After enjoying the New York Times article about homebirth this week, I wanted to post about a couple of other articles that popped up in unexpected places for me this month.
The first is an article called Industrial Childbirth that was published in Adbusters. The concluding paragraph is particularly powerful:
"I wish that we talked about it. That we could stop reveling in horror stories and better place our fingers on the reason for our traumatic births – not the curse of Eve medicated to by our benevolent system – but the systematic violence that delivers our babies for fear that we might give birth to them ourselves. For in the process we might begin to understand our own strength and find words for our anger. We might begin to disobey."
Speaking of difficult births, there was also a brief article on this subject in Ode Magazine this month. I was very surprised to see it there, but less surprised to see that it was by Jennifer Block! It is a very short piece in the "Ode to Possibilities" section of the magazine. The piece is about midwives coming to help in Sri Lanka post-tsunami. The midwife quoted says, "Midwives are leaders in their communities, they're the women we trust, they lead us through transition in our lives...They are these things to women all over the world." The article ends with the classic sentiment, "peace on earth begins with birth." According to a search, the article is available online, but when I go to the link it is down. I'm including it here anyway, in case it starts to work!
I've long enjoyed Ode magazine, it is one of my favorites among non-birth related publications. So, I love to see birth getting some attention in its pages.
It is VERY exciting to me to see birth issues touched on in publications like this--birth activists have always know that *birth matters* and it is good to see public confirmation that it does. Birth issues don't need to only be discussed in birth-related publications, they belong everywhere--Ode, Adbusters, the NYT. This is great!
Another unexpected article popped up in my Google Alerts for birth a couple of weeks ago and I've been meaning to post about it since then. The article itself is about the "the truth about Heath Ledger's women." However, what caught my eye in this article were the quotes about birth by the late actor:
"For man, birth is the realisation that you're just a hopeless, useless specimen of life and witnessing this innate, primal strength within women can be such an intimidating experience,"
"When you come out of the birthing experience, you actually have a better understanding of how and why men have over-compensated in society by creating battles and wars and steroids, and why they go to the gym. It's because we want to be strong and tough, and we're not. And it's this endless quest to kind of find this strength that can equal women's. Experiencing those nine months with Michelle was incredibly humbling, and I just relinquish all kinds of respect and power to her. She's incredible."
They article also says that they "opted for a natural birth with a doula, a non-medical assistant."
When I read things like the above, I wonder how society would change if more men had the experience of viewing their partners in this way...