First comes love, then comes marriage…

So, besides Hurricane Irene, I guess the big news this weekend is Beyoncé’s baby bump, which she debuted on MTV’s VMA Awards on Sunday. And really, which story do you think is going to be talked about until we’re all ready to go live in a cabin off the grid forever? Hmm… deadly hurricane which has been causing thousands of dollars in damage across the Eastern seaboard or… celebrity pregnancy? What is it that dog says in the movie Up? Oh yeah: Squirrel!

I think celebrity pregnancies are starting to wag the dog. …Squirrel!

Don’t get me wrong. Congratulations Beyoncé (as if she reads this)! Motherhood is amazing! Good for you and I hope your pregnancy and childbirth experience are wonderful and without complication. Truly. I wish that for every woman. Now here’s the but… I just don’t care that Beyoncé is pregnant. It’s not like we’re friends. (And I think we have established she doesn’t read my blog.)

So why am I writing about this? Well, when I checked my tweet feed, I knew I had to. A few of my prochoice feminist tweeps were re-tweeting a message that I have a feeling is going to create a trend on twitter by tomorrow morning:

@indecent_xposur: “Beyonce dated, married, THEN got pregnant…#takenote ladies”.

Oh boy. Deep breath. Are we really going there? We’re going to jump right past celeb-pregnancy fawning (not that I’m a fan of that) and move right into high-profile pregnancy as message to society? And @indecent_xposur is not the only one who tweeted this. In fact, it’s all over twitter by many different people:

@Skittlez2Timez Beyonce Dated, Married, THEN Got Pregnant Take Note Ladies.

And is this even Beyoncé’s message? I watched the performance. She just seemed happy about being in love and being pregnant, something I, as a woman who is in love and has been pregnant before can certainly relate to. Isn’t that a lot to put on a pregnant woman who just happens to be a celebrity? I am neither a Beyoncé fan nor a detractor, but as a fellow woman I feel for her if this is how things are going in the zeitgeist only hours after announcement.

And then there are just really gross, racist tweets, like this one:

@I_MarriedNicki I pray to God that beyonce looses that child, he/she shouldn’t have to be raised in that devil worshiping household

I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

Setting that aside, let’s get back to what @indecent_xposur and their ilk are really saying is that Beyoncé is a roll model of how to be a “good” girl. So, if you are single parent, gay parent, widowed parent, or any other “deviant” parent (I am just assuming that to indecent_xposur any form of parenthood that is not comprised of two parents of different genders is somehow deviant or amoral) … well, you should have “taken note” as to how a real lady does it (or, rather, doesn’t do it until she’s married?). And doesn’t this kind of message presume that Beyoncé was a virgin when she got married? I am not claiming any knowledge about the status of Beyoncé’s virginity when she got married, but no matter what it was, there was nothing special about it. Being a virgin or not when you get married is just a way to shame women about their sexuality and sexual expression.

I say we hijack the #takenote hashtag and put out some truth about what real ladies “should” do! What do you think the ladies need to #takenote of?

Here are some of my suggestions:

  • #Takenote that you can’t judge a woman’s worth by the stretchmarks on her stomach.
  • #Takenote being a real lady doesn’t have anything to do with a ring on it.
  • #Takenote that I wouldn’t be here if my mom had done things in the “right order.”
  • #Takenote that it’s not the order in which you do things but the intention behind them that matters.
  • #Takenote that a woman’s worth is not dependent on the status of her virginity or the jewelry on her hand.
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One thought on “First comes love, then comes marriage…

  1. I absolutely agree!

    Isn’t it rather telling of our society that here we are, in 2011, and we’re still discussing whether or not women/LGBT/minorities are capable of raising children?
    A woman isn’t defined by her wealth, history or waistline; she’s defined by her courage, love, intellect, and motivation.

    Cheers,
    Beth

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