Motherhood by Force: The Horror of Weaponised Pregnancy

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Article by: Mourine Odongo

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Weaponised pregnancy is abuse. It's a tool that abusers use to control and shift the power dynamics in a relationship.

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As a social media enthusiast, the term weaponised pregnancy came to my attention not so long ago. Startled by how far men can go to own a woman, I delved deeper into how true this narrative is. I was blown by the number of women who felt trapped in relationships they didn't want because of pregnancy.

If you don't understand what I mean, let's bring it from the top. For centuries, the narrative has been that women trap men into commitment by getting pregnant. Most men claim they were never ready to be fathers. But somehow, the women in their lives tricked them into fatherhood. Of course, I'm always baffled by their reasoning. A grown man doesn't care whether his woman is on birth control yet has unprotected sex, then acts surprised at the news of pregnancy. What was the expectation? Golden eggs? How exactly were you trapped again? 

Now, weaponized pregnancy is a twist to this narrative. It's a grand scheme by some men to trap a woman with a pregnancy in the hope of making her stay. How does this play out? If a man suspects the girlfriend or wife is thinking of leaving, they'll tamper with her birth control. There are many tricks, from hiding the pills to changing the appointment dates with her gyna to tampering with the condom, drugging, outright coercion…the list goes on and on.

The goal is to deliberately get the woman pregnant. The reasons for this abuse are diverse. Generally, mothers want stability for their children. Hence, they'll stay in a toxic relationship whose expiry date is long overdue just to give their children a home and a father. Men know this and use it to make women stay.

Secondly, some men use pregnancy to slow a woman down in her career or higher education. They are threatened by her potential. The possibility of the woman having a successful career, stellar education achievements, or more money than them triggers their insecurity. It's a sure sign that they're not enough, just as they've believed. So, instead of working on their insecurities, they sabotage her growth.

Thirdly, some men believe that pregnancy reduces a woman's value. And often, you'll hear them claim that women who think highly of themselves should be impregnated to humble them. Hence the perception, "mpe mimba atulie," loosely translates to “make her pregnant, and she'll settle down”. The settling down is in every sphere of her life. Her career, business, interests and education will slow down before, during and after the pregnancy. In essence, he'll have limited her for a period. Who knows if she'll have the same dreams once she becomes a mother?

Lastly, a good number of men think pregnancy is not a big deal. It's part of what womanhood is about. Thus, it doesn't matter when a woman gets pregnant because, ultimately, they'll be mothers. Let me break this down to anyone who holds on to this old age belief. Not all women want to be mothers. And even if all of us wanted to, we should be the ones to choose when it happens. So, shoving this huge responsibility down women's throats because it's what's expected is wrong.

Weaponised pregnancy is abuse. It's a tool that abusers use to control and shift the power dynamics in a relationship. Frankly, a man of good morals doesn't need to trick any woman into carrying his child. The only plausible reason for a man to resort to such theatrics is when they know they have little to offer. And so, the only way out is deceit. I mean, if she's pregnant, where will she go? She'll be forced to live with his toxic ass. What a lie!

The worst part of weaponised pregnancy is that most men who leverage this tactic are not necessarily in love with the women they trick. They are simply pursuing their selfish interests. Hence, no matter how you look at it, nothing much can amount from such relationships.

Furthermore, unlike fatherhood, motherhood doesn't give women a choice. A man can walk out anytime, but a woman rarely has that luxury. Plus, even when the man stays, nothing much will change in his life. The buck stops with the woman. So, thinking that a third party can trick a woman into motherhood when they are not ready is outrageous.

When it's all said and done, it all boils down to the wearer of the shoes. Women bear the biggest burden when it comes to pregnancy and child-rearing. Hence, it's up to them to guard their womb with everything they've got. Pregnancy should be a choice consciously made by the woman.