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New Men's Rights Issue: Women attacking men while giving birth

Is this man in grave danger?
Is this man putting his life in grave danger?

Is there no end to the ways in which women oppress the men of the world? Over on A Voice for Men, Clint Carpentier reports – and I use that term loosely – on a heretofore overlooked form of anti-male oppression: the abuse of fathers in delivery rooms by women who are at that moment literally in the stirrups giving birth.

Yep, we’re talking about women who use 12 hours of labor as a convenient excuse to yell at, and sometimes scratch and bite, their husbands and boyfriends. Apparently, there’s an epidemic of women in labor cruelly attacking men from the comfort and safety of the delivery table.

Carpentier starts off his post by making clear that giving birth isn’t really the big freaking deal all the ladies think it is, anyway:

Giving birth is an amazing feat of zero skill, and it still amazes me. It amazes me that this is the epitome, the pinnacle, the supposed female trump card to all male accomplishments. A man lands on the moon with analogue technology and proves Galileo’s theory of air resistance, but never mind that, another woman gave birth, just as well as any other female animal on the planet. A man creates life in a petri-dish, but never mind that, some broad stole his sperm and created life herself.

Anyway, I’m not knocking the dangers of labor, men know all about the dangers of labor; there really ought to be a better word for giving birth.

And whatever alleged pain women undergo during so-called “labor” apparently pales in insignificance to the pain men suffer from being in their presence in the delivery room. Carpentier has managed to avoid this terrible fate himself – his wife went the c-section route, no biggie – but he has heard tales that would make your skin crawl:

I have … heard stories, have … seen the scratches and bite marks, on the fathers who braved the maternity ward. And these same brave men praise the bravery of the mothers of their children. They proudly display scars the mothers-to-be inflicted upon them during the ordeal.

I’m hoping these scars are only from fingernails and that mothers-to-be aren’t sneaking shivs into the delivery room.

Oh, also, sometimes women in labor yell really loudly:

Sometimes a father will reminisce amusingly about how he’d been temporarily deafened when she had screamed right in his ear for waxing sympathetically over her tribulations.

And apparently it’s only men who are the targets for this scratching and biting and yelling:

I hear these stories only from men. I know, men aren’t the only people comforting these women during birth; some women don’t have a man at the time. But what I don’t hear, are these stories from the female nurses, friends, mothers, sisters, etc, who are there to console and coach these single mothers-to-be. Why is it, I’m only hearing accounts of weathering physical abuse and injury from the fathers?

I don’t know, dude. Do you hang out with female nurses on a regular basis? Do you spend as much time drinking beer and shooting the shit with your wife’s female friends as you do with your own?

You see, if I am correct, and it is only fathers who suffer this abuse, then delivery of such injury is selective. I can see no call for it.

Really? First of all, you haven’t shown that this is abuse and not simply an accident. Second, how many of these female friends, mothers, sisters, what have you, were actually in the delivery room? Because that seems like an important variable to take into consideration before jumping to conclusions based on a dataset of some-dudes-allegedly-told-you-something-once.

In fact, fathers-to-be should avoid the maternity ward altogether, as they are obviously not welcome.

Really again? You imagine an epidemic of anti-male violence by women giving birth based on a couple of stories and a rather half-assed deduction you’ve made from it, and therefore conclude that 1) men should miss out on the birth of their children and 2) shouldn’t be there to comfort their wives as best they can during labor.

If birthing is license to mistreat, abuse, or injure a father in the witness of medical professionals, then what deterrent exists, preventing continued abuse in private? And for that matter, what indication is there that she doesn’t abuse him already?

Woah. Let’s just back up a little here. First of all, dude, you haven’t proven that “abuse of fathers” by women on the delivery table is actually a thing. You’ve offered only a few vague anecdotes – and these anecdotes don’t even make clear whether or not the alleged “ delivery of … injury” – gotta love that evasive wording – was deliberate.

Given the stress and pain of labor, it’s easy to imagine how a woman giving birth might accidentally scratch someone. Maybe the mother in question was holding onto her husband’s hand for support and dug her fingernails in a little too hard and left a mark. Maybe she flailed her arm backwards and accidentally scratched his face. We don’t know, because not only do you offer zero real evidence for any of your claims, but your second-hand stories don’t offer enough detail to know what was going on.

If endangering your own life once or twice provides license to abuse a man, what does that say about our society. Particularly when he endangers his own life as a matter of routine to support you?

Seriously? I know Men’s Righsters love to complain about the fact that many more men than women die on the job – though this complaining never seems to lead to any actual activism on the issue of workplace safety – but the fact is that most men, in the US at least, DO NOT WORK DANGEROUS JOBS. They don’t endanger their own lives “as a matter of routine.” They don’t endanger their lives at all by going to work, at least not any more than women do.

