A man who doesn't want to watch his wife give birth is a jerk. This was the overwhelming consensus reached by a host of respected blogs after the publication last Tuesday in the New York Times of a piece by a therapist noting an unhappy trend: A number of his male patients have reported that after witnessing their wives have babies they no longer feel attracted to them. "I mean, how are you supposed to go from seeing that to wanting to be with …?" one husband asked, unable to finish his sentence. It made no difference that these men were patients in search of help, not Neanderthals who'd ditched their wives; the bloggers—many of whom are usually temperate—were outraged. "Would it hurt if I call you a big pussy?" one woman queried, adding, "Luckily for me, I didn't marry a total asshole, so I didn't have this problem." According to one post, a husband who finds his libido gone in the wake of the delivery room merits the same scorn we'd direct at a man who leaves a woman after finding out that she has a black grandparent.I happened to have made a few comments in response to the blog post mentioned above, including one beginning:
For most of human history men would not go anywhere near women when they were giving birth, the bizarre and pointless practice of the man watching the process is a recent ‘innovation’In her essay Ms. O’Rourke remarks:
“For most of human history, of course, men didn't go anywhere near women in labor, and any expectation that they would is relatively new”Ms. O’Rourke continues by explaining the origin of the nutty and pointless practice of men watching their wives give birth:
This changed in the 1960s, when a doctor named Robert Bradley put power in patients' hands, reducing the number of Caesarean sections and episiotomies he performed and playing up natural ways of making childbirth less painful. One method, he discovered, was to invite the husband in to have him talk to his wife—a practice popularized in the 1970s. Putting husbands in the delivery room not only coincided with feminism but was intimately wrapped up with the natural childbirth movement and its effort to see the modern body in a more holistic fashion.While it seems Ms. O’Rourke is a fan of my brilliant insights, it’s unfortunate she either didn’t read, or intentionally suppresses, the rest of my comment:
My research suggests that the notion [of husbands watching their wives give birth] originated with and was propagated by a KGB psy-op during the Cold War, with the intent of causing exactly the type of trauma to the male psyche as described by the poor bastards in the NYTimes article.My investigation is in the early stages, but we know for a fact that Dr. Bradley was influenced by the work of Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze, whom he met in the late 1950’s. Lamaze “had witnessed women in the Soviet Union giving birth without anesthesia” and was influenced by a psychologist from the USSR named Velvovsky. I suspect it is only a matter of time before someone unearths a KGB file detailing the entire operation, and how Velvosky (who may have not have even been an agent himself) was used by Communist spymasters to plant the seed for this wrongheaded and debilitating practice into Western medicine. Note too that the earliest adopters and promoters of these birth practices were all on the cultural Left, which, 'coincidentally' was a movement infiltrated and compromised by the KGB.