Listen up ladies! In today’s episode of Mansplaining Made Easy, a gent on Reddit has revealed the pain of birthing a baby is all in women’s heads! Before you get snotty, you should know that the man has a wife who gave birth, so this means he’s an expert.
Mansplain your pain away!
“[Birth] hurts most women because of fear,” the man said in a Reddit comment.
“Tension and anxiety floods blood and oxygen to the areas of the body needed for defence and away from the cervix, using it to lock up and needing to be pushed against,” he further explained. The man then goes on to reveal that his wife is better at labour than you are – and is actually a super-dooper, relaxed and magical baby birthing fairy/Cephalopod.
“My wife birthed our daughter with no pain at all, drug free and naturally. She was in a self-induced hypnotic state where in she released all tension and relaxed her body,” he wrote proudly.
It was almost as if he couldn’t stop, once he set this teaching moment free, as he went on to say that the whole “birth is pain” association was a fable made up by Tom Cruise and The Illuminati. Or something like that. It’s hard to understand when you are banging your head on the desk…
“The unavoidable agony of childbirth’ is a myth, compounded by fear inducing maternity staff and Hollywood dramatisation,” he explosively whispered in his final sentence. It’s enough to make you want to poke yourself in the eye.
Okay come ON
People who witnessed his theory were not having a bar of this nonsense either, of course.
“Some women do experience bliss and minimal pain during childbirth, and we shouldn’t diminish that. But blaming everybody else for having a different experience is unhelpful and disrespectful,” one Redditor posted.
Some hoped it meant they were magically pain-free forever and ever amen:
“Actually it means that no woman ever feels pain at all! Isn’t it wonderful? We can all stop being in pain now!!! My migraines are gone forever, they were only something I created because I was scared!! Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!” a woman cheered. Thanks, man!
Some sought revenge while others offered a sage reminder that critical thinking is the best kind of thinking when it comes to matters of health.
“This is the kind of person I’m going to wish a kidney stone upon. Preferably jagged, and the size of a marble.”
“What do you mean? Anecdotal evidence is the most solid kind of proof!” another eye-rolled wisely.
We have issues
Facebook page The Skeptical OB initially alerted us to this Reddit post, and we’ve got to say we’re very glad they did. While the subject matter is indeed infuriating, it raises a few issues that are really worth talking about.
Issue 1: Men speaking on behalf of women about experiences unique to women
It’s not up to casually spectating gents to authoritatively advise women on wrangling the challenges of labour – nor should they purport to know how birth feels. Let women tell their own stories. Listen to US first.
Issue 2: Promoting the “perfect” birth
Labour is not a competitive sport. It is what it is and every woman has her own unique and often unpredictable experience of birthing a baby. Promoting impossible ideals – touted by a third party who wants to win at labour – ensures that many women feel they’ve “failed” at birth. Don’t gentrify birth, people.
Issue 3: Sweeping statements and rampant generalisations
Observing one woman’s experience and applying it to all women is ignorant and must be stopped. Stop imposing this dehumanising, one size fits all approach on varied and valuable people. We are not fembots!
What are your thoughts on this? Did you magic yourself out of the pain of labour, dear reader?