We're pregnant

Dear Hannah,

Yesterday I met a man celebrating a pregnancy, and when I asked him if the baby was his he pointed at a man and said "we're pregnant." I laughed and then congratulated him.

At that moment, since he said it in total sincerity there was simply nothing better I could do than laugh and send him on his way; especially since I've never been okay with a straight couple saying "we're pregnant."  I have never been pregnant and I never expect to be pregnant; and beyond this I never expect to be impregnated by a man.  It's one of the glories of being a man in the first place.  We win women and then we impregnate them.  When your mother had you she was pregnant and that was the end of it, and if I croaked after the moment I deposited you she still would have been pregnant.

There is no we in pregnancy.  I have all the fun, and the woman makes all the baby.  This is the way a man speaks.  This is not a pedantic discussion about the difference between who and whom.  It's a basic scientific fact that should require no explanation -- if it wasn't for the people who want us to behave as though it isn't.

This confusing of we for she began (of course) like all traditions began -- with the idea that it would somehow make our lives better.  And the nature of the improvement in this case is obvious.  A woman going through the troubles of pregnancy wants to have a man alongside her; and he wants to give her the illusion that, aside from midnight runs to Chinese restaurants and putting up with her temporary psychosis, he actually is.  And so we began to say things that were literally impossible but figurative and wishful -- that we were actually pregnant together.

The problem is that even despite some men's heroic efforts we weren't really (which is the particular glory of the woman); and the problem became even more ridiculous when men started marrying each other.  The problem is that absurdities never remain isolated.  The nature of knowledge and language and truths in general is that we build other truths on top of them; and pretending that one thing is true eventually leads us to pretend that other things that aren't true are true.  And we end up lying to keep other lies alive, and we distort other truths to keep the false truths from getting discovered; and we plant and prune and water our delusions until they've grown into something unmanageable, and the whole plant comes tumbling down when it becomes too inconvenient or too embarrassing or too difficult to remember everything we had to say to continue believing whatever we'd said.

And so we begin where I started, with two men and no baby.  No -- with two men and no fetus.  With two men living in a society where fetuses aren't even considered children until somebody wants them, and where I'm supposed to celebrate somebody not being pregnant with a fetus that neither of them made.  At some point someone is going to have to say it: that the entire edifice we've built around abortions and gay marriage and people who aren't pregnant saying they're pregnant and marriages which only have to last a year and can end for no reason proves what we really knew about ourselves all along but were too terrified by our leftists to admit: that they've ruined every reason we ever had for celebrating romance in the first place.

We might fix all of this by admitting that children are children before they're born and we don't really have a say when.  Or that two men can never really experience the ecstasy of having their own children.  Or the sexes are so different that growing up without a mom or a dad is a deprivation of something essential.  Or that only one person can be pregnant with any particular baby.   Or that a marriage which is easily ended means you have nothing more than a girlfriend who's expensive to abandon.  Or that whether you fall in love with men or women is equally as important and different as whether you are a man or a woman -- and that if we respect anything about gay relationships, it will have to be a respect of the difference of gayness (which is why many of us prefer civil unions to marriages).  But instead we buy presents and congratulate one another and pretend everything is the same when it isn't, because we're worried somebody will realize we've chosen to do something that's different.  In other words we've cheapened everything we used to actually go wild about because we were worried we couldn't go wild for everything else.  We're learning that inclusion is another word for dilution* -- and that love is the most extreme and most divisive and most wild of all prejudices**.

Your father,

*To those objectors who say that gay love and straight love are both love, I ask only one question: why gay romance novels and movies exist, and why leftists complain that there aren't enough gay Hollywood romances.  The answer is because straight romances aren't enough for gays and lesbians, like gay romances aren't enough for straight men and women.  Straight movies simply don't make gays feel the way they want to feel.  Leftists ought to give the rest of us the same leeway.

**To prove this point about inclusion resulting in dilution, we need only consider our own constitution.  The whole point of federalism (as stated by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist and understood by anybody with a working knowledge of political theory) was to strike a balance between large and small republics.  It was well known in the 18th century that small republics were happier but that large republics were safer; and the reason for the happiness was that people in small republics had more uniformity of opinion and thus approval of their governments; and the reason for the safety was that people in large republics simply had more people for warfare.  But the more people you added, the more compromise you needed; and the larger republics ended up having more international power, but were swamped with feelings of individual frustration -- something that can be easily seen in our government today, as states' rights are slowly being swallowed by a tendency toward centralized government.

The effects of centralization couldn't be more obvious.  Today's approval of congress is historically embarrassing; and our idiotic citizens, believing that the embarrassment of their plans is the result of a treacherous legislature, and looking wildly around them for change instead of compromise, increasingly place their hopes in the executive and judicial branches, where they're more likely to get something they like if they win, and more likely to lose everything they love if they lose.

Americans are unhappy because they no longer believe in diversity.  They believe it's about color and creed while destroying the one place where it could actually reside -- which is our states.  Their disapproval of their government exists because they've sought to govern too many others; and the drive to control their neighbors has resulted in their neighbors controlling them.  The legislature is most usually stagnant.  The people are looking to a dictator.  They could have let Texas be Texas and New York be New York; but New York wanted to rule Texas, and now Texas, through the will of the current president, is ruling the country.  We have yet to imagine who will be ruling it next.

The issue with marriage is almost the same.  We treat all American states like the same state out of a desire to be united.  We call anything "love" because two people have decided to declare their attraction.  We don't distinguish between types of love, and so we confound the beautiful and the nasty, the stable with the transient, the sterile with the fruitful, and the faithful with the faithless.  We've chosen to identify everything under a too-generous banner, and in the process lost the many reasons we originally enjoyed attending a wedding.


  1. Brilliant on every front. Thank you for your eloquence, and in today's cultural climate, your courage.


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