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I was reading a gender-critical post on Twitter or IG the other day wherein a woman was talking about the importance of recognizing sex-based rights with regard to reproductive issues. Right beneath it was a comment from a man (a male, not a TIF), that said something like “So you want to define yourself by your ability to pop out kids? That’s pretty sad and doesn’t sound very feminist.”

Now, obviously this comment rubbed me the wrong way for many reasons. But what bothered me the most was the way he diminished the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in the name of “progressivism.” Like… seriously? Only one of the most spectacular endeavours the human body is capable of, and something which only women can do… But yes, of course it deserves to be belittled into nothing.

I obviously understand that not every woman will/can have children, and the fact that a woman’s role in society should not be based solely on her ability to have children (feminism 101). But the ability to become pregnant, or the transformative experiences of pregnancy, or giving birth, or breastfeeding (e.g., some of the most clear physiological realities implicit in the biological female role in reproduction) are things that define sex-based identity and/or rights for many women. Whether we are talking about abortion, reproductive healthcare, or the experience (and incredible significance) of physically bringing a child into the world, this is not something that any woman takes lightly and we deserve to be able to speak about it under the umbrella of women’s issues. To have a male refer to it in such a dismissive manner (especially in the guise of “feminist” enlightenment) is incredibly frustrating.

But… why am I surprised? I have encountered this view before, albeit usually in more conservative men: that we are just walking incubators for their sperm. Their “seed” in our “soil.” What these dumbasses don’t understand is that feminists are rejecting THIS view, not the reality that (biologically-typical) women are inherently more involved in the physical processes of creating new life. Acknowledging this reality is not anti-feminist.

Anyway, I’m just sick of mansplained feminism.

Edit: typo fix.

I was reading a gender-critical post on Twitter or IG the other day wherein a woman was talking about the importance of recognizing sex-based rights with regard to reproductive issues. Right beneath it was a comment from a man (a male, not a TIF), that said something like “So you want to define yourself by your ability to pop out kids? That’s pretty sad and doesn’t sound very feminist.” Now, obviously this comment rubbed me the wrong way for many reasons. But what bothered me the most was the way he diminished the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in the name of “progressivism.” Like… seriously? Only one of the most spectacular endeavours the human body is capable of, and something which only women can do… But yes, of course it deserves to be belittled into nothing. I obviously understand that not every woman will/can have children, and the fact that a woman’s role in society should not be based solely on her ability to have children (feminism 101). But the ability to become pregnant, or the transformative experiences of pregnancy, or giving birth, or breastfeeding (e.g., some of the most clear physiological realities implicit in the biological female role in reproduction) are things that define sex-based identity and/or rights for many women. Whether we are talking about abortion, reproductive healthcare, or the experience (and incredible significance) of physically bringing a child into the world, this is not something that any woman takes lightly and we deserve to be able to speak about it under the umbrella of women’s issues. To have a male refer to it in such a dismissive manner (especially in the guise of “feminist” enlightenment) is incredibly frustrating. But… why am I surprised? I have encountered this view before, albeit usually in more conservative men: that we are just walking incubators for their sperm. Their “seed” in our “soil.” What these dumbasses don’t understand is that feminists are rejecting THIS view, not the reality that (biologically-typical) women are inherently more involved in the physical processes of creating new life. Acknowledging this reality is not anti-feminist. Anyway, I’m just sick of mansplained feminism. Edit: typo fix.

96 comments

Dollars to donuts the guy who made that comment is just mad that he can't do it.

When you think about it, the patriarchy really degrades women's life-creating reproductive abilities, huh?

Being a 'mother' is elevated, but the incredible act of creating another being with your whole body is reduced to 'popping out kids', 'having a bun in the oven', 'knocked up', etc. There's no respect there.

[+] [Deleted] 43 points

First, I hate the phrase "popping out kids". Even today, pregnancy and childbirth is difficult and dangerous.

Second, stop downplaying "the ability to become pregnant". That potential, fulfilled or not, shapes women's live in profound ways that men can't imagine. Men will never experience a pregnancy scare. They'll never be denied insurance coverage for contraceptives. They'll never have to beg their employer for a safe, clean, private place to pump.

Third, just having a female body makes life a radically different experience. Being smaller, weaker, and slower than about 50% of the population is bound to change a person's priorities.

Well said. I've encountered the sentiment more in wokebros than in conservatives, the complete denigration of this amazing thing women can do (and how it is used against them). I never even wanted kids, nor do I like being around them, I'm still so impressed by mothers. But men dismiss things as stupid if they can't do it.

Conservatives have to at least pretend to respect pregnancy and motherhood because they want to convince more women to buy into the tradwife life. But the wokebros feel free to let that misogyny fly.

Absolutely, plus wokebros need to convince women that no strings sex benefits everyone so obviously if you want to get married and raise a family then you are beneath him and his galaxy brain

“So you want to define yourself by your ability to pop out kids? That’s pretty sad and doesn’t sound very feminist.”

