Football, Childbirth, Other Halves, Sexism & Me: a Follow-Up

Just to be clear: Tuesday’s post where I questioned whether men should take their partners with them to football matches was intended as satire.

It was a direct riposte to this article on ParentDish which questioned whether women should have their partners with them when they give birth, suggesting that men “just don’t get it”.* I used it is as a template, & just reversed gender roles where I could. It was a bit tricky trying to think of an aspect of male life that is as exclusive to our gender as childbirth is to women: there isn’t one really. Football was the best I could come up with.

The ParentDish article used (presumably accurate) examples of a few men – who seem, quite frankly, to be really quite unusually stupid – who couldn’t seem to understand pregnancy & birth. Guys: you don’t need to be a Cambridge Professor of Biology to get that growing a human being in your belly for nine months then, after it’s got quite big (that’s the B-U-M-P), shoving it out of a very small exit might just be a little bit inconvenient. And maybe cause a few changes in diet & mood?

The article then goes on to imply that these cultured geniuses are representative of all men, & that women are therefore better off without the lot of us.

“Sexism: … behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Big Tick. My post was meant to be sexist.** Because the article it’s satirising is.

So let me be clear here: telling a man that he shouldn’t be present at the birth of his children is just obscene, disgusting, a disgrace.

For me, holding my new-born children for the first time was & always will be the greatest moment of my life. And I know that very many fathers feel just the same way. What right has anyone to take that away from us? To tell us that we shouldn’t be there? Purely on the basis of our gender?

This is just plain wrong.

And not because we’re men. Because we’re human beings.

And that’s really what this is all about. Whether we’re male, female, not sure, black, white,  purple, whatever our lifestyle choices – we’re all entitled to be judged equally as human beings, not through the jaundiced eyes of personal prejudice & stereotype.

And sadly there are still people who “just don’t get it”.

* Best response I’ve yet read to this: “if you feel you can’t have him there at the birth should you really be having a baby with him?!” .

** Although perhaps not sexist enough. Several people, not all of them men, took it at face value, one even thinking that the post might be a blog-hop where others are invited to link up their own stories of going to the footy with their partners. Interesting!


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