There’s something about babies that empowers people to say ridiculously inappropriate things. After my baby was born my then-husband and I fielded questions like, "When was your baby conceived?" and, "Are your planning to circumcise your son?" and even, "Are you sure you are the father?" It might just have been "locker room talk" (whatever that means) but in my experience, these jokes directed toward my male partner, by other men, were horrific. Sadly, there are so many creepy things people said to my husband when I gave birth, and it's worth unpacking because I know, for a fact, that I'm not alone. These comments, directed at male partners of postpartum women, should not be a thing, you guys. Just, no.
I don't know if these individuals were just unsure of what to say about our new bundle of joy or trying to make conversation (and failing miserably, for what it's worth) but damn, they said things that were so inappropriate. My partner heard misogynistic jokes, comments implying that my husband controls me, and comments about my postpartum body which, yes, included my vagina. Listen up, gentlemen: none of the aforementioned comments were at all welcomed. At all. Ever. I'm not entirely sure why that needs to be said, because OMG, but apparently it's a necessity.
Here are some of the things people thought it was OK to say to my husband after our babies were born that were actually really creepy. Because who says this stuff, guys? Who? Honestly? Well, here's hoping the answer isn't "you."
"Are You Sure It's Yours?"
Why do so many people joke about wives being unfaithful to their partners? It's just so, so gross. Not to mention misogynistic and degrading. See also comments implying that our baby doesn't look like him. Gross. Besides, biology doesn't make someone a parent, in case you're not aware of how families work.
You have got to be kidding me. Are you seriously telling my husband "good job" for impregnating me nine months ago? Why? I'm the one who carried a baby for nine months. My body grew limbs, sir, not my husband's. Why is he the one getting a high five?
"It's A Girl? Better Lock Her Up."
I, for one, am so done with jokes about my husband protecting my daughter's virtue from future suitors. It's so creepy. He doesn't own her or her body. She gets to decide who she dates, and no one will be "locking her up."
"Are You Planning To Circumcise Him?"
Why are you asking about my son's penis? That is super creepy. But, since you asked, if my sons decide to get circumcised when they are adults, we will support them and their decision to do so. However, my husband and I decided to not have our sons circumcised as infants, because we believe they deserve to have that choice.
"So, When Was Your Baby Conceived?"
Why do you want to know details about when my husband and I conceived? You may very well be asking him about when we had sex, or you might find out that we used reproductive assistance. Neither of which are, by the way, any of your freaking business. Creepy.
"Better Get Busy On Baby Number Two"
Our family planning and child spacing are none of your business. Besides, when we literally just had a baby, we were not thinking about having another one.
"Don't Worry, I'm Sure She'll Get Her Body & Vagina Back"
No. No, no, no. Just no. My postpartum body is my body, and I don't need to "get it back." Dude, I didn't lose it. It's right here. Standing in front of you, carrying the brain that's currently and silently screaming obscenities in your general direction.
Besides, why are you implying that there's anything wrong with my body looking different right after I have a baby, or that it's something my husband should be worried about? Same goes for asking my husband if the doctor gave me the "husband stitch" on my vulva to "tighten it back up." So gross. So creepy.
"Are You Letting Your Wife Work?"
It's 2017. Why do people think that husbands control their wives' careers or make decisions for them about whether or not to return to work? My husband and I make those decisions together, and they have literally nothing to do with gender stereotypes about couples, parenting, or archaic gender roles that should have died in a fire centuries ago.
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