Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Miss Manners" Gave Poor Advice When She Interjected Political Opinion

This morning, I am reading the advice columns in the local paper, as I usually do, and I came across the following question addresses to "Miss Manners" Judith Martin:

Dear Miss Manners: I am a father of three, with No. 4 on the way. This time, my wife and I decided to find out the sex of the baby before the birth (some-thing we did not do with the others). I am proud to say that we are expecting a girl, and I would like to share the news with my buddies with the traditional cigar. Do I wait until the birth to pass them out? Or is it OK to pass them out now when I share our good fortune?

Miss Manners response was less than suitable, filled with her political opinion and with a touch of bitterness:

Gentle Reader: You have three children, and you haven't learned patience? Yet there are other things Miss Manners hopes you never learn, such as that not all pregnancies go smoothly, and not everyone is as charmed by embryos as by babies. (Some people even find cigars offense, but that's another matter.) Your daughter is not ready yet for her debut. Please give her a chance to get ready to face the world, and, for heaven sakes, to put something on.
Copyright Judith Martin Distributed by Universal Uclick

As this father-to-be and his wife have been able to determine the gender of the fetus, that puts them at between 15-20 weeks at the earliest, as the sexual organs distinguishing male or female are clearly visible at 12 weeks post-ovulation/gestational age (14 weeks since Last Menstrual Period) (Source: Visible Embryo), and most patients don't seek to find out the gender of the baby by ultrasound until around 18-20 weeks (Source: His wife's pregnancy was more than just an embryo at that point and well past the point of the highest risk for miscarriage (About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and more than 80 percent of these losses happen before 12 weeks. Source:
Also, even if Miss Manners didn't feel the pregnancy amounted to much, it obviously did for this father-to-be and surely it was poor etiquette for her to use her advice column on manners as to a pulpit to offer unsolicited personal political convictions on the value of an embryo/fetus, instead of the answer sought by this father-to-be. My advice to Miss Manners: better educate yourself in biology and to leave your personal political convictions out of your advice columns.
My advice for the father-to-be? Celebrate with your buddies and bring out the cigars (or a healthier, less stinky option is the candy/gum cigars made for such an occasion), congratulations on expecting and I wish your wife and child the best health.

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