For years I've been labeled a backwoodsman and sexist brute for my single-handed campaign against men attending the births of their children. It's women's work I maintained - man's place is in a nearby pub. But from the early Seventies it became the norm rather than the exception - a by-product of feminism no doubt. All over the land ashen-faced males grimly did their duty, often distracting medical resources in the process. They came out afterwards speaking of mystical experiences rather than telling the truth about the abattoir it really was. Also, let's fess up lads, you never look on your partners in quite the same way again. The mystery is gone.
Now I see that my slightly dodgy rationale has been backed up by the much respected French obstetrician Michel Odent. He was being interviewed on of all places the Tom Dunne show on Newstalk. He had such a wonderful hammy French accent that I thought at first it was one of Dunne's spoofs - but no, it was the real thing. He maintained that men should not attend births for two reasons: it made the woman tense and so slowed the production of oxytocin, the happy hormone that makes the mother forget the trauma of the birth and helps breast-feeding; and it robs the woman of a lot of the feminine mystique she enjoys in man's eyes, an eventuality, Odent contended, that could have consequences later for the couple's sex life. His contention was that woman is best served by having another experienced woman, or mid-wife, with her. So relax lads, you're off to hook. Tell them Mr. Odent advised you.