Thursday, March 27, 2008

buh-buh-buh-buh baby!

When I heard about Thomas Beatie, the transgendered man who is now pregnant, I didn't really even bat an eyelid. Well, maybe one eyelid..but it was only for a second. I probably have more of a problem with the traditional nuclear family than I do with gays, straights, transgendered people or even men giving birth. Why? Well, I figure that if you're about to go through hell or high water like that - with your every move under scrutiny - in order to have a baby, then that means you are really going to want one. People who really want babies are probably not going to end up mistreating them or using them in order to manipulate their partners. This is more than I can say for the love 'em and leave 'em scenario that seems to happen in too many so called traditional families. In any case - this Beatie baby (if it's even true) will be born into a nuclear family anyway - (mum and dad), so neh.

Out of all the hoopla surrounding the issue it was really this quote from Thomas Beatie that made me stop and think

“Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire but a human desire.”

And I realised that no one ever really talks about children as something that men desire. Sure you hear about men who 'one day want a family' etc but I'm not talking about in these general terms - I mean the real deal; the desperate urge to have one NOW. Women (of a certain age) are consistently made fun of for having a biological clock or for being what we call "clucky" - really wanting a child. Since procreating is ..well the ONLY way of keeping our species alive and thriving you'd think it'd be a female AND male urge to want children, and I'm pretty sure it is* but it's rarely discussed in such terms. It's usually discussed more in terms of women desperately wanting a baby and trapping the poor husband/guy into being a father. It's seen as something that happens *to them* rather than something they desperately desire.

I'd like to think it IS something they desire as much as we do but I have to admit I know a lot of girls who really want babies, but not so many men who do. Maybe the guys just don't talk about it all that much. Maybe it's a big myth created by the media..to perpetuate an image of the sturdy bloke who is tough and strong and without desires that tie him down. I don't know. If this is the case, surely it's as damaging to men as much as it is to women.

Why do you think that men are not ever thought of as "clucky"? Do they have a biological clock and if so just how loudly does it tick? If the option was available would they want to "go it alone" like women sometimes do? Do you know men who are clucky (I mean who really talk about wishing they had a baby and wanting to find a girl and have one, not in some distant future but NOW, right NOW)? If you are a guy, are you clucky now, or have you ever been?

* I realise not all men or WOMEN want babies.

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