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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!




182 replies on “New Men's Rights Issue: Women attacking men while giving birth”

If faint scratches on a man’s arm are abuse, then I’d hate to know what these super alpha dudemenbros think of scratches left on a man’s back after sex. I’m sure that’s as bad as water boarding. For supposedly tough guys, these dudes are certainly seem as delicate as hot house flowers.

On maternal deaths

from wikipedia: “In the United States, the maternal death rate averaged 9.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births during the years 1979-1986,[14] but then rose rapidly to 14 for every 100,000 patients in 2000 to 24 per every 100,000 patients in 2008”
Wtf is happening in US maternal care?

we see MMR 2010 is 21 in the USA (same as Iran), and in comparison 4 in Sweden and 2 in Estonia. Maybe this is a good questionto pro-lifers why the US rate is out of proportion to its wealth (or maybe not, the answer is probably that only fetuses count)


Wtf is happening in US maternal care?

Bad economy leading to loss of jobs leading to loss of healthcare benefits. No health insurance means not being able to afford basic prenatal care. Not getting basic prenatal care leads to poor outcomes for mother and baby.

But we don’t need no stinkin’ “socialized medicine.” /sarcasm

Telcaris, on the infant mortality rate, the US reports numbers through one year. The EU uses what is called in the US the neonatal mortality rate.

As to maternal mortality rates, I do wonder if that has been adversely affected by abortion restrictions. It would be interesting to know.

sparky: probably, but also the number seems to have begun to rise in the early 2000’s. Was the economy bad then ( I don’t remember). And yes, I would say that socialized medicine has pretty solid evidence to be better.

Skye Where did you find info that the reporting methods are different? And probably the restrictions have increased the number, when it it’s been more diffficult to terminate more dangerous pregnancies.

Bunny trail: 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.

Personally, I was raised in a strict no-swearing environment (which may or may not be good, but wev, that’s water under the bridge which results in me naturally not swearing as an adult). I do yell when I’m in pain, but I don’t use swear words. I wonder what would happen if they let people yell whatever words they want, swearing or non-swearing. I imagine there is more pain release in angrily yelling a genuine, “FRIGGIN MONKEYBUTTS” than there is in chanting an assigned word, and I wonder if there’s even as much relief as a different person yelling a genuine swear.

Hmm, but then you have a non-random sample and there could be other variables. There are likely to be other similarities between swearers/non-swearers.

When my mom was in labor with me, my dad likes to claim (my mom doesn’t recall this) that at one point, she grabbed his face and said, “NO MORE!” and he just replied, “Yes, dear.” like a good husband.

And that is supposedly why I am #2 of two children, even though her experience having me was much better than when she had my older sister.

Gosh, all that misandry. My dad even missed Thanksgiving dinner because my mom’s water broke just after putting the turkey in the oven. He has the patience of a saint. /last paragraph sarcasm

Looks to me like MRAs are again taking something that only turns up in dopey sitcoms (written by men) and comedy routines (by male comedians) and trying to turn it into a huge fucking deal that the can rally behind.

Keep on flailing at those windmills, boys.

And this is a perfect example of why the MRM will only stay relevent among the losers that can’t deal with life unless everything is artificially stacked in their favor the way it USED to be. They’re a bunch of losers that are putting their own twisted meaning on things they haven’t even experienced and calling themselves “experts”.

They are hoping if they squawk loud enough that all men will come running to their lost cause, but that will never happen because the REAL men know better. I just read this to my husband and his brother, whose wife almost died in labor from meningitis, and I wish I could type out what they said about the POS that recite this drivel.

I’m also amazed at how the men that think they are superior specimens because they are “stronger” are reducing themselves to little whining babies, crying about a few scrapes or scratches. Do they not understand the meaning of hypocritical?

True story: When my mother was in labor with me, the only time my father poked his head into the delivery room was to tell her to keep the noise down.

Not until this day have I encountered anyone who sympathized with him. I knew I could count on you, MRAs.

My dad had a garage door come down on the back of his neck, cracking a vertebra, shortly before I was due. My mom was terrified that she’d be left alone at home while he was in hospital. Fortunately, I decided to show up three weeks late, and he was fine by then.

You’re welcome, MRAs. I saved my dear ol’ dad from a world of misandry!

Oh man, I NEVER want to experience childbirth. Financial terror and such aside, I tend to deal with pain by dissociating and I’ve found that really doesn’t put me in a good way with doctors. (Since by their reckoning, their patient is suddenly acting drunk, drugged, or psychotic.) Very, very bad combo.

Also, far as swearing goes, I cuss blue streaks when in pain. Like, I accidentally cut myself with a knife and it ended up very minor, but the hullaballoo I kicked up had my roommates thinking I’d murdered myself or something. (“OW FUCK SHIT DAMN ASSFUCK MOTHERBITCH”) I actually do it in part to keep from dissociating! Shouting bloody murder is a great way to tether myself to reality and expressing the pain outward rather than swallowing it inward.

RE: emilygoddess

I have had to be swept with a geiger counter after treating a patient.

Okay, I’ll bite. How on EARTH did you end up in that situation?

RE: garvan-the-mad

No Manboobz, violence against human beings is not acceptable.

You didn’t read any of the rest of this post or comments, did you?

RE: Howard Bannister

it does irk me a little that these guys like to use my service to prove the innate servingness of dudes…

I feel the same way whenever some chucklefuck MRA talks about male rape. I ain’t your posterboy, assholes.

