For many women, pregnancy is hard enough without those unsolicited comments from family members, friends, and even strangers. And while every pregnancy is different, and experienced differently by every pregnant woman, for many pregnancy is a delicate, serious, and even painful time. So making a woman's pregnancy a punchline? Not cool. In fact, there are more than a few pregnancy jokes that actually hurt women.
I experienced two, shall we say, "rough" pregnancies. I had virtually ever single pregnancy symptom known to women, but the nausea, heartburn, and body aches were the worst. In fact, it's safe to say I was miserable throughout the entire pregnancy. I disliked everything but feeling my baby move. What I couldn't stand, though, were the "jokes" people made at my expense. Like, why does pregnancy invite so much "humor"? Is creating and nurturing a human being inside my body "funny"? Is it "hilarious" that I'm waddling and can't hold in my pee every time I sneeze? Is it comical that I can't see my feet or feel my hips and that my appetite and hormones are out of control? No, none of it is at all humorous and I would appreciate if people just stopped thinking the aforementioned is amusing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not without humor. I love a great joke and I live my life by the strict code of wit and sarcasm. But, you guys, pregnancy jokes are not funny; they are simply hurtful and irritating. Save your jokes for another occasion, like when I'm not feeling like total crap. OK? Thanks.
The "You're As Big As A House" Joke
OMG, someone close to me said this when I was about eight months pregnant and that someone was so shocked when I didn't even smirk at this "hilarious" joke. Do you know why I gained weight? Hmm, maybe because I am growing a human being and that human being needs nourishment. And maybe I am always hungry because my body is working at the pace of running a triathlon. Maybe, just maybe, I am sensitive about the amount of weight I gained and I feel super uncomfortable in my own skin already, so your "hilarious" joke is not at all funny.
The "What's Cooking?" Joke
The good old "bun in the oven" joke. Well, I am actually not at all cooking because if I were, this baby would come out slightly burnt yet somehow undercooked in the middle. What I am doing, though, is creating life inside my body. That's right: my body is working really hard in order to orchestrate a miracle. And furthermore, "what's" applies to an inanimate object and my body is creating a human. So, there's that.
The "Are You Keeping It?" Joke
Ha. Ha. Ha. As if abortion is the funniest joke one could ever make. First of all: not funny. Second, a person's reproductive choices, including whether or not they're intending on continuing with a pregnancy, is no one else's business. And third, if you can see that a woman is visibly pregnant, chances are she's "keeping it." Two-thirds of abortions occur at or before eight weeks gestation, and 89 percent occur before 12 weeks. If a woman has a so-called "late-term" abortion, it's almost always due to fatal fetal abnormalities or because the mother's life is in danger. If you think any of that is funny, you have problems I, simply, cannot fix.
So just think before you speak, people. Please.
The "Was It An Accident?" Joke
I mean, 45 percent of pregnancies in the United States are "unplanned," but is that anyone's business? Is an unplanned pregnancy gossip-worthy material, still? Is that why this joke so prevalent still? And, what if the pregnancy is planned. Do you need to know the details of the planning process? What if the couple had difficulty conceiving? Do you know how uncomfortable that joke can make a woman feel?
The "You? A Mother?" Joke
Isn't it so funny that some people can't imagine you as a mother? As if you are so unfit as a person, you can't possibly take care of another human being. You know who that joke is funny to? Only the person who makes it, because it's definitely not funny to the expectant mother. Unless, of course, the mom-to-be enjoys being insulted.
The "Whose Baby Is It?" Joke
"It's the mailman's." You're hilarious.
The "Those Pregnancy Hormones Are In Full Force" Joke
God forbid I am emotional when I am pregnant. You know what happens to a woman's body when she is pregnant? A rollercoaster of changes. It's true that the hormonal changes make women more sensitive, and maybe irrationally irritable, but hey, we are making a human life up in here, so forgive us if we cry a little more than usual. Instead of joking around about how hormonal we are, why don't you give us a cupcake and stop talking. Thanks.
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