Though the world’s default font is still Gender Sans Equality, you might think the one task that is done exclusively and entirely by females would be free from oppressive thought and language. Never fear! The Patriarchal Industrial Complex is alive and well, and all over the pink-puffy-baby-bootie genre of prenatal literature.
This book was given to me at the clinic, day one. It’s the government’s sanctioned publication, and I’m supposed to “bring it with me to every appointment.” I spent 12 minutes reading it, long enough to realize there were precisely two pages of information directed at the non-knocked-up party. Those two pages were 75% “Can we still do it?” “How long do I have to wait after the thing gets here to do it again?” and this stellar piece of advice: “Make sure you bring lots of change to the hospital for the vending machines.”
THE VENDING MACHINES. They might as well have said, “Whatever the chick is doing, will take a long time and be boring. Make sure you have Doritos.”
I threw it under the bed, and only retrieved it today to throw it in the garbage so it doesn’t infect the rest of the house.
Most of the books are meant to be read by the implanted party. But if you are lucky enough to find yourself one of the exclusive “Daddy” (the heteronormative assumptions of this whole industry are a rage for another day) books, you will find a stark and dismal contrast in the information provided. Smooth out your crinolines and pour him a drink, because we’re about to talk man stuff. MONEY.
Yeah. The finances of creating a person are still, in the YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE are not the concern of the distaff. To wit: In the most famous of all the mommy books, so famous they tried to make a movie based on it, you will find TWO pages on money issues, 50% of which is “FINANCIAL CONCERNS COMMA FATHER’S.” Forgive my caps, but come on with this load of horse manure.
By comparison, the “Daddy” book has pages and pages of money information, including a “See Also” and branching out to the discussion of college planning.
If this is as far evolved as we’ve become, all I’m certain of is that this race really doesn’t deserve perpetuating.
It’s not men doing the oppressing, necessarily. It’s waged intragender as well. Those “Of the Week” emails (to which I’m not subscribed, but Ryan is) include all kinds of sugar fairy “so blessed” language that does not include helpful truths like: “When you exercise, it will feel like you have a six-pound ball bearing made of Kryptonite taking up the valuable space where your bladder and guts used to be. This will be excruciating. You will also not have taken a full breath in months, because you will have to wear two, sometimes three, sports bras to even make the high-impact activity of getting off the couch, bearable.”
Someday, when my blood pressure is not as high as it is currently, we can talk all about this trendy garbage known as “The Bradley Method” which is sub-headed “husband-coached childbirth” which they teehee and acknowledge, “Well, YOU KNOW. It doesn’t HAVE to be a husband anymore PROGRESS.”
No wonder it’s so popular. After all, if we believe what we’re forced to read, Father Knows Best.