Pregnancy and Publicity
I’ve been thinking about how funny it is that pregnancy is written on our bodies, and that such a private, intimate state–between me and my husband and me and my child–becomes public knowledge just by my moving around the city. It’s strange, really–long ago, I completely rejected the idea of an engagement ring for exactly this reason: I didn’t want a private state broadcast in public by a sign on my body. The way an engagement ring makes something abstract and emotional become physical–and the way this physicality and publicity, in our society, is limited only to women (that is, men do not wear engagement rings)–really bothered me. With pregnancy, though, I have no choice–my husband walks around the city and no one knows that he’s expecting a child, but that’s not my experience. Things are public, again, because of the signs written on my body for anyone to read: I stand in the CVS buying a pen and a cranberry juice in between my classes and the clerk says, jovially enough, “Wow, you going have that baby any day now!”
Uh, no, I still have two months left, I think, but that’s not the point–the point is really the odd state of having the private made public, without my explicit consent. As much as I love this baby and am overjoyed to have him/her growing in me, it’s unsettling, frankly.
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