HERE’S A CONVERSATION I’VE HAD 20 MILLION TIMES AND NEVER THE FUCK WANT TO HAVE AGAIN:
Person (co-worker, stranger, etc): When are you due?
Person: OH MY GOD, YOU’RE KIDDING.
IF YOU ARE THE PERSON IN THIS CONVERSATION, EVER, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. You are saying that the pregnant woman with whom you are speaking is terrifyingly huge and you can’t even imagine that they could possibly get huger. You can’t believe she is only 5 months pregnant. She looks 9 months pregnant. She looks as big as any woman should ever look. You are shocked.
Perhaps you feel bad for her, that she still has so far to go. Perhaps your shock comes from a place of pure empathy. Fine, whatever. That’s me giving you the biggest possible benefit of the doubt.
What is most likely happening is that you have unconsciously looked at women’s bodies as objects of male consumption for your entire life and seeing a woman whose body is undergoing a physical change that does not have to do with making herself sexually appealing is confusing and upsetting to your world view. This applies to women and men. Perhaps you are concerned for her health, which, frankly, I’m pretty sure is just a distortion of the male gaze. Either way, whatever place this comment comes from, you need to shut the fuck up.
Here’s the only way this conversation should ever go:
Person: When are you due?
Person: Wonderful! What a great Christmas present that will be! You look so healthy and glowy. Here, let me carry that for you.
Person: When are you due?
Me: I’m due in fuck your mother.
Either of these are acceptable. I regret that the question of when I am due puts me so much on edge, but it is because I gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant and I know what people are thinking when they ask me this question. Because I’ve gotten it a lot of times. Me and Kim Kardashian have a lot in common, but the main thing is that we gain a lot of weight when we are pregnant. And then we lose the weight, and it’s fucking fine. And also even if I didn’t lose the weight I would be fucking fine and would need no input from you, people of the world.
I have spent way too much time thinking about my body. In truth, I don’t worry as much about it anymore, and it’s very freeing. But me not worrying about it in my own head does not stop other people from thinking about my body and its value or lack thereof. And this pisses me off, hard.
I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s new book and also listening to Amy Schumer’s new book on Audible while I drive places, to really scar my toddler who sits in the backseat and is going to start saying the word “clitoris” any day now. Point being, I’m consuming content by two really great and valuable humorous feminist writers and I’m getting worked up anyway in my life, so this is not the time to step to me with your “oh my god”s and your “you’re kidding”s and your “so much more to go!”s. Don’t talk about my body. Just don’t. Not when I’m pregnant and not after.
I don’t even want you to tell me I look skinny. I don’t want you to express concern for my body in any way. That’s not your job, you are not my doctor.
I FEEL LIKE THIS STUFF IS SO BASIC, WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP SAYING IT?
I’m just getting tired. When I’m in shape people say “positive” things to me outside in public and I don’t like it. When I’m pregnant or heavier for another reason, I become invisible, which is actually, frankly, kind of nice, but can be jarring. And I’m just tired of all of it. I’m not even talking about real things here, not real real things, not rape or wage inequality or hiring discrimination or societal support for mothers or the lack of research on women’s health issues.
I’m also tired because I’m pregnant and growing a baby is a lot of physical work. I don’t have time to look good for you.
Anyway. Okay. I feel better now that we got this squared away. How are you guys doing? Yesterday Evan and I went swimming at Walden Pond and he sat in my arms in the water and requested that I sing Baby Beluga, which I did, which was definitely one of the top 5 moments of my entire life. So, you know, things are generally pretty good.