Modern Medicine Vs. Superstitious Savages

10 09 2016
People get so mad when you talk about traditional healing or medicine, natural remedies, or things that aren’t modern Western medicine sometimes. Why? How do you think modern medicine got some of *its* healing properties? Some people seem to think those old methods don’t work, and that’s the reason we have modern medicine… that it was a necessary improvement. Hallelujah, “science”.
 
(Which this philosophy, btw, has a firm basis in white patriarchal empire– to act like other more “primitive” methods are inferior, that wise women are a threat to be gotten rid of… and to steamroll these, using both damning ideology and resource theft, plus rape and slaughter, erasing the cultures and the old ways into oblivion…)

They think these old medicinal methods are only silly myths which are a fad, despite the fact that some have been used for thousands of years. Modern medicine, on the other cigarette-ads-asthma-cigarettes-stanford1hand, has kept methods for decades at best. And it keeps changing, seemingly coming in and out of style, with new and improved “evidence”. Depression drugs that lead to suicide, surgical cures for being in the “wrong body”, female Viagra, restless leg syndrome, institutional lobotomies for various forms of “hysteria”, leeching, twilight sleep. Two-thirds of OB/GYN guidelines are not based on scientific evidence but on outdated medical *beliefs* held by doctors, and the CDC shreds documents if they come to inconvenient conclusions about what a vaccine is doing to children. Especially brown children, like the MMR, or females, like the HPV vaccine. Doctors used to recommend smoking. Define fad again?

 
Lack of effectiveness of time-honored remedies was never the issue. These newer methods weren’t devised on the basis that none of the others worked… Manufacturers know they work– they incorporate some of their properties (either synthesized or natural) in their products. These methods were really devised for purposes of mass production of medicines. For industry. For convenience. Because there was $$$ to be made in convenience. And sure they’re full of other synthetics and cause side effects that more natural cures do not, but quit being so sore about it. Lighten up, baby. Get with the times.

Just like a controlling, insecure, power-hungry man to say to a woman (an indigenous woman, a wise woman, Mother Earth, or Mother Nature)– “whatever you can do, I can do better!” He then takes credit for her work even though his special touches fuck it all up. Obstetrics is a glaring example of this. This is the ultimate in institutional level mansplaining and whitesplaining, dominion over our very bodies and well-being…. and how disconcerting that it is not seen as such by more feminists and other activists. The industrialization of the natural world gave us some conveniences but isn’t necessarily an improvement.

 
Think about it– if one single herb could cure and treat a host of ailments effectively, you can’t put a patent on that. You can’t sell it to people if people can grow it themselves. (Well, you can try, like Monsanto, and they are doing their best to own everything under the sun and stop you from utilizing it independently, just like how Nestle wants to privatize water while undermining African breastfeeding by providing them with formula– which requires water, in places they know has… contaminated water. And maybe one day we’ll have to pay to breathe air.) You can’t have a monopoly on the cure if a well known natural cure exists.
 
You *have* to indoctrinate the public into a belief that your way is the only real or proven way, that everything else is “witchcraft” (hello again, misogyny), that people not on board 105-a_suspected_witch_before_the_tribunal_of_the_inquisitionare primitive “savages” (white supremacy and imperialism), and it’s surprisingly easy to do when people are so obsessed with manmade achievements and futuristic living. It feeds the human ego and arrogance, our desire to be godlike and immortal and transcend anything animalistic about ourselves, and it reaffirms the modern industrial lifestyles we’ve been able to assume of laziness, consumerism, leisure, and instant gratification. So it promises us we can be indulgent and we’re superior, and nice and safe and protected too, basically. It promises comfort and no thought.

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But in many ways we’re sicker than we’ve ever been. There is a price to pay for that trade off, and for trusting people over nature. For putting the power of our lives in the hands of strangers with careless motives, rather than being strong and knowledgeable within and for ourselves. Maybe if we can resume taking responsibility for our thoughts and our bodies, we could truly grow and evolve as whole beings. Maybe then we’d be strong and healthy of mind and body enough to protect one another. I bet we’d finally find peace there. The question is if we are willing.




A Letter to the President

13 05 2016

I voted for you twice, Mr. President, and never once did I think you would use that to reverse women’s rights. Sex segregation is not discrimination, it is protection.

“Gender identity” is loosely defined if at all, hardly understood, not scientifically sound, and only refers to sex stereotype roles.

Biological sex, the societal understanding and recognition of who does and does not reproduce, IS the basis for our private space and special protections. It IS the basis for our historical oppression. Women– biological women– are still a marginalized group.

Why is Purvi Patel rotting away in a jail cell for a miscarriage, but it’s really important males who think they are women get to pee and change next to girls?

If these are our priorities, we have failed women. Male feelings are not more important than female bodily reality.

