'What is it with?' - is this an insult?

(26 Posts)
PhoebeGeebee Wed 28-Sep-16 12:22:37

I'm 6 months pregnant and work in an office, fairly evenly split regards male and female, with a few other women who are also pregnant (and visibly so)

Just popped downstairs to the loo (which is next to reception) and heard a guy remark 'God, what is it with pregnant women in this company?'. I very, very nearly did an 'I bet your pardon' but stopped myself as I didn't recognise him, therefore he could easily be an important visitor.

But then I started thinking what that actually meant and whether 'what is it with' is a derogatory comment or remark. I feel like it is. I feel like he's singled out pregnant women and essentially saying there's something wrong with there being so many of 'us'.

AIBU? Is this a shitty remark and should I have said something??

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Wed 28-Sep-16 12:24:41

The correct answer is "there is a special chair in the corner office" or "No, I don't know how this happened either. There must be something in the water"

liz70 Wed 28-Sep-16 12:26:21

It's hard to say without hearing the tone or seeing his expression, really. Did it seem to be said jokingly - in a "Is there something in the water? " sort of way, do you think?

Strangeday Wed 28-Sep-16 12:27:00

It depends how he meant it.

I'm sure we've said similar in our office when there's been a run of pregnancies. Certainly not meant in a derogatory way.

Flossiesmummy Wed 28-Sep-16 12:28:35

The correct response in this situation is to say "I'm not pregnant, just overweight" and then watch them squirm. grin

myownprivateidaho Wed 28-Sep-16 12:29:33

Super-rude and weird. If you see him again (and he's not a client) you'd be quite within your rights to pull him up on it.

ShebaShimmyShake Wed 28-Sep-16 12:30:47

I was one of four pregnant women in my department last year so there were a lot of jokes along those lines. It's impossible to know how he meant it, but if there are loads of you, it seems likely that he's just commenting on the coincidence. It is striking when it happens!

Purplebluebird Wed 28-Sep-16 12:32:48

Sounds like it was just a comment like "there is a lot of pregnant women here" rather than trying to be rude.

MuseumOfCurry Wed 28-Sep-16 12:35:04

Awkward small talk.

MsUnderstanding Wed 28-Sep-16 12:35:22

"What is it with rude people in this company?"
"At least I've got an excuse << glare at his belly>> what's yours?"

CalmYaTits Wed 28-Sep-16 12:37:29

' I won't be pregnant anymore in a few months, you will still be an asshole.'

liz70 Wed 28-Sep-16 12:38:51

"At least I've got an excuse << glare at his belly>> what's yours?"

That wouldn't really work if said bloke made Mackenzie Crook look like a dobber, would it?

JellyBelli Wed 28-Sep-16 12:40:49

Yes that was derogatory, no its not being a special snowflake to realise that.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Wed 28-Sep-16 12:46:40

If every woman he'd seen was pregnant he might have commented without really thinking.

Not sure how you can take it as an insult to be fair.

trafalgargal Wed 28-Sep-16 12:51:45

"We're all super fertile"

Pregnancy does seems to go in waves in most workplaces but I'm struggling to understand why you were so offended TBH

PhoebeGeebee Wed 28-Sep-16 12:52:09

Just to clarify, it wasn't said TO me. It was said whilst he thought I was out of earshot.

ParanoidGynodroid Wed 28-Sep-16 12:54:57

I'd have taken it to mean "gosh (or similar), there are a lot of pregnant women in this workplace" and nothing more.
Am struggling to see how it could be taken as an insult.

Teahornet Wed 28-Sep-16 12:55:41

No, I would say that in itself it's a neutral if pretty banal smalltalk remark, meaning something along the lines of 'Gosh, there are a lot of people in this workplace who are visibly pregnant at the same time.'

And yes, the correct response is 'It was the Christmas party' or 'There's a magic sex chair in the photocopy room' or 'we're all co-wives of [random colleague], so it's lovely to share this part of our reproductive lives together!'

e1y1 Wed 28-Sep-16 12:56:06

Wouldn't say it's derogatory.

If he said "what is with all the stupid women about the place getting themselves knocked up", then yes that's an insult.

It's just a chit chat comment.

Just say it's the special chair, we had one honestly; about 5 women in a row who sat in that chair got pregnant smile

EdmundCleverClogs Wed 28-Sep-16 12:56:54

Eh, I can't see an issue. I mean if there are quite a few pregnant women in one office, it would draw the eye somewhat. I'd make a joke along the lines of 'well, Dave the postie gets around a bit' or 'something in the water', and laugh it off.

On a side not, half your office are going to be skint with the cards and leaving presents that will have to around, by the sounds of it grin.

Notso Wed 28-Sep-16 12:57:12

Surely it just means there are a lot of pregnant women around.
My Mum said to me today when I was wearing a green jacket and looking at buying another green coat "what is it with you and green coats?"
I didn't think she was being rude.

acasualobserver Wed 28-Sep-16 12:58:04

There's a difference between giving offence and choosing to take it.

1frenchfoodie Wed 28-Sep-16 12:59:40

Just neutral small talk.

MackerelOfFact Wed 28-Sep-16 13:01:15

Unless his tone was really sneery, I think it was just an observation about the number of pregnant women. A colleague of mine asked 'what is it with all the police on horses today?' She wasn't being derogatory about police horses, just observing that there were a surprising number of them about!

It is fairly surprising to see lots of pregnant women in the same place, even if statistically speaking it's not really that unlikely.

StVincent Wed 28-Sep-16 13:15:49

<snort> "not being derogatory about police horses"

She wants to be careful about that you know.

I don't think it's rude at all, perhaps you're a bit tired and cross? (If you're anything like my six months pregnant friends)

It is unusual when you see lots of pregnant women in a row, but I'm sure he only said it because pregnancy is a "nice" and optional thing to be - at least in theory. I'm sure he wouldn't have said: "What is it with all the people in wheelchairs at this company?"

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