I fucking hate these fake feminist bros.

These men and their handmaidens don't understand that ALL females are discriminated against for their capacity to have children regardless of whether or not they're infertile or don't want kids. That's why it's a defining aspect of being female. Employers aren't going to ask a 25 year old woman if she's fertile and wants babies before passing her up for a promotion because they assume she'll take maternity leave at some point

This is like saying that skin color discrimination isn't real because some ethnically Black people are pale due to being mixed or having albinism or whatever. Its still true even if it doesn't apply to a few members of a group

Oh they understand. They are also fucking narcissists who argue disingenuously to spew their "gotcha" lines and "win"

the thing is, only women (or girls) can get pregnant. that is in fact a defining trait of being a female human.

This is just a manifestation of male self worship and insecurity. If you haven't noticed, men only value themselves and things that they can do. They don't value US or anything that we can do. So they degrade us and our bodies and our abilities at every turn. Yet they are also very insecure because they know they would be absolutely nothing without us and they just can't accept that all of human life on Earth is actually in our hands. So they try and take that power and they try and devalue it. Scrotes gonna scrote

Pay attention to the microcosms of how they do this in small situations. It’s so common it’s crazy.

I've had two stillbirths. My first pregnancy was great, and going wonderfully, until I developed pre-eclampsia and a hospital dismissed my symptoms and sent me home, by the time I went to a different hospital, my baby was dead.

I had a whole nursery set up. I had pregnancy leave worked out with my work. Everyone knew I was going to have a baby and was so excited for me. I had to physically birth a baby, recover from birth and pre-eclampsia, have my milk come in, bleed for weeks... All without my baby, who I had grown to love in my womb. I knew his schedules, and we laughed when my husband sang songs to him in the womb because he'd squirm around and we didn't know if it was because he liked it or because even in the womb he could tell how horrible my husband's voice is.

I don't think I need to go into my second pregnancy. I sure as fuck wish I "popped out babies". I wish the process was as non-chalant and easy as they claim it is. I wish growing a baby in my womb hadn't changed my life like it has. If only it worked the way idiot men thought it did.

I’m so sorry that you lost your babies and had to suffer all of the downsides of pregnancy and delivery into the bargain. The risks and the losses inherent in pregnancy are denigrated too, which so often leaves us alone in our grief. Condolences.

Female bodies, female lives are the source of everything from the fruiting ova of plants to eggs and milk to mammals. Not only should this not be denigrated, as women we should own this and all of our powers. This is the root of male hatred; we are the sine qua non of life. Whether we have children or not, whether we have pregnancy loss or not, wherever we choose to put our incredible powers of creativity and life, we are the source. It is very telling that millennia of abuse, slavery and degradation has made it that we barely remember who we are.

Thank you for sharing this. I don’t even have words… But here I am crying. Your experience is precisely the reason I do not want to hear men diminishing this.

This is the one thing that I was always in awe of about women who were pregnant. The RISK! The horrible risk to their being should something not go well. And SO often it doesn't. I'm so impressed with the woman feels the calling and takes the risk. I'm sorry you had to go through such a difficult experience.

Pregnancy is amazing - A woman makes, creates life. It takes half a cell from a dude and does the rest. It is godlike and miraculous. Men cannot do it, rendering them parasites who need a host to reproduce.

All that being said, no way do I ever ever want to be pregnant. It sounds scary and terrible. I have to give respect to the women who have the emotional bravery to do it, also. Risking miscarriages and stillbirth? Heartbreaking. The whole thing sounds like a 9-month acid trip. Followed by 18 years of emotional blackmail because you can't leave them and become free again without guilt. (And blame and shame)

Yes, there are many risks associated with childbirth and pregnancy, and I think it is amazing how many women face these things on a daily basis.

I should mention—I had an absolutely terrible pregnancy. Made even worse by the fact that I didn't even think I really wanted a baby (I had wavered on the subject for years and finally just had the feeling of “it’s now or never”). When she was born, after a bit of a traumatic birth, I was so scared that I was closing my eyes and didn’t even want to see her at first. But that didn’t last (thankfully haha). Anyway, but she has been the most incredible thing to ever happen to me and I genuinely never expected it. I never really liked kids, was terrified of losing my independence, and had a pretty awesome and adventurous life beforehand that I didnt want to lose. But the relationship with my daughter blows all that out of the water (and also didn’t change it as much as I thought it would).

I am definitely not telling women who truly don’t want to have children to get pregnant. Every woman should do what feels right to her. (And I know as females in this world we face enormous pressures to do things we don’t want to do.) But I just wanted to mention that motherhood isn’t all emotional blackmail and feeling trapped, at least not for everyone. :) :)

[–] space_out 37 points Edited

I believe there are two parts.

First, the undeniable and irreplaceable value that womanhood carries. If he can make her cross that off of her list, they are on equal playing fields. But a man will never experience the burden or the joy of motherhood the way a mother does, he will never create a new life, one cell at a time. He'll never hold that value.