You have opened the floodgates and now those who wish to loosely identify under the banner “trans”, even if only for a moment, have carte blanche to invade women’s most private and protected spaces. Why even keep sex segregation, then? Why not make all prisons, shelters, bathrooms, and locker rooms unisex? Because I’ll be honest with you, Mr. President… I really don’t care if the person next to me is pretty or feminine, and I’m not put further at ease when my pants are down if the person next to me is wearing lipstick.

Reconsider firmer distinctions and definitions and research on just what “gender identity” and “transgender” and “woman” IS before you wipe out the rights of half of your population who are still struggling for their rights. Please. This is premature and biased towards male-bodied people in a society that already strongly favors men and sweeps women’s concerns, abuses, and bodily autonomy completely under the rug. Thank you.

Not my most eloquent piece, but I think I got the point across.

Gender identity is really a topic for the privileged. Leave it to entitled and mostly well off Westerners to get all caught up in the idea that it’s somehow all-important to your civil rights to pee next to people dressed like you. Meanwhile, in India, actual females “just need to pee” but instead starve themselves because it’s too dangerous for them to use the
bathroom. Identifying as a man won’t help, either. (Because men know what “female” is.)

 

 

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Lila Perry, “girl”.

And in terms of our schools, the thought that we didn’t have more important things to do, more important things to prioritize…  We have schools with rats, mold, teachers struggling to take care of their classrooms, lack of funding and basic supplies… and our government decides taking a stand on little white horny video game nerds having access to girls toilets is top priority? What a bunch of privileged, decadent fucks we’ve become. This is deplorable.

 

 

 

 

 

Why aren’t more people asking if transgenderism is nature or nurture? Don’t people even want to understand it before they start mandating things about gender identity into law? How much is biological and how much is based on one’s upbringing and experiences? It kind of matters. If gender dysphoria is a mental disorder, to what extent should society cater to it rather than treat it? It transgenderism stems from a psychological condition, why are females ordered to surrender important space to play along with what may be delusions only? What if there are people who know they are not the opposite sex but choose to live as another gender to fulfill a sexual fantasy?

Autogynephilia is a common experience of heterosexual men in which they are sexually aroused by seeing themselves as women. It can start as private cross-dressing and bedroom fetish, and can later transition to adopting a full-time transgender identification. Although it occurs in homosexual men too, I want to emphasize how common it is with men who are attracted to females.

^ Click the link, or here’s a still. [Oooh… it’s so exciting and naughty to be dressed in public like a woman! So transgressive, so pushing the envelope!!! To a conservative society, that is… If being a woman wasn’t so naughty, would as many men feel compelled to fill the role? Three times more transgender people are male-to-female than female-to-male. Think about that. And many female-to-male people are former lesbians, tomboys, and sexual abuse survivors in a society that is very unkind to them and teaches them that being female requires their submission.]

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“I was sipping a cocktail in Manhattan and noticed a man walk in, dressed in a skirt, heels, make-up and a wig. Not too strange for New York, then all of a sudden the guy had a boner. Eeeeeeek!!!”

My theory: this is most likely due to the fact that the oversexualization of women in society (women as glamorous sex objects, submissive to some extent, and pornsick standards of beauty) makes literally possessing womanhood the most intimate way of “getting inside” a woman, or purely embodying sex, as it were. Woman as an object is The Object, is sex itself. (There are other forms of pornography that are unusually and even comically invasive which would seem to support this theory of hyper-intimacy; pornography in and of itself is arguably already intrusive as it gives one an “in” to something they would not be privy to under normal circumstances and from unnatural angles/POV.) Autogynephilia also gives the subject complete control over dictating one embodiment of femininity to create the highest level of personal arousal, where this availability may have been previously absent in interactions with the opposite sex.

Porn culture escalates aggressive sexual domination of women in many facets. This is only one. Male obsessive control over feminine identity and sexuality is the common thread.

 

 

 





Woman Isn’t

28 04 2016

If you think the fact that some women will never have children, have never menstruated, no longer menstruate, have had their uterus or breasts removed, etc., proves that males can also be women, you’re a sexist.

Please examine that misogyny as you don’t think much of women. Women are more than their biology, but not less.

(One of the best analogies to illustrate this is this– humans are a bipedal species. Does this mean that people without their legs are not human? Does this mean that the existence of humans without legs proves humans are not a bipedal species? No, of course not. Those are absurdities. And women, similarly, are characterized by their capacity to give birth. Whether they do or do not as individuals is irrelevant. Human doesn’t need to be redefined, and neither does woman. We have working definitions that make ease of communication possible.)

 

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Letter from Angela Douglas, trans woman, published in Sister, 1977.

