Despite only having moved to London three months ago, I am already compiling a pretty lengthy list of things I hate about having to take the tube to work (for those of you who are just about to say it – don’t worry, I am picking up my bike ASAP. I’m a busy girl, OK?) At the very top of the list are obvious ones like getting vital appendages trapped in the doors and people puking in my carriage on a unnervingly regular basis, however the one that nags at me the most is the current trend amongst certain pregnant commuters bearing BABY ON BOARD badges.
O B V I O U S L Y I’m not knocking on pregnant women, in fact I want to preach the opposite. I have never been pregnant but from what I have gathered from observing my friends, relatives and people I stalk on facebook bear offspring (and watching call the midwife) I think I am able to say with some assurance that it gets pretty uncomfortable. Giving birth is one of, if not the most incredible things we as humans can do and it’s made even more special that we as women can do this, we literally give life from our inside ourselves. It’s more graphic than the goriest horror movie, more intoxicating that the schmultziest romance and more mind-bending and out of this world than any sci-fi you will EVER see. It’s literally like magic, but we make it happen and it exists and it’s beautiful and weird and long and hard but we do it and we love it. It is because of this reason that I am questioning the necessity of baby on board pins.
You don’t have to google very hard to find a list of the incredible feats womankind have achieved whilst on the verge of producing another human being out of their vaginas; we’ve ran marathons, served in wars and swam the channel. Now I don’t plan to do many of these things with or without child, I find the idea of simply being pregnant and walking around and getting on with life pretty spectacular and some people do this with other children or pets or without their mothers or even completely alone, which is equally as admirable as those climbing machu-picchu with a bump in tow. I can’t be alone in my dislike for them, I just can’t seem to get my head around the warped desire for labeling, presumably there is supposed to be some kind of humorous reference to the well known Baby on Board car bumper stickers, but where is the joke? Call me a killjoy but likening a fertile womb to a Nissan Micra doesn’t really have me rolling on the floor in stitches. Aside from the novelty value the only other motive I can draw for expectant mother’s donning these pins is that nobody is giving them a seat on the tube, in which case I expect an uprising of pregnant women flipping the V’s at drunk, rude business-men and proving their strength by rooting themselves to the spot like great-childbearing-oaks or feeling supported and confident enough to demand some respect with their seat. Ladies, don’t let your British-transport museum souvenir make a statement for you.
(Not cool or funny, I rest my case)