Instead of weighing her voice against my own, her experience against my own, or her choice against my own, I had to ditch the scale. There was room for the value of both of our voices, experience, and choices. In order for both of our voices to be valued in our relationship I had to […]
I’m excited to offer this introductory conversation into “Activism in the Birth Room” with Aimee Brill of Doula Trainings International. As Aimee and I started brainstorming about how to be sure to package this content in just the right way, we found that there are really several parts to this discussion, all of which deserve their […]
I’ve never understood why being Pro-Woman is a leftist value and being Pro-Parent is a rightist value. Why, in the pro-choice conversation are women abandoned by the feminist movement once they become parents? Why are women the most invested people in their own bodies and in their fetuses, but not trusted as invested caretakers once […]
A strange thing happened the other day. I was scrolling along, minding my own Facebook business, when I came across an image shared on a public page. The image was of a VBAC "consent form," which basically read like a militant "Thou Shalt Obey My Orders, Woman." It truly was one of the most despicable, […]
Last week, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I held a rally / memorial in my community in support of women’s rights to full bodily autonomy and choice. A friend and clergy member, Jill Terwilliger, wrote a truly beautiful prayer for the event. Jill feels especially called in her work to support feminist and […]
The statistical disparity is telling. Birthing folks are not offered support for their choices. Forced cesareans are the extreme examples of the brutal birth culture of slapping women around until they mouse-up or shut up or say, “yes, sir.” But there are countless other ways birthing people endure harsh treatment, from forced vaginal exams to forced separation from their babies to everything in between. One woman’s gruesome, filmed, forced episiotomy from last year highlights this rampant culture of mental abuse and hospital-sanctioned rape. She’s having trouble finding a lawyer to take her case – even with the damning footage. Because the baby is okay. And apparently slicing a woman’s vagina twelve times like she’s a swath of fabric on the counter at JoAnn’s isn’t a mutilating enough injury. What does this say about the established value of women in the judicial system? Did we ever actually come off the shelf as baby-making containers?
2014 was a full year. For my family, it held extremes of financial terror and relational bliss. As an individual, this year led me into a deep, internal, and very personal exploration of my femininity and relationships with other womyn. As a parent, I continued to struggle with being present enough, loving enough, and forgiving enough – […]
Women have held their place as an inhuman conceptual idea – one that is clothed in the dirty rags of one’s imagination so as to maintain a believable discourse. Society, at large, feels the need to leave it that way because as soon as we begin to actually listen to women’s stories and experiences it becomes complicated. We can no longer maintain our pretend image of what kinds of women make certain choices. We have to begin to acknowledge that choices are personal, that women are best positioned to know what is best for themselves and their families, and that women, alone, should be held with the responsibility and right of making their own healthcare decisions.