Secondly, being a mother clears up a woman's priorities. Knowing you want to be a mother means from that day on you make choices with your future children in mind. Loose men are out of question, dangerous activities are out of question, selling your body is out of question. It's very important to make motherhood lame so young women wouldn't even consider it, so only fans at age 18 would be feasible. And then convince these women they are "defined by" those choices, therefore motherhood is out of question, therefore they can come back to men "to be defined" instead.

[–] BlackCirce 🔮🐖🐖🐖 24 points

If he can make her cross that off of her list, they are on equal playing fields.

That’s what all the shame and humiliation and rape tactics are about. That’s what all the control is for and dependence and deprivation is for.

Some of the maternity skeptic feminists will deny it’s a power, and I can understand them to a point. But if maternity is not a power why are men panicking that women are putting off or forgoing having children? When women are forced to have more children than we want and earlier than we want with men we don’t want to mate with, men treat maternity as incidental and worthless. Now that women are giving up this task men assign zero value, they seem to understand the value of it.

It’s a scam.

They truly are panicking that women are realizing motherhood isn't something they HAVE to do to be human. It's a calling, and they are not told about what It can do to their health and their bodies. And they don't understand what it's like to not be able to have 1 minute away to themselves for 5 years (unless the kiddo is sleeping or with a family member). It's an incredibly important and unsupported thing. Now that pregnancy and childbirth and children are getting rarer and rarer, Maybe each one (each pregnancy, each birth, each child, each human) brought into this world can get more respect, care, kindness. Maybe pregnancy should be a precious thing. Sometimes things have to be rare before they will be treated as precious.

Also; there's probably a lot of pro-mom people here who got peaked through mum's net. They likely have different world views than unfeminine gay women like myself. People like me have often been told our whole lives that the thing we have zero interest in doing, that we are quite fearful and avoidant of, is the thing that makes life meaningful and worth living. So sometimes you'll hear it treated disparagingly by us who believe we are worthy even without making a child. I try to be mindful of denigrating it though and give voice to my opinion of how incredibly impressive it is when I also note that I'm glad to not have to do it personally.

It's a calling, and they are not told about what It can do to their health and their bodies. And they don't understand what it's like to not be able to have 1 minute away to themselves for 5 years (unless the kiddo is sleeping or with a family member).

It is indeed a calling, and I'd argue that it's not for five years but forever. I didn't realize this when I first had my children. I thought that it would get easier with time, and in some ways, it has. But once I had children, my life was never really my own again. It will never be entirely my own again. My time freed up here and there, but my emotional energy, my mental energy, was largely focused on my kids and always will be.

It's an incredibly important and unsupported thing.

Yep. That's not how it should be, but this is how it is. I hope that I will be a better source of support for my own children if they choose to have children.

Now that pregnancy and childbirth and children are getting rarer and rarer, Maybe each one (each pregnancy, each birth, each child, each human) brought into this world can get more respect, care, kindness. Maybe pregnancy should be a precious thing. Sometimes things have to be rare before they will be treated as precious.

This is the most beautiful paragraph. And this is something I've said repeatedly, to the point people are probably sick of me saying it, regarding abortion. Every pregnancy should be planned, every child should be wanted. Every child deserves to be wanted. That ought to be our birthright: to be wanted, loved, cherished, and treated with dignity.

The goal should not be indiscriminate pregnancy and birth but rather planned pregnancies and cherished children.

I largely agree with you, but there are lots of mothers who don't buy into the "make motherhood lame" thing. They still do dangerous activities (extreme sports or what have you) that are meaningful to them, which can be a positive thing, and many mothers struggle with the negative side of dangerous - drug use, violent boyfriends, and so on. I think the former is threatening to men because if more women realize that they can be their full, risk-taking selves AND be mothers, men will have a harder time convincing them that their natural place is in the home.

Right, my point was that while, for an example, a woman can struggle with drugs, thinking of possible future kids helps them quit. However, a belief exists that once a woman is "tainted", she could not possibly be the pure perfection of a mother, therefore creating a loop she's stuck in - that's a false belief they want to perpetuate. Obviously motherhood is not the only reason people quit drugs, but it is one of the most powerful positive motivators a lot of women have - even before they have their children - and if someone wants women to stay stuck in a loop, motherhood as a concept alone is a threat.

I guess I should have clarified - dangerous activities - hookup culture, prostitution, pornography, drugs, etc, the type of things we're taught we're defined by. I agree doing sports does not lead to creating an onlyfans account at 18.

Only men would oppress us for eons for having a female body and then turn around and act like there is something wrong with us for simply acknowledging the realities of our female bodies. It’s insane. We aren’t defined by having children however we are indeed defined as the sex that Mother Nature designed to carry a fetus to term and give birth (regardless of whether or not any given individual can actually do so).

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