- 8 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
I’m not worried about the adults I work with when I “come out”, but I work in a middle school, so I AM worried about the kids. Because kids are known to say ridiculously rude stuff just because they are kind of idiotic at that age. Also, I got married recently, so I don’t want the hormonal 8th graders to be making married-sex-pregnant-teacher connections in their head about me.
I had two married teacher friends at my old school–they both taught there. When she got pregnant, some kid wrote in black magic marker in the bathroom: Mrs. Smith had sex with Coach Smith! SEx! Sex! Sex!
Ugh, I am FURIOUS for you!!! Who in their right mind thinks that is okay to say to someone?!
I’m going to be the minority voice here…but I think you should take it easy. I don’t think people are making comments in a mean-spirited way. They’re insensitive and blunt, but it seems like some comments are in jest, and some are just weird conversation-starters that come from inappropriate observations.
I guess I just have a good sense of humor and thick skin. Look, you’re going to have a baby and it’ll be the most wonderful experience ever. People – regardless of what insensitive things they say – are happy for you. They want to talk to you about your pregnancy. They want to inquire about your bodily changes. They want to touch your stomach. And occasioanlly, they poke fun at you becaues they think you can handle it.
Cheer up. If people know you were coming home crying, they’d be totally apologetic as I’m sure they never meant to hurt you.
If someone touched my belly, I would touch theirs right back. They don’t like strangers touching their belly? Me neither!!!!
I’m also horrible for snappy comebacks. I got so sick of the “you look like you’re going to pop!”, and I only started to show after 6 months, so I can’t imagine what I would’ve done if I had to hear pregnancy comments any longer. I hated the, “what are you having” question since we were pretty upset that we were unable to find out the sex of the baby. I eventually started replying “a dog.” THAT impressed the old ladies. At the beginning I would just make people incredibly awkward and tell them I wasn’t pregnant, just fat, when they asked.
My advice, make people just as uncomfortable that they’re making you. My coworkers loved the fact that I would make a joke about things, and they knew I wasn’t telling them names or details. If people want details about your pregnancy, go right ahead and tell them about that weird discharge you’re having or how uncomfortable it is to have sex.
Oh and I’d definitely report it to HR. You don’t deserve that at work.
I think the only way you’re going to get this to stop is if you stand up for yourself, and fast. (Speaking of the rude comments at work here, not the belly touching – that’s just weird and gross and I don’t understand AT ALL why all these people would think they have some right to touch your body! Even after you’ve told them not to! Ew!). But back to the work issue – are you sure that all of these people realize how much they are bothering you? My suspicion is, among this crowd, there are a couple of assholes / bullies, and a larger number of people just going with it, assuming (incorrectly!) by the ‘in jest’ comments and your lack of reaction to them, that you’re just up for jokes/comments like that. Not everybody gets offended by this kind of thing in every context, social groups are all different – it’s hard to tell from your post how colloquial / informal / (frat boy-ish?) your place of work is. Do other people get comments like this too? Is it just ‘normal’ behaviour by your colleagues? (Not that that makes it ok!)
If people who I don’t know that well said this kind of stuff to me – like other grad students I TA with or people in my lab – I would be hugely offended and probably say something rude right back. If my rowdy crew of undergrad friends made these comments, I know these people love me and we are so close, any comments about my pregnant bod would be just in good fun and I probably wouldn’t take offense. If I did I’d say so right away and they would apologize. If my fitness-conscious gymnastics girls said stuff about my body.. half of me would take it under close advisement and the other half would be thinking ‘stfu, you’ve never been pregnant you skinny b****!!’ Anyway the point of all that was, it often depends on context. Since you work in an OB ward, context probably does have something to do with it – these people are used to the words and situations that go with pregnancy, so it doesn’t seem like a sensitive topic to them, but of course it is, it’s YOUR pregnancy and body they are talking about. So you need to make sure that every one of these people is fully aware that they are crossing boundaries and you really don’t like these kinds of comments. Don’t let yourself get bullied. If standing up for yourself doesn’t work, then you need to go to HR because at that point I would say it is harassment. You say you are worried about it making the situation worse if you go to HR – one way I could see this happening is if you go straight to HR and don’t actually confront these people first. Then you’ve got a bunch of confused, embarassed people who are pissed off at you because they (stupidly) didn’t realize they had done anything wrong.
Also – how is it any of your boss’s business when you choose to get pregnant? Isn’t the freedom to choose when to become pregnant just as basic of a human right as the freedom to choose when NOT to become pregnant?
Of course – sorry you’re going through this, it sounds like the absolute worst :/
Making me afraid to come out of the pregnancy closet!!
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