TODAY   |  February 18, 2013

Man wore pregnancy suit to debunk ‘caveman deficiencies’

Benjamin Percy wore a pregnancy suit called the “Empathy Belly” for nine months to find out what women go through, telling guest-host Steve Harvey that he wanted to debunk claims that he was just a “mouth-breathing, hairy chested, caveman.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, folks, a lot of men have wondered what it's like to be pregnant. benjamin percy decided he wanted to find out himself. he wore a so-called pregnancy suit for nine weeks, visited a laboratory in japan where they were able to simulate the different stages of pregnancy. he wrote about his experience for the march issue of "gq" magazine. benjamin, good morning to you.

>> morning. morning.

>> good, good, good. so, this is kind of groundbreaking right here, right? tell us exactly what the empathy belly is.

>> well, this is the empathy belly, also known as the zero dark thirty . and i had to wear it for nine weeks to compress the version of the nine hadn't month te-month term. the idea behind it is that our grandfathers never held babies and fathers never changed diapers. these days it's grounds for divorce. i have a lot of pals who are stay-at-home dads and pals who are involved with their kids and i feel a little inadequate in that regard sometimes.

>> wait a minute. so you wanted to accomplish what by doing this?

>> to make up for my mouth-breathing, hairy chested caveman deficiencies. so by putting this on --

>> that did it for you?

>> it's a sort of stunt, of course. when i say that i wore this for nine weeks, you know, i am a novelist first and fiction writer second. i punctuate that claim with a -- i took it off now and then.

>> what were the reactions you were getting? you wore this, i take it, under your clothes.

>> actually, i had to wear it on top of my clothes during the most armpity time of the year between july and august. i started smelling fungal and rashed over. you can see from these flattering picks they're putting up on the screen this i was glistening for nine weeks.

>> what's been the reaction from women, though? they've got to be a little bit perturbed about this whole thing. here is a guy that puts on a suit for nine weeks. you're saying it was a rough time of the month in july when a lot of women spend time being pregnant in the summer months. you really think that showed what it was like or --

>> i was expected to get a nice pat on the back. women were completely fixated on the suit's inadequacy. they wanted me to have heartburn, varicose veins , pee every five minutes, be consequence pated for a week and jab me full of hormone oozing needles essentially. once they saw me in the suit, they were like, nice try, wuss.

>> well, this was a successful venture. you wore this suit but, i mean, you have to understand women's reaction to this whole thing, though, right?

>> well, sure. i mean, i have, from waking up in the middle of the night to accommodate my children crying and from changing thousands of diapers, learned that i'm not man enough to be a woman. and this suit just sort of underscored that.

>> you know what? i think that's a good place to be. because i think women just don't get enough credit for what they're doing. i mean, it's a nice try for you to do it, of course. you realize it didn't quite measure up to the actual business of being pregnant.

>> sure. and i knew that from the very beginning.

>> okay. well, it's good for women to know at home. i thought you put it on because you thought you would actually simulate pregnancy. have you ever bit a man before?

>> i've never bit a man before.

>> my pregnant wife bit me. i'm wondering how you could work it in next time you put the suit on.

>> i'm never putting this suit on again.

>> great experiment. wish you the