What to expect when you’re not expecting XII: Dicks are dicks

by Lord Sutch

I imagine all male Stuff commenters look like this

We’re back on. Today was day 0, Kim has begun taking a new pill that does some wizardry to try and get us a better outcome from this round of IVF. She’ll be taking this pill for the next 8 days, then we wait for her cycle to begin again and then we’re back into shooting up. I say us, but of course I mean Kim. Kim has to shoot up. I’ll go back to making cups of tea and high fiving her. Because that’s what I’m good for at this stage.

The last few weeks have been a nice break from it all. Kim and I approach these times completely differently. I welcome the space, the chance to breathe, the opportunity to just not think about it (or at least try not to think about it). Kim wishes these times would fly by so we can get back on and keep going again. Gotta get a baby. Gotta get a baby. Gotta get a baby.

I completely understand where she’s coming from. And in many ways it shows a strength in her that I don’t possess. Her drive, her commitment, her bravery in all this is amazing. She’s a remarkable woman.

Which is what makes the second part of this post so infuriating to me.

Kim wrote an amazing piece (she completely underrates herself as a writer, which is why you get a billion words from me, and not nearly enough from her), and Stuff published it because they’ve been good enough to publish a few of our posts.

Whenever they published my posts, I had nothing but supportive wonderful comments – things like “We’re crossing all our fingers and toes for you”; and “It’s so brave of you to put your story out there like this”. Shit like that. It’s really lovely – it’s not why we do it mind, but boy it is nice.

So I’ve never had a negative comment.

Then they publish Kim’s post. And initially they had the comments switched off. I talked to a guy at Stuff and he said that they do that with “sensitive” posts – I talked about it with Kim and we asked him to turn the comments on; after all the point of this exercise is so that people see our story and talk about it so that more people feel comfortable coming forward – or at least feel supported knowing they’re not alone.

Boy does a woman’s post get different comments than a man’s.

For the most part, they were supportive. But then we had comments like:

Those people can all go get fucked. I mean I’m heartened that they’re all in the negative, and it was great that people would respond to them and tell them they were out of order but come on, in a post about IVF where other people are going to be coming to read it to get support they don’t want to see fuckers telling them that what they’re doing is wrong.

One person made this very point, and they are a champion:

I don’t even know what the wrongs of IVF would be.

Neither Kim or I are that bothered by these people’s comments, but the thing that gets me isn’t the specific comments, it’s the fact that these comments only happened on a woman’s post.

Fuck. That.

I mean intellectually I know this happens, and to women who are reading this I’m sorry to be having a “no shit Sherlock” moment, but fuck. What the hell? Why don’t I get those comments? Why am I the brave one but my wife should suck it up? Those of you with your double standards can get 100% fucked.

The one positive I’m trying to draw from this is that having now lived this bullshit, and witnessed first hand this horrendous double standard I will try and be a better ally.

Stuff were great about it. I raised it with them and they asked us if we were ok and if there were any comments we wanted deleted – we didn’t. Stuff are tops. I don’t hold them in any way responsible for this. I also note that the worst comments have gone – whether by Stuff or by the authors, I’m not sure. But they’re gone. But that doesn’t change the fact that this view exists that people can say this shit to women authors while they don’t say it to men. You fucking cowards.

So now we’re back in line for this fun little rollercoaster. And I’m building up my emotional stocks because I’m going to need some in reserve for the next few weeks while we go through all the hullaballoo again. We were talking about it today at lunch. We were excited initially when we set out on this because we were full of hope and expectation that it would be fine and we’d be well on our way through a pregnancy by now. Except we’re not. So we’re apprehensive. And scared. And hopeful.


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1 comment

Kathryn Grace July 7, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Wow, really? Thanks for bringing light to this. Having been on the infertility train myself, I used to struggle with knowing what to say when people asked me if I had kids. So I asked my hubby what he said and he said he’s never been asked. I thought that was interesting cause I get asked all the time! (I have plenty of answers now though).
Good luck with this round 🙂


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