Monday, December 1, 2008
The Push Present
It's no secret that I say things that annoy most women- why would this post be any different?
I learned of the Push Present two years ago, and thought it strange. A man gives a woman some sort of bauble because she gave birth to his child. The baby isn't gift enough, the woman needs some tangible piece of appreciation from the man. I thought maybe it was the man's way of saying "Sorry you suffered so much for this child, because I can't suffer I'm going to go out and buy you something" which doesn't make much sense either- because any good pregnant woman makes her husband suffer just as much as she has- for the full nine months. (Ask Brent how much sleep he's gotten recently)
The push present is a pat on the head, "Good job woman, you gave birth to my child, here is your reward" and since being pregnant myself I've decided it's demeaning and trivial. That little blue box from Tiffany's immediately devalues the precious new life put in your arms. A baby isn't enough, the woman now expects the man to reward her for her efforts with jewelry.
Talk about a giant step backwards for feminism! A feminist doesn't have a child because she will be rewarded by the man, she doesn't expect gifts for doing things she wants to do. She is in a partnership with her husband, and when she suffers through birth she expects and knows that her husband has or will equally suffer for the family in other ways- and no trudging into the local mall and having something gift wrapped isn't suffering- it's something I very well can do myself.
Way to go women! Tell men that there is a financial equivalent to carrying and giving birth to a child. Men you're in luck- take an hour to do something that is no sacrifice, takes no genuine thought, doesn't alter your life in the slightest to thank a woman who spent months in misery. Ladies, best of all you can brag about it to your friends!
Which brings the surface another social ill- the competition between women in all things trivial and worthless. Like the comparing the size of wedding rings isn't enough (My husband makes WAY more money than yours, see my ring is bigger!) Now women get to compare push presents. Another avenue where they get to tell other women that they are only as valuable as the gifts their husbands give them. Awesome.
A true push present is to honor the woman that gave birth, to wake up in the middle of the night with the baby, to change diapers, clean the house, do the laundry, take the baby in for shots- and tell the woman she's beautiful each day after birth that she's carrying that pregnancy weight. The true push present is a husband who is loving, supportive, and protective of his wife and child. Not some worthless trinket.
Now, if a husband sees his wife in pain, tired, and frazzled and would like to do something spontaneous to make her happy- it's a different story. It's the "I give you present for being good woman and bearing my seed in your loins" which is offensive. Call it a push present and you might as well be a concubine trying to produce an heir for the king so you can be rewarded.
The world is becoming more and more superficial- despite harsh economic times- and women desiring push presents when a sweet baby is given to them is pathetic. Like so many things that undermine respect for women and motherhood- it's not men but women that have chosen to minimalize themselves.