The Centers for Disease Control has taken a break from containing bird flu to determine that I'm pre-pregnant. By edict.
Pregnancy, it seems, is the new normal for women. You're pre-pregnant, and then (sperm willing) you're normal and fulfilling your duty to god and country by being pregnant, and then you're useless and they ship you off and turn you into glue. The three stages of womanhood. Defined, not by personality or achievement or contribution to society, not even by reproductive ability, but by the act of reproduction alone.
Men, presumably, aren't pre or post anything, so long as their boys can swim.
Alright, CDC, I'll see your pre-pregnant, I'll take your vitamins, and I'll refrain from chewing on the windowsill lest there be lead-based paint. But let's up the ante here. Pre-pregnancy is a delicate, delicate state. I will need you, CDC, to provide me with weekly housecleaning service because I mustn't overexert myself and some of those fumes can be toxic. I will need you, CDC, to cover all of my pre-pregnancy medical expenses, annual pap smears, and the birth control that keeps my cleaning service coming. CDC, I expect that you will assist in my education costs as well, because educated parents raise better children. Oh CDC, will you organize my union drive, will you contribute to my IRA, will you offer marriage counseling? Will you give me the job security and economic security and emotional security that will surely improve the prospects of my future pregnancy?
Or will you take me out of the workforce altogether, so that I can concentrate on my duty as a baby maker. Will you endorse an unwanted child from a rape, from incest, from a loveless marriage, because the state of being pregnant trumps the health and well-being of the woman. Will you outlaw abortion and take away contraception because they interfere with the one societally useful purpose of womanhood.
Will you follow through on all the logical implications of defining women as baby making factories?
Will you ever, finally, treat me like a whole woman?