Quantcast

Friday, December 7, 2012

38

They Need to Do Way Instain Mother

Hairpin contributor L.A. Pintea and her lesbian partner had a son and it turns out people (still) have lots questions for her about that. She made a list of the more irksome ones, including "Which of you is the mother?" (Don't worry, there's an answer key.)



38 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk

I am truley sorry for her lots.

milenakent

nice one It's my favorite@n

iceberg

"If a male friend used a sperm donor because he couldn't have children biologically, we wouldn't ask him or his wife if "the dad" were involved. We'd be clear on who the dad is."

THIS expanded my brain. Like, I could feel it growing. Not even kidding. I thought the answer for "What do you know about the sperm donor?" was more of a personal preference than a general no-no though.

NeverOddOrEven

@iceberg
Yea, it's amazing to see how stuff like "but children need to be exposed to male and female influences!" has permeated your brain even though you know better.
As if those influences aren't completely gender based rather than sex based.

RubeksCube

@iceberg Me too!! I had never really thought about the sheer silliness of that question until then.

HeyThatsMyBike

@iceberg Same here! I actually said, "Huh!" out loud, and then felt a little embarrassed.

NeverOddOrEven

I love stuff like this. It's really hard to step outside of yourself to consider how a question is going to land before it's out of your mouth.
I'm often on the other side of it as a Sick Person with the added bonus of Rare Disease!, but I'm sure I've been that well-intentioned, super curious person to someone else more times than I'm comfortable with. I think my husband does this a lot too, but he's just really genuinely interested in learning about something he has no experience with. Hard to remember you're the 1000th person to start that conversation.

thatgirl

@NeverOddOrEven Oh hey, have you tried acupuncture? It TOTALLY worked for my cousin who has (condition with sort of maybe similar kinds of symptoms but also no actual similarities at all)!

NeverOddOrEven

@thatgirl
Ha! Thankfully I've encountered little to none of that, though my mom did try to force me into a Reiki session and was legitimately disappointed that her prayer didn't prevent my official diagnosis.

thatgirl

@NeverOddOrEven Oh good, I was worried that you may actually use acupuncture and my joke would have fallen way flat.

NeverOddOrEven

@thatgirl
No, no, no. I mean I have nothing against acupuncture in and of itself, but I require some heavy artillery.

Daisy Razor

My neighbors, a married lesbian couple, have a daughter the same age as Baby Razor. The first time the girls had a play date, a question about my neighbors' kids's paternity popped into my head. But before I could even consider asking it out loud, my common sense chimed in with HI THAT IS TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE and that was that.

I don't understand why some people don't get that it is okay to have a question and NOT ask it.

iceberg

@Daisy Razor OR that you do not have the right to argue with the answer someone gives you to a question about themselves.

Nicole Cliffe

@iceberg THIS. I'm with karion, too, in being really amazed at the thoughtfulness of the article. Like, "whelp, people say weird things, let me help you with that."

karion

There is such a graciousness in the tone of this piece - it really caught me off guard.

I can get righteously indignant on behalf of those subjected to invasive, none-of-your-goddamn-fucking-business questions, but the magnanimous tone of this piece illustrated a much different and, frankly, much more compassionate and human approach.

mousie housie

@karion Nice response. Jane's flippant introduction (not everyone is bicoastal chic, darling, but they're learning fast) had my hackles up, but I read the piece and it's just great.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

"7. Doesn't your child miss out on doing 'dad' things, like playing ball and using tools?"

I sure wouldn't have felt deprived without those things!

frigwiggin

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Right? The very concept of universal "dad" things is so weird to me. My dad was not a play-ball kind of guy. He built computers from spare parts and read and watched PBS with us. Not so much with the ball-playing. (Although I guess tools were involved in the computer stuff.)

noReally

People love to ask me about my son's biological background in front of him. All good advice recommends being open about these things with your child, and things you won't talk to people about because you hardly know them and it's none of their business still can register as shameful secrets. So I always answer them in the same terms I answer my child's questions, at whatever stage of development he's currently in, and always in a bright and friendly tone of voice. "We don't have a daddy in our family!" Making the point (maybe) that the little kid they're asking personal questions about is RIGHT HERE.

iceberg

"things you won't talk to people about because you hardly know them and it's none of their business still can register as shameful secrets" yeah, I struggle with this because we get the infertiility questions (triplets) - it's not shameful, but it is private, not sure how to communicate the difference yet.

frigwiggin

I once worked for a lesbian couple who had just adopted one boy and were in the process of fostering and adopting the boy's younger biological brother. One of the women told me when I was cleaning up around their place that they had vaguely wanted children who looked like they could have come from one of them (dark-haired, etc.), but that instead "we ended up with these little blonde Aryan kids!" Of course that was said lovingly and they were soooo devoted to the children (they'd have to have been, the adoption stuff was a bitch), but it cracked me up.

klemay

Wait, am I the only one who finds the title of this post completely unintelligible? Maybe it's because it's been a crazy day at work and my brain is friend... but what does "The Need to Do Way Instain Mother" mean??

acid burn

@klemay It's from one of the best things on the internet:

http://www.somethingawful.com/flash/shmorky/babby.swf

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

So when I Lived Internationally, one of the first things people from that country told me was never to ask about the specific relationships of people sharing a household. This was because some people might be nieces or nephews, or other relations, whose own parents can't afford to feed them, which would be embarrassing for them to admit.

