The Child-Bearing Card

There is a longstanding, ongoing debate about who is tougher, men or women. Men, of course, stake their claim of toughness on, well, just being men. Women on the other hand often think that their husbands are sissies, just because we happen to moan and cry occasionally while lying feebly on the couch every time we have a head cold. During these moments of male pity seeking, women will often pull the child-bearing card.

In fact this and similar scenarios have been played out millions of times over the centuries.

For example:

Current Era:

Man: Hey babe,  I think I better drive myself to the emergency room, I just severed my whole arm off with my chainsaw while cutting up that 200 ft oak tree that fell during the tornadoes.

Woman: Do you need me to take you?

Man: No, its pretty painful and there’s some tendons hanging out, but I think I can get there.

Woman: You big baby… you know, I carried two babies, nine months each and had to push them out through my vagina. That’s what pain is!

Civil War Era:

Man: My sweet love, I am home from war.

Woman: Oh my sweet love, my life is complete again. You have been wounded.

Man: Yes, my darling, as you can see my legs are missing? I had to amputate both of them myself, out in the battlefield with nothing but a rusty hunting knife and a flask of whiskey. It was awful, the pain will haunt me for an eternity. But, my love, we won the war and saved the union, that’s what matters most.

Woman: You big baby… you know, I carried four babies nine months each and had to push them out through my vagina. That’s what pain is!

Medieval Era:

Man: Oh ye beautiful damsel, by nothing but God’s grace I am here to free thee from this hellish captivity. I have battled and slayed the three mighty dragons that guarded these wards. I have been burned by thine fiery breath and I have swam through crocodile and piranha infested waters.

Woman: Oh, thine Knight, ye have saved me from this Hell on Earth. Take me and we will live in eternal love.

Man: Ye beautiful damsel, I am wounded badly, but ye are free. Take thee steed and ride away, I must die here from thine wounds.

Woman: Ye big baby… ye know, I carried six babies nine months each and had to push them out through thine vagina. That’s what thine pain is!

Paleolithic era:

Caveman: “Oog…” (points at self) “Onk trampled… Onk hunting…” (runs in place) “stampede… Oog… Mammoths… Onk almost dead… Onk still bring food…” (points at dead mammoth)… (points at Gronk) “Gronk still eat…”

Cavewoman: “Oog… (pretends to wipe tears) “Onk big baby… Gronk eight baby” (holds up eight fingers)… “Oog… Gronk push…” (points at vagina)… “Gronk eight” (holds up eight fingers)… “Oog… Ouch!”

So I’m here to defend my fellow caveman… uhhh, I mean…man.

Look, we get it! Having a baby is some serious business! It defies the Laws of Physics… and Math… and Law itself… and maybe even English. In fact, I’ve witnessed it… close up… and I still have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the gory sight. We appreciate you ladies taking the lead on this one.  Seriously! We’re glad we’ll never have to experience birthing a child.

But let’s face it, there’s some pretty tough guys out there. The soldiers that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan… pretty tough. Those firefighters that ran INTO the burning world trade centers… pretty tough. The list could go on and on. Of course there are females in the ranks of those examples too, and maybe they’ve even had to defy the Laws of Physics… and Math… and Law… and maybe even English, and birth a child. They’re tough too! No one really wins this discussion.

And maybe your husband, boyfriend, or whoever isn’t the manliest guy in the world. I know I’m sure not! But I bet when push came to shove, he’d jump in front of a flying bullet… or carry you or your kids out of a burning building… or if he could, bear the burden of any pain you might be experiencing.

‘Cause that’s what guys do… well… most guys anyway.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a really painful hangnail I have to go deal with!

23 Comments

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23 responses to “The Child-Bearing Card

  1. I’m really sorry you have a hangnail, but suck it up buttercup. You ain’t dead and there is work to do. You wife worked for 9 months TWICE, gave birth in the fields and got back to work on zero sleep. Did she cry? No she did not because women are made of super stuff that is beyond mans comprehension.

    I hope your finger feels better. If it doesn’t cut it off so you have something to cry about. This is a problem with writers, hangnails are a serious problem. Get a manicure and moisturize. Hazards of the job you don’t seem to do all that often…but happy to see this post! This was funny :)

  2. Good to see you again, Steve. Make sure after you’ve ripped that hangnail off and used it to saw off the gangrenous finger, you remember your welder’s mask while cauterizing it with your acetylene torch. Wouldn’t want to add blindness to the things you have be tough about.

  3. Funny thing is… When a man downplays an injury is when I know he’s really hurt. That’s when I worry. :)

  4. But Steve, we love our guys despite the fact that they can be big babies.

  5. Have you ever passed a kidney stone yet, Steve? I hear that’s even worse than childbirth (from women who have done both) So you may want to start forming a few stones so you can finally tell your wife you aren’t a big baby.

    • No thankfully I haven’t. But one day where I used to work, one of our employees came to us in extreme pain, said he needed to go to the emergency room. We thought he was having a heart attack. Turns out it was kidney stones. Uhhh, no thanks!

  6. Great to see you back.
    OK, woman give birth and few grunts and its over.

    BUT, man flu, there’s a serious complaint which woman know nothing about and it can take us days to get over it.

    All we get is, get up you wimp there’s nothing wrong, you have a runny nose. All i can say is, suck it and see :)

  7. I am a huge believer in the epidural and therefore forfeit my right to the fully deserved use of the child-bearing card. Being the first time I could lie on my back and sleep in months, I actually enjoyed my deliveries more than one should! But, don’t you worry…I’m holding plenty of other cards in my hand.

    Excuse me while I go whine to my husband about being up all night with a sick baby attached to my breast. ;)

  8. Richard Wiseman

    I get called a psycho when I deal with pain as I don’t register it at all, mostly due to my cold blooded stiff upper lipped dad, but to be honest I was there when both my kids were born and there was a square bucket with blood, liquid and stuff that looked like raw liver in it and it came out of my wife. In spite of the drugs my wife screamed for around nine hours with each child and during the second she and my daughter both came close to death… so much as I’m always keen to jump into an iced river or put myself through a some pointless available pain just to see the look on my wife’s face when people say ‘Is he right in the head?’ I have to tip my hat to my wife on the pain front for going through what looked like a sanitized form of torture.

  9. celticadlx

    Wow, great post and comments. I have to agree that both men and women suffer equally depending on what’s happening. I know my man doesn’t complain much, so when he does I pay attention, like creative noodling said. And the fact that you guys go through the childbirth with us (most of you anyway) goes a long way in my book toward equalization. The one thing my husband said after the birth of our first child, and repeated after the second was that he hated how helpless he felt not being able to help me not suffer. How brave and noble is that? Yep, you could say he melted my heart, again, because it really was an issue for him to be able to do absolutely nothing. Not to mention he’s one of those who can’t handle blood so I admit, I’m glad he suffered a bit too, and stuck with me to the “beginning!”

    • That’s interesting that you mention your husband feeling helpless. I have said the same thing for years, I felt the same way, there’s really nothing you can do, your involvement, other than just being a hand to squeeze is very limited and it did make me feel more helpless than perhaps I have ever felt.

  10. I was just thinking the other day, “Whatever happened to the Brown Road guy?” Now, here you are, talking about vaginas. Glad to have you back.

    BTW, I gave birth 5 times. You bet your ass I play the Child-Bearing card.

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