...or, someone was being a dick on Facebook today. Surprise.
I expect certain people to be judgmental asshats. I expect it more often from certain subtypes, like call-center "customer service" reps, strict sectarian religious zealots, and the extremely conservative right. Unfortunately, as I was reminded today, this also occasionally includes my fellow atheists and liberals as well. Here's what happened.
As I scrolled through my news feed, my eye was caught by a dude who'd friended me a while back after some comments I was making on PolitiFact.com. As you likely surmised by my mentioning that he was a (facebook) friend, he's quite liberal. I've never interacted with him much beyond commenting on one another's links occasionally, but today I saw a rather shitty, close-minded statement from him that drew my attention like a thong-wearing Dick Cheney out for a stroll: "Just got in fight with pregnant woman who was smoking."
Huh. To make sure I was understanding his intent, I wrote "Because she was smoking?" To which a like-minded twat on his page replied "pregnant and smoking."
Now, I've never smoked - amazing, as my entire family does. I did a little happy dance when Illinois enacted the non-smoking laws for public places, because I don't like the smell, and yes, second hand smoke does have detrimental effects on others. Ditto for smoking's effects on unborn children.
However, I've had family, and many friends, try to quit. I've had pregnant friends who smoked during their pregnancy - and were counseled that while eventually quitting would be best, cutting back would be a better choice while pregnant. Why? Because quitting smoking IS incredibly stressful, and quitting cold turkey during pregnancy (and any other time) can raise blood pressure (a transient effect normally, but no bueno in pregnancy), fuck with your hormones even more, screw up your metabolism, and cause intestinal issues which lead to cramping (another undesirable effect in pregnancy).
Yes, there are risks to smoking while pregnant. There are risks to everything while pregnant: you can't drive, eat, stand next to a microwave, use a computer or cell phone, drink coffee, have sex, not have sex, snort cocaine, drink chocolate milk, or work as a stripper while pregnant. Yet, some people do. And as a nurse, sometimes I want to shake the shit out of people who have modifiable health habits that they can't, or won't, change, even when their health is negatively affected. I battle with that internally a lot.
But who the fuck are you to judge a perfect goddamn stranger on the street, who's doing something that you don't fucking agree with, take her to task, and then say "Oh, but it's about the BAY-BEH!!" Unless you were present for the conception or are the one carrying the child, you need to shut the fuck up. You don't know what she deals with on a daily basis, you have no clue whether she's trying to quit or not, and you have no goddamn right to point a finger - at anyone.
This is ESPECIALLY hypocritical coming from someone who professes to love personal choice, who supposedly resents intrusion by others on the moral and social decisions a person makes, and who gets all up in arms when the far right-leaning political candidates start stomping on a woman's right to choose. Guess what? "Choice" does not cover only what you think it should. It's an all or nothing deal, and when you start bitching about conservatives impeding your choices and freedoms, you need to remember that should include everyone - black, white, male, female, legal, illegal, rich, poor, and yep, pregnant women too. You don't like it? Well I'm sure women all over would love to hear you pontificate on what a woman should and shouldn't do during pregnancy. Just as soon as you yank your dick off and grow some ovaries.