7.25.2012

"Pre-Pregnant" Goes a Step Further

Is...is that the sound of gravel shifting ominously under our feet, sliding us a few more feet down the slippery slope to A Handmaid's Tale?

Yep.

A nonprofit in Minnesota has announced an initiative to stock bars and other venues that serve alcohol with free pregnancy tests, and encourage women to take a pregnancy test before ordering/drinking alcohol.

Image of rows of elevator buttons overlaid with text reading "This is wrong on so many levels"
Like, we're talking SO many levels I'm pretty sure I'm going to forget to address some of them because my mental buffer only holds so many things at a time.  So here's a not remotely comprehensive list:

  • Packed with a FUCKTON of normative expectations and assumptions - presumes that all women are cis, fertile, hetero, partnered/sexually active, and would give a shit about the health of a putative fetus if they knew one was there.*  Ignores the existence of trans* women, trans* men, AFAB nonbinary people, infertile cis women, cis lesbians with cis partners, asexual people, and probably others I'm not thinking of right now.
  • Actually, despite our cultural myths about drinking during pregnancy, research has shown that alcohol in moderation may not be the ZOMG TERRIBLE THING we make it out to be - "moderation" defined as a glass of wine a couple times a week, basically.  So they can fuck off with the scientifically-uncertain shaming of pregnant people.
  • It's voluntary - for now.  But how long before it becomes voluntary-but-expected, in much the same way people are expected not to smoke or drink during pregnancy, where it's not actually illegal but there are serious social penalties for it?  
  • Speaking of illegal and actual penalties, we've already reached the point of prosecuting for miscarriages.  Bei Bei Shuai, for attempting suicide, surviving, but having her fetus not make it.  Melissa Rowland, for refusing a C-section her doctor "recommended" (can you even call it a recommendation anymore, when refusing gets you arrested after the fact?) and one of her twins being stillborn a few days later (the other survived).  I don't exactly have a lot of confidence that this particular slippery slope somehow won't make it all the way to arresting women for failing to take their pregnancy test before having a drink.
  • In addition to all the assumptions this crap makes, it also forces the label "pre-pregnant" onto every pregnancy-capable person.  It focuses on the capacity for pregnancy to a frightening degree, placing everyone with a uterus into a perpetual state of  Schrödinger's Pregnancy, where our actions are forever viewed through the lens of "but what if you're pregnant?"  It's a great tactic, if your goal is to normalize a view of [people with uteruses/people assumed to be women]** as primarily babymaking bodies.  Not so great for honoring a view of us as human beings, actual and whole.***
  • Usually you don't have to pee until AFTER you've had a few drinks...?
On the plus side, free pregnancy tests if you know where to find them.  Just grab a handful and waltz out to distribute them among your friends.

*True story: I drank while pregnant (for those just joining the party, I had an abortion), because I knew I wasn't going to be having it so what the hell did it matter?  And I was already being inconvenienced enough by the damn thing, I wasn't going to restrict my lifestyle because of it too.  InB4 antichoicers pointing to my cavalier attitude as "ALL WOMEN WHO GET ABORTIONS ARE SELFISH CUNTS LIKE THIS ONE".  Fuckoff.
**Anything to do with pregnancy is about people with a uterus.  But this sort of thing, since your average Joe doesn't have an Xray machine embedded in their eyes, will in practice be thrown at any person assumed to be female for reasons of presentation.  So there's a weird sort of overlap/gap thing going on here, and I can't think of a less-clunky way to phrase it.
***"...Or we could talk more."

1 comment:

Vickiea13 said...

I can honestly say that if I went to a bar, and they had pregnancy tests, I would use it.  Then I would go and drink HEAVILY!  Because I would truly need it!

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