Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Nigeria anymore

Oh Myna… I’m going to have to create a whole tag for you, aren’t I?

For those who don’t remember, Myna is my co worker who does not have a filter. Or empathy. Among many other “Insert Foot In Mouth” moments, she has implied that people who don’t have children shouldn’t inherit and insists that everyone wants a baby. (These are only the baby-making-related atrocities. There are so many more that are equally horrifying, if not topically appropriate.)

Last week, a colleague shared that his wife is pregnant. This is their first pregnancy, so they are excited and a little nervous. They are also first generation Nigerian. (Sadly, this will become a relevant plot point.)

Colleague: You know, my wife wants a natural birth, so we’re exploring that…

Myna: I don’t think that’s a good idea. She does know that having a baby in America isn’t the same as having a baby in Nigeria, right?

Um… actually, YES. Biologically speaking, having a baby in Nigeria IS the same as having a baby in America. As it is the same in Peru or Botswana. It’s not like America waves some magical wand over every womb and we all magically give birth out of eye balls. Human bodies are pretty much the same from one geographical region to the other.

And having a natural birth is not crazy talk! I know a ton of ladies– American-born, white ladies– who have opted for natural childbirth. It’s not like this is an entirely unheard of practice in the US. Because… you know… NATURE kinda invented it.

Yes, there are some differences in medical care across countries. Nor do I wish to downplay the issue of maternal mortality rates in many developing countries. (Though even here, the US has seen a rise in maternal mortality rates.)

There is just something so disgustingly paternalistic about this entire conversation that I applaud my colleague for not hurling a stapler at Myna’s head.

Let’s hear it for restraint!



  1. AndiePants · October 22, 2014

    The US also has the highest maternal mortality rates of any developed country, so . . .Myna should shut her pie hole. I would have gone for the stapler for sure.

    • thecommonostrich · October 22, 2014

      I KNOW. She makes my brain explode. It’s a truly special combination of aggressiveness and ignorance.

  2. Pingback: Myna Strikes Again | the common ostrich

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