Being a woman is not being a not-man. Womanhood is not defined as the absence of total masculinity. Woman is not something you can define only in relation to seemingly not

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Imagine a world where Rachel Dolezal is called black, and she and black people are called “non-whites”.

amounting to man. Womanhood would never be revoked by an absence of those individual biological things, and absence of those things in others is not confirmation of who can or can not claim womanhood. “Woman” is not some dumping ground category to include men who don’t conform to rigid gender standards. If this were true, 90% of the world would be “woman”. Woman is not an afterthought. Woman is not second place.

Woman is not something man-made. It has been a vicious lie that woman is made by man, and society believes. It is male-centric lenses that we see through. Eve came from Adam’s rib, who was made by God in his image. Even Athena sprung from Zeus’s head. Pornified, pedophilic

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“I felt like a woman!” reports Stefonknee of his “adopted dad’s” penis inserted man-on-man into his “six year old girl” rectum at the Oasis swingers club. “I was surprised I didn’t think I was going to be pregnant, I was so much a girl. I actually have an erection right now from it so I’m just going to pull my dress down a little bit,” he told the journalists who were covering his journey to girlhood.

visions cloud our mind that a woman has long blonde hair, circular mini basketball breasts plopped atop a chest, bodily hairlessness, painted faces, a dress, and 8 inch heels that force us to walk delicately and keep us from running away. My vagina is not “front hole” and cannot be duplicated by mutilating a piece of scrotum or rectum and fashioning it crudely. I am not a hole. Woman is not a collection of holes. The natural sway of our hips can be mimicked with practice (I was mocked for mine, call it cis privilege), our voices can be coached, and hormones can help you feel more weepy, because that’s what women do. They weep. Sitting in our sexual trauma support groups and memorizing our facial expressions, body language, gestures, can help you recite the true stories that help make up what we really are to society: your victims. If you were also a victim, this likewise does not make you a woman. “Victim” does not mean woman, you’ve got it backwards. “Woman” often means victim.

Man made all of those things and now you believe that is who woman is. That is not what muscwoman is. Man makes robots and dolls to fit these visions and to satisfy male wishes. This is also not what woman is, but many believe it is just as good if not better, an improvement on woman. Surgeons and religions claim they do, but they do not create woman. Nature made woman. ONLY nature can make woman. Man has had this god fantasy for a long time because he fears woman might be a goddess. Man will never stop trying to create woman. Woman is not in his head or in his lab. If you tell him this, it hurts his feelings.

If you prefer the sex object vision of woman as the true definition of womanhood, if you prefer to refer to male thoughts when seeking confirmation of what and who woman is or isn’t, you are supporting misogyny. If you think male-created domination trumps nature-made bodily definition of womanhood, you are exercising woman-hate.

Man and woman are not defined by the acceptance or rejection of stereotypes. Men and women both can be stereotypical or not, and they are still man or woman. Biological sex is not a stereotype. It is reality. It is the only reality.

We have all been conditioned by these beauty standards and these gender roles in the west. I do not blame you if you find the pictures in the magazines attractive, this alleged ideal woman. Surgeons, artists, and photoshop crafts her. It is attainable by anyone, male or female, with access to these tools. However, you and I have problems if you believe the male crafting of woman is the truth. You and I have problems if you think what goes on in a male-centered world for a male-centered brain trumps the truth of being born female in this world.

Woman and man are not personality types. They are body types. They are not Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. They are not who likes pink and frills, and who likes trucks and muscles. Your sex does not dictate your personality. Your personality does not dictate your sex. You can be male or female and like anything you want, present any way you want. Only biological sex can determine your sex. It’s not determined by whether you are sassy or polite, or in who you like to sleep with.

Biological sex is a physical, material, observable, objective reality and what you are born with dictates how society will treat you. We don’t get to pick that. It is innate. Gender as some innate thing, however, is something that requires faith. How does one “feel like” a woman when one has never been one? Why should I blindly believe in that when my eyes and my experience show me otherwise? I’m not a religious person. I believe in myself more than I believe in whatever a man says to me. I’m to understand now that this is bigotry.

I don’t care how you live your life, and I support whatever feels authentic to you. But don’t ever mistake the role, the performance, of womanhood with actually being one. Don’t mistake the costume of woman for womanhood either. These were things imposed on us, programmed into us, and they do not define us.

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My friend was a trans woman. This was the last thing she tweeted to her followers.

I notice most people who disagree with that fail to define woman when asked. They can’t but I can. A woman is simply this: an adult human female. No more, no less. Womanhood is not a role to be enforced nor is it a uniform, it is merely a material reality. Who you gonna choose to believe– them or me? Your choice. But who you believe says a lot about you and what you truly value woman for.





