Midweek Media: Pregnant Women are Smug

Transcribed:
Two white women are in front the camera. The woman on the left has short dark hair and is wearing a yellow T-shirt with a brownish sweater. She’s sitting behind a keyboard. The woman on the right has long blonde hair, is wearing a green shirt with a black sweater and is holding a guitar. The woman on the left waves and says hi. The woman on the right announces, “This is a song for all you pregnant women out there.”

They begin to play their instruments, then sing:
I can’t wait to hear someone say
Don’t care if it’s brain dead
Don’t care if it’s limbless
If it has a penis.

‘Cause pregnant women are smug
Everyone knows it
Nobody says it
because they’re pregnant.

Pregnant women are smug
Everyone knows it, nobody says it
Because they’re pregnant
Effing son of a gun
You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps
Now that you’re pregnant

I can’t count all the ways how
You speak in clichés now

They stop singing to have a mock conversation.
Blonde: So, do you want a boy or a girl?
Brunette, affecting an exaggerated tone: Oh, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s healthy, mmm.
Blonde: Really, because I don’t think those two things are related. It’s not like one or the other.
Brunette: No, really, as long as it’s healthy, mmmm.

I can’t wait to hear someone say
“Don’t care if it’s brain dead
Don’t care if it’s limbless
If it has a penis”

Pregnant women are smug
Everyone knows it, nobody says it
Because they’re pregnant
This zen world you’re enjoying
Makes you really annoying

Another cutaway convo:
Blonde: So, is it a boy or girl?
Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.
Blonde: What you’re gonna name it?
Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.
Blonde: Who’s the father?
Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.

Bitch, I don’t really care
I was being polite
Since you have no life now
That you’re pregnant

You say you’re walking on air
You think that you’re glowing
But you’ve been ho’ing
And now you’re pregnant

You’re just giving birth now
You’re not Mother Earth now

Conversation:
Blonde: Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much going on. I got my novel published, I moved, I got married.
Brunette: Gosh, you know, everything seems so trivial now that I’m pregnant.
Blonde: Well, I also helped end gang violence in Mexico when…
Brunette: You know, I can’t even remember what I did before I was pregnant. Everything else seems so meaningless.

When they begin singing the refrain for the last time, their voices are softer.

Pregnant women are smug
Everyone knows it, nobody says it
Because they’re pregnant
Effing son of a gun
You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps now
Now that you’re pregnant

The women look at each other. The vid ends.

Now’s the time on THL when we discuss…

Comments

  1. The Other Patrick says

    Yeah. I don’t know. I think there is a cult of pregnancy, but it’s one pregnant women often get pushed into against their will, too, when all anybody asks them is about the child, and all anybody tells them is about what they think is good parenting or pregnancing.

    • Unas says

      In regard to identity, could it perhaps be said that the actual person is suddenly (for a large part) replaced by a stereotype of thé ‘pregnant woman’/’future mother’, which includes a notion that for them now everything revolves around the baby and nothing else? Though I am sure carrying and birthing a child will change your perspective on your life and the world as well as changes your priorities, an assumption that from then on there is nothing else but their baby/ies in their lives seems very narrow minded to me. And to relate this to one of this week’s earlier posts on gender essentialism, this very much seems to come forth out of that, the idea that women = mothers.

      Now these are just my thoughts, and I only have limited experience with pregnancy (since I’m a guy and all :P); a friend and his girlfriend are currently expecting their second child, and my younger sister and her friend have a 4 year old. During pregnancy things weren’t always all happy go lucky for my sister. With my friends it was a more ‘typical’ experience with some the things described in the song (but not smug). But I also wonder how much of that is just an assumed mask towards outsiders. Right now, my sister definitely has more to worry about than just the young one. Trying to maintain a reasonable income and looking to start get a second degree to help with that. Also, I (as a student) live next to a section of student apartments that is reserved for students who are also parents. So, clearly they have other goals besides raising their children. Whenever I tell fellow students where I live they nearly always react with a surprised “students who already have kids? Do those exist??” And I can’t get my head around why that is so hard to imagine, but I guess a some of them don’t expect mothers to do anything beside raising their kids, apart from perhaps a part-time job. To others it might not have occurred that there’s people attending university who came there via another path than they went down themselves (does this constitute privilege?).

