Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Are you pregnant?

Foreword: This is an angry rant.

Yesterday I went home sick. On my way out the door, I was asked by one of our patrons why I was leaving. I informed him, "I'm going home sick." His reply was that of congratulations, because he assumed that I must be pregnant...


When I corrected him, that uh, no, I am not pregnant, he then decided that I MUST be having MENSTRUAL issues....


WTF?!? JACK ASS!!! (Side Note: don't yet have a diagnosis for my stomach issues, but have it narrowed down to a herniated esophagus, GERD, or IBS.)

I wish I could say that this is a unique occurrence - this thing where I say, "I don't feel well" and someone replies, "Are you pregnant?" but this actually happens with great frequency now that I am married. I know that I am married and female and of childbearing age, and many individuals in that category may choose to have children so some folks may jump to that conclusion if I complain about ::gasp:: nausea. However, my current status does not change the fact that my personal life choices are just that - personal. Personal as in NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS UNLESS I TELL YOU. Additionally, I find it inappropriate and disrespectful to brush aside a woman's illness based on a blatantly false presumption that was made with woefully few facts.

For those out there who do not understand why this is inappropriate, disrespectful, and downright thoughtlessly rude - let me explain.

When you respond to a woman's complaint of illness by asking if she is pregnant, you ASSume many things.

1st - YOU ASSume that the woman shares similar lifestyle choices as you and will be choosing to have children.

2nd - YOU ASSume that she is ABLE to have children. Have you ever taken one second to think about the men and women who are unable to conceive and how hurtful your comment could be to them??? NO. Because you ASSumed that they could have kids. Because you didn't think.

3rd - You are asking a woman a question in the workplace that you would NEVER ask a man. A question that could in fact endanger her career advancement prospects (no matter how forward thinking you may think your company is).

4th - You are presuming yourself to be someone who deserves details about this woman's personal life, when, guess what, you don't deserve to know jack-squat. If she doesn't want to tell you what "sick" means, then you don't get to know what "sick" means. Sick could mean a horrendous bout of diarrhea, or one nasty ooozing smelly yeast infection - would you like to have those details? huh?? Didn't think so.

5th - You are ignoring the fact that this woman is going home SICK. That means quite literally that she is sick. So she probably doesn't feel like getting interrogated or, just as bad, getting freaking "congratulated" when she is SICK.

6th - You make a woman think, "DO I FREAKING LOOK PREGNANT?!?"

Just some food for thought. Feel free to pass this along.

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