Pregnant Politician Accused of 'Bringing Down Women' -- for Eating Lunch

pregnant woman

File this under: That's not how feminism works. A female politician recently accused her pregnant colleague of "bringing down the whole of womankind." Her crime? Daring to eat lunch.


Tulip Siddiq, an MP of the British Labour Party, attended a welfare reform debate the other day. Siddiq, who is seven months pregnant, arrived at the debate around 12:30 p.m., gave a speech at 2:30 p.m., and then, fifteen minutes after that, left the room for 45 minutes -- reportedly to get something to eat.

The horror!

When Siddiq returned, Eleanor Laing, the Deputy Speaker of the Commons, told her that she "made women look bad" because it's a no-no to leave the room during one of these debate sessions.

According to the Telegraph, speaking from the Speaker's Chair to everyone assembled, Laing said: "If one makes a speech in the Chamber, it is courteous and required by the rules of the House that one stays in the Chamber certainly for the following speech and usually for at least two speeches thereafter. The people who have not done so today know who they are."

And THEN, Laing called Siddiq over to her chair, where she proceeded to inform Siddiq that "people will think that women can't follow the conventions of the House because they're pregnant," and, "you're bringing down the whole of womankind." She also told Siddiq not to "play the pregnancy card."

Augh. With women like this, who needs sexist men?

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It's just unbelievable. Yes, if the tradition or convention is that you don't leave for a certain period of time during these debates, then perhaps Siddiq needed to be made aware of those rules -- but not because she's a pregnant woman! And if she already knew about the rules, but really felt she had to go get something to eat, then the way to NOT make "the whole of womankind" look bad is to be supportive of a fellow human being acting like a human being.

A pregnant woman is not the same as non-pregnant humans -- male or female. Sometimes being pregnant make you feel sick, or ravenous, or like you have to go pee 80 times a day. That's okay! Pregnant women can still brilliantly carry out their jobs, even when they sometimes require a little extra accommodation and understanding. Why is that such a big deal?

I'll tell you why ... it's only a big deal if you're a sexist jerk. And the way to teach sexist jerks NOT to be sexist jerks isn't to try to make sure that their sexist fears are never proven true! (Welp, I told you we shouldn't let women in here -- look at that, they just go and get pregnant and then have to take snack breaks! See!)

No. It's to go ahead and do a great job, while at the same time not trying to pretend that you're just exactly like a man, only with boobs. And it's to afford the fellow women you work with the respect and compassion they deserve.

Because you know what? Even a man should be allowed to take a lunch break, if he needs it. How's that for revolutionary?!


Image via © Artiga Photo/CORBIS

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