      Bit of on a tangent there. To comment on the song itself, it seems to revolve around petty annoyances that come out of an inability to relate to the pregnant women and a perceived smugness of those women, coming from the assumed bliss that is pregnancy. Now it is that last assumption that is quite problematic to me. Dedicating it to “all you pregnant women out there” and it then having lines such as “This zen world you’re enjoying, Makes you really annoying” and “You say you’re walking on air, You think that you’re glowing”, does seem to ignore any kind of downside/negative effect to/of pregnancy. Pregnancy is definitely not always free of problems and I can only imagine the physical as well as psychological burden. Leave alone the complications that may arise during and after delivery. But I really don’t think I’m qualified to say much more about that, with my inexperience and all. The idea of pregnancy = bliss and pregnant women are enlightened, closer to nature and such, is one often propagated by media and does seem to say that pregnant women should be happy, because you’ll be a mother and what higher goal than that can you, as a woman, attain. Right? And this doesn’t seem to leave room for women to be allowed to be troubled in whichever way by their pregnancy, which I can’t imagine can be good.

      Okay, that’s about what I had to say I guess. I’d like to state again, as a 26 year old male student, I’m about the least qualified to say just about anything about pregnancy, so if I made any gross mistakes or problematic statements, please do correct me. :)

  2. Melissa says

    I know that there’s all kinds of social issue fail in there (the ableism, the slut shaming, the misogynistic language, etc.), but for whatever reason, I still find it hilarious. Oh well.

  3. Havoc says

    I’m so tired of everyone discounting what pregnant women say just because they’re pregnant. Because that’s all this song is; two people dismissing pregnant women’s stated beliefs just because they’re pregnant. Gestating a baby doesn’t take your brain away. If you really think there’s some “cult of pregnancy,” seriously, I would like to know where it was when every person I’ve ever known who has been pregnant. Because each one of those people were unique and had their own beliefs and opinions.

    Oh, yeah, and pregnancy doesn’t mean you have no life, or that you’re a “ho.” But, hey, gendered slurs are a-okay if they’re against a subset of a gender that you don’t like, right?

    • The Other Patrick says

      I didn’t mean that pregnant women become like cultists, but that society at large inflates pregnancy (like a cult film, for example) and probably some pregnant women are part of that, as well. It’s similar to how some dog owners or new parents are when all they talk about are their kids or pets. But of course those aren’t “all dog owners / parents / pregnant women” – and in fact, with the latter two at least, cultural expectation is that their lives become rearranged, so that not talking about the kids might even reflect badly on them.

      So, if everybody asks you about your pregnancy and not much else, and if people expect you to talk about your pregnancy – can you really be faulted for talking about your pregnancy?

      • Charlie says

        I’m much more annoyed by how other people act around pregant women than I am by the pregnant women themselves. It’s like people can’t talk about anything else, and they assume that the oman has nothing else in her life except for the baby. And I think you’re right, that the pregnant women who do act this way probably do it because they’re just used to having everybody ask about the baby all the time.

  4. says

    Hmm. Doesn’t much describe any of the pregnant women I’ve known; they all seemed to want to get on with life as normal. I will grant that we as a culture don’t seem to quite know how to treat pregnant women. Should they be babied and treated like they’re made of glass because pregnancy is important/physically taxing/delicate? Or should we treat them no differently so that they can continue to work as per normal up until they take their maternity leave? Should we shower them with compliments and attention or is it none of our business?

    If society belongs to the pregnancy-is-precious camp, and the most difficult and wonderful thing a woman can do is have a healthy baby, then yes, it follows that pregnant women should be smug. And some of society does belong to that camp, I know; for example, one friend complained that strangers kept touching her all the time, as if her pregnancy made her a sacred relic they had a right to rub for a blessing.

    As for the song itself, well, I know this duo likes to make uncomfortable points. But there seems to be some slut-shaming going on in their lyrics – “But you’ve been ho’ing”? “Who’s the father?/Oh, we know but we aren’t telling”? It also seems to be tapping into some image of the pregnant woman as a half-crazed bundle of hormones who orders pickles and chocolate. Gosh, it seems to say, pregnant women are so baby-obsessed and stupid, who cares what they say?

    • Maria says

      Gosh, it seems to say, pregnant women are so baby-obsessed and stupid, who cares what they say?

      That’s exactly what bothers me. If there was some point in the song where they have the woman do something more annoying than say she wants a healthy baby, or interrupting her friends, which does suck but is something I’ve mostly experienced with my SINGLE friends on the dating scene — you see this trend on FB where posting about your professional accomplishments gets you v. few comments but posting about having a hot date gets you 30,000,000 likes and over nine thousand comments, I’d probably not be as annoyed with it.

