I don’t understand why, even years after I discovered this phenomenon, men still aren’t required to grow up and become responsible. Our society has done such a good job babying our boys that when a man does shirk his responsibility in something it is cast off as normal, typical, and don’t worry about it. Yet women, on the other hand, are forced often times to be the one’s dealing with the responsibilities. Take getting pregnant for example. Recently I have gotten pregnant, and to date we’ve known about it for 2 months now. 2 out of 9 months is no longer considered “new” news. 2 weeks after finding out, sure, that’s new. But since finding out, my baby had grown from a ball of cells to an actual baby with organs and blood cells and ovaries and fingerprints. That’s a pretty big development. Yet men still aren’t required to grow up and be a part of the pregnancy. I’ve read that a woman becomes a parent as soon as she finds out she is pregnant, but for a man, it becomes real at birth. Does that mean that the 9 months of pregnancy are free reign for the men but are jail for the women? That’s a load of crap! Both parties participated in making the baby, and should participate in growing the thing. I’m the one doing all the heavy lifting, sacrificing everything from my body to my lifestyle to even fun activities while the man has to sacrifice nothing? And on top of that bitches when you ask him to do more than his fair share of household duties and chores?!?! Where do men get off?! And during all their bitching about having to do more, they are barely there physically, let alone there at all emotionally. You think men would be interesting in the creating and growing of their child. Afterall they are interested in every aspect of their hobbies, from making sure they have all the gear to bike ride, playing thousands of rounds of a video game to beat a level, and staying involved in their friends’ lives. Yet their own baby they could care less about? Men don’t read pregnancy books, instead choosing to spend hours playing call of duty. It’s a rare man who wants to encapsulate your pregnancy as much as you and your girlfriends do. The man who takes the profile belly pictures every week and posts them on HIS facebook page. The man who tears up during the ultrasound. The man who beems with love and excitement when talking about his creating to friends and family. The man who can’t keep his hands off your belly and makes you keep your feet up while he brings you another round of ice cream and pickles. That man is almost a myth, only to be heard of by a few and a real existence to even less than that. You type into google “how can I encourage my partner to be more interested or involved with our baby” and message board after message board pop up with countless pregnant women, just dying of isolation and lonliness because their men are abondening them emotionally, and some physically, during what is the most important yet toughest time in a woman’s life.
On top of all of that, woman are burdened the most with being “blamed” for being pregnant. It seems that if a woman is excited about a surprise pregnancy, that means she caused it, or forced it, to trap the guy and fulfill her lifelong desire to be with child. Suddenly because one gender is stuck with growing the baby, that gender becomes solely responsible. It’s forgotten by friends and family, of both sides, that the man chose to not participate in birth control just as much as the woman did. As far as I’m concerned, how do I know that the man didn’t want to purposely impregnate me to trap me?? (Chappelle Show: Gotcha Bitch!). But that could never be, men can’t be excited about a surprise pregnancy. And it’s even worse if they don’t want the baby. Maybe men will never understand what it is like exactly to have an abortion. Maybe that’s just the way it is. Even so, to ask a woman to do that, when he is just as much responsible for the consequence as she is, to ask a woman to invade her body and her physche in the awful way that abortions do… it’s unspeakable. Unfortunately the refusal of a woman to abort her fetus becomes even more proof that she planned this and tricked him. Friends start asking “why isn’t she aborting it?” Which, by the way, I don’t ever see how someone who isn’t the mother or father of the child ask that question. Abortion is maybe the most personal choice a woman will ever have to make. It’s personal in that it belongs to her and her only. To suggest that a woman get an abortion, especially if that person isn’t the father, is unfathomable. It would be akin to asking a woman with breast cancer why she isn’t having a mastectomy. Or worse, stating that she should or else… Because what people are essentially saying when they recommend that you abort is that you’re not fit to have a child. Whether it be emotionally, financially, or whatever, their opinion of you becomes clear. What if someone had said that to your mother? How would it feel to know that people wanted you dead, not in this world? How would it feel to know that for 9 months you were being created one of your parents and some of their friends and family not only thought you were a HUGE mistake, but didn’t want you, and wanted to kill you off, and refused to get close to you because you were a manipulation tool instead of a growing baby? It’s pretty awful when you look at with YOU as the perspective.
A friend of mine recently told me that if the man is not ready for it, then he’s allowed to be terrified, and off the hook for his part in situation. That just because I have stepped up to the plate and am ready (hell, as a pregnant woman you really don’t have a choice. You’re forced from the moment the plus sign arrives to change and deal) doesn’t mean he is and thus he receives some sort of hall pass to maturity. My response to that was I guess a man shirking his responsibility in creating a child is totally normal and acceptable. Cool. I guess that means it will be acceptable for the man to bail on 4 am feedings and taking care of the actual baby because he is scared then too huh? I guess it’s completely acceptable and normal for men to walk out on their children. Hell, it does happen all the time right? I was told by my counselor when I first realized I was pregnant that this is a decision I will have to live with, regardless of if the father stays involved or not. It sucks that life set it out to be that way, it truly does. And it sucks even more that society has made it an acceptable decision. Men should be scolded by their other male friends for ditching their pregnant partners at home puking while their out boozing, not rewarded for it. More and more our males encourage eachother to do the immoral action, the one that makes them less of a man and more of a man-boy. I always thought the man of my dreams would quit drinking and partying like crazy when I got pregnant. Not because I couldn’t drink, but to share in the bond that is pregnancy. As a gesture for him to say to his partner, “I know I’m not doing as much as you in carrying this child, but I’m gonna try.” Yet most men, if asked to quit drinking, would think of it as a punishment, not an opportunity to bond. Long gone are the days where men tell another man when he isn’t stepping up to the plate as a husband, partner, or father. And now are the times where men get together to bash their significant others, misplace blame, and seek reinforcement to not grow up.
It’s a sad but true reality. And worst of all, it comes at a time when we women need the most support, and a man to lean on. Glad he was there for the fun part, wish he was here for the real part.