Pregnant women and the obese have similar problems. Why do we treat them differently?

The other thing is that at any given time, a pretty small percentage of the population is pregnant. Except at Babies R Us - seems like they probably need more than a few “stork” parking spots.

The CDC released their figures on obesity today. In some counties in the South, 40% of the population is obese. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5845a2.htm

Here the spaces are labelled for use by “Expectant mothers or parents with small children.” Maybe you need to move to Canada. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Shodan. :slight_smile: Alas, this is not a Ruffianette…while we could have evened the score, it seems our house will stand with a final score of Males: 3, Females: 1. That’s okay, though. I was never a girly girl, and Son 1.0 is all kinds of fun. (One of the common nosey/personal questions: variations of, “Don’t you want to try again for a girl?”)

Girl From Mars, congratulations! And ooooof, the pelvic pain. That’s a new one for me this pregnancy; last time it was milder, and mostly in the few weeks before delivery (about when he dropped). This time, I started getting sharp pelvic pains at around 28 weeks or so (if not earlier); some days it was so bad I could hardly walk. The other day I apparently irritated it ground working my horse–while I didn’t exert myself much, there was a fair amount of pivoting and quick turns as well as a few jogging steps. An hour later, my pubic bone was throbbing–throbbing!!–in pain, and my inner thighs were just screaming.

I have appreciated every moment of this pregnancy, but have had little opportunity to enjoy it. I am DONE. Two is enough for me; they’re tying my tubes after the C-section.

Oh, and there is expectant mother parking at the local mall, as well as stroller parking–however, the spaces are usually taken. Often, by women who don’t appear pregnant; too frequently, they’re taken by middle aged men. I want to waddle over and pee on their cars, but instead, I just avoid the mall altogether.

One of the hardest things about being pregnant was the complete change in center of gravity. I felt lopsided and tippy pretty much the whole time. I walked splay footed and had to be very careful when moving.

I really appreciated those pregnant parking spaces.

I don’t know if there is that same imbalance feeling with some obese people. I’m not skinny by any means, but as a previous person said, not every heavy/overweight/obese person might have physical issues that encumber them.

I use to offer my seat in a bus to the elderly, handicapped or pregnant. I would have no problem with letting it to an obese person if I was asked, but I think that it’s a delicate subject to ask an obese person to take my seat, because the person could be embarassed by the impression that he/she is so fat that he/she is offered a seat. I know, it sounds like a stretch, but then again I only offer my seat to people who are obviously old and frail, pregnant or physically handicapped, in order not to embarass anybody.

or worse, have the obese person think you think she’s fat.

OMG, yes. I didn’t end up on crutches, but I sure felt like every joint in my body was going to fall to pieces in the last month of my pregnancy. Walking down stairs was painful. And my balance sucked. Not just because of the uneven weight distribution, but also because I couldn’t seem to make those little postural and stance corrections that we usually take for granted to maintain balance, since my wobbly joints seemed to lose leverage or something.

Speaking of the parking spots… I was only able to use it once, at the grocery store. Every other time I showed up at a parking lot, the spot was already taken.

How obese does someone have to be before I should offer them my seat? I think that gesture would be seen as rude before polite, like “you look too fat to stand, would you like a seat?” If I notice someone seems less able bodied than me in any way, I would probably offer them my seat, but it gets dicey when the person ‘should’ in society’s terms not be offered one. For example, should a slim middle age woman offer her seat to an obese young man? Isn’t that rather demasculinizing? I would think anything calling out the person’s fatness would just be humiliating.

Also, I don’t think it’s a hard concept to see that society would honor pregnancy and not obesity. I think you are overthinking this. In general, society’s rules of politeness in this respect are to protect those who are weaker than you. So younger give up to older, men to women, non-pregnant to pregnant, etc. If someone is obese enough they are actually handicapped, and are in a scooter/using a cane or something, then they would qualify that way, but I think a woman trying to give up her seat to a guy with a big beer belly or an NFL linebacker is going to get a WTF look.

(Aside - Most of the parking spaces I see now are for use by pregnant women or people with strollers.)

I think deep down in side, though we hate to admit it, we hate fat people, 'cause we’re afraid sooner or later, it’ll happen to us.

Then shouldn’t we hate old people too? :slight_smile:

(and maybe also pregnant women!)

