Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sexism in the Loss Community

I just need to vent a little bit. Not looking for support or comments, just needing to vent about the rampant sexism that occurs within the loss community.

On, Jon and I share an account--I know against the rules. Anyway, we were recently invited to a group event where the point was to take pictures of the names of angels, ours and others, and share them with each other. In this way, parents would receive about 10 pictures of their kids' names created by other people. I think this is a great idea, but the invitation was addressed to moms, and throughout the event information, kept only referring to moms. I pointed out the obvious exclusion and was told, not by the event organizer, that this problem could be solved if we didn't share an account.

Why is it that dad are blatantly excluded from almost everything in the loss community? Why are moms the only ones offered support with dads left to just themselves without the opportunity to find a community where they can open up, share and gain support? So many times I've heard moms ask, "Why does my husband grieve so differently than I do?" and "Why doesn't my husband talk about our child?" The answer is simple, it's because we tell dads over and over again that they aren't welcome in the loss community. We tell them over and over again that their role is to support the moms. We tell them over and over again that they aren't welcome. It makes me sick.

And let's not forget the pregnancy after loss groups, they are just as bad! After we became pregnant with Lucy, we joined a local FB group, these were people that I knew, that I saw at least once per month. We joined the group because Jon needed support. Jon posted once in the group and we were told by the administrators that the group was for women only. Why? Jon was the one that was scared out of his mind, at that point, and needed support. But, just because he wasn't growing the baby he couldn't be in the group. Every time I went to the bathroom, Jon would count how long I was in there. The longer I was in, the more nervous he became and began to prepare to rush to the hospital because I had discovered I was bleeding. Just because Jon wasn't growing Lucy doesn't mean he wasn't having an emotional response to the pregnancy and needed support.

I am so tired of hearing, after pointing out that dads are being actively excluded, "Men are welcome". How difficult is it to type parent instead of mom and be inclusive?


  1. You are so right! That really isn't fair. Just because some men aren't as invested as their wives from the moment the urine test is positive doesn't mean that's true for all. I can't believe a group ask you to leave, that's pretty extreme and very intolerant!

    1. Thank you, Melissa. Some men aren't emotionally connected right away, but some are. And for those, they have no where to get support. As for the group, we were pretty flabbergasted ourselves.