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    Sunday, May 17, 2020

    Becky Lynch and the Pregnancy Double Standard


    Let’s talk about Becky Lynch and her pregnancy.

    On the May 10 episode of RAW, Becky tearfully announced that she had to take a break and relinquish the RAW Women’s Championship to women’s Money in the Bank winner Asuka. While Asuka celebrated this milestone (she is now the second female Grand Slam champion), Becky told her, “You go and be a warrior ‘cause I’m going to be a mother.”

    Becky’s pregnancy announcement is sort of bittersweet. On one hand, Becky is going to be a mom, which is something she’s always wanted to have with fiancé Seth Rollins according to her interview with People. We also got a beautiful moment between her and Asuka, as well as with the RAW locker room during a backstage segment. Meanwhile, some fans are understandably sad that Becky will be away for a year or so.


    Overall, the reception to Becky’s pregnancy had been positive (with a mix of Seth memes here and there). I was also expecting misogynistic comments directed at The Mom since the wrestling fandom is still very much male-dominated. And oh boy, the hot takes I’ve seen so far did not disappoint.

    I’m obviously not going to name names or add screenshots to #cancel anyone. I don’t want the Smark Henry office or myself to get charged with libel. Let me just say this: Becky Lynch is neither “unprofessional” nor “selfish” for getting pregnant while she was champion. Admittedly, I did not follow Becky’s 398-day championship reign from start to finish. I’m also not smarky enough to fully know if it was high time for her to drop the title since winning it at WrestleMania 35. But I don’t think one has to be a hardcore wrestling fan to recognize how messed up this narrative is.

    When a woman is career-oriented, she is often told to take a break, else she won’t be able to find a partner and start a family. When a woman is doing well in her career, she’s suddenly not allowed to get pregnant because she might lose everything she worked hard for?

    As a woman, one of my biggest fears is being forced to choose between having a career or a family. Like, why can't I have both in the future? Another gripe I have with this Becky situation is how women are blamed for choosing to keep their baby. Did anyone tell Seth how unprofessional he was for knocking Becky up? I don’t think so. (Anyone is free to prove me wrong.) Sure, there are jokes that he was the one who broke Becky’s championship reign, but other than that, it’s all “congratulations” for the dad-to-be.



    Women can’t seem to win. They're either too stuck-up to settle down or selfish for choosing to take a break to start a family. When they do get pregnant, getting a paid maternal leave can be a pain depending on the company or country they're in. Most men don't go through this shit because they don't have to worry about carrying a baby in their womb. Granted, Becky is required to step away for the sake of her health and her unborn child, and I'm glad WWE allowed her to take a leave. (On that note though: Becky said she found out she was pregnant around WrestleMania 36, meaning she probably wrestled Shayna Baszler during her first trimester.)

    However, I hope WWE doesn't mistreat Becky while she's away. They did fire Maria Kanellis while she was on maternal leave, but I digress. As much as we preach about being progressive and supporting pro-choice movements, sometimes the universe reminds us that there are still people who are stuck in the Dark Ages.

    Okay, scratch that. I don't want to assume that people who think Becky is "unprofessional" are conservatives with outdated mindsets. If they are pro-choice though, it just shows that they probably support the cause until it doesn't benefit them anymore. People seriously need to quit the notion that having kids is the end of the world for women, especially in wrestling. Just look at the current WWE roster: superstars like Lacey Evans and Naomi are moms who seem to be doing well in their personal and professional lives.

    If anything, Becky flipped off every gender stereotype by proving that women can choose to have a family while they're at the height of their careers—and I'm sure she would still kick ass when she comes back. The Mom also deserves to take a break after dedicating so many years to wrestling and having impressive title runs. Bottom line: Pregnancy isn't an excuse to shame women and reduce their accomplishments. How they choose to live their lives is also none of your goddamn business.

    Photo from WWE


    *****

    Jackie Arias is a writer and former Content Creator for a feminist lifestyle website. Aside from casually catching up on wrestling news, you can find her listening to music and playing video games she can never finish while drinking copious amounts of coffee. Her Twitter and CuriousCat are open for story suggestions and comments—or photos of your cats.
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    Item Reviewed: Becky Lynch and the Pregnancy Double Standard Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jackie Arias
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