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Men, women, and uteruses

Mar 23, 2008 • Karen

Two interesting articles:

First, a feminist commentary on this xkcd comic. It's basically lauding the comic for its philogynistic (is that a word?) qualities. If all men felt this way, recognized how cool our reproductive capabilities are instead of being threatened by scary scary girl parts, I imagine women would be significantly better off.

Then second, we have a man who happens to have a set of those lovely girl parts, and is making a baby with them. He's transgender, and he's having the baby since his wife can't.

How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant. To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child—I am so lucky to have such a loving, supportive wife. I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family.

The desire to have kids and raise a family has always belonged to both genders. The social and technological environment we live in today, however, has made the implementation of that desire newly feasible in so many ways. The concept of pregnancy as manly--and figuring out what exactly that means--is simply groundbreaking. I love it. If childbearing is potentially part of what masculinity means, what consequences might that have for couples where it's the woman carrying the child? It seems like it could lead to a greater respect and awe for pregnancy in general.

Obviously, there aren't that many transgender couples where the husband has to--or wants to--carry the child. It's a pretty unique case--I'd never heard of anything like it before. We still don't have artificial uteruses or anything that would allow sex-typical men to carry children. But I hope lots of people see this article, both because the consequences are interesting and in the hopes that future transgendered couples' friends, family, and doctors don't react as badly as this couple's did.

In summary: Neat!