That title is probably going to confuse a lot of people, so to clarify: no, I’m not anybody’s baby-daddy, and I myself am not pregnant, either.
No, I’m talking about getting my character pregnant, which is horrifying enough as it is.
For some reason, I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of making my female characters pregnant. (Same with my male characters, though for slightly different reasons.) I don’t like the idea of turning the women in my stories into brood mares. It makes me feel like the rich, complex person I’ve created is suddenly made redundant, as though every other purpose she could have is overshadowed by her ability to make babies.
This is probably me having a reaction to society at large, and more than likely my feminist streak showing.
I know that ignoring pregnancy and the possibility of pregnancy leaves out a huge aspect of the human experience. I know that for some women it’s a blessing, while for other women it’s a curse. I know that some women will never know that joy, and that some are just as happy without it.
What I don’t know, exactly, is how to deal with the issue without belittling the idea of motherhood while at the same time not making that the character’s single most important characteristic, or doing it just for the sake of a plot point. So of course, I get one of my characters pregnant. And it worries me.
That I feel comfortable making a plot point out of just about any other issue but this one puzzles and intrigues me. Do I not want to deal with is because I’m a guy, or because I’m a guy who, under the right circumstances, could become pregnant? Is it just that I feel weird writing a birthing when I’ve never given birth and the most vivid description I have is my Girl Guide leader saying it’s “like pooping a pineapple?”
Do I even have a point to this post aside from highlighting my discomfort with this issue?
Please, weigh in, and while I don’t usually like doing these things by gender, ladies especially, let me know what you think. I’m sure you have a perspective here that I can’t grasp just yet.