Monday, September 10, 2012

Manboobs and Men Who Are Boobs

When I first got pregnant, I naively assumed that the biggest violation of my privacy would be people wanting to touch my belly, and doing so without asking. I'm into my 8th month, and I have to say I haven't had much of a problem with this. Not a single stranger has touched me or even asked to, and only a couple of family/friends have, and that doesn't bother me.

BUT, my privacy has been violated in a way that I definitely did not expect.

I went to a wedding last weekend, and not one but two different GUYS asked me if I planned to breastfeed. These were not close friends. One was a guy i met one time, about a year and a half ago, when we were drunk together in a limo. The other one is a neighbor down the street that I have talked to a handful of times. One guy had a six month old daughter with him and the other's girlfriends is due around the same time I am. 

The first guy, guy A, introduces us to his daughter (wife is not around because she's in the wedding) and starts spewing off random baby facts, akin to Rainman, because now that he has a baby he is the official knower of all things baby. We talk about benign things like strollers for a while until he abruptly asks, "So, are you going to breastfeed?" Frank and I look at each other like "seriously dude?" and I feel the sudden need to cross my arms over my chest. I kind of stumbled over my words and told him that I wasn't sure yet, blah blah, and he proceeded that as soon as I get past "the bloody, cracked, nipple stage" I'd be good to go and it would be super easy. Though the guy has a minor case of MB's going on, I'm pretty sure he's never nursed a baby. Thankfully, frank jumped in and said, "We plan to feed the baby." 

I may not be able to breastfeed because of some medical issues. Whatever. I don't feel like I need to explain myself or justify myself. To anyone, especially a strange guy. And no, I won't degrade myself or preface any explanation with, "I know breast is best but . . . " because there are many times that breast is NOT the best, in a particular situation, case closed. And I feel well qualified to judge my own situation and make the right decision. 

The point I'm trying to make here is not really about breastfeeding vs. formula. The point is that it has been really disconcerting to watch my body suddenly go up for public debate and judgement. No one  in their right mind would ask a woman a question about her breasts if she weren't pregnant or a mother. Or a loaded question about such a personal choice. Because you know if they're asking, they have an opinion about it. I think the next time someone asks me I'll follow up with an equally inappropriate and private question, like "How much money do you make?" Any other suggestions?

(By the way, this same guy also asked me if I planned on getting an epidural. Because his wife went all natural and it was "really easy". I like to think that if she would have been there she probably would have smacked him.)


  1. Yikes. Issues concerning the body are like the no-go zone. Just because some women are totally cool with being out in the open about everything, doesn't mean ALL women are. It's kind of like asking a couple when they're going to start having kids. Maybe there are specific medical conditions why they haven't "started" yet. Maybe they're already trying, but things just aren't working out. That's a pretty touchy subject.

    I totally get it.

  2. First of awkward! Second........It's REALLY easy to hate men during pregnancy. REALLY easy. Your husband is lucky if you haven't punched him in the face yet. I know I'm constantly on the brink of socking mine in the nose! Anytime a man tells me his wife is pregnant, I always say YOU OWE THAT WOMAN BIG TIME!!! Go buy her things!!! Give her your credit card!! Rub her feet!!! Or she may hit you. In the face.