It's ironic how our society first pressures women to get pregnant... and then shames them for it
It's ironic how our society first pressures women to get pregnant... and then shames them for it

For a country that ranks as one of the most densely populated in the world, it is almost baffling that there is little discourse about the biological processes that lead up to this conclusion.

Following a couple's marriage, the first question they're asked is "*Aur khushkhabri kab suna rahe ho?" (When will you tell us the good news?), completely ignoring a couples financial standing or personal choice.

But interestingly enough, once a woman is pregnant, she shouldn't really talk about it. And how dare she show her baby bump!

Case in point, Aroosa Siddiqui at Fashion Week Pakistan 2018, where the young woman walked the ramp pregnant and received spiteful comments about showing off her baby bump, something which needs to be hidden.

Writer Zeina Toric-Azad has had enough of it and took to Twitter to ask why pregnancy shaming exists in a country obsessed with having children.

Zeina's question brings into sharp contrast the contested notion of modesty or 'haya' which has become increasingly suffocating, hampering the mobility of women in public spaces.

This immobility and ex-communication of women is further aggravated if women are pregnant. Zeina's thread dissects the very reasons for this restriction and inaccessibility.

Answers to Zeina's thread revealed some very intriguing aspects of pregnancy in the Pakistani society.

Women started opening up about the bizarre things they have either gone through or seen pregnant women go through due to the embarrassment attached to expecting a child.

These include unrealistic expectations such as not screaming during labor, as it is deemed inappropriate for women to scream or cry out very loudly.

Some pointed out the lack of safe public spaces that increase the discomfort of pregnant women when leaving the household.

Also, how is it okay to mock a pregnant woman?

The overall attachment of shame is one many don't understand.

There's a lot that needs to be undone and unlearned with regards to pregnancy and the myths that surround it. Let's hope this conversation grows.

Email