Scary stories from a lovely place
I am probably going to regret this post. In a few weeks I will probably also regret the way I have spent the last 8 months being determined to be a normal person, despite the little person taking over my body. It was fairly easy to insist on doing my normal things up until the last couple of weeks, and now it is gaining in intensity. It seems as though being pregnant means I can’t do any work, can’t cook, shouldn’t be playing tennis or walking anywhere, can’t drive, shouldn’t carry anything weighing more than 400g and couldn’t possibly dream of sitting on a hard backed chair! I don’t want to sound like an unappreciative cow, I am thankful for everyone’s concern and offers of cushions. But my youngest child stubbornness is rearing it’s very ugly head and now I am all the more determined to keep playing tennis, cook up a storm and perform hard labour, of the gardening variety.
The other patronising thing about pregnancy rhetoric is this idea that pregnant women are stupid and thoughtless. I don’t know of any scientific studies that have actually proven this thing called ‘baby brain’, and I find the notion offensive. The only correlation I can think of between pregnancy and a lapsed mental ability is because the growing baby is taking away a lot of energy, leading to increased tiredness. I have felt pretty sharp during my pregnancy, far more than I have in the last couple of years of living in South Africa. That’s because I don’t feel the effects of culture shock anymore and am enjoying a return to my previous mental state. A couple of days ago Stephen said to me “you haven’t really had any of that baby brain have you”? That’s why I love him.
These pregnancy stereotypes of the stupid woman, the lazy woman, the needy woman seem to be another latent form of sexism that we like to think our modern society have become too mature for. But it seems that patronising female stereotypes are as potent as ever, especially in this realm of baby making. The other place I see it clearly is in literature about marriage and sex, particularly of the Christian variety. If you want to hear my ranty opinions on that read tomorrow’s blog. For now I’m going to go and bake some bread, do some gardening and rearrange the furniture in my house.