Some television shows take you away from your reality. They bring a level of entertainment, drama, comedy to your life for a short amount of time. And sometimes it’s exactly what you need in the moment and sometimes it’s just too much for you to process. And this time for me…it worked a good old nerve.
I love binge-watching. I can’t sit and watch TV shows when they actually air on TV, so I just watch when I can. A couple of my favorites are Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago P.D.
On Chicago P.D., one of the characters became unexpectedly pregnant by her “friend” on the team. This caught them both by surprise (but if you’re having unprotected sex…I mean), and neither of them knew the right way to handle the situation. Basically, what she told him was it’s her body, it’s her choice on what she wanted to do, and if she decided to keep the baby then he didn’t have to be involved; even though he expressed, on numerous occasions, that he wanted to be there to help her in any way possible.
On Grey’s Anatomy, one of the characters got pregnant and she thought her current boyfriend was the father but the dates may in fact point to another potential father. Her current boyfriend wants her to do a DNA test because he would really like to know if the baby belongs to him. At first, she was fine with the request, but after some thought, she decided if he couldn’t love the baby regardless of whom it belongs to, then they didn’t need to be in a relationship. At the time of my writing this, she hasn’t yet told the other potential dad.
I see a theme here, and it hit a nerve for me. Even though this is television, scripted drama for our entertainment, it’s hard not to get invested in your favorite shows. And after 16 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, I’m invested!
I’m sitting here thinking that this can’t happen in real life…right? A woman gets pregnant, and instead of allowing the father (or potential father) to be present and make some decisions, she’s willing to cut him out altogether because ultimately it’s her body, her decision, her choice.
I get that, to a point. Yes, the woman carries the child, deals with the aches and pains, has to take time off work, and alter her life because she’s now living for two (or more). But that child also carries the DNA of another person. Without that person’s involvement, she wouldn’t be pregnant. That child is as much a part of him as her. Doesn’t he have the right to ask for a paternity test? Can’t the father be involved in the decision making process a little?
Do these women think taking away the father’s rights gives them some type of empowerment? As women, do we feel obligated to take on the entire world and not ask for help? Does this speak to a bigger issue? Or again, is this just scripted television without an ounce of realism? On Grey’s Anatomy, the expectant mother is willing to allow her sisters to co-parent but not the actual parent.
I understand family involvement and support. I don’t know where I would be without the unconditional love from mine. I know you can’t make a grown person do anything they don’t want to do, but if he wants to be there (like in these two scenarios) and is capable, then why not?
I know TV must have a level of drama to keep our attention, but this just pushed all the wrong buttons. I was irritated. I honestly thought these women were being selfish and irrational. I’m a mom and I’ve been pregnant and unmarried, so I get it in a sense. But how do you force a man to embrace a child that’s not his? That is a choice he has to make. How do you expect him to go an entire nine months and ignore the fact that the child may belong to someone else? How does the father of your child work beside you and you not expect him to care about you or the well-being of your child together?
Will I continue to watch these shows: ABSOLUTELY! I just want to ask the writers of these TV shows, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”