A Political Message: Please Don’t Call Me Preggers or Prego
Just typing those words makes me want to hurl. And trust me, with this never-ending morning sickness over the past five months, I am done with hurling.
You ask: Why do I hate those words – so innocuous, so precious – so much?
Because no one ever says them naturally. It always sounds like a five-year-old’s voice coming out of a grown woman’s body, and that grown woman should call it what it is: I’m pregnant, I’m with child, I’m gestating another human being, I’m serving as a host to an alien creature …
… I’m not a jar of flippin’ spaghetti sauce.
And it’s not like this is a new thing. It’s not like, “Oh, hey, guess what? Your pregnancy test came back positive and now you hate those words.” No, I’ve always hated those words, just as much as I hate rats and bananas.
Why must women create these stupid little slangs or expressions that are supposed to bring us closer as a sisterhood? It feels manufactured and tired. And I say this as a proud former sorority girl, but there are female-imposed experiences intended to make us more feminine, separate, compartmentalized. Baking cupcakes, planning weddings, wearing pink, shopping, yoga, posting photos of baking cupcakes on Facebook while wearing pink after yoga … It drives me batty. (Note: I’m not above the aforementioned activities.)
And while I may be losing you in my argument – don’t worry, I’m going to drive it home right here – but using phrases like … oh God, I can’t even type them again, you know what I mean … is part of that gender-afflicted cycle that has undermined our capabilities as generally detail-oriented, multi-tasking, insightful human beings.
And it’s that self-imposed cycle that has pigeon-holed women into a stereotype each one of us should be fighting. Women are not one thing, we’re not a voter bloc, we’re not a coalition of special-interests that cleaning supply commercials should be marketed toward.
We are roughly half of the population of the United States, and we need to act like grownups, not like little girls; we need to take responsibility for our image, and stop using childish phrases that make a lawyer sound like a third-grader in pigtails.
So, yes, have I politicized (erg!) preggo? Damn right I have. Because every time I hear it, I think the person saying it has just moved the women’s rights movement back a step.
And I don’t have patience for that any longer.