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Jewish World Review April 5, 2001 / 11 Nissan, 5761

Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart
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Consumer Reports

King of the wimps? -- I'VE heard of wimps, but this guy is tops.

Number one-ranked European Golfer Lee Westwood is not playing in the Masters, which starts today in Augusta, Georgia. It is the most prestigious golf tournament in the world. Why? Because his wife is expecting their first baby, she's due any day, and he wants to be by her side for the big event.

News flash for Mr. Westwood: He was by her side during the important part nine months ago, and he can be by his new little one's side in what really are the all-important days, and months and years to come. For now he should play golf. It is his job after all, to which he has a responsibility, so he should let his wife and her doctor handle the delivery. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, there just isn't much he can do there anyway, so why put himself through the self-flagellation of missing the Masters?

Westwood can trust me on this, after all I'm expecting my own little one (baby #4) in June.

Now I don't know Mrs. Westwood, but I do know that today's liberated woman seems to think that giving birth is the one thing in her life for which she actually needs a man. Put another way, men, who quickly learn that in all other ways they've become totally dispensable to today's independent female, find they have one duty left: be present and accounted for when she grunts out the baby, or society will turn it's evil eye on you.

Westwood is hardly the first high profile husband to leave pressing responsibilities, including responsibilities to others, to wrap what's left of his manliness around his pregnant wife's little finger in order to "be there for her" while she gives birth.

But it's hardly as if this child can't come into the world without him, or will somehow miss his dad if pops isn't there waiting for his arrival. And what about Mrs. Westwood? Yet another news flash: women have been giving birth just fine, thank you, without their husbands present, for thousands of years.

But today that's all changed. Men are supposed to "feel the pain" of their wife giving birth, all the while biting their lips, shedding tears, and feeling terribly, terribly guilty that they can't carry and deliver the baby themselves.

Hey, if a husband really wants to be in the delivery room, o.k. With mixed feelings, at least as far as I was concerned, mine has been present for the births of our children, although I don't think he's ever missed a full day of work for one. And yes, he intends to be there again in June. (Though he has an important out-of-town business engagement, which neither one of us would think of having him change, around the time of my due date.)

But I might ask him to sit this one out after all. Because with each baby I've become more enamored of the idea of my honey thumbing through a magazine and smoking a cigar while he waits to hear the good news. I mean sure, in my own way I enjoy giving birth, but I'm downright crazy about my husband, which is precisely why I'm not sure I want to mix the two. In any event, I would never insist on it.

And that's really the problem. Not that fathers can be in the delivery room if they truly want to be, but that today society has deemed it MUST be so at all costs, and regardless of whether the poor fellow would rather endure the Spanish Inquisition than watch his wife give birth. Whatever his true feelings about attending the delivery, Mr. Westwood, who went so far as to admit in a statement that he was "extremely disappointed to miss the Masters," has clearly been indoctrinated with the message he had no choice in the matter.

Today, ask any feminized thinker of either gender if a male, because he's a man, brings any unique strengths to a marriage relationship or special attributes to parenting, and you will be scoffed at. At best, men are incompetent "co-moms" who have a lot to learn from the nurturing female, while she and her children have nothing to learn or gain from his masculinity.

But boy, he's indispensable in the birthing room even if it means giving up his spot in the Master's golf tournament to be there. Mr. Westwood, enjoy it. It's the only time fashionable society will tell you your family really needs you.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.


04/02/01: 'Reforming' free speech
03/28/01: Some pro-thoughts about pro-life
03/20/01: The virtue of inhibition
03/12/01: Global warming crazies are full of cold air
03/06/01: Plan now for your daughter's athletic scholarship
02/22/01: Brave when the battle's done
02/14/01: Sick
02/06/01: Is nothing sacred?
01/30/01: Moral bankruptcy of the civil rights establishment
01/16/01: Who are the truly 'ugly' ones?
01/10/01: The extent to which our culture has been feminized
01/02/01: It's gettin' better all the time
12/20/00: Now that the head banging has stopped ....
12/13/00: TV keeps giving us the bad dad
12/01/00: Sorriest legacy of election has nothing to do with chads, 'aborted pregnancies' or the electoral college
12/01/00: Giving 'sleepovers' a new meaning
11/20/00: The Dems' pathetic craving for power
11/14/00: A potentially fateful indication of Gore's mindset
11/07/00: What do women really want?
10/24/00: Spare the rod ...
10/19/00: Gore is a liar --- period
10/12/00: Making the case for marriage
09/28/00: "Mommy, what's abortion?"
09/20/00: Gay righters no longer seek just tolerance but endorsement
09/14/00: The stupidity of smart growth
09/07/00: It takes more than a kiss
08/30/00: Helping out at school is more than an obligation
08/24/00: Family time comes far down the summer schedule
08/16/00: A tale of two wives
08/09/00: The Brady Bill isn't achieving its aim
08/01/00: Attention feminists: How to really keep our daughters safe
07/25/00: Everything is protective: the parents, the gear, the age
07/18/00: Say it ain't so, Ann
07/11/00: Limiting a child's choices
07/06/00: Accounting for your health
06/21/00: It's a bad time to be a boy in America
06/13/00: The state of our unions
06/02/00: Federalizing care of kids
05/17/00: The natural food threat
05/09/00: To stop gun violence, keep families intact
05/03/00: Pass the fat, please
04/25/00: Something just for boys
04/18/00: When toleration goes too far
04/10/00: Women warriors
04/05/00: Confessions of a soccer mom
03/30/00: Getting an education about schools
03/22/00: If you're a parent, act like one!
03/14/00: Not child advocates, but self-advocates
03/06/00: McCain not what he seemed at first
02/29/00: An effective answer to social problems
02/22/00: The feminists' newest target: Toys
02/06/00: Harassing the harassers
01/31/00: It doesn't take a village to raise a child --- it takes a scheduler
01/25/00: Psuedo science and global warming
01/18/00: Socially responsible nonsense
01/10/00: Monica may be onto something
12/27/99: Sometimes it matters quite a lot what government thinks
12/17/99: Teens have no inherent 'right to privacy'
12/10/99: Buying a minivan and tossing the SUV
12/03/99: On the mommy track
11/05/99:The waste of recycling
11/01/99: Welcome to Harvard pre-school
10/22/99: No disaster for women that Dole is out
10/19/99: 'Humanitarian' hypocrites
10/15/99: On a first-name basis with a three-year-old

© 2001, Scripps Howard News Service