The message to women at work: pretend to have a man’s body and you will succeed. Never discuss period cramps, ew gross, this is a business setting! Don’t talk about menopause or maybe it’s time to be replaced! Pregnancy? A personal problem. Hide it all. Pretend to not be nauseous, that’s more convenient to us. Jump back in right after birth, yes bleeding and weeping, just don’t show us your rawness or tears. What now you need to leave a meeting to “empty your breasts”? We don’t want to know that!
And, we did, we hid our womanhood. We hid our motherbodies. We all did. We had to, out of of survival.
And at the same time, we see the praise of the fathers for doing the same things we do at home. “Your husband changes diapers? And wakes up with the babies? Wow you’re so lucky.” Am I? I’m working through periods and pregnancy and postpartum and pumping. And I ALSO have to pretend like it’s no big deal. Am I “so lucky” that my partner is capable of the SAME functions of parenting as me? That he’s capable of using his hands to make sandwiches and and his body to comfort OUR children just like me? Or should that just be the expectation just as I’m expected to work like I have a man’s body.