Hands off the Bump! Are pregnant women public property?

A FRIEND of mine is seriously considering buying an oversized sweater with the words 'Hands off the Bump' on it to protect herself from annoying strangers rubbing her baby belly.  It seems once you become pregnant you become public property and people are allowed to assault you whenever they wish.

My friend's most recent incident was last Friday, in the bank. There she was in the queue, minding her own business when a total stranger turned around and grabbed her bump, stroking it feverishly.

'Ah Jaysus, you must be ready to drop!' sez the oul wan, grinning like a loon.

'Er, no' spluttered my friend, a beautiful, slim, size eight girl, who is only about 20 weeks pregnant. She is nowhere near 'ready to drop' - vile expression - and this gobshite had no business putting her hands anywhere near the bump.

Yet she thought nothing of it, and according to my pal, it wasn't the first time and neither will it be the last.


It's not just the bump that comes in for attention when you're pregnant though. I remember my sister-in-law telling me about queuing up for a coffee in Bewley's while about seven months pregnant with my niece and being harassed by a woman in the queue telling her not to have the coffee.

Needless to say my sister-in-law got her coffee much to the disgust of the woman shooting daggers at her across the room. Why was it any of her business?

Similarly, there was a discussion on the TV3 panel show Midday recently where the issue of pregnant women smoking came up. One of the panelists said that whenever she saw a pregnant woman smoking she approached her and voiced her disgust, telling the pregnant woman to stop smoking.

Regardless of the fact that this panelist didn't know the pregnant woman and that it was none of her business whatsoever, she still felt the need to voice her opinion. Why?


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