My former boss is a 60+ year old man. He is married but has no kids. He's frequently inappropriate. I didn't realize just how inappropriate he was until I started working for someone else.
You know, someone who doesn't ask me casually whether I've tried illicit drugs. Someone who, when we are out to lunch, doesn't ask me if I think the waitress is hot. Someone who would never ask whether I've ever made out with another woman.
Anyway, I thought I was used to his behavior. But after several months of no contact, I get this string of text messages:
Him: "Hey, I'm in trial with that client who things you're hot. You should send us a baby belly photo."
Me: "Good luck with the trial."
Him: "So when are you sending that belly photo?"
Ignore. Five days later...
Him: "Where is that f****** baby belly photo?!"
I'm not just grossed out, I'm genuinely offended. Maybe pregnancy is making me soft.
At work yesterday, I overheard a male coworker complain to another coworker about the fact that two of the attorneys in our office will be out on maternity leave at the same time. This male coworker is also 60+. He is single. He has no kids.
Him: "So when they both go on maternity leave, we'll probably have to take over their work. That's going to be a pain. Two attorneys out at the same time! How long is maternity leave anyway? Two weeks? ...What? Three MONTHS? Why the hell do they need three months?!"
Wow. Just wow. It never surprises me that office policies are not more family friendly. Because people like HIM have absolutely no clue about what it takes to make/have/raise/care for a newborn/infant/toddler/child. And sadly, people like HIM are most likely to be the ones in charge.
My husband has seen me go through three pregnancies. He's seen me experience labor, an emergency C-section, a planned C-section, and post-partum stuff. And yet, it frequently crosses me mind and becomes clear to me that even HE doesn't quite understand everything.
Pregnancy and birth is not something you can understand as an observer. It's an intense, constant, physical, and emotional experience that can only fully be understood when you actually experience it yourself. It's a common thing (duh, procreation), but when you actually stop to think about it, it's insane. It's mind boggling. It's miraculous. It's down-right ridiculous and so not very pretty. For an experience that is so common and such an inherent part of the human race, it's also extremely personal, unique, mystifying, and also misunderstood by about half the world's population (men).
And while I'm not opposed to sending belly photos. I AM opposed to sending them to men who are former bosses, with whom I rarely ever communicate, who have no kids of their own, and who demand belly photos aggressively and through explicit language. Seriously, why does he want a photo of my belly so badly? What is he going to do with it? WTF!