August 26, 2005

impatience

I am not patient with adults in general, which may be why my reaction to this article is "grow the fuck up." I like what Tim Burke says about it: that it's fine for a single person to have a hang-up or issue and need therapy to deal with it, but that to suggest there's a "social problem" of men who can't deal with seeing their wives give birth is silly. Grow the fuck up, people.1

It's true that it's often harder to watch someone you love in danger or pain than to be in danger or pain yourself, especially when you feel helpless. But part of loving someone is wanting to offer whatever support you can: one way to do that is to be in the delivery room, if that's what the person you love wants and needs. Offering support isn't just something you do when it's convenient. Not if you love someone.

I think this is the general source of my impatience: if you are an adult and you sign up for something (say, get married and decide to have kids) you should be willing to accept what goes along with that. It's the same reason I'm impatient with men who want to sleep with women but are grossed out by menstruation. Dude, it happens. You want to be involved with women, you're going to have to deal with its existence.2 The same reason I have trouble with teachers who say totally inappropriate things to their students, whatever. If you're an adult and you make a choice, you should be willing to accept the obligations that go with it. If you want to have kids, one of those obligations might be to help in the delivery, and not to make too much fuss about it.


1. The disclaimer: I haven't had kids, been married to someone who was having a kid, been pregnant, or witnessed birth. I completely believe people who say it's scary and gross.
2. There may be similar things for women (straight women being grossed out by semen?), but overall I think women's bodies are treated as sources of contagion and disgust in more and deeper ways than men's, at least in the society we live in right now.

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