Yesterday as I was driving to pick my kids up at the sitter's, a song came on the radio: "You're Having My Baby" by Paul Anka. It made me think of Mel Gibson.
Because in his latest rant about breastfeeding and his girlfriend's implants, he shows a sense of possession, a sort of "my baby" attitude. And while Anka probably meant it in a loving way, the fact is they are sort of the same thing. Gibson, in his rant, speaks of his girlfriend's breasts as though they are his possessions and he can tell her what to do and he clearly thinks he can. Why?
Because she had "his" baby.
An oft-cited statistic is that the number one killer of pregnant women is murder. According to an article on CNN in 2007:
In 2001, Cheng and Dr. Isabelle Horon conducted a study in Maryland to determine the leading cause of death among pregnant women from 1993 to 1998.
Of the 247 women who died while pregnant, homicide was found to be the leading cause of death, accounting for about 20 percent of the cases.
Why is this happening?
There are many reasons. Some men don't want to have children and feel powerless to stop the woman who is pregnant, so they resort to violence. Others were possessive and abusive before their partner got pregnant.
No matter how you slice it, pregnancy is a very vulnerable time for women and this Mel Gibson rant about breastfeeding is part of a larger issue over ownership of the body. In fact, I hate when people say, "You're having his baby." After all, isn't it "our" baby?
I've also always been shocked when women say, "My husband wants us to breastfeed" or "We are pregnant." It's a nice sentiment, but the reality is they're your boobs, so it's your choice and it's your uterus, so only YOU are pregnant.
I have a wonderful, supportive husband, but he knew who was pregnant and who was not. And he recognizes that our children are "our" children, not his alone.
Did you say things like "We are pregnant"?
Image via Made In Hollywood/Flickr