u cannot has cheezburger

25 06 2007

One more thing to blame on mothers: if you ate a lot of beef when you were pregnant, your son might, maybe, some day grow up to have a low sperm count. Oh, pay no mind to the fact that these yahoos polled 387 dudes, found 51 whose mothers fit the criteria on beef eating, and of THOSE 51, 18% had lower sperm counts. None of them were actually infertile or required assistance conceiving, mind you. But despite this fact, the researcher “cannot advise women on how much beef is safe to eat during pregnancy”. This is effed up on so many levels.

One – these men actually went back and had their mothers fill out a questionnaire about their prenatal diets, some of whom were born in the mf’ing 1940s. I don’t know about other women, but I only remember the biggies – with my daughter, I ate a ton of sushi (now on the THOU SHALT NOT list for mothers) and with my son it was, actually, hamburgers I craved. Now, we’re not talking more than 1 a day, or even 1 a day. But if you asked me to recall the particulars of my day to day prenatal diet, about the only thing you’ll hear is a horror story about trying to keep my requisite daily glasses of milk down. I just don’t remember the details. And that was only 12 and 7 years ago, respectively. Will I be able to answer those questions when the boychild is in his 30s and can’t knock up his wife and so blames my hamburger craving? Heck no.

Two – enough with the mother-shaming, you jerks. Seriously, enough is enough. I have absolutely lost all track of what all isn’t safe to do, eat, have, wear, think, own, drink, or smoke while you’re knocked up. It seems that as long as they can keep on adding to that list, every single time a woman has a baby with some sickness or disorder, they can turn around and point their fingers at the mother, who had that one piece of salmon nigiri at 4 months gestation or that half glass of wine on her birthday at 7 months or went to listen to her favorite band and breathed a little secondhand smoke at 8 months and they can blame her.

That’s really it, though, isn’t it? You keep wrapping these cocoons around women, infantalizing them, shaming them, playing on a mother’s natural feelings of responsibility and love, and using that guilt to exert more and more control over their lives. And not just when they’re pregnant, either. No, now you’re ‘pre-pregnant’ from the first damn day you bleed till well after you’re too old to. And because we love the baybeez so damn much, we’ll protect them from your womanly stupidity and cluelessness by prosecuting pregnant women for having a drink, smoking a cigarette, or who knows what the hell next.

If my son ever whines to me that he has low sperm count because I craved burgers when he was in me, I swear to god that boy will receive a whack upside the head with whatever blunt object is nearest. Preferably a shoe, so I can have a proper Irish mother tantrum.

The most offensive thing about this mother-shaming attitude is how much it cheapens what mothers do, reducing all that love, pain, and self-sacrifice down to a checklist. Down to some commandments issued from on high. Thou shalt not enjoy your cup of coffee, your sushi lunch, the air you breathe, the animals you keep, the pastimes you love. How long until they’re strapping you down to a hospital bed so you can incubate safely?

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3 responses

27 06 2007
Hopey

I’m one of those freaks who thinks pregnant women can eat whatever they can keep down, smoke an occasional cigarette, or have caffinated beverages if they want to. Nothing wrong with moderation. Getting wasted every weekend while pregant is a different story… I wouldn’t recommend it. I have a couple of friends with FAS, and it’s no joke.

My mum smoked while pregnant with me, and I turned out fine. In fact, she and her OB-GYN were BOTH smoking in his office during a consultation… and I was there, in fetal form. It was the early 70’s. People were much more laid-back then. Geez, I am so over this decade.

Your blog rawks, btw. 🙂

28 06 2007
Goo

Excellent!
Just thought I’d say hello and let you know I’m reading you over here.
Hope everything is well with you.

20 12 2007
Melina

very interesting. i’m adding in RSS Reader

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