Stop making assumptions

Sarah Doiron

A couple weeks ago, I was finally able to hike the Sleeping Giant. I decided to hike along the Blue Trail, but for anyone who hasn’t hiked the Blue Trail before, it is very labor intensive. There are parts of the trail where you are bouldering up the mountain. While hiking down, especially, you have to carefully maneuver yourself on the rocks so you don’t fall.

During our descent, I was walking very slowly and taking extra precautions so I didn’t fall and injure myself.

People were passing me left and right, and while we were taking a quick break between the rocks, a woman addressed me directly.

“You’re going to hike all the way down there?” the woman asked me with a concerned look on her face.

As you can imagine, I was very confused. Yes, of course I was going to hike down the mountain. I am not necessarily in the best shape, but I wanted to challenge myself. What’s so wrong with that?

After hearing my response, she asked me if I was pregnant.

This took me by surprise. No, I’m not pregnant. But this sent my mind into a tail spin. Do I look pregnant? Are my clothes too tight? Is it because of my posture? Am I fat?

It was instilled in me from a young age to not ask a woman, no matter if it was obvious or not, if she is pregnant.

Even if it seems harmless to ask, it truly is a kick to the confidence, especially in a case like mine. It also creates an embarrassing situation for both parties involved if the woman you’re asking is not pregnant.

When I told her that I wasn’t pregnant, she didn’t know what to say. She just turned around and continued to hike up the mountain. This left me sitting there contemplating the way I look, with my self-esteem deflating like a punctured balloon.

You never know what other people are going through physically or mentally. As I’m sure many other women bear a similar mindset, I have always been self conscious of my weight and my appearance.

No matter the situation, it is never okay to ask a woman if she is pregnant. No matter how obvious it may seem, your vocalized assumption could ruin someone’s day.