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Thursday, July 29, 2010

"When Birthing Becomes a "Fetish""

I read this article and wanted to cry and rage.  Cry, because it's so true.  Rage, because it's so true. When will women stand up and realize that this is all just another way that women are subjugated, manipulated and repressed?
In North America women like to think of ourselves as "Feminists" (although many of us hate that particular term due to the mass misuse of it), as women who fight for equality, who stand up for ourselves and our Rights. If someone decided that women had to stand on the bus and let all the menfolk have the seats, you can bet there'd be a mass uprising across our continent that would make WWII look like a dinner party.  Yet these same women who would stomp on anyone who tried to take away their Equal Rights cower and prostrate themselves before the almighty Medical machine that tells them to shut up and birth their babies like good little girls, drugged to the nines, feet up in the stirrups, push on command and then lay quietly while their babies are manhandled, slapped, poked, prodded, stuck with needles, blinded by bright lights and eye drops, weighed & measured, & washed, and finally delivered into their mothers care bundled up like a neat package delivered by the post man.
And then when women stand up for themselves and try to take back their births, try to normalize natural birth as it was intended to be, Idiots like this write letters to the editor of the NY Times saying:

"Under new medical guidelines “natural birth” fetishists can more easily choose vaginal birth after a Caesarean, which results in what your article describes as “quite low” rates of uterine rupture (.7 to .9 percent).
Low? How many severely injured women and brain-damaged babies with multimillion-dollar medical and education bills do those “low” rates yield? And for what benefit?
How many physician hours and medical malpractice insurance dollars are to be expended on the inevitable lawsuits brought by the angry parents who regret their choice?"
HERE to read the original comments 

But Guggie Daly's article  "When Birthing Becomes a Fetish" says it all:

"If mamas who want a VBAC are called natural birth fetishists, then men who exercise, change their diet and take medications after heart surgery must be artery fetishists. And people who do physical therapy after spinal surgery are spine fetishists. People commend and praise those who are recovering from non-birth surgery. Someone who wants his body to work normally is applauded and encouraged. But for women who want normal birth? Clearly, nothing but surgery is good for those pregnant women. Hack it open, pull it out and pay those surgeons! Your body is evil and useless! Or so society tells them.

Why is normal birth attacked in our society? The lustful sexualisation of a woman's body influences the way our culture handles this situation. Just as nursing a child draws criticism and restrictions, so does pushing a child through our birth canal. For in a lustful culture, women are merely objectified, non-person beings present for the satisfaction of males. Therefore, their duality cannot be tolerated. Female breasts are for sexual foreplay only and a female vagina is for sexual intercourse only. A woman who wants to wear provocative clothing is praised. A woman who wants to nurse her child in public is condemned. A woman who goes in for surgery to remove her child is making the "safe choice" while a woman who tries to birth vaginally is a "fetishist." Notice the projection?

Because of this inequality, each person within the family unit is turned in violence towards the other, with both the mother and father turned against the child. The child, once seen as a symbol of the couple's unity and love, is instead looked upon as a thief, one who steals the woman's body from the man and one who ruins the woman's body so that she cannot appease the man to his standard."
 HERE to read the original article

Yep, tears of sorrow and anger.

And the saddest part of this is that so many many women will actually buy into this.  They'll point their fingers at the VBAC'ing, Homebirthing, Midwife Using women and call us "Abnormal"  because WE are standing up for our Rights and the Rights of our babies. Because WE are taking back the births that were taken away from us by the medical machine and the Good Ol' Boys Club.

We Fight because we HAVE to. We speak out because we HAVE to.

The wonderful Gloria Lemay posted this on her blog and I think it is extremely relevant to this conversation:

When Good Women Remain Silent

“First they came for the breech birthers, and I did not speak out–because I was not a breech birther;
Then they came for the twins, and I did not speak out–because I was not carrying twins;
Then they came for the high risk women, and I did not speak out-because I was not a high risk woman;
Then they came for the VBACs, and I did not speak out– because I was not a VBAC;
Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Taken from a talk by Laureen Hudson of California at the Trust Birth Conference (March 2010).