      Here’s where the misogyny comes in for me: they’re positioning themselves as exceptional females, definitively different from other women… it makes me think of those women who feel like they’re better than other women because they aren’t “girly” or whatever, and they end up positioning themselves as (masculine) agents and other women as passive (feminine) bitches.

    • says

      When I first heard this song, I assumed it was about upper-middle class white women in pre-natal yoga, or something similarly privileged. Not that people can’t make their own choices, but ukele-playing hipsters can make their songs, too. I have a feeling that the ladies who wrote the song are in the same subset of people they’re dissing.

      • Maria says

        Then they should have said so. It’s a sign of race, hetero, and class privilege that they felt they could offer the song as a universal.

  5. says

    I LOVED IT.

    I have known a couple of women just like the ones described in the song; and thankfully, many more that are nothing like it, but it’s the ones that fall into this obnoxious conduct that interest us now. And for this purpose, “Smug” in the song is the understatement of the year.

    It’s not about the pregnant (or recent mum) woman being monothematic about her pregnancy and/or baby. This is ok. I don’t mind listening to my friend mums about their liquid retention or their baby’s poop. It’s not the what, it’s the how.

    The problem are some women that believe that their pregnancy has given them the Key to Universal Truth. They, by virtue of their pregnancy, have acquired a Superior level of Existance, and ANYTHING their non-parent friends will say or do (as exemplified in the song in the 3rd conversation) is tainted by their not knowing the Important Things in Life because they’re poor Non-Parents who whine about Trivialities like career-altering decisions, family issues, life-threatening illnesses, because they don’t know better. They lack Priorities.

    And priority #1, for Mumzilla, is *herself*. Not the Baby. It’s her, feeling entitled to people bowing down to her. They become Mary Sue encarnate, but we’re not part of their fanfic.

    • says

      Yeah, but what they’re saying is that ALL women automatically become smug upon getting pregnant, and that’s absurd and insulting. Like Maria says, are we supposed to assume these two untalented little shits won’t become smug if they ever get pregnant?

        • says

          Really? I find the singing very grating. There’s a method to singing in unison, and… that’s not it. And the songwriting… meh at best.

          But then I’m a musician and may be more critical for that reason.

          • sbg says

            I just mean it can come across as a bit of a “Yeah, well, you suck!” rebuttal to their endeavor, especially having no prior knowledge of your musicality. :)

            I don’t think they’re going for perfect singing, and goodness knows there are ample examples of successful artists out there with less talent than unknowns.

            But this discussion doesn’t belong here. Shutting it. ;)

  6. says

    Pregnant women are smug
    Mexicans are gangsters
    Feminist women are bitchy
    Atheists are immoral

    Yes, there is a cult of mommyhood out there. There are also bitchy feminists, immoral atheists, violent blacks, gangster Mexicans, campy gays, slutty bisexuals, dumb blind people, etc… They just have nothing to do with the majority.

    Seriously, aren’t we trying to rise above stereotypes here?

    • Maria says

      Pluuuus if you actually talk to your pregnant friend about HER FEELINGS about being preggers, you generally can have a really good conversation about the cult of motherhood/marriage/family and how it hurts both parents and non-parents. I mean…. I mean goddamn that’s part of what The Feminine Mystique was about.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feminine_Mystique

  7. Cinnabar says

    Nuuuuuu! Not Garfunkel and Oates, the duo responsible for the amazing Sex with Ducks song! *gets all protective* :'(

    Yeah I didn’t know what to make of this when I first heard it either. Their usual stuff is hilariously awesome but this did give me pause. On the surface, it IS dismissive of pregnant womens’ feelings, and I didn’t like the implication that ALL pregnant women are like that. (I get the feeling that most people’s primary take away would be that they all are, rather than some.) On the other hand, listen to their Sex with Ducks song!

    Based on their other work, maybe this was intented as a joke on the kind of (privileged) women who (can socially afford to) buy into the “Cult of Pregnancy” and act like the whole world revolves around them now and their single/non-pregnant/kidless friends are pathetic losers who should feel ashamed? Maybe one of them got treated that way by someone and decided to have a laugh and write a song about it?

