Michal, that is a great fantasy! I really do wonder what it will take to wake up women! I often feel like such a renegade when I tell people that I actually believe that my health, and my family's health is my responsibility! We do go to a doctor once in a great while, to rule something out mostly, but utlimately, I make the decision about my health, after getting the info I need, and thinking it through. Your point is good about not teaching girls about their bodies. Personally, I do not mind the abstinence teaching, but it doesn't have to be at the expense of teaching girls to think, know and understand their bodies! Part of taking the responsibility is to know when you are ready for something. You can't know when and how and what if you are not educated to THINK!
I think in our culture critical thinking skills are not being taught in our schools. Maybe this seems off topic, but why do we have a lack of women who are willing to look at the evidence and decide for themselves what is right for their bodies in maternity care? Why don't we read books like Pushed?!?!? Why do we settle for such drivel as What to Expect When Your Expecting?! I think there is a connection.
Melissa, I also relate to what you said because I have b een contemplating nursing for a few years now and the reason would be to go into maternity care, eventually becoming a CNM. I don't know if I could take the maternity ward though (yes, I DID just call it a WARD!) either. I don't know, such big decisions........
On 10/23/07, Michal@... <Michal@...> wrote:
I feel the same frustration. Why are women not outraged that they are being treated this way now? I had a thought the other day when I heard on CNN that there is a middle school (I believe it's in Vermont) that is offering birth control to it's students, and the students in the school are as young as age 11, so there is an uproar that 11 year olds will have access to birth control. We are so paranoid about children having sex, that instead of talking about it and teaching our young girls about how their bodies work, we teach abstinence. So, young girls are taught from an early age not to ask questions about their bodies and not to question about sex, and to trust that others will tell them what they need to know about their bodies when they need to know about it. Consequently, 50% of all pregnancies are unintended, and young women do not question the care they receive because that is how they have been trained to deal with anything that relates to their vaginas, uteri and ovaries.
I would love to see a real shake-up. I have fantasies of women's groups all over the country going out and picketing in front of hospitals with signs about the harm that these practices cause. Maybe that would get women to pay at least some attention.
I have to admit, this book has been hard for me so far. I agree with everything, but I am angered, and occasionally overwhelmed with what I am reading. The other thing for me is that I am finding that most of the information I know already. To be fair, I am only a little more than half way through it, but are any other "birthing" people feeling this?
Michal, I think your insight is right on, and I would love to see this book read widely. Maybe I'm feeling just a little tired and cranky, I don't know. But one line in the book really resonated with me. At that hospital in NJ where the c-sec rate is 44%, an older Dr. who said that back in the 80's there was a feminist movement and the women back then wouldn't put up with the crap that happens today! Wow. What has happened? What has changed?! The cry in my heart is WHEN are the WOMEN going to stand up and say that they're NOT going to buy this line being given ANYMORE!!!! On so many fronts in maternity care!
Well, sorry to throw a damper in there after such happy comments, but do ya'll relate?
On 10/23/07, Sheridan Ripley <sherinfo@...
I wholeheartedly agree with all you said! I haven't quite finished reading, but am loving what I have read so far. Very good information in this book!
I think this book is excellent. I find it to be on par with Marsden
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Wagner's book, "Born In The USA." The difference between them is
that Dr. Wagner is an insider, and looks at issues from that
perspective, whereas Jennifer Block is a journalist who is not yet a
mother, and looks at the issues with the clarity of someone who is
not caught up in the system.
I contrast that with Tina Cassidy's book, and with other books
written by women who already have children, and the writing is
clearly influenced by the type of birth they experienced. I find
that women who have had negative experiences write about and focus
on the pain and fear of birth, but shortchange the power and
strength of women. Cassidy spends an awful lot of time describing
the instruments used to extract dead fetuses from women's bodies.
There is not a lot of emphasis on the fact that there were many more
live babies born than dead ones.
Jennifer looks at the numbers and sees that it is ridiculous that so
many women are denied VBACS when such a small number of women and
babies are harmed from them, and sees that maternity care is more
about risk and liability than about healthcare.
This is another book for a college course. Women who are pregnant
and are not looking to become specialists in birth activism are not
the target audience for this book, although I wish they were. This
is a great book for a college course, where young women could be
exposed to the issues from an intellectual standpoint, before they
even think about having children.
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