… almost unheard of.
It is often said that if men could get pregnant abortions would be available with your burger at McDonald’s. I joke, but it is widely assumed or stated that male pregnancies would result in an abortion on-demand world – the implication being that what stops this is sexism.
Actually, I take a different view. I think if men could get pregnant then abortion would go the way of smoking. Why?
Well, I think pregnancy and birth would be viewed as the apex of masculinity. The man would stoically put up with the aches and pains, boast about the ordeal of giving birth and how little pain relief he needed (a test of his strength you see) he would proudly display his stretch marks as evidence of the whopping great baby he miraculously carried through nine months. Pregnancy would be a sign of his virility, a sign of his strength and a rite of passage into the world of ‘real men’. The pregnant male body and the post-partum male body would be seen as the height of attractiveness and envied by other men.
The baby or foetus would not be described as ‘a bunch of cells’ or compared to cancer or a parasite invading your body and leeching from you. It would be seen as miracle, and men would take great pride that their bodies were capable of doing such a thing.
It wouldn’t be a case of babies or work. The idea that you have to give up one for the other would be unheard of. The workplace would be based upon telecommuting, job shares and workplace creches. This would allow the proud father to see his child and work – if he so wished. He would not suffer financially for this as the workplace and jobmarket would recognise the extra skills and life experience that parenthood brings.
Furthermore, jobs previously staffed by women (and underpaid as a result) would become more attractive. It would be common to see male primary school teachers, kindergarten teachers, nannies and nurses. The caring professions would be far more equally balanced in terms of gender. In particular in teaching, this would have added benefits for male and female students.
If you were unemployed the state and local charities would be of unfailing help. And there’d be no shame in receiving this.
Even better, the outside world would take into account the needs of parents with very young children – and those expecting. Baby changing facilties would be everywhere – and would be clean and well stocked with supplies. They would feature baby-appropriate changing tables, not the ridiculous pull-out hard plastic ones we see nowadays. We would also see extra toilet facilties for pregnant people. Buses and trains would have better and more areas designed for people with strollers, babies and toddlers.
Breastfeeding areas would be commonplace. As would heaters for warming formula. Baby-appropriate foods would be provided in restaurants and cafes. Goodness, babies would be welcolmed in restaurants and cafes and aeroplanes would provide the necessary baby equipment – hence the drop in the rates of ‘oh no, I’m not sitting next to the baby…’
Being pregnant at university would not be a problem as facilties and advice related to the man’s condition and added needs would be there. High schools would make provisions for pupils who found themselves in this situation – and the men in question would not be looked down upon.
In short, as men have ordered the world to suit them (in many ways) today, so the world would be re-ordered to take account of his new abilities. Pregnancy, babies and children would be valued and esteemed.