    But “Some pregnant women who buy into the Cult of Pregnancy and act like they own the world (but not others who are really nice) are smug” just didn’t have the same ring to it. ;)

    • sbg says

      My problem with this bit as humor is that I can’t honestly tell if they’re going for ironic by being completely smug themselves while ripping apart pregnant women for being “smug”. And I should be able to tell that for the song/joke to be actually funny. Frankly, it comes across more as two people who have no intention of ever being pregnant and poo-pooing the idea in that classic you’re-not-a-feminist-if-you posturing that doesn’t really do anyone any good. Joking or not.

      • Cinnabar says

        Probably I just laughed too hard at their other songs and wanted to do the same for this. The more I think about this though, I’m coming to the conclusion that whatever the intent was, I don’t excuse the outcome. If they were going for ironic it didn’t come through clearly at all. It DID just turn out like a blanket derision of all pregnant women. And taking into account the context of the culture we’re steeped in just makes it worse.

    • Jennifer says

      I totally read it as you did: they are talking about the people who make you feel like a loser because you’re not pregnant too. Which is probably why I enjoyed this so very, very much.

      No, not every pregnant woman acts like that. But enough do at times that the song feels true to me.

        • says

          I’ve known several smug pregnant women. All of them were smug before they became pregnant, and remained smug after they were no longer pregnant. The only thing that changed was their stated reasons for smugness.

          Personally, I think there’s an element of jealousy in these women (by which I don’t mean to say “they’re just jealous!”, in fact jealousy isn’t quite the word I want, I just can’t find the one I do) but that they’re being inundated from all sides with the Western cult of motherhood, and they wish society were reinforcing their actions as obsessively as it does (married, upper class white able-bodied) pregnant women so that they got to be smug, and blame this on the pregnant women.

          On the other hand, for entirely different reasons, I feel leery the “as long as it’s healthy question.” What if the kid isn’t healthy? Are they a disappointment? Yeah, I know that isn’t what anybody means when they say that.

          • says

            Oh, thanks! I was trying to pin down the sense of envy I got from the singers, and that’s it – they are blaming the cult of motherhood (that TOP talks about) on mothers themselves, and that’s like getting angry at sex-positive or sex-negative feminists because you hold the opposite position: it’s really the culture that’s pitted us against each other, so let’s get together and blame the culture instead of other women.

            I think you have to already have smugness in you to get smug about being pregnant. I avoid smug people, and that may be why I’ve never met a smug pregnant woman.

          • MaggieCat says

            Hmm, I’m just not sure why smug pregnant women are worse than other kinds of smug people…?

            Oooh, ooh, I think I know this one! Because if you dare imply that perhaps the entire world does not revolve around their child and/or views on parenthood YOU are clearly a monster who hates babies and happiness and shouldn’t be allowed out in public with normal people. At least with other people who are acting like this you can go find someone to complain to and commiserate with to dissipate the anger a little.

            Of course I could still be bitter about the “friend” who felt that me just mentioning the adorableness of my then 5-week old kitten figuring out how to get on the couch without falling (on only the third try!) was the appropriate time to say something condescending about how different I’d feel when I had a “real” child. Despite knowing that I never want kids and claiming to be an animal lover.

            • says

              Maybe, in which case perhaps you’re projecting this onto every pregnant woman? Because, yeah, the attitudes you describe are popular in society, and I feel them. But personally, I’ve never had one of those conversations with a pregnant woman. I’ve seen TV pregnant women describe how in touch with nature they’re feeling and all that crap, but then I’ve never seen a realistic TV portrayal of pregnancy that I can recall. I’ve never had a pregnant woman lecture me about anything.

              I think there is some conflation going on here: people reading warped cultural ideas about pregnancy into things pregnant women say. I’m certainly not arguing there’s never ever been a smug pregnant woman. I am saying we’re primed to see smugness by a culture that tells us constantly that pregnancy is something to be smug about. And I’m also saying, MY GOD MEN ARE SMUG about loads of things, all the time, things way sillier than pregnancy, and where’s the hate for that?

          • MaggieCat says

            The second paragraph of my last post was half joking. After rereading, I realize that I failed to make it clear that I’m not projecting it onto “every pregnant woman” but referring to a very specfic subset. In the last few years several of my close or medium-close friends have had their first kids and none of them did it, hell most complained about this very phenomenon. Lack of tone-of-voice strikes again. *sigh*

            But I have had conversations like that with more than one coworker/ accquaintence/ relative who was pregnant at the time and I did find it particularly annoying because apparently my opinion on people making speeches at me was irrelevant. At least when I have to listen to someone talk to me like I’m a toddler with a concussion because I hate Apple products other people will agree that it’s rude.

