Are you fed up with men who make women uncomfortable online? Sleazy comments and abuse are nothing new, though unacceptable, but what about when it’s something targeting pregnant women? Kylie from Kidgredients has seen a few guys engaging in such behaviour recently, with one particular stand-out. He’s been trawling Instagram, leaving his thoughts on pictures of heavily pregnant women.
Kylie and I have discussed this guy at length, because he’s appeared on the Instagram accounts of more than one of our blogging mates! We’ve both been among those giving him a piece of our minds about his comments. We’re not the target of his sexually suggestive remarks but just reading them is enough to creep you out.
A Note on Pregnancy Fetish.
Maiesiophilia is the term for a person who finds pregnancy as something erotic. Pregnancy, for me, was more about pelvic pain, nausea, insomnia and having to pee constantly. If someone else finds that state erotic, who am I to tell them they’re wrong? My point being that I have no interest in policing whatever floats someone’s boat. If it’s legal, consenting and not causing any harm, I say go for it. Whether it’s a sub/Dom relationship or a keen interest in feet, hey, none of my business! It’s when any kind of sexually-charged behaviour is forced upon someone else that it becomes an issue.
Here’s what my friend, Kylie, had to say on this:
A few of my blogging friends and I have grown increasingly aware recently of people leaving creepy comments on pregnant women’s photos. One person in particular seems to stalk hashtags such as #37weeks, #pregnant and so on. He likes to then comment on her appearance, using sexually suggestive language. He’s not above sending private messages and even asking, as a total stranger on the internet, to meet up in real life with them.
When confronted online recently, he defended his remarks, saying that he wants to “uplift women” who are feeling like “whales” at this stage of their pregnancy. Strangely, the photo he’d commented on had zero mention of feeling like a whale. So it was a bit of a back-handed comment… ‘You look like a whale, but don’t worry, I think that’s hot!‘ Feeling “uplifted” yet?
Personally, I don’t think sleazy comments make anyone feel that way. It’s creepy, unpleasant and something that no one should have to deal with.
This man has also made mention of not having much family, saying this justifies his “obsession” with pregnancy. Yet he peppers pregnancy photos with words like “ripe”, “juicy” and “sexy” in a way that isn’t very family-friendly. Using such language isn’t helping the case, either. Ripe and juicy should be reserved for foodstuffs, they are not a descriptive term that should be applied to pregnant women that you don’t even know. Since when has it been appropriate to tell a total stranger how sexy you find them?
Instagram accounts are public for many reasons. Mine is, for example, because I have a blog. It’s a kid food blog, so I tend to not receive any “ripe” or “juicy” comments that aren’t talking about mangoes or watermelons. But often, accounts are personal. And as far as I am concerned, I feel you should only make comments that you would be comfortable making to a person’s face.
It’s kind of like rubbing a pregnant woman’s belly without permission and for longer than anyone would deem appropriate. The person being touched might feel kind of violated but also too awkward or uncomfortable speak up.
Don’t Make Your Pregnancy Fetish Someone Else’s Problem.
This isn’t about whether people can have fetishes. Have your pregnancy fetish. Enjoy scrolling the photos if that’s your thing. If they’re posted publicly, no one can stop you looking at them. But keep your commenting to yourself. It’s not okay to make people uncomfortable with suggestive and sexual remarks. It can even be a form of sexual harassment. I don’t imagine that having a fetish is a valid legal defence.
We should be able to share a nice photo without being harassed or made to feel uncomfortable. Posting a snap on Instagram isn’t a public invitation to all those who want to make creepy remarks. If you have a pregnancy fetish, don’t make it something that an unwilling woman must deal with.
Here’s what to do if it happens to you:
- Report the comment as bullying or harassment, especially if has happened more than once.
- Report the offending account as well.
- Block the account. Sure, they can make a new one, but at least you know you’ve done your bit.
- Be a good Instagram citizen. If you see someone repeatedly engaging in behaviour like this, you can private message the other Instagrammers and let them know what’s going on and how to report it. The more people who report comments and accounts that harass others, the better.
Gifs via Giphy.