a message for the women

wombI’m sure we’ve all heard of penis envy (Oh Freud, did you ever even talk to a woman, really?) But is there such a thing as womb envy? Do men ever feel envious that they cannot bear life? That the powerful changes and emotions of the pregnancy experience is something they can only try to imagine? Certainly, they provide a necessary and vital function in the creation, protection, and rearing of future generations. But they never feel another heartbeat beside their own. Nor do they feel the warm glow of new life within.

Really, it is truly a magical and wondrous thing: our ability to conceive life. That within our bodies, a separate and (all-too-soon) autonomous being can grow and develop. That we can give nourishment, lavish care, and truly devote our entire lives and beings to another. That we can even bear life so another might experience the joy of motherhood.

And that we, too, are connected to the moon and the oceans, waxing full, and then shedding and beginning again in lunar cycles. (Which, by the way, did you know? Up until a few decades ago, we were told the cramps associated with menarche were merely psychosomatic? It’s a wonder no woman ever punched the lights out of those making such claims. Thankfully for us, it has been scientifically proven it’s not just all in our heads.) And we are connected to each other, converging cycles with those close to us.

Of course, the pain and unpredictability of childbirth is terrifying. And I’m sure the terror and helplessness men feel as they watch their wives bear children is significant in its own right. But the raw power of such self-sacrifice in order to create a beautiful, new life is something only women can know.

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10 thoughts on “a message for the women

  1. I've asked Aaron this before and he said that while he's not envious of the ability to carry a child, he is in awe of the ability. "A deep respect" is another phrase he used.

    "But the raw power of such self-sacrifice in order to create a beautiful, new life is something only women can know." Very well put. It really resonated with me.

  2. I never really thought about how the men might feel on the other side. When I began reading, I thought your perspective might be on infertility.

  3. Nope, just men. But the thought of infertility does make me terrified. My husband and I haven't tried yet, but I'm praying when we do, all will go well.

  4. I have womb envy of other women, just because I don't have any myself and am unlikely to do so. I've never actually asked Hubby about that, but since he's not ready to think about such things, I'd guess he probably doesn't have womb envy. At all. But that's just a hunch. Could be an interesting question to ask over dinner, though!

  5. OMG. I thought you were going to say you were pregnant.


    I'm old. Don't shock me like this.

    LOVE you, Hon. (We'll talk about this on the porch, too.)

    P.S. Childbirth is not terrifying. It's seriously uncomfortable. It's a natural thing. Yeah…painful. But worth it. And very forgettable. Like your first date. Take Lamaze classes, call La Leche and move on. The hard part is when they start walking and talking back.

  6. I've never wished I could experience pregnancy childbirth. I'd prefer to leave that to the fairer creatures who were designed to be strong enough to handle such a life-changing thing.

  7. Love this post!! But, I have to give you a little bit of a hard time because that's what friends are for…did you smoke some serious dope before you wrote this? Every time Flo comes to visit I will now think about the moon cycle and the tides. Hmm, that makes Flo an even more appropriate name. LOL. BIG HUG


  8. Heh. I might be far more entertained had I done that, but nope. And I guess to give proper credit where due, a lot of these ideas come from Inga Muscio's book, Cunt, and this post was kind of me just processing what I'd read in it.