Taking the Woman Out of Childbirth

16 09 2015

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For those of us who have been fighting for women’s liberation and autonomy, in and out of the maternity field, Woman is a powerful word. It’s something we fought to feel good about, as we reclaimed our bodies and our freedom. But the world is changing. Politics are changing. Before women have fully finished liberating themselves, the definition of their selves has changed. But I ask you this– how do you liberate a people who were oppressed specifically for their reproductive power  (which is what sexism is) if you cloud the language of who exactly they are trying to liberate and from what/whom?

Vagina. Uterus. Menstruation. Goddess. Women. These were our power cries. Now, we are told, they are offensive and exclusive. Well, yes, the oppression of females has been a pretty exclusive club for eons. That’s kind of the point. We weren’t oppressed when we stated we were women, nor were we left alone if we chose to state we were men. We were oppressed whether pretty or ugly, fat or thin, able or disabled, white or black, straight or lesbian. Reclaiming the goddess and being proud to be a woman and all that comes with it– including growing and nourishing a child from our own bodies, was and continues to be an uphill battle and pride movement (like all other pride movements, including black pride and gay pride). But now it’s time to throw that all away, because there’s a new sheriff in town. And it’s finally made it to the frontier of the birth world, the last place we would ever expect or hope woman-talk to be scrubbed from the pages of history.

Here is an interaction I had on a birth page on facebook that has in the past supported feminist, woman-based, radical birth autonomy.

one2    two2Now I’ll expand those replies for you.

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They said it was trans erasure while literally erasing women.

Is it time to have a literary cleansing, or maybe burn a few books? We want to make sure the populace feels nice and safe and cozy. I know how traumatic “she” and “woman” can be… !

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The birth page said the above, sorry I forgot to mark it in editing.

99.9% of the time childbirth literature does mention women and mothers, because it’s you know… sane. And for as much as many trying to be good trans activists argue that defining a woman by their genitals is wrong, we have now effectively reduced women to their parts in literature. “Uterus-haver”. “Vagina owner”.

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The above quote begins me again. ^

For the uninitiated, TERF is a word used now that is supposed to mean “Trans exclusionary radical feminist”. However, it is always applied to women who don’t feel they exclude trans people and even fight for their rights. What they don’t do is throw women or any other minorities under the bus in the process, and that’s a problem for some people. The slur is placed on people who acknowledge that biological women and trans women (or biological men and trans men, less frequently) are different groups with their own unique needs. All are oppressed under patriarchy.

Basically, people who stand up for women and don’t erase them. And this doesn’t even mention how so many TERFs are also trans people, gay, lesbian, and otherwise “queer”. TERFs are your most radical feminists. Other “feminists” are very liberal, fun, party time, choosy choice, patriarchy-catering. College professor approved postmodern manfeminism. You know, bullshit. Playboy and blow jobs for everyone.

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COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

Like when you say you love women, but you actually don’t, and are complicit in making them disappear.

“My reality is not the same as other’s reality”. My reality is that women are oppressed and need to name themselves and wield the language to empower themselves. My reality says we shouldn’t take that away. Is this not reality to you? Women are used to hearing that their realities are super unique or fantasy (“imagined”), and that they have no shared interest together as a class, or that there are more important people to consider. That’s called gaslighting.

Transphobic? I’m not transphobic. I’m not afraid of trans people nor am I pro discrimination against them. I am just not for discriminating against women. If that makes me transphobic, that is repulsive. I shouldn’t have to choose between if I love women or trans people. If you are going to force my hand, I’m going to continue to prioritize women. Misogynists will hate that. But I believe we don’t have to have contests. Call me crazy, but I think we can stand up for many groups at once, without acting like one is not oppressed or one is so much more oppressed than the other.

No one is going to argue that trans people are oppressed. I care about their oppression and recognize that they are in an oppressed minority. In fact, they are very much a minority– a small sampling of the population, while females themselves make up over half the world’s population while still being oppressed!

My feminism is about female-bodied people and the fact that having a female body is the defining factor in why women have had it so hard historically. A woman until fairly recently was “an adult, female bodied human”. Now we are supposed to toss that out. Don’t even say the word. Don’t talk about genitals in relation to oppression. Huh?

That’s like saying “stop bringing race into racism”. And I know people like that, you know, the ones who “don’t see color”– they think the people who recognize racism are the real bigots.

