Category Archives: Feminism

How I Feel About the Word “Pregnant”

First off, a few definitions to get us started:


  1. having a child or other offspring developing in the body; with child or young, as a woman or mammal.
  2. fraught, filled, or abounding (usually followed by with); a silence pregnant with suspense.
  3. teeming or fertile, rich (usually followed by in); a mind pregnant in ideas.
  4. full of meaning, highly significant; a pregnant utterance.
  5. of great importance or potential; momentous; a pregnant moment in the history of the world.

Let’s see how these definitions apply to me:

1. having a child or other offspring developing in the body; with child or young, as a woman or mammal.

No no no.


Nope, not this one. I am not currently housing a fetus in my womb. There is no alien spawn living within me that is sapping away half of my nutrients.

What’s making me “fat” then, as you call it? Maybe since a good portion of the food I was eating was processed (think Ramen noodles and Vienna sausages) and likely chock full of trans fats and chemicals. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a couch potato and I work a desk job six hours out the day. Maybe it’s because my pants are too tight and are giving me a muffin top. I’m a size 6 but I do dry almost all my clothes in the dryer on the highest heat setting so maybe they shrunk.

Why are my boobs getting so big, you ask? Maybe it’s because of the aforementioned processed food. Or maybe it’s because my body is finally going through the last stages of puberty at age 21 instead of 19. Everybody develops differently after all.

So no, sorry to disappoint but this female of childbearing age is not with child. For my parents who want to ascertain that I’m not “throwing my life away”: I’m not pregnant, please stop asking, or worse, telling me what I am. I don’t need you second guessing every symptom of a legitimate illness that I confide in you. If I’m sick to my stomach, if I have a fever, if I’m achy and I generally don’t feel good, it is not a good time for you to jump on my case about the contents of my uterus. It is especially not good to accuse me of being pregnant when I’m having a legitimate emotional response to your diatribe about me not living my life the way you think I should. I will, tearfully and loudly, shout “Fuck No” at you and wonder why I ever confided to you that yes I have had sex.

I’m in a safe-sex practicing, MONOGAMOUS relationship and yuppers we do “do it” occasionally. Neither of us is really ready to raise our own child right now but should the occasion arise where I do end up with an alien inside of me, then yes we would both rise to the occasion and be the best parents we could possibly be for our little creature. It would not be the end of the world. It would be the beginning of a strange, new adventure.

Ideally, we’d like to adopt Lydia from Beetlejuice and raise her as our own.

Ahem, moving on. Other senses in which I am pregnant:

2. fraught, filled, or abounding (usually followed by with); a silence pregnant with suspense.


I like the word “abounding” so I’ll use it in that sense.  I’m pregnant with love and hope for humanity. This will not spill forth from my uterus in a gush of blood and bodily fluids. It comes from within my soul. I sincerely hope that humanity can get itself straightened out.

3. teeming or fertile, rich (usually followed by in); a mind pregnant in ideas.


My mind is in fact pregnant with ideas. It’s also pregnant with aspirations and dreams and plots and plans. I guess I’m having a litter.


4. full of meaning, highly significant; a pregnant utterance.


I like to believe that a good portion of the things I utter are highly significant so my words are pregnant too. (Oh deary me, where has my mouth been?)

5. of great importance or potential; momentous; a pregnant moment in the history of the world.


My life and my collection of experiences are of great importance, as are anyone’s in this world. I guess we’re all pregnant then.

So, what are you naming yours?

Because I’m A Woman

  • I should smile at you when I’m walking down the street minding my own business because you believe my face is here to please you
  • I should accept your car horn honks, whistles, and catcalls as a proper form of communicating to me that you appreciate my outfit/my body/my anything
  • I should accept a ride in your car because we’re going the same way, even though I’ve never met you before (and that’s not the least bit sketchy)
  • I should pay meticulous attention to the way I dress, lest I attract any unwanted attention
  • I should be modest in every sense of the word
  • I should cater to any of your wants and whims, regardless of how much (or how very little) I know about you
  • I should tell you what I’m working on/reading/listening to on any mode of public transportation
  • I should not expose certain parts of my anatomy because they might tempt you to do something you wouldn’t normally do to a woman
  • I should carry a small arsenal in my purse so I can be safe in any public or private space
  • I should not be suggestive in your presence
  • I should let you dictate what should happen to my body, even though you have no idea of the intricacies of its workings
  • I should let you monopolize my time
  • I should make you a plate of food at a family function even though you’re not a quadriplegic and have fully functional hands and legs.
  • I should not drink excessively in mixed company
  • I should not drink mildly in mixed company
  • I should get paid less than you because I lack the male anatomical parts necessary to handle a conference call or board meeting

*This list is entirely satirical if you can’t detect the snark. It is addressed to hypothetical men and a good portion of it is drawn from personal experience. Although the subtitle of this blog declares it a space of fiction and creative nonfiction, I have decided to include an encounter that happened to me when I lived on the West Bank to illustrate how the situation would likely not have happened if I possessed a penis.

It was early morning. I had missed the early bus by a few minutes so I’d be a little late to my 8:00 a.m. German class but I had reconciled myself to this because a little extra sleep was worth it. I had walked the four blocks to the bus stop without incident, had crossed the the six lanes of traffic under the West Bank Expressway, and was sitting patiently on the bus stop bench. I may or may not have been reading something for school, I don’t remember. Behind the bus stop bench was a large parking lot that was mostly vacant, except for a building that was a good distance away, certainly outside of shouting distance especially with my normally quiet voice. A black man a little older than myself pulled up in a car behind me. He endeavored to get my attention by waving me over and eventually I complied. He rolled down his window and began asking me questions, such as “What are you doing?”, “Where are you going?”, “Are you in school? Where do you go?”, and “What are you majoring in?”. I told him I was going to Uptown where I went to college at Loyola. I lied about my major. He then began offering me a ride to Downtown and telling me that the bus would be late and that I’d be late for school. I declined, nicely (as I’d been taught) and repeatedly. Eventually he left and I went back to waiting for the bus feeling slightly disturbed that this stranger had suddenly taken such an interest in me getting to school. Thinking back on what I had worn that day, I’m pretty sure I wore something similar to that exact bus stop every day. Usually, if I dressed nicely, car horns would honk and men would leer from the safety of their cars. That day I felt a little shaken up by the encounter but didn’t know what to do with it. Today I know: I can talk about this. I can tell others that I know how it feels to be creeped on and how weird it makes me feel. Would this situation have happened to me if I were a decently dressed young male? I don’t know. If I had grown up as a boy, I would still have been taught not to accept rides from strangers but would I also have been told to be nice to people who are asking you personal questions despite your inhibitions to the situation?

This post was inspired by:

along with several other articles from