            • says

              Gotcha. I didn’t mean to come off like I was picking on you, but I am starting to wonder about us being *primed* to read smugness into the remarks of women who are pregnant, getting married, etc. Your comment was what got me thinking along those lines, so I used it as bridge to bringing that up.

          • sbg says

            Jenn, it goes even beyond that when you think about all the (negative) things attributed to women.

            Assertiveness = bitchy.
            Directness = rude or uppity.
            Funny = dangerous.

            Etc, etc. The pregnancy/marriage thing just exacerbates it, maybe.

        • Casey says

          “Hmm, I’m just not sure why smug pregnant women are worse than other kinds of smug people…?”

          DAT MISOGYNY, I reckon.

          • Maria says

            They’re so smug that meeting TWO is like meeting EVERY SINGLE PREGNANT WOMAN IN THE HISTORY OF EVER at once. It’s like, pregnancy x 1 billionty.

      • says

        Years ago I worked at a dysfunctional art store. One of the women there, the daughter of a long-time employee, was newly pregnant. And boy, did she cop a Princess Attitude. I hated her behavior; I answered the phone as part of my duties, and she NEVER told me when she moved locations, and expected me to read her mind. It got to the point that our big boss had to sit her ass down and tell her she had to straighten up and stop acting as if the world revolved around her pregnant self. It was the ONLY right thing those idiots in charge ever did, that I saw.

        Other than that, I haven’t met many other pregnant women with that princess the world revolves around me attitude since then. And if I did, I’m sure someone would tell them to stop being an ass.

  8. Marnie says

    I had an awful time when I was pregnant. I was too busy being ill all nine months, feeling physically invaded and terribly vulnerable, and being annoyed that everybody now treated me like a walking incubator to be smug. One of the worst experiences of my life, and this song doesn’t help. Maybe they should try it themselves before they mock.

  9. says

    The singers are more smug than any pregnant woman I’ve ever met, which caused me to get confused rather than amused. If the joke is that the singers are smug, like SBG wonders, then… well, “smug people are smug” isn’t much of a punchline. If the joke is that ALL PREGNANT WOMEN ARE SMUG, then having never ever personally met one who was, obviously I’m not going to find that amusing.

    If the song were about ONE smug pregnant woman, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation. That’s how they should have positioned it, and then it might have been pretty funny even to people like me who haven’t met this “smug pregnant woman” the singers claim everyone knows.

    The singing is really grating, too. Singing is a serious hobby of mine, so I mean that as an assessment, not a rant. They need some basic training on singing in unison. Or maybe they mean it to be grating? “Untalented bitches are smug”? Just not getting this one at all.

  10. DM says

    I’m…not really sure I understand this. So they’re mocking pregnant women for being smug about the attention people keep giving them just because they’re pregnant? But I mean, half the song is about asking pregnancy questions that, you know, the pregnant women themselves aren’t demanding. And the one fake conversation that does try to move on to other subjects is also a smug attention-getter. “Oh, wow, look at me, I’m actually accomplishing interesting things, while you’ve got that stupid pregnancy thing going on.”

    Basically, it’s insufferably smug people talking about other insufferably smug people. Was that supposed to be the joke?

      • says

        And GOD FORBID you cop an attitude when the people questioning you refer to your incumbent child/foetus as an “it,” ask you who the father is, other questions that aren’t any of their damn business, etc.

        DON’T YOU KNOW YOU ARE A LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR A WOMB, LADY? GIMME MAH SONS.

  11. says

    A big part of what bugs me with this is: they are taking the ultimate differentiation between the genders (carrying babies) and attaching it without qualification to an annoying trait no one likes (smugness).

    Would it be as funny if the song was about men being smug when their team wins a game? Not really, because we’re taught to expect that. It’s just not cool for women to be smug, because that would be uppity.