But it's really good advice all around! Seriously, if you need to know someone's exact relationship, you'll figure it out soon enough. That people live in the same house is all you need to know for the moment.

soul toast

I'm a lesbian and 8 month pregnant, and so far I haven't minded some of the questions I've been asked, since people (so far) have meant well and just been curious, and nothings been too invasive yet.
But omg, a couple weeks ago! I was seeing a different obgyn than usual for my prenatal, and my partner was in the exam room. The physician's assistance comes in and immediately asks my partner who she is ("are you her friend, or something?"). I answer, this is my wife, and the PA gets this incredulous look on her face and says (while pointing at my pregnant belly), "then how did this happen?"

[and then once we explained where gaybies sometimes come from, she started spouting facts about sperm. which was awkward, and um, EW.]

HoliandIvy

@soul toast
How embarrassing for her!

sevanetta

@soul toast man, I have to admit my gaydar is so crap I would totally be confused like the doctor, but there are so many better ways to clarify this kind of confusion. 'and what relation are you?' accompanied by a smile, or 'are you the birth support partner, or just moral support today?' again with a smile. (are those better choices or do I need to be corrected too?) I can think of SO many women who might accompany a pregnant woman to an appointment, no need to be surprised about or dismissive of any of them.

Also, don't feel too bad - I have a friend who had a surprise pregnancy, and her mother's response on being told the news was 'How did THAT happen?!'. My friend, understandably crestfallen by this less than awesome reaction, said snippily that she wasn't going to explain it if her mother didn't know.

anonymous9

Some of the questions were quite obnoxious and/or dumb and should never be asked by anyone. Nor would it be appropriate for an acquaintance to ask any of the questions. However, the introduction referred to the writer's family and 'immediate circle of friends'. Maybe I'm being insensitive, but some of these questions seemed reasonable, if the person who's asking is close to you. I dunno, but if I was in that situation, I don't think that I would be taken aback by my mother or a close friend asking some of these things. Maybe there just wasn't space in the article to lay out the different levels of appropriateness based on familiarity, but it gives the impression that no-one at all should ask any of these questions, which I don't really get. But maybe that's just me.

anonymous9

@anonymous9 I guess what I was trying to get at is that the article implies that all lesbian parents have the same feelings about these questions, which seems problematic.

HeyThatsMyBike

This "he's from here" part of this article also reminded me about something that was really pissing me off last week: The news coverage of the lottery winners from Missouri. Literally EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE about them referred to them having 3 or 4 adult sons, and then said, "and an adopted daughter from Korea, who is 6." WTF?!?!?!?! Like not a single article could just say, "They have three sons - Billy, 31, Johnny, 29, and Danny, 27 - and a daughter, Janey, who is 6." I hope that poor girl doesn't go back and read that coverage someday, because if that were me, I would certainly read it as "They have 3 real sons and a not-real daughter who doesn't 100% count, but still warrants mention, I guess." And I really hope that the family didn't suggest that they frame the articles that way.

sevanetta

@soul toast man, I have to admit my gaydar is so crap I would totally be confused like the doctor, but there are so many better ways to clarify this kind of confusion. 'and what relation are you?' accompanied by a smile, or 'are you the birth support partner, or just moral support today?' again with a smile. (are those better choices or do I need to be corrected too?) I can think of SO many women who might accompany a pregnant woman to an appointment, no need to be surprised about or dismissive of any of them.

Also, don't feel too bad - I have a friend who had a surprise pregnancy, and her mother's response on being told the news was 'How did THAT happen?!'. My friend, understandably crestfallen by this less than awesome reaction, said snippily that she wasn't going to explain it if her mother didn't know.

Ham Snadwich

You'll know that we've finally achieved equality when lesbian couples are asked "So how does that work?" only when one partner is very tall and one is very short.

1963248500@twitter

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!dog fences/electronic

1963248500@twitter

I am all too familiar with the sting of being the “one and only” throughout my career. It is a solitary and lonely road that many women often chose to abandon when they find their careers progressing at a slower trajectory than that of their male peers. Being both black and female? Well, the struggle to reach a level of success can become even more daunting. mountain house

usikhan58@gmail.com

t say that overall I am really impressed with this blog. It is easy to see that you are passionate Free PDF Links

usikhan58@gmail.com

t say that overall I am really impressed with this blog. It is easy to see that you are passionate Free PDF Links

usikhan58@gmail.com

l I am really impressed with this blog. It is easy to see that you are passion high pr backlinks

Alexmen

i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me....Flat Fee Realty

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account