts – be it restricting abortion rights, criminalizing pregnant women, or just seeing women as straight up incubators. But wow, experiencing it first-hand sure is a trip! I’m quite sure I’m not the first pregnant lady to note these, but just a couple of things…
- Stop touching my stomach without my permission. It’s presumptuous and it creeps me out. You wouldn’t touch a non-pregnant person’s belly without asking, so what makes you think it’s okay to just lay hands on mine? I know you probably mean well and are excited about the baby and all, but please just ask first. (Especially because there’s no socially acceptable way for me to tell you to stop without sounding like a killjoy.)
- Please don’t comment on how small or big I’m carrying for how far along I am. It’s weird enough having your body change in such dramatic ways without having strangers tell you that you’re not normal. (I’m talking to you, bra-store lady! Your skeptical frown after I told you I was 6 months and comment that I’m way too small was not helpful nor welcome. I’m nervous enough about shit as it is.)
- Consider the fact that I am more than my pregnancy status and like to talk about things that aren’t pregnancy-related. I am an interesting person outside of carrying this baby – I promise! I have a life! And shit going on that doesn’t involve cribs, baby showers, nipples and diapers! Let’s talk about those things. (Yes Mom, that means you too.)
- Whether I use cloth or disposable diapers, whether I’m doing a home or hospital birth, or whatever other “charged” topics you’re asking about are really none of your business. (Unless we’re buddies and talking about said issues, of course.) Yes, I write about feminist stuff and maybe I’ll write about those one day too. And I’m totally flattered that you’re interested in my opinion about certain subjects in the general sense. But I’m also a person who is not very interested in justifying every pregnancy/birth/parenting decision I ever make with a long political explanation. I can paint my daughter’s room bright pink and line it with sparkly tiaras and – while it might be odd and out of character – it would still be a personal decision that you don’t need to know about.
Sigh. That feels better.