28 June 2008

Beijing baby mamma badges

So it seems the Chinese government is concerned about pregnant women. These badges which say 'Thank you for helping my mother' are being distributed to women "so that their rights and safety can be better guaranteed in public."

Now, I'm not quite sure what that means. Is walking down the street now dangerous if you're pregnant? Are people supposed to treat you better if you're pregnant? Is this a way for you to get a seat on the train?

Or is this badge just an invitation for other people to tell Chinese pregnant women what to do? Perhaps we can read this badge as a foetus saying, 'Thanks for helping my mother, her womb is a dangerous place" especially when it comes to maternal behaviour. If mum is eating the wrong thing, having a drink or smoking are do strangers now have the right to intervene if you are wearing this badge?

The word "help" suggests that pregnant women are inept, need looking after, and that foetuses are the more important citizens.

Should pregnant women in other countries get badges announcing the presence of their foetuses?

Source: http://www.cctv.com/program/cultureexpress/20080627/104818.shtml


AvoidTheRedShoes said...

I don't think I need a badge to let you know I'm pregnant... my protruding belly kind of speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Your post left me with three questions:

1. Have you ever been pregnant? Because maybe you're some sort of superwoman, but I'm currently pregnant for the first time (and all of the Chinese women wearing those badges are too... logically) and I want all the help I can get.

2. Have you suffered morning sickness or fatigue in the first trimester? Because nobody can tell you are pregnant yet, but it certainly makes it impossible to stand for any extended period of time. I am fortunate enough to have the means to not have to do those things (I can afford taxis and call in sick to work), but many Chinese woman are not in my position.

3. Have you ever been to China? Standards of conduct are not the same as they are in other places, for better or worse, and the cities are crawling with people. Having a little extra help would probably be welcomed by most pregnant women.

Taking feminism too far does nothing good for women. Yes, I want to be equal to (NOT the same as) men, but no, I will not pretend to have more endurance or strength than I actually have for the sake of my sex.

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