Monday, April 11, 2005

Pregnancy Brain

Chris Nolan points us to this illuminating article. Read it and learn how to support women by making [insert your own characterization here] statements about their professional abilities:

O'Donoghue is president of the Residential Builders Association, which turned out in force Monday to a hearing of the Building Inspection Commission. The commission was considering the promotion of Amy Lee into the position of acting director of the Department of Building Inspection, replacing Jim Hutchinson, a popular longtime employee.

In their zealous support of Hutchinson, O'Donoghue and his boys attacked Lee, citing, in part, her gender and her pregnancy. Lee is due to deliver her third child in August.

Now O'Donoghue says it never happened, and even if it did happen, which really it didn't, Lee misinterpreted the remarks. He said he would sue me for slander and libel if I suggested he was anything but an ardent supporter of women.

[Because, as we all know, with pregnancy comes the loss of one's ability to properly process/interpret information.]

"(Lee's pregnancy) wasn't even an issue!'' he said Wednesday by phone.

So the reporter checked the tape:

"If you appoint her,'' another said, "she cannot function as you intend. Given that she is about to go on maternity leave, she cannot function at any capacity whatsoever. That is a reality.''


One self-employed builder took the mike to say he knows how debilitating pregnancy can be because his wife is expecting a baby in four weeks and she can no longer help him with his billings.

"My wife refers to it as 'pregnancy brain.' Her mind is on other things, '' he said. "I ask you today, are you going to replace this man with 'pregnancy brain'?

"That's not disrespect. That's just a metaphor. But when you have a baby, that's all the hormones are about. I'm just making the point.''

[During residency, all my pregnant colleagues went into labor while on call, after working 80+ hr weeks throughout their pregnancies. I also know quite a few attendings (ob/gyn, peds, IM, surgery, etc.) who went into labor while on call. So, my tolerance for "pregnancy brain"-type judgments about a pregnant woman's ability to function in her professional capacity is quite low.]


At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like yet another example of treating all women as though they were the same, hence "my wife had a difficult time during pregnancy, therefore no woman is able to function effectively while pregnant".


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