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“It’s a boy!” the doctor proclaimed.
What was supposed to be one of the happiest moments of my life was instantly ruined by one ignorant, hate-filled remark from a supposed “man of science.”
“It’s a boy?” I responded quizzically. “What exactly does that mean? The fetus is only three seconds old; how could you possibly know the gender? Did the fetus happen to mention which pronouns it prefers as you were yanking it out of my partner’s uterus? Or are you just foisting your own cis-heteronormative biases on this helpless fetus?”
Typical white male.
“It’s really sad I have to explain this to you — especially in 2017 — but gender is a social construct. Just because this fetus has a veiny shaft and a helmet wrapped in foreskin, it doesn’t automatically mean it is male. Where’d you get your MD, Brown Mackie?”
You would think this verbal beatdown I gave the doctor would put the rest of the medical staff on alert that I was standing in righteous defiance of their open displays of bigotry, but the intolerance was just beginning. Not more than thirty seconds later, a nurse put the fetus on a scale and shamelessly declared, “9 pounds, 10 ounces. Wow, that’s a big baby!”
I was incensed.
“Oh, so I guess it’s okay to just body-shame a fetus now? Just because it is not some bulimic, coked-out, 6-pound fetus model, it doesn’t mean you have the right to publicly fat-shame it. This fetus is so much more than a number on a scale, and I will not have it subjected to unattainable, Westernized standards of beauty. Real babies have curves!”
The fetus was crying hysterically at this point – no doubt from the hate speech being spewed from a nurse so antithetical to the body positive movement — so I whispered in the fetus’ ear, “Sexy is a state of mind, not a waist size!”
I then looked the nurse directly in her beady eyes and said, defiantly, “Lose hate, not weight!”
A few minutes later, they were wheeling all three of us back to our room to have a quick chat with a lactation consultant who turned out to be a real right-wing extremist. For some reason, she had in her mind that only the “mother,” which is such a loaded term, should breastfeed the baby.
Oh, okay, so just because I was born with male genitalia I shouldn’t be able to breastfeed my own fetus? I’ve got pituitary glands, milk ducts, and nipples; what’s the problem? You would think a lactation consultant would be against reinforcing traditional gender stereotypes, but not the one at this repressive gulag.
I wanted to turn this into a teachable moment, so I ripped the fetus off my partner’s bosom and shoved it face-first into my luxuriant thatch of crimson chest hair. After 45 minutes of suckling at my bristly teat, I passed the fetus back to my partner and then spent the next hour pumping —
all while giving a frosty stare to that close-minded bigot. Her jaw was on the ground!
After the fetus finished feeding, the postpartum nurse said it was time for my partner to eat and that she should get her something from their “fabulous” room service (her word, not mine). The menu was about as “fabulous” as a Cleveland soup kitchen (I’m going to use that burn in my Yelp review).
“What’s the crudo du jour?” Silence. “Is the marrow-stem kale locally sourced?” Crickets. “How recently were the chanterelles foraged?” No response. The waitperson on the other end of the phone was as sharp as a fucking cue ball.
“Um, I’m sorry but we have a limited menu. We only serve turkey sandwiches, cheeseburgers, pizza, and salad.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I dialed Luby’s.”
“I’m sorry, sir?” the rube said in bewilderment.
“Never mind, you dunce. And cool it with the gender-specific pronouns or I’ll rip out your larynx. I would rather eat discarded ear wax than any of your GMO-infused proteins, so just give me a couple salads. And I’m going to skullfuck your first born if I find out the produce was shipped in from some Monsanto farm!”
As you can imagine, lunch was about as a palatable as eating a homeless man’s asshole. Hopefully my constructive criticism leads the sous chef to adopt a more sustainable, farm fresh menu.
After lunch, the head nurse and the OB/GYN dropped off a few “gifts.” The nurse gave the fetus a cuddly little blanket, which would have been fine except it just happened to be blue. These brown shirts just can’t help themselves from imposing unsolicited gender narratives on any fetus that passes through their halls. The fetus would’ve been better off with a smallpox quilt.
But that was nothing compared to the OB/GYN’s gift. This alt-right 4chan troll had the temerity to give my fetus an Alex Smith jersey. For the uninformed, Alex Smith is the blue-eyed devil who spent years trying to take away Colin Kaepernick’s job. I’m surprised this fascist OB/GYN didn’t give the fetus a Washington “R” words jersey. I’ve already requested the Southern Poverty Law Center deem him and his “hospital” a hate group.
I was about to chalk up the entire day as a total loss, but late in the night I got a few minutes of alone time with my new fetus. As I was holding it — staring at it in befuddled wonderment — my mind started racing, thinking about what the future would entail for this little collection of cells.
A sudden warmth rushed over me as I realized this fetus can be whatever it wants to be — Secretary General of the United Nations, President of the United States, or even a social justice blogger at the Huffington Post! Frankly, I’ll be proud of it whatever it chooses to be — as long as that is anything other than a straight white male..
Image via Shutterstock