Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Who Has a Right to Get Pregnant?

The more I think about it, the more I see that society does not support pregnant women. Especially career-oriented, highly intelligent, successful women. Leaving aside for the moment the issue of inadequate parental leaves and unaccessibility of daycare, have you ever tried to buy a gift for a pregnant woman?

First of all, there are no decent clothes for pregnant women that can be worn in an office or university environment. Most of maternoity clothes can be used as a contraceptive device, since they make you extremely unattractive.

The books for pregnant women always assume an extremely paternalistic, condescending tone. Instead of providing a woman with facts that would enable her to make an informed decision of her own, these books tell unverified, obviously invented stories aimed at scaring the reader into doing what the authors feel is right.

For the most part, these books aim to promote (in a very forceful way) a propaganda of "natural" birth and obligatory breastfeeding. Women are told that no matter how painful, they have to continue with both practices.
Pregnancy journals are obviously made by people who believe women have pastel-colored mush in place of a brain. They use expressions like "a bun in the oven" of all things! And it's not like there is anything else on the market. There isn't.

Do these manufacturers assume that women become stupid when they get pregnant, or do they think that smart women shouldn't have children?
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Anonymous said...

I might be mean but my intelligent friends who recently had children all became less intelligent. I don't know if I should blame paternity/maternity or such infantilizing books.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what's so often with pushing natural or home birth or breast feeding. Both are very good- home birth greatly reduces stress, and if you've a low risk pregnancy I don't see the reason to involve doctors and needles more than necessary, and breast milk is much more healthy for a child- you can even get a prescription for breast milk if you're unable to produce your own for any reason. Obviously neither are for everyone, but I see nothing wrong with pushing them.

I also don't see what any of this has to do with who has a right to get pregnant. It sounds more like you getting annoyed at resources rather than trying to add better ones.

Clarissa said...

You are right when you say that I'm not publishing any books on pregnancy. I'm not. But if you read any such books, you will see what I mean. Whether a couple decides to have a home birth or a planned Csection, whether they decide to breastfeed as long as they can or as short as they choose, it's their choice and their decision. Nobody should try to patronize them or impose their vision on them either way.

A woman can choose to have a planned C-section and stop breast-feeding at 6 months and be an amazing mother. Nobody has a right to tell her she's a bad mother on this basis. And many of these books do, unfortunately.

Clarissa said...

I'm sorry, my comment was cut short before I could finish it. What I want to say, is that the parents should decide these things and trying to impose any solution as the only correct for everyone is wrong. C-section for everybody is as wrong a policy as home births for everyone. We should respect the parents enough to let them decide what's best for them as parents and a couple. I would never take it upon myself to say that I know what's best for every mother. So why should these books do that?

As to the post's title, see what I have to say about office-type maternity clothes.