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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is Pregnant and Internet Users Can't Stop Talking About It

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The announcement that New Zealand’s Labour party prime minister Jacinda Ardern is pregnant has brought immense joy to many on local social media. Jacinda and her partner, Clarke Gayford the TV host of Fish of the day, announced via Twitter:

People immediately took to social media to share their excitement about the announcement:

However, this overwhelming support has been laced with some defensiveness:

The 37-year-old was the world’s youngest female leader when she became PM in October 2017 and only the third NZ woman in the role. Apparently, she found out she was pregnant six days before the political party NZ First's Winston Peters offered to form a coalition government with Labour. He will be acting PM during her planned six week parental leave.

Jacinda Ardern is politically and socially progressive, a feminist and a social democrat. Her statement on taking office that capitalism has been a “blatant failure” for New Zealand's children has been criticized by some conservatives.

An earlier controversy had been sparked within hours of her becoming opposition leader last year when ex-cricketer and media personality Mark Richardson asked her if she would need maternity leave if she became pregnant while PM.

This tweet drew a connection, complete with a childish insult:

Pakistani journalist Veengas was among those to point out the Ardern is not the first pregnant world leader:

There have been smatterings of the anticipated disapproval on Twitter:

A post from Stuff.co.nz’s Facebook page has plenty of negative comments. Jeannie Wood did not pull any punches:

This is a story of immorality, lies and deceit. It is not something to be proud of. Jacinda kept this secret from the public. She should step down, get married and be home with her child at least for the first year.

Inevitably, Donald Trump became part of the online banter:

In New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, Martin Jago took aim at Trump's America:

‘Centre Right’ online media site Whaleoil has lots of comments critical of Ardern on its posts, ranging from the negative to the nasty. LesleyNZ was one of the more restrained when she addressed the PM's comment that, “I am not the first woman to multitask.”:

All this multitasking superwoman mum talk about Jacinda is marginalizing a segment of mothers – those who believe that staying home to look after their children and forgo a career and not make lots of money is more important and that the job of a mother is the hardest one in the world. They multitask too and don't leave it up to childcare or others to look after their children. Of course Jacinda is fortunate in that she earns a big salary so her partner does not have to go to work and can be a stay at home at dad and not have to put baby into childcare.

Some Ardern supporters have recalled attacks on former Labour PM Helen Clark for being childless:

In an expletive-charged post, Emily Writes, The Spinoff Parents editor, has responded to many of the negative reactions:

When it comes down to it, I’m sure Jacinda always knew she was going to get shit. Helen Clark got shit for not having kids. Jacinda got shit for not ruling out having kids in order for people to attack her for not having kids.

SheKnows’ Jennifer Mattern let the PM have the last word:

But Ardern's final word on the topic — her response to naysayers doubting her ability to serve as prime minister throughout a pregnancy — is our favorite: “None of them detected I had pretty bad morning sickness for three months of establishing the government,” she said wryly.

Reporters asked how she pulled that off. Ardern shrugged and replied, “It's what ladies do.” Indeed it is.

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