Have you, folks, heard of the covada?

It’s a tradition that existed among some primitive tribes in South America, Indonesia, and Europe (among the Basques, for instance). When time would come for a woman to give birth, the baby’s father would take to bed and start pretending to go into labor. Everybody would gather round him and go, “Push, just push! It’s ok, txiki, you can do it! We can almost see the head!” The father would huff and puff and scream like he’s really in labor.

In the meanwhile, the laboring woman would go alone into the field or the woods, give birth without any help or company, come back, and hand the baby over to the father. Then she’d go back to work while everyone would gather around the beaming father and congratulate him with giving birth. The father would stay in bed for a few days, recovering from “labor” and pretending to breastfeed the baby, and everybody would fuss around him.

Covada was common in matriarchal societies that were on the verge of transforming into patriarchal societies. Men would pretend to be women to rob women of their power. By pretending to take over the female childbearing role, they signalled that women were dispensable, unimportant. We all know how that transition worked out for women.

Happy Men’s Day, ACLU!

11 thoughts on “Covada”

  1. “Happy Men’s Day, ACLU!”

    Well, the American Criminal Lover’s Union has never figured out how the U.S. justice system works, so why would you expect it to understand anything about biology?


    1. You don’t understand the concept of civil rights.

      Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

      Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

      Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

      Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

      I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

      Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

      We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.


          1. Nothing, except when they end with a bang:

            A Knoxville family was hosting one of these events about 4 p.m. Saturday when a homemade explosive that was supposed to be a prop functioned as a pipe bomb, killing 56-year-old Pamela Kreimeyer, according to the Marian County Sheriff’s Office.

            Kreimeyer, the grandmother of the unborn baby, was killed when metal debris hit her in the head. Her family remembered her as loving, generous, humorous and hard-working in an obituary.

            Her family members had started experimenting the day before with various explosive materials, investigators said. Gunpowder was placed inside a homemade stand that was welded to a metal base.

            They put a piece of wood on top of the gunpowder and some powder of an unspecified color on top of that, according to the sheriff’s office. The stand had a hole drilled in the side for a fuse.


            Or fires



  2. The link was unexpected despite everything I read before. Couldn’t ACLU just ignore the trans issue quietly?

    Do you remember how you shared a few poems by Быков? I absolutely loved ВОСЕМНАДЦАТАЯ БАЛЛАДА, the first poem from this post:

    Стихи Быкова. Бессмертия нет нигде

    It’s about this painting:


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