“People are whatever they say they are”– fine with me socially (more or less), but medically? This means you might have a vagina and uterus and might be capable of giving birth, choose to use these functions of your body, live as a man at the same time… and yet be mad that the books describing this say “woman”? Was this news to you? I ask you, what is so important about rejecting a female identity, only to grow a fetus in the womb you know you have? How much more female does it get? Is “woman” such an ugly thing that pretty much THE defining quality of womanhood– the capacity to give birth— is still okay as long as you don’t call it anything “girly” like “woman”? Like they’d assume the walls of your womb, when they say (retch) “woman”, are pink and frilly? In other words, if you adhere to gender norms like pregnancy, what exactly do you find so offensive about being referred to as a “woman”? I thought you wanted to reject the norms and roles of womanhood in the first place? And if you want to be really forward or progressive in carrying and birthing a child while not having a womanly gender, shouldn’t you also be mentally sharp enough to know that you are the exception and not the rule, and all of society isn’t going to stop and change their lingo just for you? While bucking the system, are your feelings actually that fragile that the majority of human female existence offends you on a personal level? I want to know who is more triggered by the word woman than the undeniable, active reality of giving birth out of your uterus and vagina after your egg received sperm? Has anyone ever heard the sticks and stones adage? When labels are more meaningful than reality! My god. We can cope with actual, lived events– we’ll just call ’em something different! That ought to do it! There, safe and sound, no triggers. Phew! Thank god we took care of THAT!

I fully support gender nonconformity, but not fantasy as the forced reality, and not woman hate. To act as though men or males give birth too is fantasy– it can only be true on a very unique socially-designated technicality. To be opposed to the word “she” while doing what all mammal “she’s” do is woman-hate. This whole thing is an exercise in heavy denial, not inclusion.

You see, there are 2 definitions of woman. The first is the traditional one that makes sense for most of us which I mentioned before– an adult human female. The second one is mostly new and refers only to the gender role of “woman”, and not the sex. The gender role, however, is the superficial surface one created by patriarchy. It’s everything we’re supposed to be (because of our sex). The one that says looking pretty, being fragile, wearing dresses, cooking meals, and sucking dick are womanly things to do. Therefore, if you like those and the color pink too, you are a woman. (Radical feminists reject that– as if being a woman were that simplistic and offensive.)

I personally believe either woman definition is fine when it comes to how a person chooses to self-identify. I believe you can refer to grown adult female humans as women in a generalized manner and it shouldn’t hurt any feelings. (Do you know how many lesbians get referred to as “sir”? Life goes on for them as usual, and surprisingly few suicides over it.) And, also, you can refer to people who assume the societal role of woman as “women” and “she”. To me, a trans woman can easily be she, her, woman, and Sally. So what exactly is the fucking problem?

The problem is that some folks want it to be only definition 2, not the other, and your lack of submission to these new terms means you are being an offensive bigot.

Trans men and non binaries and women give birth. Mostly it is women, if woman is merely some role people do or don’t take on. If we mean woman in the biological sense it has meant throughout history, it is only women who give birth– identity politics and hurt feelings aside. And mature pregnant persons already know this.

I would never call a trans man a woman, even while they are giving birth. I would never want to disrespect them. There’s no point to it. But, I also don’t expect all of our childbirth literature to refer to social constructs (gender) instead of biological realities (sex) to appease feelings of a really minute part of the birthing population. Birth is about biology, not personality! And I don’t feel that we are leaving trans people out when we say women give birth any more than we leave out amputees when we admit that human beings are bipedal.

MANA, Midwives Alliance of North America, started replacing their language, erasing woman and she for pregnant persons. But any organizations under the thumb of The Man, Medicine Inc., as they are– can kiss my ass. Your NAME is fucking MIDWIVES. Just as the old tradition. Midwife means “with woman”. Change your fucking name if you’re only “with person”, you wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

So you see, even the supposed naturalistic and woman loving traditions are giving the big “fuck you” to womankind. I say supposed because they’re still very medicalized and not traditionalists and don’t advocate actual and total birth freedom, but I digress.

I used to think “wombyn” was silly, new agey (even if I am a little myself), and pretentious. Now I see it as a radical protest and I may use it a little more, just to see how it feels. Just to piss these misogynists and men’s rights activists off. Because that’s what they are. I AM a goddess, and goddesses give birth. It was birth goddesses we talked about throughout time and in recent birth movements, not birth gods. Those are the people who prefer the label “obstetrician”.

Do you have any doubt this is The Man’s Patriarchy? And you call this the right side of history?

Here are some more examples from their page, their double standards, their hypocrisy, where they did not scream “transphobia” at every pro-woman reference, they did not scrub all the she’s out of existence. But like she said, she’s only human– just give her time and maybe we won’t have to hear the goddess celebrations in relation to female bodily functions anymore. Women aren’t taboo or oppressed, they just need to shut the fuck up because trans.

How absurd it all is. One thing is for sure– no one knows just what woman is any more, but we know we need to be really careful how we use that word, lest we offend. We need to keep our big mouths shut and stop asking questions, stop asserting girl power and our authority, and just do what we’re told. “Feminism”.

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What about black men? Why are we talking about breastfeeding, it’s so cissexist! Men nurse too! What about fatherhood! Etc.

