Cara Paiuk recently wrote an article in the New York Times Motherlode about a surprising question she saw on the kindergarten application form for her son. The response to her article has been overwhelming. Since Motherlode published the piece, it’s been written about all over — including in The Huffington Post — and Hoda and Kathy Lee even chatted about it on The Today Show.
Most people seem to agree that the way a child comes into the world is not anyone’s business — except a doctor’s. Many paying attention to the story are also outraged because the question was directed at the female parent. It’s difficult to imagine that kind of thing ever being asked of a man. I know men don’t have vaginas, but that’s not really the point. As Paiuk points out in the original Motherlode piece, the question reminded her “of some awful blind date asking if the carpet matched the drapes.” Are people more likely to ask women offensive questions and feel more entitled to be invasive? Probably. In the end, Paiuk declined to fill out the form.
If vaginas are fair game, what else might women be asked when filling out forms for their children? Here’s an imaginary application specifically designed to invade a woman’s privacy while at the same time shaming her and making her feel as guilty as possible about her choices:
Did you have an orgasm when you conceived your child?
_Yes _No _I don’t know, which means it wasn’t memorable
If yes, was it simultaneous? Really? I don’t believe you.
Did your husband have an orgasm? I’m kidding! Why so sensitive?