  12. Mana G says

    This song bothers me. Mostly because of the part where they imply that when a pregnant says that they don’t care about the sex so long as the baby’s healthy, they really mean, “W actually want a boy, and we’ll take whatever kind of boy we get, but a girl had sure as Hell better be healthy, because we’re only going to raise her to be a breeder anyway!” (OK, the last part may be my own cranky add-on, because when I was pregnant with my boy, I kept hearing from my in-laws about how they wanted a girl to dress up like a baby doll and possibly “match” with the other baby boys their friends were having, which was creepy as all Hell, by the way.) I’ve always hated the “do you want a boy or a girl” question, anyway, as most people seem to REALLY be asking, “Which gender do you think is better? You DO know it’s male, right?” In truth, lots of parents really DON’T care about the sex of their child, and really DO just want to raise a healthy baby, but people don’t seem to buy that when they ask about the gender. (I have a friend that got so tired of that question, and the disbelieving response she would get when she told people she just wanted a healthy baby, she started telling people, “I don’t care as long as its got superpowers.” They would get so confused after that, that the conversation was then over!)

    • Casey says

      ROFLMAO! If I were to ever get pregnant and people kept asking me whether I wanted a boy or girl, I’d just tell them “It doesn’t matter because it’s getting a farm-themed nursery regardless.” Because ALL kids love farms/farms are gender neutral…that’s actually what my parents did for me, they didn’t know what gender I was so they gave me a unisex name and unisex toys/clothes/blankets/ect…pretty transgressive considering how my parents still buy into a lot of anti-feminist rhetoric.

        • says

          Actually, my parents almost went for the farm thing when I was a kid before deciding on crayon color hearts instead as a gender-neutral theme. It’s a good thing they didn’t, because I turned out to be allergic to everything, and I mean everything on a farm, which we found out when I was about 18 months old. Which made me hate farms.

          My sister got a space program room, and my brother got a geology room. I didn’t think it was fair.

          • Casey says

            It’s funny, I love my old farm stuff and I like the “concept” of farming/agriculture and livestock and the Harvest Moon series but I’m the least outdoors-y person ever and I get nervous when I feed horses by hand (damn nippers). When I got a little older I graduated from farm stuff to ballerina stuff and a canopy bed with white and rainbow-colored heart blankets…then artsy stuff ‘cuz I liked to draw.

          • says

            Lol, I just had really really bad associations. Otherwise I probably would have been the same way. Also, first time I met a horse? It stepped on me.

            When I got old enough to tell my parents what I wanted my room to look like, I went obsessively pink like my friends had, much to my feminist parents’ chagrin. My neighbor’s kid had a fake french provincial canopy bed, and my parents bought it from them when she got to old for it, and some really gauzy pale pink bedding and canopy, and pink walls, and pink rugs, and… and then I hit middle school and started hating pink. Over exposure.

          • Casey says

            It’s always been one of my secret dreams to have a ridiculously, stereotypically girlish pink room, even when I went through the “little girls love pink” stage I still kept it in check and would think “not TOO much pink, that would be tacky! show some restraint!” (I was one finicky kid :P) On all the social networking sites I’m on that have dress-up avatars and customizable rooms/channels, my stuff is usually pink, frilly and flowery, which REALLY raises the ire of my more Gothic, tomboy-ish friends who try to be exceptional females by loathing the color pink. (it’s one thing to simply not like a color and prefer black, I like black too but my friends hiss like vampires in the sun when they see all my pink shit :D)

          • says

            SO JEALOUS OF YOUR SISTER’S SPACE PROGRAM ROOM. AND YOUR BROTHER’S GEOLOGY ROOM.

            I had a stereotypically girly room when I was little, because I wanted it that way. My door was yellow, my walls were pink, and all the accessories were either unicorns, stars, glowed in the dark, or some combination of the three. I picked everything out. It was awesome.

            I went through my anti-establishment phase in middle school, but I worked it out pretty quickly, because I figured out that people being haters was just going to happen anyway, and I was allowed to like things my friends didn’t like. So, now I have hot pink curtains AND a tacky resin “dragon skull.” *shrugs*

    • says

      “I don’t care as long as its got superpowers.” ::LOL:: I’m thinking, “I don’t care as long as it’s gay” would be also a good one! or “I think I’ll go with hermafrodite, so it can choose when it grows up”.

      IMHO (maybe I should ask my friends who actually have children) the reticence to tell whether you want a boy or a girl is more about guilt. As if saying you want the former and then getting the latter would mean you love your child less. How dare you say you “want” your child to be a girl, or a boy, or have its father’s eyes? You have to embrace your child as it is! Oh, she wanted a girl and got a boy, I bet she’s miserable now!
      I’m sure there are lots of people who truly don’t care about their baby’s sex, but the ones who do, voicing it is not a betrayal to your unborn child. Enough of clichés.

    • says

      And even if someone does prefer a boy, that doesn’t mean they think boys are ‘better’.