Jesus, Honore de Balzac sounds like a real transphobic prick. He and all of civilization.

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Breast milk? Fathers give birth, too. This is a hate crime. “Natural” news? I’m triggered.  WHERE was the trigger warning?

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Taking the women out of birth is a political issue.

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Women’s rights as female rights in an ongoing, crucial battle are so obvious when we talk about the misogyny they face in the patriarchal institution of medicine. All of their abuse, the abuse and trauma done to their female bodies, arguably happening for all of recorded memory as rulers and leaders advocated ownership and taming of our bodies, is about to have its language of protest dismantled. This is what they call “cis privilege”. As a woman who knows she’s a woman and has been treated as a female her entire life, I apparently have it. Our rape, molestation, kidnapping, murder, domestic violence, lack of rights in education and to our own bodies is now privilege. Think about that. Think about everything females go through in and out of birth. How you will dare to call the sexism we face privilege, I will never know. That any woman or female bodied person or female born person would ever want to deny us this power speaks loudly of internalized misogyny, perhaps even more acutely among those who “do not identify as women”, as if any of the rest of us are perfectly happy with that designation in this fucked up society. So ladies, hand birth back. It isn’t ours anymore. We had a nice run, sort of. Almost.

I love everyone and I don’t care what you wear or who you fuck.  But stop trying to keep me in my place. The time for women being polite and quiet is done. We can all be free; stop being against my empowerment and undoing the things which attempted to give it back to me. That was my progress. You’re taking away the keys to women’s progress.

A child builds a sand castle.  A second child who didn’t have a chance to make one for themselves yet arrives and knocks the first one’s down and starts building on top of the same site. On a beach full of sand. And they call it that first child’s sand castle too. They try to call that sharing. It isn’t my sand castle. It’s yours. Well I worked hard building that castle and I didn’t build mine on your heartache, so why do you hate it so much? Don’t smash everything I’ve done and call that equality.

Stop erasing women from the books. It’s unnecessary and it’s erasure. YOU WILL STOP TAKING ME OUT OF HISTORY. I am saying “no”. No means no. Listen to women when they say no. Do you get it yet? Do you know whose “side” you’re on?





When You Don’t Want to be Pregnant Anymore…

19 02 2015

Psychologically, I think if we say things to ourselves like, “I’m 43 weeks pregnant today,” there is often an element of “enough already” to that expression. If you factor in a sense of dread (or god forbid, fear) towards the labor itself, you’ve got yourself a recipe for psyching yourself out. It’s a self-sabotage in the making.

I remember about a year ago today I was wondering just how “overdue” my baby would be. “He” had already surprised me in being 5 days past my already late estimate (and would later surprise me by being a “she”). I’m usually right, so why was my calculation off? I waited an additional two weeks past when I thought the baby would arrive before she actually came… which she chose spontaneously, of course. It was possibly my longest pregnancy, depending on what method you use to measure it. Even though I had always guessed better than the medical professionals regarding my body (and certainly had this time… they would have felt I was at least a full 20 days past my due date at the time of birth), I was at peace with being wrong. I got off facebook and the internet, and I waited. I waited with the wisdom that the magic of nature summoning me into that birth space at its own right time was not something I wanted to miss. I had experienced it before and knew I would not go back to artificial ways again.

For mothers finding themselves in this familiar spot, I advise nesting according to instinct, retreat, and meditation. Trusting in your body’s and baby’s wisdom can seem counter to everything popular culture has instilled in us all. It can take some work to resist that. You may feel simply tired.

So what I’m saying is, maybe don’t care too hard how far along you are (it is an arbitrary number, after all), and try not to mentally grade what you feel is bound to happen to you when labor does finally occur, because if you don’t give yourself a chance to be wrong in the most beautiful way, it’s a missed experience/opportunity and an action possibly taken out of impatience and fear. Give yourself a chance! We are supposed to encourage and inspire one another, so hopefully we can create more hype around that natural beauty than hype around faulty preconceptions that dominate our birthing culture.

As someone who people listen to on the topic of birth, looking for knowledge and inspiration, I would be remiss to not say these things to you. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that any choice is equal to any other choice just to make you feel better. You are a warrior woman and you are an earth mother, a goddess. You are powerful and you can do this. You know what is best for your body and baby and sometimes you just need encouragement to see it through in a world that wants to divert you to a lesser path, so I want to be that voice for you in case you are hearing it nowhere else:  You deserve to have a pregnancy and childbirth at peace with the natural order, and without fear.

For more about the way the baby leads the way in choosing its own birth date:

Length of human pregnancies vary by as much as five weeks
Fetal lung protein release triggers labor to begin

 





How Much Say Should the Government Have In Your Birth Choices?

3 11 2014

It’s really hard because the system SHOULD be in place to protect us and to know better than the laypeople, to be the authority in terms of wisdom for our health. They pose as this, but they are not. Common sense is gone, and the average person may often know more about their own health than the doctor they visit. It’s about profit$$$. It’s even about misogyny or patriarchy when it comes to maternity care, although few see it that way.

If I walk into a hospital and demand heart surgery even if I don’t need it, should it be granted because a) I’m the consumer and b) we’re afraid I’ll go do my own back alley heart surgery to myself? If a woman walks into a hospital and demands a C-section at 28 weeks, what of that? I know that’s far fetched, but my point is that we obviously intend to draw the line somewhere. This time, in Oregon, that line is generous at 39 weeks. Big whoop.

You can’t allow potentially off-balance medical consumer$ to order any drug or procedure off the menu like it’s Burger King,

Birth King-- have it your way.

Birth King– have it your way.

and at the same time, our docs and midwives shouldn’t treat us like idiots and force us into procedures or prescriptions that are actually violating and damaging.

Education, education, education. For both doctors and consumers. We need to radically overhaul the whole system, but the system is built on medical arrogance as it is. I won’t hold my breath, and in the meantime we should stop forcing mothers to do things that don’t sit well with them. We are maiming our society.

As for me, I know better, and so I birth outside the corrupted system. Myself and my babies will not be hurt by the essentially crazy practices now standard to “normal” maternity care. And yes, Florida sucks for this topic. But so does the US and lots of places. I wish women knew just how deceived they were and just how actually simple birth was. We would heal the planet and have a million times more peace. We are terrorizing women and babies with false fear, sadistic authority, and brutal practice.

Re: childbirth in its minimal, natural state, free of coercion or assistance, it reminds me of this paraphrased Buddhist quote:

“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back at the sky and laugh.”

I need to see more women laughing.





The Importance of Excluding Onlookers From Freebirths

13 12 2013

If you’re going to be of service to women and want to be taken seriously, having a well-rounded education is important. There are many things you’ll want to know before you can safely feel adequate to provide “care”. One important thing to know on laboring women is, when it comes to witnessing their homebirth, UC (unassisted childbirth) is not a spectator sport.

ImageEven if you allege to be hands off, the problem of the observer is one hopefully known to all UCers and would-be UCers. It is one of the reasons (maybe even a main reason) why many women decide on freebirth at all. One of my favorite writers on natural birth, Michel Odent, talks frequently of the mammalian needs in birth. Of our four basic needs, privacy is one of them. Without it, the mother senses danger and this complicates the labor.

‘To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent. Any doula, midwife, or doctor should read this book. 

You can read more here: Do Not Disturb: The Importance of Privacy in Labor, Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, The Journal of Perinatal Education- Advancing Normal Birth, from the US National Library of Medicine- National Institutes of Health (PubMed Central). Sidenote: This link also discusses the fetal ejection reflex, for the interested.

Now some may argue that it is possible to give a woman a feeling (or an illusion) of privacy and still have onlookers or caregivers. I will not debate that at this time, but I will state that if one is trying to observe a birth to determine their own readiness to venture into the fields of midwifery and the like, this learning experience is a detriment to the mother.

“There is no privacy without a feeling of security.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Odent.

Anything you bring into the birthing space, the mother can sense. Any fears, hesitations, reservations, doubts, lack of confidence, lack of understanding of anything, lack of skill, lack of intuition, she spots like a dog smells fear. She taps into her primal state and the neocortex (rational, human, intellectual thought) attempts to disengage. If she has the awareness in any aspect of her consciousness that you are here to test yourself, this can generate feelings of insecurity in the mother. This is particularly true if you are not in an intimate relationship with her. Feelings of insecurity and lack of privacy will, again, complicate labor.

“Most women who understand what is going on are keen observers not only of their own actions, but of the reactions of those about them to every fresh event or incident. I have laid stress upon the sensitiveness of the mind of a parturient woman; if you wish to deceive them, you will fail.”

Confidence rests upon the knowledge of perfect preparation.”

“During labor, women spot doubt in a doctor’s mind as quickly as a kestrel sees a rat in the stubble… However good an actor or however suave a humbug, confidence has no counterfeit.” – these quotes from Childbirth Without Fear, Grantly Dick-Read.

The woman in labor, sensing any lack or fear on the part of anyone present, is hormonally receptive to those suggestions. This initiates the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. Labor becomes hard or even dangerous for woman and child.

It is more important that we honor and respect the birthing space of the laboring woman and her most basic, primal needs as a mammal than to use her as a test subject for our own reassurance and education.

There are other ways we will be able to give ourselves a proper education on birth and physiology in order to ascertain in what capacity we may be of assistance to birthing women. Like the saying goes, “reading is fundamental”. I urge people to read, read, read, and learn everything they possibly can about true physiological, natural birth and the actual needs of a birthing woman in labor.

Privacy is one very basic and simple method of providing safety in the birth space of a well-prepared woman. We live in a culture, though, where the most basic methods of prevention are overlooked in favor of the most technical hands-on repairs we can put our logical minds to. But, what if we could avoid those dilemmas?

For example– Instead of relying on knowledge of which massage, drug, or herb will treat a post partum hemorrhage, what about understanding the seemingly invisible causes? The brain-body connection has a lot to do with our most commonly feared childbirth complications, and yet our culture does precious little to recognize and avoid creating the issues to begin with. We must look to the interconnectedness of our systems, hormonal responses to environment and stimuli, etc. If we were to know the birth process from an unhindered, natural, physiological perspective, know the stages of labor through all non-intrusive signs, and respect the mother’s primal birth space needs, our shopping lists and interference levels would dramatically decrease. Healthy, normal births would be the result.

I have noticed that there are many UCers or those researching UC are preoccupied with the fix-it methods, though. They read almost exclusively midwifery and obstetrics texts (if they read at all), they focus on which tools or drugs or herbs can be used in a pinch to solve a dilemma or crisis. In the process, we are neglecting the very root of why freebirth is so important– the undisturbed aspect of birth only it can provide. When we more fully grasp what is primal and physiological, our tools and medicines become more and more useless and unnecessary. This is  such a worthy goal! To lose sight of that and to attempt to mimic health care professionals in all regards in many ways defeats the purpose. We aren’t trying to take over their work, we are trying to transcend their methods.

In other words… If I wanted a medical approach to my care, I would hire a medical professional. But, I digress. Because I associate onlooking with interference, I have touched upon the issue of hands-on as relating to eyes-on. Getting back on track–

For anyone questioning if they could handle the pressure of attending births for a living, I would strongly advise they find their confidence elsewhere than at a woman’s freebirth. I would suggest educating oneself to the utmost of one’s abilities, reading books like the ones quoted here (as opposed to a lot of the more mainstream, feel-good, interference-happy “natural birth” literature). I would recommend reading things which are very pro-unassisted childbirth, where lack of attendants is understood and encouraged on a scientific level, because this will provide technical and biological knowledge and a foundation for what makes this birth safe. That is knowledge that would become confidence-instilling for anyone of the right composition to attend women.

Even starting as a trusted doula for attended births of people you are personally close with (at home or in hospital) can give one an idea of their own abilities. Anything… anything to avoid adding hindrance to what could otherwise be an undisturbed birth. This would be one of the gravest insults to natural birth and the natural birthing woman. The needs of a woman in birth are more important than any education we hope to glean from their experience for our own gain.

In order to properly care for a woman, we must first be able to put her needs above our own wants. Anyone unwilling to do that already has the answer to their own question– they are not prepared to attend her. Let us not behave the way that doctors have which caused us to leave the hospital environment in the first place.

“Every woman is different, and so are her needs in childbirth,” you might say. Yes and no. Psychologically every woman is different. The complex thought processes that make up our personalities and make us especially human varies. On the primal level, however, all of our needs are the same.

We are all mammals, we have built-in instincts designed to protect ourselves and the species. We do not deny our other needs as “individual”– whether a woman needs food, water, oxygen, sleep, and shelter is not up for debate based on her individuality. We all require these things as our physiology dictates. As mammals, we have physiological and hormonal reactions to childbirth events and our environment– even over the subtlest of things– that may go unrecognized or misunderstood to the untrained eye. Since it is the primal nature which gives birth, not who we are psychologically, it is the primal which we should be careful to honor!

What a woman chooses is her right, but it sometimes becomes a battle of what she is willing to partake in on the psychological level versus her most primitive instincts. I would not want to battle with the instincts, personally. You cannot reason with them.

So, even if a woman planning a homebirth or freebirth is gracious enough to invite someone to her birth as an observer or onlooker, this does not mean it will not in some way have a negative impact on her birth. A woman would be unfair to herself to promise someone that she would be comfortable with their presence (and it would be unfair for the onlooker to accept, with that knowledge). The primal need for privacy and the intuition of the laboring woman will strongly overtake most conscious psychological desires she has to be sharing, educational, brave, outgoing, or accommodating. Even a peaceful, knowledgeable, and experienced freebirther may find such an invitation to be a naive and inhibiting undertaking in hindsight. Whether it becomes merely a nuisance or precipitates a crisis, the would-be birth attendant must ask themselves, “is it worth it?”

Anyone considering UC for themselves should likewise acknowledge and honor their deepest needs in childbirth and respect the science of the process. This is the way you give yourself the best, safest chance at the healthiest birth.