Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I versus We

Who's pregnant?  The woman or the couple?

There's the biological answer - the woman (or in the rare case of Thomas Beatie and probably a few others, the man).  Then, there's other answer - the couple.  I'm not quite sure how to characterize the latter.  The emotional answer?  The politically correct answer?  The inclusive, supportive, family-oriented answer?

As a preliminary issue, it's a pet peeve of mine when someone answers in the "we" without being prompted.  For example, I ask my married co-worker about her weekend plans and she answers, "WE're having dinner with friends."  She uses "we" incessantly: we hate Mondays, we love Chinese take-out, we were feeling sick.  Her individuality is nil.  If I didn't know she was married I would wonder whether she had a creepy, and slightly sad, obsession with her dog or mom or neighbor.  But, before I go hating on the "we" responders (too late) I should probably admit that I do it once in a while on the shameful and rare occasion.  I'm not proud of it.  It just slips out.  This admission aside, as a general rule I don't approve of the "we" response.

The exception to this rule (every rule has one) may be the specific and isolated response of "we're pregnant."  While the woman is pregnant, she certainly didn't create said pregnancy by her lonesome.  The "we" response is modern and conveys joint participation and excitement.  It has a tone of partnership.

However, it also has an awkward and corny tone.  Awkward because HE is not pregnant.  Corny because it's overtly sentimental.  And, just because a woman says, "I'm pregnant" doesn't mean she's a man-hating, bra-burning feminist who thinks the father-to-be had the sole and quick task of delivering the sperm.  The joy is shared even if the pregnancy isn't.

When it comes to my pregnancy, WE'll be using I.

What do you think?  Thumbs UP or DOWN to the "we"?


WW said...

I think when you are married, it goes without saying that the man made his contribution. We do not need to further back this theory up by saying "WE".

As "HeadXplode" said: You're the one doing all the work. I don't need any credit.

Anonymous said...

Us men contribute all the time - but in this case, let's be honest, we are not the ones carrying the little sucker around in our bodies for 9 months!

Jaime said...

I agree!! "We" are having a baby.... "we" are NOT pregnant. There's just some kind of a creep factor to that for me...

Jaime said...

(P.S. "We" are not having a baby...)

The Mrs./The Mom said...

I think it would be "we're expecting" and "I'm pregnant". We're pregnant is kind of weird.