I’ve been thinking about how weird we’re all going to look in about fifty years.
Like when we nodded and shrugged at the women who screamed for more than a century about the injustice of birth abuse and laws on our bodies.
And then ….
When we jumped up and down and cheered and fawned over any man in a white coat who said that his peers should, in fact, support women’s choices and that OB’s should treat midwives and women with dignity and respect.
How even we, as women, bought it.
Chewed up, swallowed, digested and flushed bits of ourselves away as we jumped on their band wagons and cheered them on.
How their commentary would be seen as “bold” and “brave” and “risk-taking,” while the women… well, I guess we were just being whiny and demanding, written off as hysterical’s with agendas.
How the men’s metered words became the new “revolutionary” – because it came out of a valuable filter; one we could hear; one we recognized and admired; one whose authority we were willing to bow to.
How those men became the mouthpieces and saviors of the birth justice movement. How we’d quote them and name them and point to them.
How women accepted their legitimacy from The Man – the one with the worthiness wand.
I wonder in fifty years, when we look back, who will have held the script, maintained the integrity? Who will be the ones in the spotlight fighting and “collaborating” over the non-collaborative issues of our very bodies? Will we come to a place of determination that our bodies aren’t bargaining chips and there is no “shared decision making” when it comes to issues of a person’s skin and bones, blood and organs? In looking back, will we see a history that illuminates the boldness of folks with a uterus – one defined by insistent non-compromise? Or will our struggle be laced with concessions, excused by ourselves and society, named “baby-steps” and “progress” and “forward thinking?”
Whose voices will be dominant in this conversation?
Whose voices will be most important? Will it be selfish for women to stake a claim in ownership over the discourse – how it’s framed, dispersed, and discussed? Will we be unwelcoming bitches when we refuse to pander to the men working from within?
We can welcome everyone who gets on board (even a century late) to the realization that women are fully humans who deserve bodily autonomy. I’ll give you a rousing “Come on in! Take a seat!” If you happen to be a man, and you happen to wear a white coat, you’re most certainly welcome.
But let’s be clear.
Your voice and your inclusion isn’t MORE worthy or MORE important. In fact, if you’re a man and / or you wear the uniform of the system those things DEMAND that you do more listening than talking. It demands that you back up, take a seat toward the back and support the women who’ve been clamoring for autonomy for centuries. This isn’t about #notallmen or #notallOBs – and if you feel uncomfortable about this conversation and can’t handle the bristle of women’s rage over the lifetime and generations of injustice, you’re actually not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Now, those of us who’ve been working, those of us who’ve been strung up, caged, hung out to dry and told to fuck off and die by society at large, we’re tired – not just from the work, but also we’re tired of pandering to the “persecuted” emotions of those who can’t handle the jagged edges of raw voices.
The women have been screaming; yes, we have.
I’m glad you’ve heard.
Thanks for catching up.
I welcome your participation, but not your saviorship.