I recently heard a woman announce to the world “We are pregnant!” and I was a little confused. I distinctly remember learning about reproduction in high school biology class and the idea of a man being pregnant never came up even once. I’m pretty sure that unless something has changed, the state of two people being pregnant together in some weird fusion of reproductive organs is technically not possible.
I asked my friend why couples these days say “We are pregnant” and she shed a little light on the situation for me. She said that couples make a deliberate attempt to use this terminology so the guy doesn’t feel excluded from the pregnancy process. And I guess that explanation sort of makes sense. I can see how the “we” terminology might help the guy accept the pregnancy situation without going off the deep end. For example, instead of thinking “My wife is getting fatter and has permanent PMS and it is all my fault,” he thinks “My wife and I are pregnant together! This is so exciting and fun!”
But I remain baffled by the notion that a woman would voluntarily give away even an ounce of credit for enduring a complex, harrowing nine months of her life. The way I see it, “we” might have conceived a baby, but until the man has raging hormones, a live being growing inside of him, and plans to pass a watermelon through a tiny crevice in his body, “we” are definitely not pregnant in any way, shape or form and “we” never will be.
Nevertheless, it is in vogue today to say “we are pregnant” so I don’t see this terminology going anywhere. When someone says “we are pregnant” on television, only about half of the people in the room look confused and the other half accept the comment as a normal way to speak about the state of female pregnancy.
But I think the other half would jump on board too if the term “we” was applied in a more fair and consistent way. For example, if couples are going to say “we” are pregnant, shouldn’t they also say “we” worked until midnight last night, “we” got promoted, and “we” got a huge year-end bonus? If a man is going to take credit when a woman successfully carries and delivers a baby, shouldn’t a woman take credit when he successfully endures a hellish nine months at the office? Just a little food for thought.
I know one thing, I just talked to my guy and learned that “we” won quite a bit of money playing poker last night. I can definitely get used to this “we” thing. Copyright © 2010 Alison James