Sunday, August 20, 2006

Don't bash on the belly gentlemen...

Why are pregnant women called crazy? (A soapbox moment)

I am bothered by a common theme within our culture as represented by the media, and our culture in general. (Actually, I am bothered by many common themes, but this is the one bothering me today.)

I find it disturbing that pregnant women are considered crazy. If a pregnant woman has an emotional reaction to any given situation, she is just as likely to be treated like a person recently released from an institution as she is to be treated like a person with feelings. I understand that pregnancy causes emotional ups and downs, harsher or more extreme reactions to normal situations, and simply more emotions in general. I get it, I am currently pregnant. I understand that my crying in the grocery store the other day because the Fair Haven A&P doesn't carry the fudgsicles my parents buy back home is not the way I would behave if I weren't pregnant. I understand that crying at the end of Clerks II was more likely caused by hormones than it was the touching and meaningful prose of Kevin Smith. (I am pretty sure that Mr. Smith never intended to make his audience sniffle quietly whilst Dante and Randall rebuilt the Quick-Stop.)

Crazy is a hugely negative term in our culture. It immediately demolishes a person's credibility. For example, when liberals and democrats in 2000 and 2004 began to speak about the possibility of a stolen election, the validity of their viewpoints were dimished quite effectively by referring to them as crazy. (Or by referring to them as conspiracy theories, which in popular culture is synonymous with crazy.)

What upsets me is that these increased emotional reactions are natural. They occur becuase of a natural increase in hormone levels caused by growing a baby. (Without this ability, the human race would cease to exist, so therefore, I feel we should more respect pregnant women.)
I am upset that the hormones rushing through my system as a result of my role in continuing the species give other people the license to call me insane and treat me like a ticking time bomb.

Those of you who know me know that I can get fired up and angry about a great number of things, without a single wayward hormone in evidence. How am I supposed to make it through the next nine months without harming those around me if they treat me like a lunatic each time I get up on my soapbox?

It is unfeeling of our culture to punish pregnant women for expressing their feelings when a massive flood of hormones is pulsing through their systems. (Yes, referring to pregnant women as crazy when they react emotionally is punishment.) Why don't people simply understand that the growing of another human being has a tendency to effect emotions? Why aren't women, while pregnant, offered commiseration and support, instead of being derided as insane? Isn't it enough that we have to willingly get fat in a culture that makes anorexia look healthy?

Your Denver Girl (Pregnant and emotional!) signing out.

4 comments:

The Observer said...

M, remember that the emotions you're feeling are real. You might be more acutely aware of or expressing them better, but that doesn't diminish their legitimacy. People who call pregnant women crazy . . .

We use drugs, alcohol, and work to diminish how much we feel. Hell, almost all of us use humor to smother certain emotions. You're feeling something. What can possibly be wrong with that?

Scylla said...

I know! And yet, our popular culture and media treats "preggos" like "nutzos"! Why can't all of America be as enlightened as you??

And when are you coming to see me? I know you have a little time on your hands... you could come stay in lovely bug infested Mayberry, I mean Red Bank.

tek said...

OK, WHO is treating you like a ticking timebomb? Shall I inflict upon them the wrath of the aggrieved Tracy? Shall I kick stupid person ass?

I'm ready!

Having been pregnant and emotional, both together and separately, I found it was most often the men-folk that acted the dumbest about the whole thing. YOU try having your body taken over for TEN MONTHS (not 9: 40 weeks, buddy!) and see how well YOU deal with it! Facing potential illness, loss of use, changes in body perception, massive weight gain, facing the possibility of death, and missing feet (I didn't see mine for the last 2 months. When I did catch glances of them, they were swollen beyond recognition), how else is a person supposed to act?

You're absolutely correct that society should place more value on women as a whole and pregnant women in particular, but it won't happen. (Sorry, my reality switch is flipped today.) Your own personal group of friends may show you the greatest respect you can get in the world (and even they may be jerks). The rest of the world doesn't have you in their monkey-sphere, so you're lucky if they even consider you human.

Hang in there, girlfriend! Feel free to go ballistic on someone that's bugging you. Especially if they are already acting like you're going to, you might as well get the thrill of exploding!

Cruel, cruel, I know. I'm so bad!

Scylla said...

Bad maybe, but right!! There is no reason I shouldn't go ballistic on people who are already expecting me to. It is not up to me to single handedly repair the reputation of pregnant women, if they want hela monsters, I shall give them hela monsters!!

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