As most of you know, I have never been a father – at least not to my knowledge.. So that means I am lacking in a certain empathy about the elements ‘popdom’ involves.
One thing I do know, however, is that fathers now seem quite different from the tyrannical guys I grew up with – like my own, for example. Not to put too fine a point on it, my old man scared the shit out of me right up until I was an age when I realized I was taller than he was. He was kind of a runt.
Not that I ever engaged in fisticuffs with the old fellow. The kid next door (and my best friend) had a fistfight with his dad out in the yard one day. I thought it was pretty cool. And knowing my friend, right was probably on his dad’s part. Anyway, it didn’t mean all that much and he actually had a better long-term relationship with his dad, arguably, than I did with mine.
Anyway, old time dads of the spare the rod sort were also very little in touch with their so-called feminine side. Certain things were left to the ‘little woman’ and the old man did guy stuff which, if he had sons, was to raise them to be ‘men’, and if he had girls his role was to either beat the snot out of some young creep who took liberties with his little girl, or to at least let him know that the threat was omnipresent. I was always afraid of the fathers of girls I dated.
Now much has changed. Men are not only in touch with their feminine side as fathers, but it seems that they also want to be mothers as well, and hence you get expressions like “we’re having a baby,”. No, she’s having a baby, you were just a contributing factor in the process, but the kid comes out of her. That and, of course, the reviled by employers of any gumption, fathers taking maternity leave.
But three men in England, according to an article I read, are also going through the process of pregnancy just to develop as much as they can the ultimate empathy they can muster for their poor helpmate who is suffering chronic backache, sporadic incontinence and flatulence, a popped-out navel, gestation diabetes, varicose veins and all the other charming elements of propagating the race.
Well these guys wanted to know how it felt, so they strapped 33 lb. False preggo tummies to themselves to simulate what it feels like to be nine months pregnant. What can I say about this? Not much. Obviously sensitive guys with a hell of a lot of time on their hands who are also missing the obvious part of the occasion, which is the time when you have to “call the midwife” and get the often painful procedure over with.
Maybe I am just too cynical about it all. I mean, what would I know. Except for a brief interlude in which I was a stepfather to a girl, I have never been through anybody’s birthing experience in which a child of my own popped out.
What’s that like? I shall never know.
As an aside, I happen to think pregnant women are attractive and kinda sexy.