      I hoped the ultrasound would show a penis for the simple reason that I didn’t want my mother nagging me to name a little girl after my grandmother.

      Because really, I’m going to saddle some poor little girl with the name of Dorcas Carnita. Yes, I know it’s pronounced DARcus. She’d still be called Dork-ass Piggy her entire life. It’s bad enough the poor kid would have been saddled with geeky, terminally un-hip parents. Lets give the kid a chance alright?

    • says

      …they wanted a girl to dress up like a baby doll and possibly “match” with the other baby boys their friends were having, which was creepy as all Hell, by the way.

      That gives me the hibbitiest of jibbities. And is why I was never a baby-doll playing child. When you have babies in your house, if you aren’t a creeping creeper, you don’t think of them as dress-up toys. (The other four-year-old girls thought I was weird for playing dinosaurs instead of house, but WHATEVER.)

      PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE.

      TOYS ARE TOYS.

      PEOPLE ARE NOT TOYS.

      FULL STOP.

  13. says

    D: My coworkers and managers (all men) had the weirdest conversation around me. My manager’s wife is pregnant, and I think it’s a girl, and he was like, “I’m glad! I really wanted a girl.” And my other coworker was like, “I think I’d want a girl too!” and my manager was like, “I’d like one of each, but I’m glad this one’s a girl.” and my coworker was like, “that’s kind of intimidating, isn’t it? How do you raise a girl? I only know how boys are because I am one! My mom wanted a girl but she got me instead.” And my manager was like, “Yeah I dunno! My wife’s worried she’ll be a girlie girl. She (his wife) was a tom-boy growing up, and only had brothers. I have sisters.”

    And I just sat there like D: Wuh? You don’t raise girls and boys differently! It made me think back real hard to how I was raised. The first girl grandchild, first girl on my dad’s side of the family (he has two brothers–my grandma wanted a daughter so bad!). Um…it’s not different. You love them and provide for them and give us bandaids when we fall in our adventures and we might like dolls, (but so do boys, it’s just that their dolls stereotypically kill each other), and we might like cars, or wading through swamps to catch frogs and salamanders (and leeches), and we might like hiking, or watching movies, or TV, or reading, or writing, or drawing, or playing make-believe, or riding in cars, or learning, or maths, or science, or philosophy, or english, or french, or latin, or german or japanese or arabic or we might like skiing or snowboarding or paragliding or rock climbing or kissing boys or kissing girls or rebelling or arguing or clothes or fashion or photography or knitting or sewing or baking or chemistry. Or anything. I couldn’t comprehend this weird idea that raising a girl would be somehow different/more alien than raising a boy. But then, as a girl, I’m trained that I am an other and boys are the default norm.

    Not really to do with smug mothers, but it seemed pertinant.

    The two smug mothers I know were smug people. They just changed what they were smug about. And I’ve known non-smug mothers, so I have no reason to believe it has anything to do with being pregnant.

    • says

      There are a few differences, but they are pretty minor. When we discussed the possibility of having a girl, my husband commented that he was dreading the day 11-12 years down the road when he might have to explain to his darling little baby how to insert a tampon and thus would probably be one of those cruel fathers who made his daughter wear pads her whole life just to avoid having that conversation. I told him I wasn’t much looking forward to explain proper placement and removal of a condom either, but was informed that’s why cucumbers were ‘invented’. At which point I realized that while my husband has the right to remain silent, he very rarely has the ability.

      • says

        The implied part of the conversation was that they didn’t think they’d be able to relate to daughters like they could to sons as though the differences weren’t in the types of awkward conversations, but in the “fact” that girly girls are like a different species or something and they’d only know how to raise tomboys and boys.

        • Casey says

          The other thing that pisses me off is when fathers-to-be say in a stupid off-hand joke that having a daughter would be like some form of karmic punishment/retribution for their pasts…of being disrespectful, misogynist douche-hats, I suppose? WELL IF YOU WEREN’T A JERK IN THE FIRST PLACE THEN IT WOULDN’T BE A “PUNISHMENT” IT WOULD JUST BE HAVING A KID.
          Another problematic meme I’ve heard are guys saying they hope/wish their daughters are lesbians…because it’s safer or something. IDK, it’s just weird. :|

          • Brand Robins says

            Guys get all fucked up over daughters because it combines all the worst of their sexism and privilege with all the best of their hopes and ideals.