I would never want to give birth either. Someday I’m getting my tubes tied. Even bad but somewhat bearable pain makes me physically nauseous. As a teen, I had menstrual pain something fierce and would stay home from school, moan a lot & puke a lot. Sorry about the TMI. Also, I suddenly have the incredible urge to reference that Bill Cosby comedy routine, “…..and on the next contraction, she told everybody…in the delivery room…that my parents were never married!…..”

Puncture marks I could understand, but bruises? Was Magnus a lion?

He certainly was in his mind! Or a tiger, given he was tabby.

Yeah, it was pretty mind-boggling getting bruises. They were just little ones, but that boy was into the GRAB and hang on technique, along with biting.

I would absolutely not want to give birth either, unless it was kittens. I suspect that even if it were Mr K’s child, he’d be required to stand where I could squirrel-grip him (LOOK AT THE MISANDRY, MRAS! JUST LOOK AT IT!) so he could really share the experience.

I’ve no idea whether I’d swear or not. I drop F bombs a lot anyway (thank you, corrupting workplace) so I don’t think they’d help much. Only time I’ve had severe pain was decades ago when I was passing very fine kidney stones, and I didn’t swear then. I don’t think I could spare the attention!

I swear when I stub my toe, so I’m sure that in the unlikely event that I ever gave birth I’d be displaying some very colorful vocabulary. Luckily, Mr C is neither a selfish idiot nor easily offended by bad language.

I would never want to give birth either. Someday I’m getting my tubes tied. Even bad but somewhat bearable pain makes me physically nauseous. As a teen, I had menstrual pain something fierce and would stay home from school, moan a lot & puke a lot.

You sound like me. I had to go on prescription medication (Ponstan, a.k.a. mefenamic acid) for my menstrual pains…and later, when my period went more and more irregular, not to mention heavy and horrid and L-O-N-G, I finally got relief by going on the Pill. (My humble theory is that my ovaries got a bit fried from all the X-rays I had when I was hospitalized with a broken pelvis at 14, after being hit by a car.)

I’ve known all my life that I was not a maternal soul. It’s not that I don’t like kids, it’s that I’ve never craved them. As soon as I heard of an operation that would make birth control a permanent no-brainer, at 13, I wanted it. I always swore that I would get my tubes tied ASAP…and had the worst time trying to talk my doctor into referring me for a tubal ligation. It was always “Oh, wait till you meet Mr. Right, you’ll want kids then…” when in fact, for me, it was “I don’t care if I never meet him, I just plain don’t want kids!”

I finally got my tubes tied 10 years ago, at 36. Most relieving decision I ever made, certainly the longest time I’ve ever gone between “I want it” and “I got it”, and one I will most certainly NOT regret, even though I’ve never been even a little bit pregnant. And I have yet to meet Mr. Right, too.

@LBT, so, the main reason I tried so hard and so long to get a job at this hospital is that it’s basically just like a human hospital. We have an emergency room, and cardiologists, and a neurosurgeon, and an oncology department that does chemotherapy and radiation. Typically, a radiation patient would stay in the nuclear medicine ward until they were no longer radioactive, but recently they had a patient who was so sick they couldn’t leave it un-monitored when they went home for the night, so it was moved to the critical care ward. Which is where I work. And then it had pleural effusion and needed its chest tapped if it was going to survive the night, so a few of us gowned up and helped with that, and then stayed right where we were until radiology came down and geigered us (they keep the Geiger counter around for obvious reasons). By that point in its treatment it actually wasn’t too dangerous, except we were in contact with its bodily fluids, so better safe than sorry. Ultimately the only radioactive things were the cat and the dish of its chest fluid, which radiology took and disposed of. But still. Geiger counter!

I always swore that I would get my tubes tied ASAP…and had the worst time trying to talk my doctor into referring me for a tubal ligation. It was always “Oh, wait till you meet Mr. Right, you’ll want kids then…” when in fact, for me, it was “I don’t care if I never meet him, I just plain don’t want kids!”

Ah yes, doctors, turning tubal ligation into tubal litigation since forever.

emilygoddess, did radioactive kitty make it?


I would be interested in what German journalists think of this wiki, which hilariously gets the seal of approval from Conservapedia, and which contains a pretty positive article on Conservapedia itself. Do you have any links to news articles or blogs about Wikimannia that you could toss my way? I did some searching of my own, but I couldn’t for the life of me find anything in the news about the wiki or its creators.

Whenever I’ve tried to imagine myself pregnant all I can think of is the scene where the creature bursts out of John Hurt’s stomach in Alien. I tried explaining this to a doctor as an explanation of why surely a more permanent solution would be smarter in the long run than my going on the pill, but he just patted me on the hand and insisted that I’d change my mind later.

(Never happened, btw.)

I wanted a hysterectomy after my biokid was born. The doctor could have done it during the C-section. I was told women under 21 could not have them because we’d just change our minds later. I turned 21 a week after she was born. In the hospital, the day after my baby was born, the nurse told me not to get fixed because she might die or my husband might leave me and if I remarried, I’d want to have a kid with my new husband. I could not imagine a more heartless and stupid thing she could have said to me.

I never had another pregnancy, just as I planned. We both knew that if we wanted more kids, we’d adopt. It was something we’d talked about since we first started making long term plans.

Hubby did get a vasectomy. We weren’t taking any chances.

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?

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…”

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

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.

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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