The first time I saw this in a parking lot, I was irrationally irritated. Seriously? I thought. Humpf! I waddled my fat pregnant ass from the back of beyond all through Christmas. Yeah, petulance is not my best side. I’m not proud.
More rationally I thought: Since when do pregnant women need special parking? It’s not a physical disability. (Said the woman whose sole complication of pregnancy was packing on 50 pounds through the constant consumption of Mexican food.)
Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? If not, stop right now and go see it. Seriously – git. I’ll wait.
Back? Good. Now we can talk.
I was not a Wonder Woman comic fan; when I did read comics, it was Spiderman for me. Bat Man on TV. Hated the 70’s Wonder Woman TV show (sorry, Meggie). But I adored the new film starring Gal Gadot, and were I a younger woman I’d happily follow her Wonder Woman into battle to bring about a just world.
I’ve always enjoyed movies where the girls got to be just as badass as the boys, that’s the appeal, for me, of X-Men, the Avengers, and the Justice League, that the girls are equally fearsome and talented. Truly treated as different, but equal.
Then I learned, maybe with the rest of the world, that Gal Gadot did her own stunts while five months pregnant. As one does.
Just before that I learned, maybe with the rest of the world, too, that Serena Williams won her latest Grand Slam title while two months pregnant. As one does.
Along with the beautiful, Jesus-like humanity of the Wonder Woman film and character, and the glow that came from watching a beautiful, powerful female lead take the box office it’s opening weekend, came a far better reason for my irritation at a parking sign conferring a privilege on my younger sisters I never enjoyed: we aren’t delicate flowers, really, in need of special parking places when we’re pregnant. Women are carrying on with their lives, while pregnant, every. single. day. Lifting. Toting. Multi-tasking. Conference calling and commuting. Wheeling and dealing. Building buildings. Selling stocks. Buying bonds and groceries. Cooking meals, running restaurants. Performing brain surgery or delivering other women’s babies. Lifting aged patients. Performing weddings, baptizing babies, burying the dead. Picking-up, dropping-off, checking-in, driving, carrying, and tending children, husbands, wives, and partners, too. In other words, women are Wonder Womaning all over the place every day and every where you look. Often, while pregnant.
Gone, for me, is any whiff of condescension or patronage, replaced instead with a sense of a gift given in recognition of shear badassery. A gift given not to “weak” pregnant women, but to pregnant women who are soldiering on as women always have done.
And I admit, when I was preggers and roughly the size of Jupiter, there were a few days towards the end I would have put aside my stupid pride and used that parking space, were they popular 28 years ago, so I’ll not begrudge my younger sisters for enjoying it. They’re earning it every. single. day.
Keep on Wonder Womaning, Sisters.