I thought that deep down inside we hate fat people because it won’t happen to us? It’s a sign of weakness of character, like smoking or a drug addiction.

This is true.

I’m 22 weeks with my second, still throwing up sometimes, and have just started to feel like getting up it too much work, walking is odd, and my blood sugar crashes mean everything in the world hates me, sob.

Is this like “homophobes don’t like gay people because they are secretly gay?”

I don’t think the lack of privileged toward obesity when compared to pregnancy has anything to say about whether we like or dislike fat people. Why do we treat pregnant women differently than non-pregnant women? Or men? Or the elderly? Pregnancy has a special status in society (and it may not be universal, but its not uncommon across societies for pregnant women to have special status).

I will say that my experience being pregnant was inconvenient, uncomfortable, had lifelong impact on my health, and was filled with obnoxious people giving me advice and telling me what I couldn’t do, and was expensive to boot in lost hours and disability pay - and all the parking spaces and giving up the seat on the bus or coworkers offering to carry things or a husband willing to meet unreasonable whims wouldn’t have made the condition desirable. (The baby at the end…that made it worth it - and my baby is now ten - annoying, frustrating, exhausting - and still worth it.)

I think that people give up and seats and otherwise make life easier for pregnant women because it’s a very logical and obvious thing to do. I don’t know anyone who shows respect and deference for pregnant women because they hope that the child will pay Social Security taxes in 2060. After all, who knows whether that child will live in this country then, or whether we will, or whether we’ll be alive at all, or whether social security will still exist, or whether the country will still exist? Rather, the justification is that (a) pregnancy is a natural and necessary part of the human experience and (b) treating pregnant women with respect is one of the marks of a civilized society.

As for obesity, I have no disdain for people with that condition. In fact, I don’t think that obesity is a disease; I view it as a logical consequence of living in a society that’s blessed with freedom and abundance. But if someone choose to overeat and not exercise until he or she is obese, then there are consequences of that. That he or she must waddle across parking lots and other things like that are among the consequences.

One local supermarket here as a few spaces for “mothers with children”. It’s not the law like for the disabled so frankly, eff that–I can’t find another spot, I’m parking there.

Every single one of us owes our life to a woman’s pregnancy.

Back before I had the joint damage [from disease not fat] I was fairly graceful, and enjoyed ballroom dancing. I could even do most of the ballet warmups from when I took dance. Even with back damage from an injury, I did not have movement issues. I did have space issues - restaurant booths not having enough space between table and seat for my fat arse.

Obesity is generally considered a vice, whereas pregnancy is not. Although some would argue that vice can lead to pregnancy. Drug addiction is allegedly a disease, but intoxicated people aren’t generally cut that much slack. To avoid complications lets just look at legal drugs like alcohol. Lots of people drink, and lots of people have done stupid things when they’re drunk. Yet saying I hit him/crashed my car/lost my job and can’t support my kids because I’m an alcoholic isn’t going to get you much sympathy from the guy you hit/the government/your kids, the people inconvenienced by your vice. While that’s a long shot from giving up one’s seat for a fat person, the theory is the same. Why should I inconvenience myself for someone who has essentially voluntarily handicapped themselves?

All of us are the result of pregnancy, and people don’t choose to have MS or weaken as they age, thus making these types of people more universally sympathetic.

Finally, with regard to parking spots, perhaps obese people might benefit from little more physical exertion? I mean giving obese people special privileges that allow them to avoid normally acceptable amounts of physical exertion can only aggravate the problem.

You can still tell if a pregnant woman is hot or not.

Obese women just aren’t hot, so nobody cares about them.

Exactly whether it’s fat, or drugs or anything we are all afraid of “one day it may be me.”

It reminds me of the Australian soap opera, “Prisoner” (“Prisoner: Cell Block H”), where the stern warder Vera Bennett, is always harping about the rules and how they are to be followed or you have chaos and no discipline. Of course this contrast to Meg, the “saint” and nice warder (She even forgave one of the prisoners for killing her husband).

They would always have conversations like this:

Meg) But you have to understand Vera, how things happen

Vera) I don’t need to understand

Meg) What would you do if something like that happend to me

Vera) I would never be in a positon where something like that *could *happen to me

Famous last words Vera :slight_smile: