You Might Not Be a Feminist If…

2 12 2012

… you think assimilation is the path to equality.

Much like midwives who become medwives, doing everything they can to become accepted by the medical establishment that they virtually become doctors themselves (thus losing the craft in the process), fear of persecution transforms people. Make sure in the fight for equality that you don’t merely blend in to those with whom you desired equality.

Besides, how equal can you be when you’ve eliminated all differences? That’s not equality, it’s removing diversity.

Men and women are equal, but they are not the same. Women have every right to be whoever they want to be, but their biological role containing the ability of creation, and the process through which that is carried out, is their own. An innate and maybe timeless ability that maybe escapes human knowledge and understanding in completion is at work and to be respected– not to be owned, or dominated, so turn a blind eye to a patriarchal system if you must, but do not label it “feminism”. That’s only misogyny with a vagina.

A recent comment I received on my post Feminism and Overcompensating:

(by “Seriously?”, who was too much of a coward to leave their real name and e-mail address)
Seriously? (02:13:23) :

As a feminist, I’m surprised to see other women calling themselves as such being so blatantly anti-science. The idea that there’s some mystical goddess being waiting to be released through extreme pain is pure fantasy – It’s biological essentialism and it takes some special rhetorical gymnastics to spin that as feminism. there’s nothing special or noble about labour pain.

Science is fact, whether you find it inconvenient or not. Science is not male, and implying that there’s some viable, magical alternative to it created by womym and squashed by the patriarchy is a huge insult to female scientists and feminists in general. Stop making us look like idiots – mainstream society already thinks that we are deluded and out of touch with reality.

This sort of thinking needs to be put down along with creationism, the people who think 9/11 was an inside job, and all the other conspiracy theories.


Right, because you don’t look like an idiot. *eyeroll*

My response:

You can label yourself a “feminist” all you want, but when you ignore the history of the medical field and specifically maternity, specifically in America, over the last couple of centuries, you aren’t doing women any favors. To you, feminist simply means holding the same jobs and wearing the same coats. I don’t care who can play a part. That’s for puppets. My idea of what feminist is transcends that.

If you want to think that there is nothing mystical in life, or that we don’t have any “magical” qualities, that is your CHOICE. Science fact is stranger than fiction, so I don’t need to fabricate or embellish. The truth is, we don’t know everything there is to know about science. What we DO know is the beginning of how the brain and body work together. Those things aren’t “magical”, they’re science. The primal mind during labor is science. Mammalian physiology is science. 2/3 of OB/GYN guidelines are NOT based on science… and you dare to align yourself with current authority in the name of Science? That’s science “blasphemy”.

Our nature in labor is what I am interested in others acknowledging. It calls back to something in our ancestral past, which is also history. You are an animal, I am an animal. Asking us to forsake that in lieu of man-made “science”, as if technology helped us rise above our own animal needs and nature… THAT is the magical thinking. You’d rather believe some shiny pill has everything you need to escape the condition you are in, rather than finding a way to cooperate with nature. It’s about ownership.

Real feminists have open minds. Real feminists know their power is beyond 21st century habits. In 200 years no one will give a shit that you were “just like them” (men) in whatever position, if that position was wrong. What you spout is closed, final, absolute, and thinks it is advanced. And it blindly follows. It ignores the animal science behind what we are and where we come from. That’s more akin to creationism than my beliefs. It’s denial. You can have religious denial, or you can have occupational/professional denial, or societal and cultural denial… but if you are ignoring history and science for status, it’s still Denial.

Feminists concerned with status over fact are sellouts.

Thanks to my husband; in conversation on the matter he used the word “assimilation”, which inspired me.

This is what a feminist looks like.

This is what a feminist looks like.

Letters About Birth #2 (Midwives): Your Voice Counts Day

21 11 2012

Your Voice Counts Day is a day going around the internet on which, for Thanksgiving, we are supposed to submit letters to our caregivers regarding our labors. We mail or hand them in to let them know how terrific or horrible our experiences were in the hopes that it raises awareness for the level of treatment we are receiving. I’ll be doing mine here, in a series of 3.

The reason I hesitate to actually send these consists of several reasons. One, I believe that mainstream people will disregard me. Two, many people are mentioned, and it isn’t overall praise or blame for the whole, and some are nameless.

Image by Flickr: Wonderlane. Contains a parable on the Buddha and praise/blame.

Three, some of these people already know how I feel. Four, at the end of the day, I’m not sure if this is more for me, or for them. Or maybe it’s for you. It’s not that I think I can’t make a difference, but it’s about too much wasted effort in one direction that feels like barking at the wind. Anyway, this series will stand here, and maybe it will help you, or maybe those people will actually find their way here and it will matter to them.

Just like in my book, names have been anonymized in part or completely to protect real identities. For those who read my book, this may be a nice accompaniment, but it’s not a prerequisite to appreciate this.

Dear D & L, LK, & Hospital Staff,

You are the main reason I do not believe in midwives anymore. I went this route which was meant to include homebirth because, inexplicably, I still believed in myself and my body. The prior hospital experience had crushed my spirit and proven me wrong, yet something inside me would not let go of the idea that I was meant for this and it was attainable and preferable. My experience with you I believed would empower me, and instead it sent me further into the abyss.

I don’t know if I can “blame” you. I think all in all there is a system problem, and you (just like all health care workers, including doctors) probably truly want to help people, and feel you do so every day. Just like OBs, you receive praise and adoration for your great works, but through my eyes it is not without its casualties.

After “40 weeks”, I had to undergo the hospital non-stress tests, even though the due date was not based on my body’s rhythms, but on flawed measurement tools. One flawed measuring tool, the ultrasound, indicated my fluid *might* be low. I wish you had listened to me and not these tests or guidelines. I was fine, the baby was fine, yet talk of induction began. You knew I didn’t want this. Yet you gave me less than 24 hours to drink water and take baths to replenish fluid you can’t even measure right or I was going to be admitted to the hospital for mandatory induction? I wish you hadn’t given me that ultimatum. It was dehumanizing.

I had waited forever for you, LK. I was hungry and angry at the thought of my birth being dictated to me. I didn’t even know you, we hadn’t met. You came to check my dilation when I was ready to walk out the door after so many hours. I never do that, by the way. I’m a good and obedient patient, to my own detriment. But you arrived just after my husband told them we were leaving… I guess that prompted you to drop whatever was keeping you and check me out. What I thought was just a dilation check became you stirring my membranes. I remember you saying, “I’m just going to stir things around down there,” with your fingers inserted already. I remember the pain, and I remember I said, “Okay,” not yet understanding what that meant, as it was happening. I thought you were being rough, because cervical checks were not always this painful. Then it was clear. You were doing me a favor, supposedly. You were trying to stir the membranes to manually induce labor, to “give” me the homebirth I wanted in time, before being coerced into a hospital induction.

I was furious after I left, when I understood what was happening to me. I didn’t want your “help”! I didn’t want to be induced at all! I wanted this baby to choose their own birthday! Don’t any of you get that? Why would you ever do that without making sure the person gave their full consent? I felt violated. You had done something to my body in a position of trust that was against my will. Later I was spotting blood and losing my plug. Even though membrane stirring is not proven to start labor (and is proven to introduce bacteria, cause pain, and create spotting), you did the practice on me anyway without my agreement in an act of trying to be *merciful* to me. You were wrong.

On the way home I called you, D, to tell you. I was out of breath, struggling with words, but obviously upset. I said that LK’s “help” was “not cool”. You agreed… because you had just been to a birth and were so tired, you wanted a chance to catch up on your sleep first before my baby came! D, that’s not at all the problem. I felt like an animal while everyone but me manipulated my body and made choices about it for me, without my consent.

The rage I felt that night, I cannot describe to you. I paced. I ranted. I processed. I confided in you, I trusted you, so I brainstormed out loud with you on the phone my plots. “We could just say I went into labor, and that the homebirth was still on, and that later on we figured it was false labor. We could just keep doing that until it’s the real thing, and they’ll never have to check or admit me or try to induce. ” After all, “false” labor happens all the time. As much as I hate lying, I was willing to do it to save myself. You told me D, that we couldn’t do that, and that if I tried to do that you would no longer be allowed to care for me.

No longer allowed! I would be completely without assistance for labor, simply because I told the hospital something which could or could not be truthful and no one would have any way of knowing. Except you, D, of course, if you were privy to this confidential choice by me. But you would admit it, or tell. I guess you would be scared… scared if something went wrong, it would come back on you, I would blame or sue you. Well, I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t. I know you don’t know that, but I wouldn’t. I’m honorable. All I wanted was a healthy birth, and one that didn’t traumatize anyone, but that isn’t what I got. You were lawsuit-free but it broke me. It changed my life and caused a giant scar inside of me. It almost altered the future of my family. The consequences of these things are so much more severe than legal troubles or even job or money loss. It’s so much deeper than that. What was at stake for me was greater.

So that night, as more of an act of protest, I had sex to induce labor. I didn’t want even THIS manner of induction, but I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to feel in control again. Other people would NOT tell me what to do with my body, would not put their hands in or on me to make anything happen that I didn’t consent to. I did it because I wasn’t going to let anyone push me into a corner. I did it because if anything was going to induce me, it was going to be me. Immediately after, contractions began. I’ll never know for sure if it was the stressing rage I felt, the membrane stirring, the intercourse, or any combo of these, or maybe even none of these at all… but it seems like labor was indeed “induced” and that I may have been the one to effectively create it. That is bittersweet, because I will never know, and because I was put in a position to do something I didn’t want, but at least I was still in the driver’s seat and not going to let them take it away from me. I was going to have this baby naturally and at home. I would NOT be going to the hospital this time!

But that didn’t happen. I called you D, in the early morning, to let you know I was excited to be contracting all night and this was the day. I was feeling good. Sleep was nice. Labor so far was easy. I called D first because I was scared that you, L, would be too hands-on even though you were my primary. You were closer to me and you had asked to be called before D and we went against that. At the time we thought that D would give us more choices and more time. D after all had been the “fade into the woodwork” one, which I truly sensed I needed. When you were both here, it was intense. I was in hard labor. I needed to be alone but you wouldn’t leave me alone! Getting on my back for a check was excruciating but you “made” me anyway. Why? I was *this* close to having the baby! Let me do my thing, please. I was stripping off my clothing right in front of you, didn’t you notice I was almost there? If I tightened up, I’m sure it was the tension of being around people, being in painful positions, and submitting to checks.

Then that damn meconium showed up (possibly normal, possibly due to the stress), and you “had” to transfer me. Ugh! Legally, maybe you did, I don’t know. But it sucks. I know now that it is NOT an emergency, and while I know you would not want to be held liable if anything were to happen as a result, or maybe you’d get in trouble with the state or the hospital if anyone found out, this was even worse for me. This was the worst day of my life. I had to put on clothing, because the ambulance was coming. You might as well have asked me to tap dance. I had to crawl down the hall covered in piss, fluid, and blood because you thought the paramedics couldn’t fit the stretcher down my hall. If that’s true, DAMN, it still was an ordeal. Twenty minutes felt like an eternity. Could you have dragged me? Maybe you thought this was my last shot to be alone, my last shot to have the baby at home, and if so, I do appreciate that. It felt like I was in Hell, it was torture, and I’m not being dramatic. I wish you would have left me alone completely and let me labor in peace. I would have had a great birth and produced a healthy baby for you in no time. I wouldn’t have lost faith in myself and carried recurring memories with me to haunt me.

I needed quiet and solitude, and trust in me and my body and my instinct. I hope you can give more of that to other women you help. I hope you will take that away from my story. Some women don’t need to be encouraged or touched or told how good they are doing. Some women need to just be left the fuck alone, or it is like you are killing them just to be there. But that’s just the labor aspect. We do not need to be held hostage by the legalities of an archaic maternity system. We don’t need to be threatened into submission.

To the female paramedic, thank you so much for honoring my wishes and being a gentle spirit. You were so respectful and I could feel your mercy, and you let me lay on my side like I needed. I felt your kindness and gentleness. I wish I was in a position then to say so to you. I wanted to write you a letter and I did send a message to the hospital, so I hope it got to you. You made a huge difference.

To whoever covered me with a blanket when we entered the hospital doors, THANK YOU. My eyes were closed but I still didn’t appreciate my ass hanging out. That was very considerate and meant a lot.

In the hospital, the baby was right there. He came right away. No meconium aspiration, of course. Good fluid amount. Everything okay. He was perfect, sturdy as an ox (is that an expression?), and as angry as I felt inside. Just as soon as they were taking him away to check him, they were giving him right back. My husband and daughter missed the birth. My husband missed the birth of his first son.

I had a million strangers around me holding my legs, prepping the room in a hurry, and LK, you were there to deliver. You told me (ha!) to put my chin to my chest and push, and not to make any noise. As if you had any control at that point! Had you never seen the involuntary fury of a woman delivering without drugs? I did the opposite. I couldn’t have listened to you if I wanted to. I couldn’t have even tried. I DID make noise and I put my chin away from my chest, and I wasn’t pushing on your command, I was pushing because my body could do nothing else. You and your nurses were rough with the matter of placenta delivery and subsequent uterine massage. Your pitocin afterwards for bleeding was bullshit and unnecessary and only added to my pain. The aftershocks were hard. If you thought my blood loss was excessive, don’t do things that make people bleed. Please read more about a relaxed and natural third stage delivery. Thanks for not sewing me up too tight, even though I could feel you stitching me. You are an example to me of how just because a practitioner is a woman does not mean they are delicate.

Midwives: I know you have lives of your own and professions to protect, but you are supposed to be “with woman”. Who knows what I need better:  me, or the state of Florida? I needed you to believe in me and without you I no longer believed in myself. I gave my body and my trust over to you, and I deserved your trust in return. To understand horror truly and deep in your soul is a rare thing and should be rarer.

Hospital — please teach your staff how to handle with courtesy the patients. After what for me had been a horrific day, I needed sleep. I was in a lot of pain and trying to find the right meds to let me breastfeed but also sleep, and baby occasionally woke to be nursed. People calling me to demand I choose something from the menu waking me and the newborn up is not necessary. Please train your staff in appropriate behavior or hire people who are good with people.

I get shit for this one occasionally. People who’ve read my book or an excerpt act like I’m some diva slapping a tray out of someone’s hand, thinking myself precious.  No. Talk about missing the point because you feel like it. Like I’ve said before, I’m a timid patient and customer. I’m the type that can’t even send food back at a restaurant if something is wrong with it. All things in perspective. Those people don’t really deserve a response, but in the spirit of defending myself, let me clarify.

So– I’m in tons of pain with a newborn, and we are both trying to rest after the worst day of my life. It’s 6 am or so and still pretty dark when the phone startles me out of an already fragile sleep. Groggy and worn, I can barely detect the mumbling on the other side of the phone that I fumbled just picking up. “Huh,” I was like. And the lady on the other end, with an obvious chip on her shoulder and I’m guessing no clue what my state of health or mind was, yelled back, “Watchoo WANT for breakfuss??” I was at a loss for words. “I don’t even know what you have.” I said. Then she started listing shit off a menu. I had to interrupt her. “We’ll just get something to eat later.” I said, and hung up. That’s all paraphrased of course, ’cause that was like 3 years ago, but I trust that’s pretty accurate (albeit condensed).

Now, I’ve given birth at a hospital before. I’ve never had someone call me up at the crack of dawn just to ask me about food (and, it didn’t happen again, during my stay there), and with an attitude like I was inconveniencing them. People quietly enter and exit your room, to check on you and your health, to check on the baby. People don’t loudly make fusses or wake you out of needed sleep. Maybe my previous hospital was better, had more of a clue. If people want food, they’ll go get it or fill out a little paper or something, or call for it by phone or by nurse. If they’re in recovery, they don’t want to be dialed up over cheerios. That was all I meant.

Some have said, “it’s not their job to know what you’ve been through.” Oh, isn’t it? But apparently it is their job to call up every room and take orders? That’s an odd job duty. In fact, part of the reason I always thought nurses took care of our food for us was they knew how we were doing, what kind of allergies we had, what kind of medication we were on, etc. It’s not their job to know? So you mean to say if they call up a room with a coma patient, and the phone rings endlessly but no one picks up, that’s a smooth running operation– a hospital that really has their shit together? Whatever. The point is, if hospital staff (including cafeteria workers) have access to any recovering patient, yes they absolutely should know the patient’s status or condition before trying to engage them in anything. Don’t have access to reach me or affect me if you don’t know my condition or needs. That seems reasonable. And nothing they do should be jolting or disturbing, in the hospital, of all places! That’s how people get better.

So yeah, I was pissed that I got woken up and pissed for my baby too, big deal. (lol) And for the record, I never bitched anyone out about it, I just described my frustration over it in my book about my births, so excuse the hell out of me for recounting the memory. >:) *End rant*.

One more thing, Hospital. You “let” me go home early, because, you know, I wanted that homebirth, after all. How kind, right? Let me tell you something. If you have a hospital experience, the recovery and being taken care of is sometimes the best part. I think that very concept is what keeps some people from homebirthing at all. In my mind, how I felt, I needed that recovery. I had a scary and painful experience and had already had the lesser parts of the hospital birth experience; the upside was supposed to be the “vacation”. It was well earned, that’s for sure. Even though this hospital was sub-par compared to my last, I’ll be honest… I was reluctant to go home. I was hurt. I was sensitive. I needed the rest, the break, needed to be babied, and you cut me loose. Leave it up to the patient next time. They might actually want or need the standard stay.

Everyone, overall the fuss made over me was unnecessary and the commotion gave me an excruciatingly painful labor like nothing I would ever wish on anyone, and the psychological damage I am still astounded today that I had the strength to heal. Birth became my enemy that day, not just because I didn’t get what I envisioned, but because the pain itself was felt in the most terrible way as to test the very limits of what one thinks they are capable of enduring (and has no choice not to). And now I know it didn’t have to. The damage that implies is so utterly tremendous I cannot convey this with words. Birth doesn’t have to be anything at all like that. That birth was not special, not dangerous, but it was made so.  I know you feel you help a lot of people, but the standards and procedures are so very flawed. Care needs to be individualized to the woman, not based on arbitrary bullshit. Attentiveness to up to date science (not to be mistaken for “medicine”, which is its own category and a business) including acknowledging that we are mammals with specific needs and responses in labor is critical! Those MUST be honored and worked with, not against, or we are hurting women and babies. Please know that even if I’m only reflecting 1% of those you see, of every 99 women you help, you may be brutalizing 1. I have a feeling my story resonates with more than 1%, though.

I don’t want you to think I hate you, because I don’t. We’re all doing what we have to do and what we think is right, right…? Things have to change, though.

Sincerely, Elizabeth

Feminism and Overcompensating

24 08 2012

When you’re driving down the road, you suddenly notice a turtle. You’re going too fast to have noticed it this late. You have to make a quick choice. Can you swerve to avoid it? Will you be forced to run over it? If you over-correct, you wind up in a ditch. Will you end up sacrificing yourself in the process of trying to save something else?

When it comes to feminism, and maybe any other fight for equality, we had to prove we were just as good as any man. What that meant in a certain time and place was sort of shedding all that was typically isolated for women. This meant getting a job, demanding equal pay. It meant burning your bra. For some of us, it meant shunning make up and heels and skirts, and saying no to beauty regimens such as shaving our underarms and legs. It meant being a free traveler of the world, not tethered to home and kitchen. We became proud of our liberation, proud of not having to cook or clean. Proud of not having kids.

The baddest bitches can kick ass AND listen to their inner goddess. This is not an either/or equation, hard or soft, dominant or submissive. We are whole people, regardless of sex. Achieving that personal balance displays great knowledge of self. Be whatever you want to be, without limits.

We wanted to be taken seriously and had to show that we were capable in all ways of filling the same roles as men.

Because we were told what being a woman was– being a submissive domestic type, having children– we had to reject that on some level to rise.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have our cake and eat it too. It’s a new day. While we still struggle with sexism in politics and some of the world around us, we’ve made many great strides and have more privilege than before. We do have biological drives and emotional wants, and it’s okay if we heed those.

We can’t deny our biology. It calls us to certain ways. Not all of us, not all of the time, but generally speaking it is there and we shouldn’t feel embarrassment to wish to honor it. It feels good for a reason. It helps us provide a balance and keep life flowing on this Earth. It’s both universal in concept and also not one-size-fits-all. There is a harmony and a balance that we often neglect in our quest to prove ourselves and be victorious. It is that which I lament, and not the degree to which a feminist is maternal. We don’t have to fight so hard to be honest with ourselves and others about who we are, is what I’m saying. Otherwise, all our fighting may be a symptom of an identity issue we are having (as individuals or as a people).

We don’t have to overcompensate or over-correct in the same way we used to. We needed desperately to dodge something to a degree that no longer makes sense for our place and time. This time, if we over-correct in the middle of the road, it could do us in.

Instead of mocking it, we need to encourage naturalism and following one’s drives. It’s in our hearts and in our survival.

If your drive is to be at home and breastfeed and raise children, to bake bread, and to sew,  how can we shame women for that? How can we guilt them by relaying that they are not successful females because they have no career or “ambition”? What if their ambitions are much more earthy than what we have labeled “achievement”?

At the same time, if a woman genuinely has no interest in babies and home-making and frilly dresses and other stereotypically-female things, the path paved by so-called radical feminism should allow her to do that with more freedom than before, and more power to her.

If a woman wants to make money and have a family, she can balance that in any number of ways, and should do it in whichever way sits best with her soul.

Sexism, to me, is about telling a gender what they have to do. Overcompensating, to me, is taking your goal so far that you don’t recognize when you’ve hit a certain tier that allows for more relaxation… suddenly they’ve got you overgeneralizing your own sex. They’ve got you warring with your own sex. Suddenly you’ve become the thing you hate.

We see this in natural birth arguments. Some people feel that the woman-as-a-goddess archetype circulated by natural birth advocates– especially those who are male– is sexist. They think it’s to get women to take the pain, almost as if she deserves it in their eyes. That it is the male dominant point of view to deny women pain relief as some mastermind plot to keep them in their place falls short. Why?

Because the reverse happens. Most women experiencing a truly natural birth have an awakening, empowering experience. It is a fulfillment of something that perhaps cannot be explained properly in words. When they reject the drugged experience and are able to have their own birth, they realize a power unlike any other force on this planet. For some, it is transcendent. They are truly like gods or goddesses of creation, more powerful than anything, including any man. When you believe you know more than and can achieve a miracle beyond that of a man singing your praises, I think that is worlds less sexist than someone (even if they are female) telling me I can’t do it on my own. A belief in me that I have personally watched live up to its hype is unmatched, true, and full of reverence. To not have that faith in me and what resulted was condescending, patronizing, dehumanizing, and damaging. Take your pick.

The woman’s biological rite of passage is denied when we manage her birth needlessly. When we offer “mercy” as the default for every birth, when we tell her just how it’s going to be, we’ve infantilized her and taken her authority and power. When her biological process of labor is disrupted with chemicals and an unnatural environment, her body may become confused on a biological level. You can chalk it up to oxytocin reduction, but it’s probably more complex than that…

Accusing people who believe in not jumping to the epidural of sexism for lack of mercy would be like if there were a pill for stopping your period forever, and you accused people who were against that of being sexist.

What, like we can’t handle our periods (or birth)? Like we are just poor little babies that always need a big strong man to rescue us? Like we are so desperate for you to stop what our biology has been waiting for that you want us to ignore all the side effects and potential damage your “remedy” may cause?

If you stopped a woman from menstruating out of “mercy”, I can guarantee her body would feel confused. It would show signs of hormonal changes, and she may feel out of balance in a variety of ways. Suppressing a natural biological function because you are impatient or it is an inconvenience will undoubtedly have some sort of consequence which may outweigh whatever good you think your cure has attained. The connection between brain and body is undeniable. It is not feminist to hate natural birth, and the psychological impact is heavy on our society and on womankind. By denying what we are made of is not feminist, not politically correct, not scientific. It is medical male domination– the antithesis of the movement. It is overcompensating, over-correcting. There does come a time in the day when it is safe to put the torch down and reflect and ponder our next move, and that time is upon us now.

You’ll know feminism is working when we are able to come full circle and fulfill biological maternal drives while being considered just as successful and legitimate as any man going to work in an office for a paycheck.

Success should be determined by the level of personal satisfaction one feels in their life status or pursuits, regardless of gender identification. Success is to be determined by whether one is following their heart and achieving their individual purpose, not their duty or obligation by gender. It comes from a felt connection between body, mind, soul, and heart. Take one out of the equation and you have a confused person, throwing stones at reflections of themselves.

Over-correcting in feminism reminds me a lot of the overcompensation in midwifery. It’s almost the same thing. Man came in and dominated with obstetrics, called midwifery folk-stuff and charlatanism. Then midwives fought, and fought, and fought to be as professional as they could be, to be respected. In order to become more respected and prove themselves, they had to show more and more that they had medical aptitude, to be taken seriously and not viewed as witches. The next thing you know, midwives are doing the same things as doctors– same procedures, same policies, same standards and adopting the same outlooks on birth: totally clinical. Suddenly you’re not the same thing you were fighting for anymore. You fought so hard to be equal that you lost touch with the initial calling. To not heed that is no success for your kind, it’s the success of the dominant. In this case, that would be males or medicine, but it’s a system, and not you, and not your femininity. It doesn’t honor or trust your body or wisdom… it still condescends that you need them and are in essence inferior.

In our fights for freedom, we mustn’t lose ourselves. Keep tabs on it, keep in touch. You can be a radical feminist and a homemaker at the same time. You can be a real midwife without being a doctor.