MRAs love to give themselves credit for bravery because they share a gender with a small number of men who do in fact work dangerous jobs. But I’m guessing there are not a lot of lion tamers amongst the Men’s Rights crowd. Somehow I’m thinking that most of them have jobs that mostly involve sitting on their asses in rooms entirely devoid of lions.

Anyway, if the overwhelming majority of men don’t endanger their lives by going to work, they endanger it even less by “braving” the delivery room. Men face no actual physical threat from women who are literally flat on their back, their feet in stirrups, in the process of pushing an entire human being out through their vaginas.

But, hey, women do sometimes yell rude things during labor, so maybe it’s possible that a few of them do scratch or even bite their husbands, though the latter seems like it might be a tad difficult logistically. Some might even do so on purpose. If so, there would probably be some evidence of this somewhere online, right?

Well, I searched for a while using every combination of search words I could think of. I found an assortment of disturbing headlines about men attacking women in and around maternity wards: Guilty: man who punched and kicked pregnant girlfriend outside Poole Maternity Hospital; Man charged with assaulting pregnant girlfriend, staff in hospital maternity ward; Man Throws Meat Cleaver Into Maternity Ward.

I found disturbing statistics about pregnancy and domestic violence, which often begins or increases during pregnancy; according to one 2000 study, some 324,000 pregnant women are abused each year.

On a somewhat lighter note, I found women wondering if it was normal to have a really itchy stomach after giving birth, and another person wondering “why is my bitch digging so much after giving birth[?]” (Don’t worry; they were talking about a dog.)

Amidst all this – and many hundreds of other irrelevant results – I managed to find one example of a woman scratching a man during childbirth.

On a page in which she provided all the gory details of her 28 hours of labor – along with numerous pictures of her newborn – one new mother also posted a couple of pictures documenting the scratches she’d given her husband while in labor. (I’m not giving out the link because MRAs. )

Brace yourself. Here’s one of the pictures, with the father’s face partially blurred out:

New father displays scratches his wife gave him during her 28 hours of labor
New father displays scratches his wife gave him during her 28 hours of labor

If you look very carefully you can see four faint scratches on his forearm. The blogger isn’t a native English speaker, but as far as I can tell from what she wrote about it, she didn’t give these terrible scratches to him on purpose.

The horror!

 

 

 

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Angelica
8 years ago

I don’t get that, you know… Would they say that to a guy? Like “what if your kid dies and you wanna have another one?” or “What if your wife leaves you and you remarry and you want to have another kid with her?” I mean, isn’t that the same fucking thing?

Bina
8 years ago

As I understand it, men never face that much questioning when they ask for a vasectomy. It’s more like: “Are you sure? All righty then, hop up on the table and take off your pants…”

Sam-I-Was?
Sam-I-Was?
8 years ago

Oh MRAs you never fail to delight me!

I wonder if a study has been done comparing pain tolerance between people who do and don’t swear–but rather than being assigned something random to chant, the person either does or doesn’t swear based on their own personality/convictions/upbringing/etc

As I remember Discover channel has a show called Mythbusters (not sure if it’s international) that tested whether or not someone had a higher thresh hold for pain if they swore vs fill in words like biscuits, son of a gun, etc. It’s been a few years but as I remember for people who swore had a higher ability to handle pain. I seem to recall that they had figured out a reason for it but don’t remember what it was now. However I think that they just used a group of people who weren’t opposed to swearing as the test group. They ran 2 tests, one where they could swear & one where they could only say fill in words that they had selected ahead of time. Off to Netflicks I go 🙂

And for any MRA lurkers I have one for you, during labor I kicked spouse right in the face. He was trying to be the doting father rubbing my calf when a charlie horse & contraction hit at the same time. Not my proudest moment but even he will admit that he would take getting hit in the face one time over labor. :p

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: emilygoddess

Damn, nuclear kitties! Sounds like a riot grrl band. Glad it wasn’t too dangerous, though!

Skye
Skye
8 years ago

I hope this doesn’t count as a necro, but here’s a look at ways international rankings differ: http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e746

Zolnier
Zolnier
8 years ago

This is possibly the most surreal bullshit I’ve seen all week. Really, they’re complaining about being attacked by women in labour? That sounds like a Monty Python sketch. I’m just picturing like a reverse gender Lifetime movie of the week where the poor man cowers in the darkly waiting room, hands shaking as he tries to light a cigar.

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
6 years ago

Some of the most hilarious TV comedy ever was the show Murphy Brown dealing with her pregnancy.

Co-worker: I have video. 36 hours of me begging to be killed.
Murphy Brown: 36 hours? That’s a bus trip to Boise!

The best simile ever was Carol Burnett saying “Grab your lip and pull it up over your head.”

Yeah, they scream. It f***ing hurts. Saying something sophomoric will likely get you scratched, hit, or yelled at. So don’t be sophomoric. I was in the delivery room twice. Stick to your LaMaze coaching.

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