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The Six Week Challenge

The process of pregnancy is one that women have now decided to be more open about, ever since the realization set in that people (read: men) may have a skewed perception of what the experience is like.

Having a baby can be a traumatic experience. Yes, I know that the experience has been extremely romanticized. A lot of people like to talk about the great parts of pregnancy: seeing the baby through an ultrasound or feeling their kick for the first time. However, childbirth itself is a process that has literally taken lives. It is a process that women have now decided to be more open about, ever since the realization set in that people (read: men) may have a skewed perception of what the experience is like.

Childbirth has claimed teeths, it has even claimed the joints and backs of some women. Childbirth has ripped people on both sides and no I do not mean figuratively. In a complete sense, pregnancy and then the final act of childbirth is an extremely delicate and generally different situation. During this period, women deserve the utmost care and support from the men or partners who have chosen to go on this journey with them. However, it is obvious from a conversation sparked on Twitter that this often does not occur. Rather, their partners seem intent on putting more pressure on their already fragile bodies.

The conversation began when a popular content account posted a Tik-Tok video of a woman and her husband ‘acting out’ a scene. In this particular video, a woman was standing on the edge of the staircase while a man, presumably her partner, was at the bottom of the staircase. The post was accompanied by the soundbite “let me tell you something!” while the woman was seen trying to run away from her partner at the bottom of the staircase. The video was captioned “When it is barely the ending of the six week wait-period after giving birth and your husband already wants sex”. The video went semi-viral after being posted on Twitter and lots of people dropped their comments under it. While some people were (reasonably) against such behavior, many women shared that the scenario was essentially their reality after childbirth. In fact, one comment in particular stood out. The woman said that her husband just could not wait after childbirth for the six-week danger period to end and she had to go through the pains of having sex regardless because she ‘loved him’.

As a whole, I see issues with not only her comment, but even the video that tried and failed to depict men’s blatant wickedness as ‘cute’. A woman deciding that she does not want to have penetrative sex even after the six-week mark does not warrant her partner pursuing her through the staircase or attempting to even verbally pressure her into sex. Childbirth is a severely traumatic act even for women who had fairly manageable births. It is cruel and inhumane for a partner to believe that he has more understanding of the woman’s body to decide when she is ready for sex. In fact, even the doctor’s orders should not take away from the patients’ wishes themselves.

Also, the woman who expressed that the pressure was so much from her husband that penetration itself had to occur before the six-week mark has also been through a traumatizing situation. Despite the callousness of the actions of her partner, she defends it in kind. This is as a result of women being conditioned to accept, make excuses for and even defend the behaviors of the abusive men in our lives. She defended having sexual intercourse with him by reiterating that she not only loves him, but that she also did it so that he would not have reason to ‘look outside’. Not only do women have to defend men’s abusive behavior, we are also responsible for their philandering. If your partner decides to be intimate with another person, it is automatically your fault as a woman. You have a responsibility to your home to prevent this from happening, ergo by turning yourself into an instrument for his sexual pleasure and available at his every disposal. Unfortunately, we still see that so many men cheat despite this. No matter how much their wives try to please them, in bed or out of it, by working out, by learning different sex positions, or knowing how to cook their favorite meals there is still a tendency for a man to cheat.

The culture of society enables and emboldens men to act out in ways that harm, denigrate and unfairly punish women. Even women are conditioned to harm other women with patriarchy and its ideals. There are several cultures that do not recognize the situation described above as marital rape. In fact, there are several countries that do not recognize marital rape as a whole. When a woman is involved with a man, she automatically becomes his property. In marriage, the ownership is then cemented with the law. While many women on Twitter sympathized with the lady who had been forced to have sexual intercourse even in excruciating pain, she herself could not comprehend the situation as one that could have been avoided if her husband only considered her humanity. There are many ways partners could be intimate without the need for penetration. And if a woman was not up for any of these things after childbirth, the partner should instead be more concerned with making sure she feels well before initiating. Rather than force, he should be more concerned with providing attention, support and care during such a difficult time. It just shows that many men do not look at sexual interaction as something that should please their wife, they are largely uncaring as to how the body under them feels during the act. It is really all about their own satisfaction at the end


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