            When the two combine most guys just get confused and say stupid shit at random. Its easier than actually trying to solve the conundrum or change how you think.

          • sbg says

            When the two combine most guys just get confused and say stupid shit at random. Its easier than actually trying to solve the conundrum or change how you think.

            Brand, you’ve just described the plot (term used loosely) of each and every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond…

          • says

            Oh. My. God. This whole conversation is making me think that if I ever do want to have kids, I should really really really just go it alone. Because I have an extremely low tolerance for tamped-down personal issues rearing up in a way to control others’ lives, instead of, you know, handling that shit.

            Culturally speaking, fatherly protection still = owning, while motherly protection = owning until pregnancy, then letting go. All other alternatives: deviant. BLEEUUUURGGGGH.

        • says

          I know, I was just pointing out that in reality, the only difference between raising a boy and raising a girl comes down to either instructing condom placement or tampon placement.

          • says

            Well, it should. But there’s also two other ways raising them ought to differ: boys ought to receive a conversation about what constitutes consent and what a disgusting unlovable bit of excrement a rapist is, and girls ought to receive the same conversation plus one about how to recognize an abusive personality from early warning signs.

            Instead, most parents ignore both, and our culture carefully teaches girls that Abusive Men Are Awesome and Typically Gorgeous and Rich, Too, and teaches boys that Nice Guys Finish Last. And then people blame video games for the state shit’s in.

          • says

            Actually, I’d have the same conversations with both genders.

            This is what consent means. This is what abuse is. Don’t quibble around with either, period. Get a clear yes and don’t mess around with people who don’t give them or the type of people who don’t respect them.

            Chose a partner who treats both you and themselves with respect.

          • says

            I got a very clear consent talk with my grandmother that included the fact that girls could rape too, and if any one of my friends, boy or girl, came to me and told me about a girl having sex with them against their will, that was rape, and I should treat it that way. My brothers and I got very similar consent talks.

          • Patrick McGraw says

            our culture carefully teaches girls that Abusive Men Are Awesome and Typically Gorgeous and Rich

            And so the Twilight books become a huge cultural juggernaut.

      • DragonLady says

        “a few differences, but they are pretty minor”

        No, they are not. While children are little, yes, you’re protecting them from the same dangers and teaching them the same values. But after the full blush of puberty you run into the hard fact that only one out of every ten rape victims is male, that a woman victim of violent crime is ten times more likely to be killed than her male counterpart, and that nine out of every ten who commit violent crimes are male. With a daughter/niece you spend eighteen years teaching her how to put up with the nudniks (or outright criminals) she’s going to face in the workplace and is facing in school, while simultaneously trying to teach her to ignore the social messages telling her she can only be a passive, needless doormat. With a son/nephew you spend eighteen years teaching him how not to BE a nudnik (or outright criminal) in the school or workdforce, while simultaneously trying to teach him to ignore the social messages that he must be a stoic, violent mooch. Two vastly different goals requiring vastly different approaches to explain, and two vastly different set of parental fears.

        DragonLady

  14. Katherine says

    “Blonde: So, is it a boy or girl?
    Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.
    Blonde: What you’re gonna name it?
    Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.
    Blonde: Who’s the father?
    Brunette: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.

    Bitch, I don’t really care
    I was being polite
    Since you have no life now
    That you’re pregnant”

    Wow, maybe she doesn’t want to talk about her pregnancy, ever think of that? Maybe she gets sick of other people “being polite” by nosing into her pregnancy. It’s impolite to ask people about their body in any other circumstance, but you get pregnant and suddenly everyone is all up in your bizness asking you about your baby-to-be. And then castigating you when that’s all you talk about when you have no choice because that’s all anyone around you wants to talk about.

    You posted this song so we could rip it to pieces, right? I mean sure, there is probably a subset of pregnant women who this song applies to (and I think I see where it should have been aimed), but that doesn’t mean you should apply these assumptions to all of them, and as the song isn’t specific about which pregnant women it is aimed at, it means the singers are being bigoted.

    • The Other Anne says

      BUT pregnant women can’t hide that they’re pregnant! So that means it’s totally okay to invade their privacy/touch their bellies/pry into their lives, especially if you deride them for it later if you don’t like how they respond. Kind of like when fat people dare to go out in public or PoC exist, or if you’re a woman/look like what people think women should look like it’s totally your fault if men touch you/yell at you/won’t leave you alone.

      I’m hoping this isn’t needed, but /sarcasm.

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